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Kota is located in the south-eastern part of the state of Rajasthan. The city is situated on the eastern bank of Chambal River and its neighboring area is drained by its tributaries. Kota is on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest axis of the town. Summers are quite hot (April-June) while winters are cool (October-February). It experiences scant rainfall between June and August. The city is a major trade center for a rich agricultural area in which cotton, millet, wheat, coriander and oilseeds are grown. Its industries include cotton and oilseed milling, textile weaving, distilling, dairying, and the manufacture of metal handcrafts. The city is also famous for its saris, stone products and a vibrant education sector. Among the Rajasthani traditional schools of painting Kota has a very distinctive style.
The town of Kota was once the part of the erstwhile princely state of Bundi for most of its history. Both Bundi and Kota came under the rule of the Chauhans in the twelfth century. The descendents of the Chauhans established their capital in Bundi. While Bundi was the capital, Kota formed the land granted to the eldest son of the ruler. This arrangement continued until 1624 when Emperor Jahangir, the fourth Mughal Emperor, partitioned Bundi and recognized Kota an independent state. Rao Madho Singh, son of the ruler of Bundi, was the first to ascend the throne of Kota. It became a separate princely state in the 17th century. It became a part of the British Empire in 1818 and was integrated into the state of Rajasthan that was formed out of the former princely states of Rajputana after independence of India in 1947. Its monuments reflect the erstwhile glory of the town especially its palaces and gardens.
The exquisite Jagmandir Palace was built by Maharaja of Kota in 1740. It is situated in Kishore Sagar, an artificial lake that was constructed by Prince Dher Deh of Bundi. The red sandstone palace is reflected in the azure waters of this lake. Nearby are royal cenotaphs in a garden called Keshar Bagh. Maharao Madho Singh Museum is inside the old palace. The museum has a superb collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school, exquisite sculptures, frescoes and an impressive armoury section. The museum also houses a rich repository of artistic items used by the Kota rulers.
Brij Vilas Palace Museum (also known as Government Museum) in the Brijvilas Palace is just near the Kishore Sagar. The museum has a rich collection of rare coins, manuscripts and a representative selection of Hadoti sculpture. The archaeological section of the museum consists of various sculptures, some dating back to the Gupta period (4th century CE). The sculptures worth mentioning are Shesh Sayi Vishnu from Badoli (Chittaurgarh), Jain image of Vardhaman from Baran and a dancing pair from Ramgarh. Yupa pillars from Badwa are very important specimens of 3rd century CE showing the popularity of Vedic rites. Coins of different dynasties can also be seen in this section. The painting section has a collection of miniature paintings of Bundi, Kota, Nathdwara and Jaipur schools. Paintings of Shrimad Bhagawata of the early 17th century are the most representative of the fine art of Kota painting. Various Sanskrit manuscripts can be seen in the manuscript section. They include the Vedic, Astronomical and Astrological works. Some Hindi manuscripts are also preserved. The Gita and the Bhagawata written in the minutest letters on paper scroll are worth mentioning from the calligraphic point of view. Apart from these weapons, several kinds of handicrafts, costumes, etc., are also displayed. A panoramic view of the cultural aspects of Kota region through photographs, charts, maps etc. can be seen in this museum.
Kota Barrage is one part of the irrigation canal system on the Chambal River constructed after independence of India. Not only does this barrage control floodwater and irrigate canals, it also serves as an alternative bridge in the monsoon season. Rana Pratap Sagar dam is the second in the series of Chambal Valley Projects, located 52 km downstream of Gandhi Sagar dam across the river Chambal in Rajasthan. This dam was completed in the year 1970.
Haveli of Devtaji, located in a busy market street is noted for its splendid frescoes and ornate rooms with wall paintings. Other Places worth visiting: Kansua Temple with a four faced Shiva Lingam, Bhitria Kund, Adhar Shila, Budh Singh Bafna Haveli and Yatayat Park. The Rock Paintings in Garardha Village in the caves on the banks of River Alaniya, from pre-historic stone-age, are about 15000 years old. Bhainsrodhgarh has a 14th century fort which was never besieged by an enemy force. Perched on a ridge overlooking the Chambal River, it is still the private property of the descendents of a feudal family. A prior permission is needed to visit the fort.
Hotels in Kota:
WelcomHeritage Hotel Umed Bhawan Palace – 32 rooms.
Heritage hotel Brijraj Bhawan Palace – 4 double rooms, 2 suites and 1 single room.
Heritage Hotel Palkiya Haveli – 6 rooms.
Hotel Sukhdham Kothi – 14 rooms.
Hotel Menaal Residency – 60 rooms
Distance from Kota in Kilometers and Miles:
Bundi: 36 Kilometers or 24 Miles
Ujjain: 280 Kilometers or 174 Miles
Indore: 405 Kilometers or 252 Miles
Jaipur: 245 Kilometers or 152 Miles
Udaipur: 270 Kilometers or 168 Miles
Chittaurgarh: 158 Kilometers or 98 Miles
Sawai Madhopur: 240 Kilometers or 149 Miles
Ajmer: 201 Kilometers or 125 Miles
Bhilwara: 182 Kilometers or 113 Miles
Agra: 453 Kilometers or 281 Miles
Delhi: 504 Kilometers or 313 Miles