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BHARATPUR HISTORY & TRAVEL INFORMATION
Bharatpur is considered as the eastern gateway to the state of Rajasthan. Bharatpur is associated with the finest bird sanctuary of India. Before independence of India it was a private wildlife preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur for hunting. Historically Bharatpur and its neighboring region of Dholpur were two premier princely states ruled by the Chandravanshi Kshatriya Jat rulers of Sinsinwar Gotra (lineage). Long before the Rajput rulers of Rajasthan rose to power in various regions of the state, the Jats, who were originally farmers, grouped to fight the Islamic invaders. The Jat overlord Churaman, was the founder of this princely state during the period when Mughal Empire was gradually declining in late seventeenth century. He was succeeded by another Jat overlord, Badan Singh, who expanded the territory of Bharatpur along the River Yamuna between Delhi and Agra. Raja Badan Singh expanded the kingdom further. The Fort of Bharatpur built by them was considered impregnable.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park: Just outside Bharatpur lies this small, but amazingly rich bird sanctuary, considered to be one of the outstanding heronries of the world. Perhaps no other bird sanctuary in the world offers so many different species within so small a compass, creating a uniquely rewarding bird watching experience. The park originally called Ghana meaning dense takes its name from the ancient temple of Keoladeo, or Lord Shiva that still exists inside the wildlife and bird sanctuary. The new ecosystem that emerged partially naturally became an ideal habitat for birds of all kinds. There are more than 150 different species of indigenous birds in this bird haven. Every year in the month of October another 150 species of migratory birds arrive from northern Europe and Siberia among which the Siberian Saras Crane is most conspicuous. The sanctuary is also home to some other wildlife including the Spotted Deer, Sambar, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Python and Porcupine. There are dirt roads inside the park where one can either walk or rent bicycle rickshaws to view the wildlife. One can hire cycle rickshaws to view the various birds, animals and reptiles in the park. Unfortunately because of lack of water sometimes the migratory birds do not make this park their temporary residence. Efforts by state government are underway to fill the swamps where migratory and domestic have their nests.
Government Museum holds a rich collection of artifacts exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions belonging to the rich past of Bharatpur Region.
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj: A few of the eight imposing towers still stand erect within the glorious ramparts of the fort. Especially two of them - Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj are of special interest. Maharaja Suraj Mal built these to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and British respectively. Jawahar Burj used to be the venue of the coronation ceremony of Jat rulers of Bharatpur.
Lohagarh Fort is the massive iron structure built in the early eighteenth century. With its impregnable fortifications it sustained itself even after a number of British attacks. The fort was conceived and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. The fort has three palaces within its precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas.
The Palace: Built by various Maharajas, the royal monument is a brilliant blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The magnificent apartments within have mosaic floors tiles with exquisite intricate designs. The main central wing houses the museum which has a rich collection of beautiful sculptures, ancient inscriptions and other exhibits which reflect the art and skill of the region.
Excursions from Bharatpur: Deeg with its exquisite complex of pleasure palaces lies twenty-two miles north of Bharatpur. Raja Badan Singh and another Jat ruler, Raja Surajmal founded this idyllic palace for relaxation and refuge from the battles in which they were constantly engaged. This interesting town is strewn with massive fortifications, stunningly beautiful gardens, magnificent parades and a colorful bazaar. It is surrounded by small villages and farmland. The road to Deeg is partially paved.
Excursion from Bharatpur: Fatehpur Sikri - Mughal Emperor Akbar's deserted capital is 20 kilometers or less than 1/2 hour drive.
Laxmi Vilas Palace Hotel – 15 single rooms and 25 double rooms & suites
Bharatpur Forest Lodge – 10 air-conditioned and 8 non-air-conditioned rooms
Udai Vilas Palace Hotel – 24 double rooms
Kadamb Kunj – 16 double rooms
Bagh Resort Bharatpur – 21 rooms
Chandra Mahal Haveli Hotel – 23 rooms
Hotel Sunbird - 14 rooms
Birder's Inn - 12 rooms
Eagle's Nest - 12 rooms
Park Regency - 16 rooms
Pratap Palace - 12 air-conditioned rooms and 18 non-air-conditioned rooms
Sonar Haveli - 10 rooms
Distance from Bharatpur in Kilometers & Miles:
Agra: 60 Kilometers or 37 Miles
Fatehpur Sikri: 20 Kilometers or 13 Miles
Behror: 100 Kilometers or 62 Miles
Alwar: 116 Kilometers or 72 Miles
Sariska Tiger Sanctuary: 151 Kilometers or 94 Miles
Dausa: 126 Kilometers or 78 Miles
Karauli (a Hindu pilgrimage center with a temple devoted to mother goddess): 110 Kilometers or 68 Miles
Jaipur: 176 Kilometers or 109 Miles
Sawai Madhopur (Ranthambhore): 240 Kilometers or 149 Miles
Pushkar: 346 Kilometers or 215 Miles