How To Visit The Imposing Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur's Best Viewpoint
Nahargarh Fort is one of the most incredible places to visit in Jaipur. This detailed guide covers all corners of Nahargarh Fort, including what to see and do, fees & opening hours, and how to get there.
Falling in love time and time again is a given in the Rajasthan state, considering it has some of the most enchanting forts one could ever see. And Jaipur’s colossal Nahargarh Fort is another you’ll fall head over heels for.
Set in the Aravalli Mountains, perched atop Cheel ka Teela, Nahargarh was built alongside its neighbours (Amer and Jaigarh Fort), to protect the city from invaders, and is now one of India’s most prominent forts, known for its opulence and grandeur, and incredible views over the ‘Pink City’.
Seen from almost any vantage point in the city, the fort exudes a captivating presence as it overlooks Jaipur’s entirety, giving a certain feeling of a mighty guard on duty.
It’s a place where the stories are alluring, the silence is captivating, and the delicate frescoes are striking.
And the stone fortifications that hug their way around the contours of the hills are home to some of the best sunsets in all of India.
To see this beauty for yourself, all you need is this Nahargarh Fort guide., which provides everything you could possibly need to plan your trip, including must-see sights, entry fees, how to get there, historical legends and tips to find the best spots to catch that glorious sunset!
A LITTLE NAHARGARH FORT HISTORY
The foundation of the magnificent Nahargarh Fort was laid in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, the king of Jaipur. Sawai Ram Singh II extended the fort in 1868, but the main complex, Madhvendra Bhawan, was built by Sawai Madho Singh in 1883 - 1892.
Nahargarh Fort is situated prominently on a ridge of the Aravalli ranges, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
The fort was not only constructed as a defence system but also as a luxurious place of retreat for the royal family of the era and a popular hunting spot for the Kings. Amazingly, it has never, ever been attacked by enemies during its entire nearly - 300-year history.
Nahargarh Fort, meaning ‘Adobe of Tigers,’ is commonly referred to as Tiger Fort. In Hindi ‘Nahar’ means tiger, and ‘Garh’ means fort. And, because of this, many people have the idea that there must have been an abundance of tigers roaming free, hence the name.
However, believe it or not, there is a freaky legend behind the real meaning of the name.
Initially, Nahargarh Fort was named Sudarshangarh. Popular legend says that when the fort was being built, the labourers experienced a strange anomaly. Each night they were baffled to find their hard construction work was inexplicably demolished!
The king discovered that the land was once home to a prince named Nahar Singh and he was the exact spirit that haunted the place, creating these disturbances.
In the hope of quelling the spirit a dedicated temple was built and in his name, the fort was renamed Nahargarh.
WHAT TO SEE AT NAHARGARH FORT
Nahargarh Fort is an Indo-European architectural masterpiece that is every bit regal. The widespread complex is a great place to wander, admire the architecture and marvel at the views.
Below is a helpful guide to the spots that you simply must see:
The focal point of Nahargarh Fort is the towering two-storied palace in the centre of the complex, named Madhvendra Bhawan - the queen's quarters. Start your journey by weaving your way through the maze of ornate courtyards, elegant suites and hidden passages.
Sawai Madho Singh is responsible for the stunning handiwork and built Madhvendra Bhawan to have nine identical suites in fashion for his nine queens, all overlooking the main courtyard and featuring a secret corridor leading to the opulent king’s chambers at the head of the building - named Mardana Mahal.
This way he could see whichever queen he pleased on the sly, whilst keeping it hush-hush from the others. I guess when you have nine wives, you learn to have a trick or two up your sleeve!
Throughout the palace is a gorgeous array of artistic elephant wall paintings, decorative floral patterns, scalloped archways and pops of coloured glasswork.
Once you’ve made your way to the top of the building you’ll be greeted by a spacious rooftop terrace where you can breathe in the fresh air and look out over the expansive Pink City.
I could quite frankly come here again and again!
BAORI’S (STEPWELLS) OF NAHARGARH
Alongside the main part of Nahargarh Fort, there are two stepwells that you’d be silly to miss. The fort was built as a defence system and therefore houses these stepwells and their water systems. The smaller of the two (known as ‘kund’), is opposite the entrance to Madhvendra Bhawan.
The bigger and more impressive Nahargarh Baori is just outside the main fort complex as you enter and is a whole attraction in itself.
One of India’s most aesthetically pleasing stepwells, this ancient baori is a vast scalloped hollow on the hill where stone for the fort’s construction was unearthed.
Featuring a cascade of pink-hued steps rolling down the hillside, all contained within a line of stonewalls with peep-holes scattered along.
