Magazine of Hospitality,Aviation,Travel & Tourism

 

[ Founder: Late Mr. L.K.Bakhshi ]

Vol.18-Issue-06Registration No.RNI-69312/98

Alwar Bagh

Alwar Bagh resort is equipped with 32- air-conditioned luxury rooms, clustered in Villas and Haveli, Multi cuisine restaurant, swimming pools located amidst lush green gardens offering a panoramic view of the natural surroundings, amusement park for children and a conference hall. Rajasthani folk dances and songs are organized every evening. The banqueting facilities are extended on a defined area for wedding functions, parties and picnics. Spa facilities include Body Therapies, Hand & Foot Care and Face Vitality & Body Polishes which bring a sense of well-being and relaxation.

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Think of Jamaica-Whether it’s a honeymoon vacation, a lovers’ tryst, or a getaway designed

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Himland Hotel East is the first drive in hotel in Shimla established in 1969...

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Very soon Italy Destination will organize meetings in major cities of Indian subcontinent

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Destination

Alwar - An unexplored treasure

By: S.K.Bakhshi

  Rajasthan - the land for all seasons has emerged as one of the popular tourist destinations in India. The State with attractions like deserts, sparkling lakes and imposing forts and palaces coupled with rainbow of fair and festivals has fascinated domestic and foreign tourists alike. Inspired by the proximity to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan and the grandeur of the monuments there, Alwar and its surrounding boast of some mesmerizing forts and truly splendid palaces in which architectural embellishment from every conceivable tradition have been used. The palaces here offer a splendid fusion of Mughal and Rajput style and a fondness for ornate carving, frescoes and garden. Its picturesque ambience is made up of hills and valleys and placid lakes. Situated almost midway between Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar during the ancient period was occupied by Matsya king Virata. It became an important post of Mughal Empire in the mediaeval period. In the later part of Mughal Empire it was annexed to Jat ruler of Bhartpur. Pratap Singh, a Kachhwaha Rajput of Machhier captured it from Jats in 1775 and laid the foundation of a separate state of Alwar. Alwar today is busy and growing industrial district but reminders of its historic past are strewn all over the region. There are number of places of tourist interest in and around Alwar which are still unexplored.

 

Bala Quila, also known as The Alwar fort was constructed by Nikumbha Rajputs in 10th century. It was under occupation of Khanzadas Mughals and Jats successively until Maharaja Pratap Singh annexed it in 1775 and laid the foundation of Alwar State. Some believe that Hasan Khan Mewati in 1550 A.D built the fort. The imposing fort situated 1000 feet above the city of Alwar has 5 kms. of ramparts from north to south and 1.5 kms from east to west. It has 15 large and 51 small towers which contain 446 holes for musketry and eight large tower all around defend it There are six entrances to the fort namely, Chand Pol, Suraj Pol, Jaipol, Kishan Pol, Andheri Gate and Laxman Pol. Unfortunately the fort houses a radio transmitter station and inside can be visited with special permission of the superintendent of police. The Mughal emperor Jehangir, when he was the crown prince, was exiled in this fort. The palace where he stayed is called Salim Mahal, which is in ruins now. There is beautiful silver image of Karnu Mata, stuck upon a massive silver plaque, in the temple here. City Palace built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in the 18th century, is one of the most beautiful palaces of Rajasthan. Its architecture is a blend of Rajput and Mughal style. Today Most of the palace is occupied by government offices but upper floors are used as a museum. Maharaja Viney Singh was a great patron of arts. He spent large amount of money to enhance the collection of books and paintings. The museum houses one of the finest collection of ancient manuscripts (Sanskrit and Persian), archeological finds, paintings (Mughal and Rajput school), armory and royal silver dining table used to entertain the nobility of the royal era, bicycle, ivory slippers, musical instruments and many more beautiful articles. A part of the palace, called Durbar Hall is still with the present head of the royal clan and is likely to open to public soon. The first floor of the hall houses a gold and velvet throne. The walls have fabulous wealth of murals and superb mirror work on walls and ceiling. This part of the City Palace was closed for more than two decades. Behind the City Palace is sagar- a huge tank. It offers beautiful views during the rainy season. The tank has flight of steps leading to its bottom and is surrounded by twelve cenotaphs or chhatris built of red marble slabs.

 

Moosi Rani Ki Chhatri, opposite Sagar is built in the memory of Moosi Rani, wife of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh. This cenotaph (Chhatri) built in white marble and red stone has magnificent stone carving. This architectural marvel is a symbol of eternal love and sacrifice. Hope Circus is another monument that attracts the attention of the visitors. Located midway between railway station and the City Palace, this is a circular figure having flight of steps leading to the top from all four sides. It was named after Miss.Hope, daughter of Lord Linlithglow, the then Viceroy of India on the occasion of his visit to Alwar in 1939. Kankwari fort is a picturesque fortress overlooking a rain fed lake. The lake and forest have surrounded it on all sides. The hill-fort stands a sentinel of its mediaeval heritage. It also provides a bird's eye view of the valley below. Aurangzeb during his regime had incarcerated his brother, Dara in this fort. The interior of the fort now lies in ruins, offering shelter to nocturnal creatures that visit the waterholes below. The fort has been used for filming a TV serial. Vijay Mandir Palace, an imposing structure overlooking a picturesque lake was The royal residence of Maharaja Jai Singh. The lake collects abundant water during rains. The uninhabited palace is not open to public and still retained by the present head of the royal clan. However, Sita Ram Temple here is open to devotees during Ram Nawami. There is an ancient temple named after the town Neelkanth, dedicated to Lord Shiva. King Ajay Pal built this temple in 10th century. The temple is still in use and devotees offer their regular prayers here. A number of archeological finds have been preserved. Photographs of individual haul of sculptures excavated from the site are prohibited. Short distance away from the temple is the ruins of Jain temple. A sixteen feet high idol of Pasharvnath also known as "Naugaja" is an attraction for the tourists

