Nahagarh Fort was built in 1734 by Maharaja Jai Singh II and extended in 1868. The fort stands on the edge of
the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the pink city of Jaipur. The view of the city from the fort is breath taking.
Along with Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort it formed a strong defence ring for the city. During the Indian revolt of 1857,
Nahagarh served as a refuge for Europeans from the wrath of mutineers in neighboring states.
"Nahar" means Tiger and "Garh" means "abode". Hence Nahargarh, meaning The Abode of the Tigers, is also popularly known as the Tiger Fort.
There are nine apartments for the nine queens the Maharaja had and all
are well planned and decorated.The rooms are interconnected by colourful corridors and hallways, which still retain
Amber (pronounced as Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the capital of the ruling Kachhwaha clan of Amber, till the capital was shifted to the plains to present day Jaipur in 1727.
The Amber Fort pearched on the rugged Aravalli hills is an amazing blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I. The fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding outer body of the fort betrays the softness of the inner heart of the fort, an artistic fusion of art and architecture. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and inlay mirror work. The foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly as a safe place from the invading armies, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
The fort provided for all the amenities for the luxurious living of the royal families and comforts and sustenance of the
serving staff. The Rajputs who had apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes, later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a history so old as 7 centuries, the fort still echos its legendry past and is a landmark in the archaeological history.Its heart warming to see how the structures dating from the 16th century have been remarkably preserved by painstaking efforts.
To reach the Fort, one has to climb up through the imposing stairway or else the broad aisle, which one can ride on
the elephant back for a royal feel.
The fort has four main sections each with its own compound.
Before we enter the fort we have the Kali Temple, which is also known as Shila Devi Temple. It is renowned for its glorious past, huge silver lions and silver doors. This is just towards the right, before you enter the palace, which you reach through a steep aisle and a narrow staircase .According to a legend, Maharaja Man Singh I had worshiped the Goddess for a victory over the rulers of Bengal. The Goddess appeared in the Maharaja's dream and ordered him to recover her statue lying under sea near Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and install it in a befitting Temple. True enough, after subjugating the enemies the Maharajarecovered the statute from the bed of the sea. The temple is called after Shila Devi, "shila" meaning stone slab. Like all temples this too has an image of Ganesha on the doorway, but carved from a single piece of coral.
The main gate Surajpol takes you to the Jaleb chowk, which is the main courtyard from where one can walk up the stairway, that leads to the palace. Jaleb Chowk was also the area where returning armies were welcomed and they would display their war earnings to the local population.
Getting back from the temple the main stairways lead to the second courtyard of the fort. Here we have the imposing
Diwan-I-Aam, the hall of public audiences where the Maharaja received the populace and their petitions.
This is a pavilion of double row of columns each capped by an elephant head.
Another eye catching piece of work here is the exquisite lattice gallery.
Third section houses the residential apartments of the maharaja.Ganesh Pol,(Pol meaning gate) another imposing feature
of the Fort, directs the way to these inhabited apartments of the King. Here we also have the Jai Mandir, the Hall of
Victory which is famous for its inlaid panel and dazzling mirror ceiling.Much of it had deteriorated with time but is
On the other side is Sukh Niwas, the residence of pleasure or pleasurable residence. The palace has an ivory inlaid
sandalwood door. A channel laid for flow of
water is an inventive system of cooling. The water flowing from the channel wasn't wasted as it was allowed to
flow into the garden. From here you can also have a grand view of the fort rampart and its reflection in the Moata Lake.
The fourth section or the courtyard houses the Zenana Mahal or the Palace of the Ladies. The rooms are connected through a common corridor but so architecturally designed so as to give each room its privacy.