Aravalli-Alwar, Rajasthan

by - January 17, 2021


            Alwar is the first big town to arrive from Delhi to Rajasthan when commuting and is geographically situated 160 km south of Delhi and 148 km north of Jaipur. With forts such as the Bhangarh fort, dams, nature reserves such as Sariska Tiger Reserve and heritage havelis, Alwar is a tourism center. Alwar is also proud of its reputation for being used in a variety of Bollywood movies, apart from being a prominent tourist center. It is also renowned every year for the Mega Alwar Trade Fair held at Dussehra Ground and handmade Papier-mache ('chewed paper' literally). Alwar is also renowned for its delicious sweet, Alwar ka Mawa.

            Alwar is another name for war, heroism and royalty. Alwar's unknown story can still be heard in various places of Rajasthan. Some are ghostly, some are adventurous, some are love. Visitors came here to save experience. The architecture and history of this city is as beautiful as the picture surrounded by the Aravalli hills. The first day went to City Palace. This palace of Maharaja Vinoy Singh covers a huge area surrounded by lakes. Great craftsmanship. After visiting Shish-mahal, dozens of temples, three thousand horse stables and hearing stories of some ghostly events, proceeded towards Alwar Museum. Manuscripts, miniature paintings, ivory work, silver dining tables, diamond-cut cups - the remnants of luxury remain today. The collection of weapons used by the Mughal rulers is also worth seeing.

Bhangarh Fort

        Bhangarh is known to be the most haunted location in the world, famed for its historical ruins and ghost stories. It is situated between Jaipur and Delhi, on the way. In the Alwar district of Rajasthan, the Bhangarh Fort is a 17th-century fort. It was designed for his son, Madho Singh-I, by Bhagwant Das. Madho Singh named it after his grandfather, Man Singh or Bhan Singh. 

        It gives a chill down visitor's spine as soon as you enter through the main gate of the ruined fort city, also known as Bhoot Bunglow. There are temples inside the fort, palaces, and Havelis. Besides that, the gateway to the fort also has four additional gates: the Lahori Gate, the Ajmeri Gate, the Phulbari Gate and the Delhi Gate. At the entrance to the Gates, there are several Hindu temples. At the extreme end of the fort's limits, the royal palace is situated.

At Night : After sunset or before dawn, no one is permitted to reach the fort. There are a number of local stories about the fort's ghost occurrences. It depends solely on whether a person believes it or not. The ghosts are said to be wandering at night in Bhangarh fort and numerous unusual noises are heard. Anyone joining the fort at night will also be unable to return in the morning, as it is said.

Bala Quila Fort

            In the Aravalli Ranges, above the town of Alwar, Bala Quila Fort, or Alwar Fort, is located. Founded by Hasan Khan Mewati in the 15th century, it was under the control of the Marathas, Yadavas, and Kachwaha Rajputs. 'Bala Quila' means Fort of the Young. The Laxman Pole is the only metal road linking the Fort to the city of Alwar. The silver pages of history claim that Pratap Singh, the founder of the state of Alwar, entered the Fort only through this metallic road.

            In A.D. 1775, the fort was captured by Kachhwaha Rajput Pratap Singh and the stones were laid in Alwar town. The huge fort is visible from the city itself, at a distance of 600 mt. It offers a majestic view of the city as it is situated at a height of 300 m. There are six gates to the forts, namely Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Chand Pol, Krishen Pol and Andheri Gate. With ancient scriptures and statues, the walls are beautifully made.

        The gap between the town and the fort is approximately 10-12 km. Auto-rickshaws or private cabs can quickly enter the foot of the mountain. There is a 7.5 km steep road from the foothills which has to be covered on foot.

Siliserh Lake

            Siliserh Lake is an impressive tourist destination with Silserh Lake Palace surrounding the water reservoir, spread over a wide area of 7/8 square kilometres. A popular picnic spot in the area is the pool. The Siliserh Lake Palace, recently transformed by the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) into a heritage hotel, now serves as a respected royal getaway in the middle of the rolling hills of the Aravalli range and the magnificent Siliserh Lake. Activities such as boating and fishing are common attractors for crowds, along with the large number of migratory birds that holiday during peak seasons. It is about 16 kilometers away from the city of Alwar and probably best destination in the Rajasthan Heart.

        Once, Alwar was an ancient Rajput province, formerly known as Mewat. In 1845 AD, on the banks of Silser Lake, Maharaja Binay Singh, the ruler of Alwar, designed this splendid palace for his beloved queen, Shila. The Silserh Lake Palace was originally built for hunting and residential purposes as a royal lodge. Later on, it was transformed into a full-fledged castle.

Sariska National Park 

            Situated over an area of around 790 sq. kilometers in the Aravalli Hills. The Sariska National Park, now known as The Sariska Tiger Reserve, sits within huge area of grasslands, dry deciduous trees, cliffs and rocky terrain. This region was once the hunting preserve of the Alwar Maharaja. For its magnificent Royal Bengal Tigers, the Reserve is known. It was designated in 1982 as a national park.

            The conservation area is part of the eco-region of the Aravali Range and the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous jungles. It was awarded the status of Tiger Reserve under the Tiger Project in 1978. As it sits in the lap of the Aravalli Hills, like copper, it contains an abundance of mineral resources.

        Also home to India's largest peafowl species, Sariska National Park also houses quail, golden-backed sand grouse, woodpeckers, and crested serpent eagles. There is also a huge crocodile population at Siliserh Lake, which is situated on the edge of Sariska National Park. The carnivores found in Sariska feed on other animals such as Sambar, Nilgai, Chital, Wild Boar, Chausingha and Langur, such as Leopard, Jungle Cat, Jackal, Wild Dog, Hyena and Tiger.

        Deciduous trees are mainly protected by the reserve, mostly Dhok (Anogeissus pendula) & Khair (Acacia catechu), Tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon), and Ber (Zizyphus maudrentiana).

Moti Dungri

            A special holy shrine where Hindus and Muslims worship together is Moti Dungri, Alwar. Without a wall in between, Sankat Mochan Mahaboli Hanuman Mandir and Sayyed Darbar are in the same area. The blend of camphor, ghee and lobaan fragrances was infused together. With a tricolour, the flags of Saffron and Green are unfurled together. The place's aura is absolutely magical.

            The Palace of Moti Dungri, on Moti Dungri hill, where the sanctuary stands, is in ruins. The palace, built in 1882 by Maharaja Mangal Singh, used to be the home of the Alwar royal family. There's a Laxminarayan Temple and a Ganesh Temple inside the palace that are publicly open.

Best Time to Visit

            With a record temperature of as high as nearabout 49-50 degrees Celsius, summers in Alwar can become very hot. It is a reasonably fun October to March. People rejoice by holding kite flying contests on the occasion of Rakshabandhan and the sky appears like a sea of vibrant water animals. This could have been a sight worth seeing.

How to Reach

            The nearest airport to Alwar is Delhi Airport (160 km). From Delhi, visitors can conveniently take a rent taxi. Alwar is well connected via bus service to major neighboring cities as well. Train linked is also good. As it has picturesque views to deliver, the train ride to Alwar is great. It is also on the heritage road - the magnificent Palace-On-Wheels that passes right here.

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