Charming Jaipur: Jaipur Guide Part 3
I don’t know how to express my gratitude to Jaipur and I don’t remember when exactly I fall in love with Jaipur city. During my graduation period I never knew how remarkable Jaipur can be, how charming Jaipur can be. But when I finally say hello to traveling Jaipur I got to experience some extraordinary sites, heritage and history. My whole trip went on for 4-5 days of travel from which my first 2 blogs have covered the first 2 days of my Jaipur visit. If you haven’t seen those blogs, just go through the links: Instagramming Amer fort and Local points of Jaipur. In this blog I have few more charms of Jaipur.
There are three major forts in Jaipur: Nahargarh fort, Amer fort and Jaigarh fort. Every fort has it’s own specialty, it’s own history but one thing remain same and that is the culture, royalty and architecture.
So let’s start our 3rd Day tour…
Nahargarh Fort: The charming castle
I started my trip at 9:00AM. I took buses, auto-rickshaw and even walk few kilometers with water-bottles and lemon juices in hand and cap to safe my head from direct sun. As the summer is much more severe in Jaipur, you have to these with you self if you don’t have bike or something to travel.
When I started my journey to the castle shaped Nahargarh fort, I keep on asking people sitting with me in bus and auto about “what is so special about the fort?” Everyone has the same words: “If you want to see the Charm of Jaipur then go to Nahargarh fort.” Consequently, people in their own way said to me, “the grandeur of Nahargarh fort will capture your soul.”
Finally I reached at Nahargarh. I still remember different views of Nahargarh fort from Hawa Mahal, Amer fort and from other places. But in reality when you reach at the top of Nahargarh fort, there is something more astonishing. It is the view of Jaipur from Nahargarh fort. The fort bestow the most beautiful panoramic shots of Jaipur. In-fact, the comprehensive grandeur of Jaipur will make you impotent in front of it.
History of Nahargarh fort:
The fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1734 CE and then renovated and further extended by Sawai Ram Singh in 1868. It is situated on the edge of Aravali Hills and probably that’s why, Jaipur city is guarded by Nahargarh fort. Some of the localities call it as the “adobe of tigers”. As the reign went on the Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh has developed many palaces inside the fort and further in Jaipur during the time of 1880-1922 AD.
The main attraction of the fort is Madhavendra palace. Inside the palace, 9 apartments are there with identical rooms, lobby, kitchens etc. and all the apartments are double storied. It was build by Sawai Madho Singh for the British queens. Furthermore, the fort is guarded by number of cannons.
Visiting time for Nahargarh fort is 10:00AM to 5:30PM.
Entrance fees: Indian: Rs. 20/- and for foreigners Rs. 50/-
It took me 2-3 2:30 hrs to explore Nahargarh fort completely. Next thing is the newly made wax museum established near it, which I found more expensive. So I just skipped it. All and all, Nahargarh has every aspect to please you and if you want to relax, there is a restaurant and cafeteria giving you a vibrant ambiance. But, one thing I’ve noticed when I was here; Nahargarh fort receives quite less people as compared to Amer fort. Hence, I could peruse every nook and corner of the fort quite easily. All of the above, it is a great place to hangout/night-out with friends.
Few facts about the fort:
- This fort is never conquered; more specifically it is never attacked. So the cannons were never used.
- The great robust fort of Nahargarh fort is extended or joined with Jaigarh fort wall and the Amer fort. In-fact, the wall is seen from space also.
- One last thing, the roadway to Nahargarh is surrounded by biological park spread over around 7 sq. kms. Nahargrah sanctuary is also present which is spread over the distance of 50 sq. km.
In addition to that, various scenes from blockbuster movie “Rang-de-Basanti” are shot here. The famous song “masti ki pathshala” was shot in the fort.
Jaigarh fort: The victory fort
After my visit to Nahargarh fort, I headed up to “Cheel ka Teela” hill where Jaigarh fort was established. The Jaigarh fort is much more calm and serene then Nahargarh fort. But one thing is more shocking for me, and that is its structure. Beside the calmness, the structure was very complex having a long-stretched never-ending red sandstone walls, perfectly covering hills of Amer. So, these walls are the reason behind the name “Cheel ka Teela” or Hills of eagles.