This stepwell is free to enter and opens from 9 am - 5:30 pm, Tuesday - Sunday.
SUNSET FROM NAHARGARH FORT
For the most breathtaking, picturesque views, Nahargarh Fort at sunset is without a doubt the place to be. You can faintly hear the hustle and bustle of the city in the distance, while the sky lights up in gorgeous pink and golden hues and Jaipur’s city lights glisten beneath.
If you’re a fellow sunset chaser, there are three places within and surrounding the fort that offers unparalleled views overlooking the skyline of Jaipur.
After you’ve explored the fort to your heart’s content, you can opt to head to Padao Restaurant - an open-air bar and restaurant that is a great place to unwind, put up your feet, drink in hand and watch the sun disappear over the hazy desert horizon. There is an INR 200 fee to enter.
Kali Burj (known as Sunset Point) is on the edge of the fort near Padao Restaurant. This spot features a small building you can clamber atop, making it the perfect spot for night birds to see the big city lights. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world!
However, be prepared for a complimentary flurry of others doing the exact same. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Lastly, the walls of Nahargarh Baori are free to enter and another prime sunset spot - a must-see for that iconic photo-op overlooking the city that you are bound to have seen all over Instagram.
The fort's official closing time is 5.30 pm, however, this doesn’t apply to these sunset spots so don't let that put you off staying for sunset.
Within the Fort, there is also the Jaipur Wax Museum filled with wax figures of world-renowned celebrities and Sheesh Mahal, a glitzy Mirror Palace. However, I have never felt the urge to visit and after hearing reviews from both locals and tourists alike, it seems you won’t miss out on much if you choose not to visit - something to keep in mind.
The Jaipur Wax Museum and Sheesh Mahal combined cost INR 700 for foreigners to enter and opens from 10 am - 6:30 pm, Monday - Saturday and 9 am - 6.30 pm Sunday. No cameras are allowed inside.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING NAHARGARH FORT
NAHARGARH FORT TICKET PRICE AND OPENING TIMES
Opening hours | 10 am - 5:30 pm daily
Cost | INR 200 for foreigners or INR 1000 for a composite ticket (which includes entry to Nahargarh Fort, Amber Palace, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum and more). Still cameras are allowed.
How long to spend | 2 - 3 hours to fully enjoy the fort and its surroundings.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT JAIPUR’S NAHARGARH FORT?
The best time to visit Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort is in the morning when the ticket gates first open - prime time to escape the crowds and the harsh midday sun.
Alternatively, time your trip perfectly in the late afternoon so you can explore the fort and then stay on for sunset at your chosen spot.
Month-wise, the best time to visit Jaipur is between March - April due to the warm, pleasant weather. October - February is also a favourite with the weather being cold and dry.
Avoid May - July at all costs, where temperatures soar to a whopping 40 degrees plus!
WHERE IS NAHARGARH FORT, AND HOW TO GET TO THERE
Nahargarh Fort (also known as "Tiger Fort") is located in the Aravalli Hills that surround Jaipur, and it sits at an altitude of 441m. The fort is located right on the edge of the city, close to major attractions such as Jaipur City Palace, Hawa Mahal and the old town, offering spectacular views of Jaipur and the surrounding area.
These are the best ways to get to Nahargarh Fort:
TAXI / AUTO RICKSHAW
The most popular option is to take an auto or taxi through the long winding road up to the fort. This takes 30 - 40 minutes from the city and will cost roughly INR 500 - 600 return.
Like Amer Fort, I highly recommend booking a return trip as Uber/Ola are not available from the fort and trust me, you don’t want to be at mercy of the drivers who are few and far between.
If you have a pep in your step the most affordable option is to walk (or take an auto) to the edge of the Pink City and from there walk up the old cobbled pedestrian route.
It starts at the base of Nahargarh Fort near the Nahargarh Palace Hotel and takes 20 - 30 minutes to hike up.
If you have access to a bike and are an experienced rider, I highly recommend this option overall.
The adventurous ride up is one to remember and the top-notch lookout spots dotted along the way overlook Jaigarh Fort and Jal Mahal, making them well worth stopping for.
Motorbikes are available to rent from the city for INR 400 per day.
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Car Insurance | Insurance4CarHire - a great annual car insurance policy
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Article written by Briar Jones: Briar is a free-spirited Kiwi traveller, creative graphic designer, illustrator and dabbler in photography. She’s spent her entire adult life solo backpacking around the world, having now found a home in India, her favourite place on earth. She’s a lover of a good roadie through the mountains, music flowing, with her camera in hand.
You can follow along with her adventures on Instagram @briarashleigh.
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