Narnaul is the main town of the district of
Mahendragarh, which it is widely, believed
antedates to the period when the epic Mahabharata was written. Narnaul
seems to be an ancient town but its origin and name are still shrouded in
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 severely 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 Britishers.
The Town of Myriad Legends
According to legend, Narnaul town belongs to Mahabharata period, then known as Nar Rashtra. It is narrated in the Mahabharata that enroute to the Chambal Valley from Hastinapur, the youngest Pandava brother, Sahdev, gained control over this town.
According to another tale, the town was founded after clearing dense forests abounding with lions. Hence, it came to be known as Nahar-naul (fear of lions) or Nahar-haul (abode of lions) and gradually came to be known as Narnaul.
Some people say that while digging the foundation of this town a nag (serpent) and a naol (mongoose) came out fighting. The people named the town as Nagnaol after this incident and later on it came to be known as Narnaul.
According to yet another legend, Raja Laun of Bikaner who got this town built, named it after the name of his wife, Narlaun.
Narnaul is replete with historical monuments like Ibrahim Khan Suri's tomb, tomb of Shah Wilayat, Sarai Mukand Das, Pobianwali mosque, Dargah Sheikh Miran, Takht Wali Baoli, Shah Quli Khans tomb, Hargopal talab, Shah Quli Khan's Jal Mahal, Paltian-Ki-Masjid and Chhatta Rai Mukand or Chhatta Birbal and some temples.
Jal Mahal: Built by Shah Quli Khan, a commander of 'Four Thousand' under Akbar in 1589 AD, Jal Mahal is a building surrounded on all sides by water. It represents a synthesis of Persian and Indian architecture and stands at the centre of a large water tank. 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 staircases leading right to the top. However, the lower chambers have by now disintegrated and no trace of them can be found.
Baba Rameshwar Dass Temple (Bamanwas): The village is situated at a distance of 25 kilometres from Narnaul in southwest direction on Haryana-Rajasthan border. It is famous mainly for the temple of Baba Rameshwar Dass. This temple has been built on the land of village Bamanwas where the main wall of the temple makes the border of the village Tibba Basai of Rajasthan. The huge temple was built by Baba Rameshwar Dass. Since 1963 AD, the construction work of this temple has been continuously done from time to time. Consequently, it has become one of the greatest temples of this area. The Baba Rameshwar Das Temple has been a striking instance of the architecture of the area
Tomb of Pir Turkman: A tomb-mosque complex, it belongs to a Muslim saint called Hazrat Turkman who settled 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.
Kamania: Located at a distance of 10 kms, it is a small village carrying religious significance. The Ram Mandir is famous among the Hindu devouts. Shivratri fair is held here every year with great pomp and show.
Tomb of Ibrahim Khan Suri: This tomb is a tribute by Sher Shah Suri, the ruler of Bengal and later Hindustan, for his grandfather, Ibrahim who served as an officer of the Lodhis at Narnaul. The tomb is a perfect example of the Pathan style of those times. The monument was constructed under the surveillance of Sheikh Ahmed Niyazi. There are two small graves along with the grave of Ibrahim Khan inside the building.
Chor Gumbad: 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 planned square building with a large chamber within and four minarets 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).
Tripolia Darwaza: The Tripolia Darwaza having three sides was constructed in 1589 AD as main entrance to his garden by Shah Quli Khan. 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.
Mahasar: Jwala Devi fair is held in March-April when devotees and other persons worship the goddess Jwala. It is said that the devotees make offerings of wine to the image of the goddess. Besides, the people visit the temple for performing the mundan ceremony of their babies.
It is obligatory and a social necessity for every newly married couple in the area to go there and bow their heads before the goddess for a happy and prosperous married life
Chatta Rai Bal Mukund Das: It is 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 flaunts marble floors and pillars. Fountains and springs 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.
Ateli: Situated on Rewari-Ajmer railway line (Western Railways), the town is 16 kilometres from Narnaul and 38 kilometres from Rewari. This place has come to limelight due to its famous grain market and slate-stone hillocks. On account of the abundance of slate-stone in the hillocks of Bihali and Bajar, a slate factory is being run here. The slates are supplied to other parts of the country and even to some foreign countries.
Dhosi Hill: About eight kilometres west of Narnaul town, the hill is located near the villages Thana and Kultajpur. This hill has acquired a countrywide fame, as it is believed that Chavan Rishi practised penance here for many years. On the top of this hill, a saucer-shaped plain surface is strewn with the ruins of a hill fortress, probably built by King Naunkaran of Bikaner. A temple dedicated to Chavan Rishi decorates the hill.
Kanti: Initially called as Kanehri, the village is situated at a distance of 8 kilometres from Ateli Railway Station. Originally a village of the Meos, it is located within a hill from one side to other. Some Raiput warriors of the nearby village conquered the place and most of the Meos were killed and thus, the name of the village became Kanti from Kanehri.
Nasibpur: The place is situated at a distance of 3 kilometres from Narnaul. This is the place where freedom fighters sacrificed their lives against Britishers for the sake of the country. There is a historic park laid out in the memory of freedom fighters. It is believed that the land of this place became red due to the blood of the freedom fighters.
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. Eight pillars from where steps lead right down to a well support the decorated chattri.
Tomb of Shah Wilayat: The Tomb of Shah Wilayat stands beside the mausoleum of Ibrahim Khan. It is a big tomb-cum-collegiate complex, which incorporates within it a long tradition of architecture ranging from the Tughluq to the British period. Much of its originality is marred by later constructions. Originally, the tomb and the adjoining complex were constructed during the reign of Feroz Shah Tughluq. The author of Gulzar says that Alam Khan Mewari erected the eastern colonnades, the dome and a part of the enclosure.
How to Get There
Rail: The city is well connected by rail. It has a small railway station on Rewari-Bikaner railway line.
Road: A well-developed network of road transport connects Mahendragarh to the surrounding areas. The town is connected by road with other important cities, viz. Narnaul, Rewari, Charkhi Dadri, Delhi and Chandigarh.