The history of Bharatpur dates back to the epic age, when the Matsya Kingdom flourished here in the 5th century BC The matsya were allies of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. According to tradition the name of Bharatpur is traced to Bharat, the brother of lord Rama of Ayodhya whose other brother Laxman was given the high place of family deity of the ruling family of Bharatpur. His name also appears in the state seals and coat-of-arms.
Bharatpur, which is also called the Eastern gateway of Rajasthan, was found by Maharaja Suraj mal in 1733 AD. Raja Badan Singh’s adopted son, Suraj Mal had shown signs of promise, when he captured the fort of Bharatpur from Khemkaran, the rival chief, whom he killed and thus laid the foundation of Bharatpur City. Maharaja Suraj Mal displayed immense courage and carved a niche for himself in the midst of political disorder. Gathering around him fiercely martial Jat peasants, he went from one success to another. He accompanied Emperor Mohammed Shah against Ali Mohammed Ruhela and in 1748 AD, at the battle of Bagru he led the Jaipur vanguard against the Marathas. He also defeated the commander- in –Chief of the Mughal emperor.
He built numerous forts and palaces across the kingdom including the Pleasure Palace complex at Deeg. Bharatpur, is today known the world – over for its Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Summers: Max 45 degree C Min. 37 Degree C
Winters: Max 31.7 degree C Min. 7.0 Degree C
The nearest airport is Agra (56 km).
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Bharatpur is on the Delhi to Mumbai broad gauge line. It is connected to Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Agra.
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A network of Bus service links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the state.
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It is a fine fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture and was built in various phases by different maharajas. The magnificent apartments are richly decorated with patterned floor tiles having exquisite and intricate designs. The museum occupies the main central wing displaying collections dating back to the 2nd century which demonstrates the art and skill of the region.
GANGA MANDIR ( TEMPLE )
Maharaja Balwant Singh started the construction of this big temple in 1845. The construction was carried out by a unique method, where all persons employed in the service of the state, were asked to donate one month’s salary of their service or any raise in pay towards the shrine. The temple is a beautiful piece of architecture.
This temple is famous for beautiful stone work with elaborate carvings from doorways to ceilings, pillars, walls and arches. The temple is dedicated to Laxman, brother of lord Rama.
KEOLADEO GHANA NATIONAL PARK
This bird paradise acquired its name –Keoladeo because of the existence of the Keoladeo temple of Lord Shiva. After the name of this temple the lake is called ‘ Ghana ’ Keoladeo. Ghana being the vernacular synonym for dense forest. It was known as the best duck shooting resort during the British reign, but was declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to a National Park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site.
The geographical location is ideal, as it is on the main north-south avian route of India. Although small in size (only 29 sq. kms), it has over 375 species
of beautiful birds and more than 132 of these breeds inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Almost every year, new species are added to the list. The Bird Sanctuary not only attracts birds from all over India, but also from far off Europe, Siberia, China and Tibet
Before the monsoons, hundreds of these exotic birds roost and nest here and building activities start on the ‘babool’ and ‘Kadam’ trees of the park. Water flowing through the Ajan Bandh starts filling the various ponds and lakes of the Park. When assured of enough food, hundreds of large,
medium and little cormorants, darters, purple and grey herons, various species of egret, white-necked as well as black-necked storks, white ibis, spoonbills, night herons and other birds get busy courting and mating.The trees are overloaded with nests- a single tree houses approximately fifty to sixty nests-belonging to different species of birds looking after their young ones.
Saras cranes, the tallest flight birds, nest in exposed and open areas; both partners share the duty of hatching; while changing incubating duties, they come together, raise their neck and give out shrill trumpeting calls in unison, fanning their feathers at the same time same time. The newborn chicks are only 10cm. In size but grow up to one meter in height within a year.
