The picturesque town of Nagaur lies in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is midway between Jodhpur and Bikaner. The dull sandy stretch of Thar desert surrounds it. The city itself has three main entrances called the Delhi gate, the Tripolia gate, and the Nakash gate. The historic, Nagaur fort is located in the center of this town. This fort dates back to the fourth century.
Even though the Nagaur fort is in a fairly dilapidated state, it does encompass an ancient complex of richly painted palaces, mosques, temples and intricate gardens dating back to the Mughal times. Nagaur fort in the heart of the town is known as the best flat land fort in Rajasthan.
Handi Rani Palace:
One of the most decorated palaces within this fort is Handi Rani palace. It has intricate carved designs all over its ceilings and walls. The exquisite mural paintings depicting Maharani Handi Rani along with her retinue are very fascinating.
Deepak Mahal is within the Nagaur fort and is richly decorated with beautiful floral designs from wall to wall.
Bhakt Singh Palace:
The palace was built by Bhakt Singh, the ruler of this town in the first half of 18th century. Abhay Singh was the heir to the throne of Jodhpur. He was persuaded by the Mughals to kill his father and become the ruler of Jodhpur. Abhay assigned this task to his brother Bhakt Singh. Bhakt completed the task and got Nagaur in turn for murdering his father. Later Bhakt Singh built this palace within Nagaur fort. Amar Singh was the ruler of this town during the Mughal empire.
Amar Singh Mahal:
This Mahal was built as a tribute to Amar Singh. Akbari Mahal was built to commemorate the recapture of Nagaur town by Mughals from the Governor of Ajmer in 1556. This palace is a perfect blend of Mughal and Rajputana architecture styles. Tourists can also visit Rani Mahal and the Zenana Deori within the Nagaur fort. These places were the dwelling places of the wives of Nagaur town’s rulers. The ceiling paintings of these buildings are similar to those in the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Krishna Mandir and Ganesh Mandir:
Spiritual travelers must visit the Krishna Mandir and Ganesh Mandir within Nagaur fort. The Krishna Mandir is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It has primitive paintings of Lord Krishna along with cows, buffaloes and gopi’s (milkmaids). The Ganesh Mandir has a red-brick façade.
Shah Jahani Mosque:
Nagaur fort also houses a mosque within it. This mosque was built by Shah Jahan, the grandson of Akbar. It acts as a monument which represents the uninterrupted rule of Mughals in Nagaur city from 1556-1638. Its interiors are well preserved and are decorated with blue tiles. However, the main masjid within Nagaur fort is the Jama Masjid where lots of people gather to offer Friday prayers.
Nagaur fort has three main gates namely Sireh Pol, Beech Ka Pol and Kacheri Pol. Sireh Pol is the outermost gate with heavy wooden doors with iron spikes to prevent elephant charge. Beech Ka Pol is the second gate, whereas Kacheri pol is the third gate where the judicial court was held in old times.
The nearest airport to Nagaur fort is at Jodhpur in India. Merta road railway station is the nearest railhead. Nagaur is also well connected to the rest of India by roads like NH 8 and NH 11. The best time to visit the Nagaur fort is from mid-October till mid-March.