 

Bhangarh popularly known as the Ghost City was the capital of Maharaja madho Singh. Captivated by the natural beauty of this place Maharaja Bhagwandas established this town in 1631 with ten thousand families. It is believed that week administration of the ruler gradually doomed this place. During the time of Aurangzeb one section of Jagirdaars converted their religion from Hindu to Muslim and took over the control of Bhangarh with the help of Mughal forces. In 1720 Swai Raja Jai Singh overthrew the Jagirdaars and devastated the town in to complete ruins. Hindu temples during excavation were found intact while the market area and other parts of the town were completely ruined. It is believed that during his aggression, Swai Raja Jai Singh ordered the soldiers to save the temples. Prayers are not offered in the temples now. One of the temples has Shivalinga and Nandi still intact. Either side of the approach road to the ruins appears to be the shopping area. The place is slowly becoming filmmaker's paradise. A second legend about Bhangarh tells of a tantric battle waged between the beautiful queen Ratnavali and a wicked sorcerer Singha Sevra, whose chhatri can be seen on the top of the hill. Desperately, he tried to trap her in his magical web, and failed every time, as the queen herself was a past-mistress in the tantric art. The queen eventually lost her temper and transformed a glass bottle containing the massaging oil into a big rock and flung it towards the hill-top, where sat the devil. In vain he tried to stall this glass missile. It was too late. Sensing his imminent death, concentrating all his powers, he spat his dying curse: "I die! But thou too, thou Ratnavali shall not live here anymore. Neither thou, nor thine kin, nor these walls of the city. None shall see the morning sun!" It is believed that the demon who had the last laugh! The night was spent in hastily trying to transfer the palace treasures to the new site of Ajabgarh. In the morning came the tempest leveling everything to the ground. The Bhangarh , the Ghost City is not visited after Sun Set. But all it appears a fable. The very fact that during excavation by the Archeological Department, Hindu temples were found intact convinces one on the historical facts. While in Alwar, visit to Siliserh 20 kms southwest of Alwar is a must. Maharaja Viney Singh built this modest palace overlooking a picturesque lake as a hunting lodge. Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation has accommodation for your comfortable stay. It is an ideal weekend destination and a beautiful picnic spot. Motor boats and paddleboats are available here. The Sariska wild life sanctuary in Rajasthan is 35 kms from Alwar. Once the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Alwar, Sariska is home to numerous wild animals, including Leopard, Wild Dog, Jungle Cat, Hyena, Jackal, and Tiger. These feed on an abundance of prey species such as Sambar, Chitel, Nilgai, Chausingha, Wild Boar and Langur.

 

Sariska is also well known for its large population of Rhesus Monkeys. The prime attraction is the Tiger. In view of diminishing numbers of tigers in the country, one needs to visit the wildlife sanctuary a number of times for some luck to witness a tiger in its natural habitat. There was lot of hue and cry due to recent restrictions on infrastructures close to tiger reserves. However there is some relaxation in view of development of tourism in the country. The sanctuary also boasts of a rich and varied bird life these include Parakeets, Storks, Pheasant, Oriels, Eagles, Peafowl, Grey Partridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Wood Pecker, Crested Serpent Eagle, the Great Indian Horned Owl and the National bird peacock! Sharp cliffs of hills and narrow valleys of the Aravallis dominate the landscape of Sariska. Besides the wildlife there are ruins of medieval temples, belonging to the 10th and 11th centuries within Sariska wildlife sanctuary. The authentic Rajasthani cuisine can be enjoyed at Prem Pavitra Bhojnalaya. The restaurant near old bus stand. Milk cake of Alwar is famous all over north India so don’t forget to buy some. There is plenty of accommodation available in Alwar. The one good hotel is Clarks Inn at Shani Kunj, Alwar. The GM of the hotel Rish Raj Kalra told that his hotel offers affordable accommodation and sightseeing packages. Other hotels include Hotel Alwar and Ritumbhara resort and many more. Alwar is two and a half hours drive from Delhi on Delhi-Jaipur road, National HW No.8 via Bhiwadi-Tijara 137 kms. There is a famous Jain temple at Tijara on way to Alwar. The temple was established in 1956 following the recovery of an idol of Shri Chandraprabha on August 16, 1956. Today it is a pilgrimage site of the Jains and a tourist attraction in Alwar. Alwar with wealth of tourist attractions and so close to the capital is still an unexplored destination.










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