LOHAGARH FORT OR THE ‘IRON FORT’
LOHAGARH FORT OR THE ‘IRON FORT’
Conceived and designed to last for years-Lohagarh Fort, true to its name, stood solidly against many attacks by the British, frustrating them to no end. It faced the British onslaught four times and after a long siege they had to withdraw, but Lord Lake ’s Bharatpur for the British.
It is very different from the other forts in the State. There is no flamboyance associated with this fort, but it radiates an aura of strength and magnificence. The fort is surrounded by a moat, which was filled with water to ward off the enemy attacks. Sandy battlements strengthened the sandy ramparts, thus the enemy guns proved of no avail.
Some interesting monuments in the fort are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kothi Khas. Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, inside the fort, were built by Suraj Mal to commemorate the victories over the Mughals and the British. The Ashtadhatu (eight-metal) gateway has paintings of huge elephants.
Bayana is 45 kms from Bharatpur between two ranges of aravali hills running more or less parallel to each other close to the left bank of Gambhir river, formerly a tributary of Banganga. The famous fort known as Bijay Garh (Vijay Garh)
was built by the famous Hindu King Banasur, in the time
of Lord Krishna and was renovated by Maharaja Vijay Pal in whose time the two families of Karauli and Bharatpur separated. One brother built the fort of Timangarh, laying the foundation of the royal house of karaulu. Bharatpur’s ruling families are the descendants of Bijai Pal, a Jadaon Rajput. The fort here is considered to be the 3rd largest in India. The palace, a high tower and Bhim Lath stand out as landmarks. The fort was held by Muhammad Ghore (1196 AD ) Sikandar Lodi(1492) and Humayun (1535 AD ). In 1526 AD Mughals emperor Babar described it as one of the most famous forts in India. Ain-I-Akbari mentions that in former times Bayana was the capital of a province of which Agra was a dependant village. Emperor Akbar witnessed a march past of his troops from a place near Bayana town known as “Chardare” which has the Inscription on it. The noble and litterateur of Mughals court, Mir Mohammed Masum, engraved this.
This fort built by Raja Suraj Mal, stands majestically over a slightly elevated point. It is surrounded by impressive moats, ramparts and gateways; the interiors are mostly in ruins now, but the watch tower still stands among the ruins, keeping an eye over the city and the palace; over it is placed a gun captured from Agra Fort. Another defunct cannon, which was captured from Ahmad Shah Abdali ( 1761 AD) – who seized the fort for six months guards vantage point. Midway, Near us Stand Deeg.
Band Baretha, old wildlife reserve of the rulers of Bharatpur State is about 650 km from Bharatpur city, there is a dam on “Kakund” River. The foundation stone of this dam was laid in 1866 by Maharaja Jaswant Singh and completed in 1897-88 during Maharaja Ram Singh’s period. There is an old palace, which is still private property of Bharatpur Royal family. Animals like sambhur, chital, blue bull, wild boar, hyena and leopard inhabit Bandh Baretha. It also inhabited by 200 rare species of birds every year number of bird watcher come here.
Kaman is a very old town, situated in the north of Bharatpur.
It is a very old and sacred town of Hindus as it forms a part of Braj area where Lord Krishna spent his early life. It is also known as Kamaban. Its former name is said to have been Brahampore, but Raja Kama sen the maternal grand father of Krishna changed it to Kaman after his own name. Kaman is the short name of Kadambawana for numerous Kadhamba Trees are found here. It is a place of Pilgrimage, Annually visited by a large number of Vaishnava in the month of Bhadon as a part of Banyatra.The remains of a temple /mosque consisting of 84 pillars, named Chourasi Khamaba’ still exist here. None of these pillars is withoutonament and some are very highly decorated. Kaman has long been under the rule of Jaipur but was conquered and annexed by Maharaja jawahar Singh. Some palaces of Jaipur Chiefs still exist here. Maharaja jai Singh took the ilols of Madan Mohanji and Gokul Chandraman to his newly built city of Jaipur but due to some resions the idols were brought back to Kaman after a short stay at Bikaner