Bharatpur is a lovely city located in the Braj district of Rajasthan. This city was the capital of the erstwhile princely state of Bharatpur. It is famous for its temples, diverse avian population, and festive zest, and also for its UNESCO-listed National Park. Bharatpur is a city with its traditional roots running deep through the ages. The history of Bharatpur dates back to the era of Mahabharata around the 5th-century BC. Popular belief is that the city of Bharatpur gets its name from King Bharat, the younger brother of Lord Ram. It was predominantly ruled by the Jats and the Mughals. As Bharatpur lies in between the Golden triangle comprising of Agra, Delhi, and Jaipur (three famous states of India), tourists flock to this place throughout the year. Listed below are some main attractions of Bharatpur.
1. Lohagarh Fort
Lohagarh Fort or the Iron Fort, true to its name, was built by one of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mal, in the early 18th-century. It is one of the strongest forts ever built in the history of India. This impregnable fort has withstood many attacks, especially from the British. It is surrounded by a moat to keep enemies at bay. This fort also houses two towers, Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, which were also built by Maharaja Suraj Mal, to commemorate his victories over the British and the Mughal army. This fort is located in the center of the city. Still standing as a symbol of toughness and fortitude, you must include this fort in your Bharatpur’s things to do list.
2. Bharatpur Palace
This palace is a fine blend of different architectural styles. The Bharatpur Palace was built in stages by both the Mughal and the Rajput rulers. The magnificent interiors are richly decorated with intricate designs and patterned floor tiles. Located inside the palace is Kamra Khas, a museum with a vast number of antiquities. This museum houses ancient sculptures and artifacts, ranging right from the 2nd-century to the British rule. This rich collection of art and culture captures the legacy of Rajasthan’s royal history and the exploits of its rulers.
3. Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Keoladeo National Park was formerly known as the ‘Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary’. This National Park is enlisted by UNESCO as one of the world’s most important spots for the breeding of birds. Spanning 28.73 square kilometers (7,099 acres), this park was originally used as a royal hunting reserve for the Maharajas of Bharatpur and the British. Keoladeo Ghana Park derives its name from an old Hindu temple called ‘Keoladeo,’ devoted to Lord Shiva and ‘Ghana’ meaning dense. This area being a mosaic of wetlands, swamps, woodlands, and grasslands makes it an ideal home for a wide array of flora and fauna, which includes animals such as the Siberian crane, blue bull, basking python, painted stork and the Indian Sarus. This sanctuary is every bird watcher’s heaven. Boat riding offered in this park ensures a peaceful and refreshing experience. This park is open throughout the year.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Address: Bharatpur, Rajasthan 302001
Website: Keoladeo Ghana National Park
4. Ganga Maharani Mandir
Front side of #shrigangamaharanijimandir with intricate stone carvings #aimlesswandering #bharatpurPosted by Shakthi Sritharan on Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Ganga Maharani Mandir is an architectural masterpiece, which was built by Maharaja Balwant Singh, one of the rulers of Bharatpur. This temple features beautiful carvings which are a unique mixture of Mughal, South Indian and Rajput forms of architecture. The story behind the building of this temple is that the King Balwant Singh, who did not have a child for many years, prayed to Goddess Ganga and promised to build a temple in her name if he was blessed with a son. As legend has it, the Goddess fulfilled his desire and the King, true to his words, initiated the construction of the temple. However, it was completed by King Brijendra, the 5th descendant of the King Balwant, almost a century later. This temple offers the holy water of River Ganges as its prasad or offering. This temple is mostly visited during the festivals of Gangashaptami and Gangadussera, which are celebrated pompously.
Ganga Maharani Mandir
Address: Pai Bagh, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001
5. Bankey Bihari Temple
Bankey Bihari Temple is a temple devoted to Lord Krishna, which is always crowded with hundreds of devotees. This temple is inspired from the Brij architecture of the famous Bankey Bihari Temple, located in Vrindavan (a famous place in North India). This temple contains the idol of Lord Krishna along with his devotee and companion Radha. Its interior is ornately adorned with wall paintings portraying the childhood stage of Lord Krishna’s life. During the morning and evening aarti (Hindu religious ritual of worship), the idols of the lords are decorated beautifully from head to toe.
Bankey Bihari Temple
Address: Bharatpur, Lohagarh Fort, Gopalgarh, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001
Website: Bankey Bihari Temple
6. Laxman Mandir
Located in the heart of the city, this temple is about 400 years old and one of the most important shrines of Rajasthan. This temple was built as a tribute to Lord Laxman, the younger brother of the God Ram of the epic Ramayana. This temple hosts thousands of devotees every day, who come to seek the blessing of Lord Laxman. There is another Laxman temple nearby, which was built by Maharaj Baldev Singh in 1870 to help him win battles. He prayed to Lord Laxman daily for fulfilling his desire. You must include both of these temples on your to-do list and must visit there, especially during the Hindu festivals, which are celebrated grandly with much ardor.
Address: Tara Mahendra Colony, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001
7. Gopal Bhawan
The Gopal Bhawan was once a famous pavilion built for the leisure of the Kings. It was built in the year 1760 beside the lake, Gopal Sagar. It has beautifully maintained gardens, a raised terrace that features a huge marble arch and a banquet hall. The banquet hall houses rich souvenirs and Victorian furniture. It also has a fountain at its rear exit. The Gopal Bhawan is easily accessible by local transport from anywhere in Bharatpur.
Website: Gopal Bhawan
8. Deeg Fort
This massive fort was built by Raja Suraj Mal, due to its proximity to Agra. Sandwiched between Govind Sagar on one side and Roop Sagar on the other, the design of this fort seems to be hugely influenced by the Mughal architecture due to its similarity to the Mughal Charbagh. This fort also has a huge cannon on the roof and offers an extraordinary view of the city from the top.
Address: Rajasthan State Highway 44, Saini Mohalla, Deeg, Rajasthan 321203
Enjoy royal vacations!
There is nothing in this beautiful town that won’t mesmerize you. Every historic monument, fort, and park will echo the royal tales that will become your golden memories. Make sure you visit Bharatpur and explore this incredible town with your friends and family.
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