|City : Bharatpur
Location : North India
Language : Hindi.
When to Visit : Around the year.
Situated in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, about 190 km from the national capital of Delhi, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is famously called as 'Ornithologist's Paradise'. Founded by Maharaja of Bharatpur in 1890, the bird sanctuary hosts a variety of bird species from across the globe.
Known as the Keoladeo Ghana National Park, Bharatpur was accepted as a World Heritage Site in 1985. This man made sanctuary is home to over 380 species of birds, making it one of the most inviting destinations in the world for ornithologists, amateurs and nature lovers.
During the monsoons thousands of egrets, herons, storks, cormorants, darters, spoonbills and ibises breed here, forming a congested heronry. Small acacia trees are jam-packed with nests of several various other species.
Opened all the year round, the best time to visit the fabulous place of Bharatpur is winters. Another popular attraction of the place is the Bharatpur Palace that is an architectural marvel of Mughal and Rajput dynasties.
The town was named Bharatpur after Bharata, a brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman is the family deity of the erstwhile royal family of Bharatpur. The name 'Laxman' was engraved on the arms, seals and other emblems of the state.
The city and the fort of Bharatpur have been believed to be founded by Lord Aditya Consul in the early 17th century, the majesty established a state in the Mewat region south of Delhi, with its capital at Deeg. Leaders like Gokula, Raja Ram, Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together and moulded them into a force to be reckoned with.
Lohagarh, which literally means the 'Iron Fort', was built by Maharaja Suraj Mal in the early 18th century. True to its name, the strong fort withstood a number of British attacks. Surrounded by an artificial island from all sides, the fort boasts three beautiful palaces within its precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas- all on the verge of decaying.
One of the beautiful remnants of the royal past, the Bharatpur Palace represents a fine blend of the Mughal and Rajput architectural styles. The magnificent apartments and intricately designed floor tiles having interesting patterns, never fail to impress its visitors.
The Government Museum is situated inside one of the palaces in the Lohagarh Fort. The museum displays a rich collection of artifacts, paintings, weapons, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions.
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj are two magnificent victory towers built by Maharaja Suraj Mal to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and British respectively. Standing majestically within the glorious ramparts of the fort, the towers showcase the might of powerful Jats.
How to Reach By Air
The nearest airport is Agra at a distance of 56 km. From Agra, daily flights are available for Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Lucknow.
Bharatpur is well connected by regular rail services connect with several cities on Delhi-Mumbai trunk route, Jaipur and Agra.
A good network of bus services connects Bharatpur with Delhi, Jaipur and other major cities in north and western India.
Maharaja Suraj Mal was the state's greatest ruler; he made the state a formidable force in the region. Suraj Mal took over the site of Bharatpur from Khemkaran, a son of Rustam, and established it as the capital of his state. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around it.