History of Jaigarh fort: (Victory fort)
Jaigarh was built by Sawai Jai Singh II in 18th century. Its architectural design is quite similar to Amer fort but the main reason behind this fort is to safe-guard or Amer fort. For this reason, the length and width of wall is stretched to kilometers, covering Amer fort. Moreover, you’ll find a secret way below the fort through the walls which directs you towards the Nahargarh fort and Amer fort. By the way it is closed now.
During the reign of Sawai Jai Singh II and later Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Jaigarh fort is the main center of artillery production. In-fact, Jaigarh’s cannon foundry is considered to be the finest foundry in the world. Moreover, the fort houses world’s largest cannon ‘Jaivana’.
The remains of cannon foundry are still present here and they are converted into museum. You’ll found arms and artillery, vintage photographs of royal families, swords, shields and cannon balls there in the museum. All these things are attracting more and more tourists every year.
Truly speaking, there are lot of things to tell you about the fort, and everything is connected in the shape of maze:
- Main residences of Jaigarh fort are Lakshmi villas, Lalit mandir, Aaram mandir and lots of gardens.
- The presence of largest water tank storing about 6 million gallons of water, which is the jewel of Jaigarh. I think it still supplies water to Jaipur city.
- The government of India have recreated the sculptures of royal family showing various activities of the family.
So, if you are alone, you may get lost there. In the similar way, I’m still confused, whether I’ve seen the fort completely or not.
So, finally I’ve spend almost whole day in exploring the walls of Nahargarh and Jaigarh fort, and now its time to to return back and visit Man Sagar Lake where one more gem of charming Jaipur is present.
Man Sagar Lake and Jal Mahal
If you go to Amer fort you’ll came across the Man Sagar Lake. Similarly if you go to Jaigarh or Nahargarh, you’ll see Man Sagar lake from the above of the hill. This Man Sagar Lake has the precious structure standing or floating in between and that is “Jal Mahal”. Yes you read it correct Jal Mahal or “water palace” where I finally reached. The auto-rickshaw left me in front of Pani-puri and lemon soda stall. And you now, as an Indian I had to taste it. Haha..
This is how Jal Mahal looks like…
I remember Jal Mahal even before my trip – I remember the words “you are not allowed to go inside Jal Mahal”. I still wants to confirm it and I keep on asking… Are you serious, we are not allowed to go there?How can I reach there? What is it inside it? But I know the answer, “nobody is allowed to go there and nobody has ever gone there”. This was quite frustrating for me since no one knows what is in there or why anyone can’t go there.
Interesting facts I got to know:
- Jal Mahal is a 5 storied palace built in 18th century . It was the time when water was not there or it dried up.
- Now its 4 floors are submerged in Lake, but since the palace is made up of stone water never had seeped inside the palace.
- I have read, Jal Mahal has beautiful gardens like: Chameli Bagh and Badal Mahal. Also Jal Mahal has lofty interior deisgn which we seriously miss.
- The palace is also known for many migrating birds.
All of the above, you can get only the glimpse of Jal Mahal and migrating birds. Beside the glimpse of Jal Mahal, there are stalls selling toys, handicrafts etc.. So it is good place to relax.
Travel tip at Jal Mahal:
- 1 hour is enough to spend at Jal Mahal.
- There isn’t much to do at Jal Mahal, but you can buy handicrafts, jewelry and also you can wear Rajasthani cloths and click photograph in those.
- Camel ride and sometimes elephant ride is the entertainment option at Jal Mahal.
- Night is quite glittering at Jal Mahal, lighting on palace and shops are soothing.
After all my trip has reached its end, there is one observation which I’ve made. Whether the life this charming Jaipur is quite hustle-bustle and whether the traffic is more chaotic, there are certain places which are serene and quiet. These places actually makes Jaipur more charming.
Hence, charming Jaipur has a lot of things to do and to see which required at-least a week to travel…
I’m totally tired while traveling and also my camera has done really a nice job.