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Narnaul: Its culture and heritage

Narnaul, located in the southern part of Haryana state, is the headquarters of Mahendragarh district. It is among those rare districts in India who have a name different from the name of the main town. In other words, the district is known as Mahendragarh, but the administrative offices (example: District Commissioner, SSP) operate from Narnaul. It is about 140 KM (87 miles) from New Delhi.

Part of Ahirwal belt, Narnaul is a Yadav-dominated area.

There is so much to say about the history of this place. In the beginning, this place was controlled by Jogis, until the conquest of Mohammedan, Rathor Rajputs ruled the town and the adjoining areas.

Narnaul is also known to be closely associated with the Sur-Afghans.Ibrahim Khan, sher shah’s grandfather came here first. After his death Hasan Khan, father of Sher Shah Suri, the supplanter of Humayun, became the Jagirdar of Narnaul. After the Second Battle of Panipat, Akbar gifted this Jagir to Shah Quli Khan Mahram who arrested Hemu, the famous warrior general of Rewari.

Later due to the disintegration of the Mughal Empire, four Thakur of Jaipur annexed Narnaul but soon lost it to the French General, De-Boigne.

As of 2001 India census, Narnaul had a population of 62,091. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%.The average literacy rate of Narnaul is 68% which is higher than the national average of 59.5% and to which the male literacy is 76%, and female literacy is 58%. In Narnaul, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Narnaul can be reached through various routes, but ultimately one can finally reach here by a road travel.

Narnaul had various heritage sites like which attracts tourists from all over the world. Some of which are:

Jal Mahal:

Built by Shah Quli Khan, who was an officer of Akbar and the ruler of Narnaul, in 1591. It is surrounded by water on all the sides. It represents a synthesis of Persian and Indian architecture and stands at the center of a large water tank, which is now dry. 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.

JalMahal. Photo courtesy: Animesh Prakash

Dhosi Hill:

Dhosi hill
Dhosi Hill (Dhosi ka Pahar). Photo courtesy: Animesh Prakash

Dhosi Hill is an important site located 5 Kilo Meters from Narnaul. Apart from being an extinct volcano and the ashram of revered Vedic period Chayvan Rishi, for whom the herbal preparation of ‘Chayvanprash’ was prepared on the hill, it has a beautiful water reservoir on the hill crater. The hill has been mentioned in several holy Sanskrit books.

Chor Gumbad:

This is affectionately called the ‘signboard’ of the town. It is built differently from the other buildings in the town, standing upon a large rock located in the north of the town. The Gumbad is a well-planned square building with a large chamber within and four minarets outside at each corner.


Chamunda Devi Mandir: 

This temple was constructed by Raja Naun Karan, who was the devout devotee of the Goddess Chamunda. He constructed a temple of the Devi at the bottom of a hill. This Temple is located in the heart of the city. After the fall of the regime of Raja Naun Karan, this area came under the control of the Mughals, who built a mosque named Jama Masjid (Mosque) at Narnaul on the temple of Chamunda Devi. After its independence, the people of this town started digging and found the temple in a dilapidated condition. This temple is now one of the most important temples in the area, and is often visited by the people of the town. A big fair is held on the occasion of Ramnavmi (The day on which Lord Rama was born) at this temple. This temple is famous among devotees for fulfilling their wishes, with the people of Narnaul saying that the wishes made here are always fulfilled.


Birbal Ka Chhata: 

Birbal ka Chatta / Chatta Rai Bal Mukund Das is a large palace built by Rai Bal Mukund Das, the Diwan (Prime Minister) of Narnaul during Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign. The Building is five story and consists of several rooms, halls, and pavilions. To keep the place cooler in the summer, there were fountains and springs made.

Chatta Rai Bal Mukund Das. Photo courtesy: Animesh Prakash



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