¤ The Great History
The main town of the district of Mahendragarh, Narnaul dates back to
the Mahabharata as Nar Rashtra according to legend. Another one puts
it to be about 900 years old, where lions roamed free in jungles and
thus the name Naharnaul (lions fear).
Theres one more one Raja Launkaran named it Narlaun
after his wife. Whichever one you choose to believe, today its called
Narnaul so well call it that too.
Sher Shah Sur, the Afghan king who came in from Bihar and shook the
foundations of the Mughal dynasty, was born here. His father, Hasan
Khan, was engaged in the services of emperor Jahangir and was the
jagirdar of Narnaul. While Akbar ruled, he established a mint here,
churning out coins for the masses. The religious Satnamis revolted
against Aurangzebs envoy in Narnaul so severaly that the emperor
himself came down to quash the revolt.
When the Mughal dynasty disintegrated, the town was taken over by the
Rajputs and became a part of Jaipur. However, after the failed
Uprising of 1857 against the British, Narnaul passed into the hands of
the ruler of Patiala, Maharaja Narinder Singh, for helping the
¤ Main Attractions
A building surrounded on all sides by water, was built by Shah Quli
Khan, an officer of Akbar and the ruler of Narnaul, in 1591. It
represents a synthesis of Persian and Indian architecture and stands
at the centre of a large water tank (now dry). The approach through
the water was via a causeway from the north which opens through an
arched entrance. The main building is surrounded by four minarets
which have stairways leading right to the top. However, the lower
chambers have by now disintegrated and no trace of them can be found.
Tomb of Pir Turkman
A tomb-cum-mosque complex, it belongs to a muslim saint caslled
Hazarat Turkman who setteled in these parts in the 12th
century much to the dislike of local Rathore chiefs. The original tomb
is capped by a dome, but the pillared verandah was built by the
British much later. Additions to the tomb were common even during the
Tomb of Ibrahim Khan Sur
This tomb is a tribute by Sher Shah Sur, the ruler of Bengal and
later Hindustan, for his grandfather Ibrahim. The Sur who lies here
served as the administrative officer Narnaul, and the monument was
created by Sher Shahs personal architect Sheikh Ahmad Niyazi.
The tomb is a perfect example of the Pathan style of those times.
The Chor gumbad is affectionately called the `signboard of the
town. Standing majestically and isolated upon a rock in the north of
the town, this gumbad is a well pplaned square building with a large
chamber within and four minarets outside at each corner. Constructed
by the Afghan Jamal Khan (as his tomb) during the reign of Feroze Shah
Tughlaq, it became a hideout for robber and thieves, thus earning its
name (chor means thief).
Constructed by Shah Quili Khan in 1589 as the main entrance to a
garden, the gate has three sides. The Khans octagonal tomb
(built in red and grey sandstone) and Islam Quili Khans lie
within the garden complex, named Aram-i-Kausa by Quili Khan. The gate
itself is built from broken down masonry.
Chatta Rai Bal Mukund Das
A large palace built by Rai Bal Mukund Das, the diwan of Narnaul
during Emperor Shah Jahans reign. This five-storey building has
a number of halls, rooms and pavillions, and the Diwan-e-Khas (inner
chambers) flaunts marble floors and pillars. Fountains and springs
(they dont work anymore) were made to keep the building as well
as the surrounding area cool in summer, the water being sucked in from
a well in the southwest. The Persian wheel was used to lift water into
reservoirs at various levels from this well so that water could flow
down at great speed. The underground chambers (now eaten away) are
believed to have had three layers wher light streamed in throughout
the day and had tunnels which lead directly to Delhi, Jaipur and
Mahendrgarh. Only a basement remains today.
Mirza Ali Jans Baoli
This water well or baoli was built by Mirza Ali Jan and can be found
towards the northwest of Narnaul. The Mirza was the nawab of Narnaul
while Akbar ruled. The baoli is surrounded by a mass of water called
Chotta Barwa talaab, and the main structure of the building is shaped
like a huge arched gateway carrying a takhat (bed) with a chattri
(umbrella) on top. The decorated chattri is supported by eight pillars
from where steps lead right down to a well.