Bharatpur - A Tete a Tete with the City :
Location : Northwestern part of India, in Rajasthan
Founded in : 17TH Century AD by Rustam, a Jat.
When to visit : October - February
Souvenir : Experience of being in the bird sanctuary, bird watching, Brij Festival and experiencing the Ras Lila Dance.
Important places of Interest : Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Lohagarh and Ganga temple.
Religious Importance : Considered as the birth place of Indian God Lord Rama’s Brother Bharat.
Transport : Auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, tongas, hired cycles.
The Tale of the City :
Bharatpur was earlier also known as “Matsya Desh” - where Matsya means fish and Desh means land. Bharatpur, was founded by Rustam who was a Jat ( an Indian sub caste) of the Sogariya clan. History has it that Bharatpur was the shelter of the Indian mythological princes Pandavas. These heroes were supposed to have been sent in exile by their mythological cousins the Kauravas. Story has it that some 3500 years ago, they were in shelter in this city.The Jats were the rulers till the seventeenth century. The main Jat rulers were Churaman and Badan Singh. But the main and the greatest ruler was Suraj Mal who is also considered to have refounded Bharatpur, India. This magnificent city was once upon a time, the hunting ground for the Indian Maharaja. It is now transformed into a National Park. Bharatpur, the sanctuary city, carries a lot of historical heritage by having a lot of Forts And Palaces around.
Bharatpur - A Religious Rendezvous :
There is a religious belief attached to this city. It is said that the Indian God , Lord Ram’s brother Bharat is the reason behind the city being named so. Lord Ram’s second brother was Lord Laxman. He was revered as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers. Lord Laxman’s name is seen engraved on the state arms and the state seals.
Travel Kitty :
The City of Bharatpur is great fun with children enjoying cycling around the park. There are also facilities for boating and of course bird watching.
The Bharatpur sanctuary has trips for walking through. All this gives a lot of fun factor to the visit and tourists look forward to it.
There are rickshaw rides which make the trip even more entertaining.
There is a Brij Festival which is held before the Indian festival of Holi. This is held in honour of the Indian god Krishna. We have ras lila dance which shows the immortal love story that Radha had for Krishna.
All these fill the travel kitty with nostalgia and memories to cherish forever.
Bharatpur - Joie de Vivre in the City :
The Sanctuary :
The Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary : The Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a tourist’s dream come true. There are around 354 species of birds in the sanctuary. It has birds perched in the nest, in various stages of activities. Some feed their chicks while others play in water. There are birds who visit only during winters. Tourists throng this place when they visit Bharatpur- the City of Birds. Bharatpur houses some of the never found rare birds and thus is world famous. It has become a much sought after place in the tour of India.
The Fort :
Lohagarh : This fort was built by the great and valiant Suraj Mal, the strongest leader of the Jats. It was built in the 18th century. The beauty of the fort lies even in its dilapidated stage. In spite of many many attempts to conquer and invade this fort, this structure stands testimony to the glory and grandeur of Indian history.
The Monuments :
Jawahar Burj , Fateh Burj, and Government Museum : All these monuments have the carvings of the Indian God Shiva and the Indian Goddess Parvati. There is a carving of Lord Shiv as Natraj where the figure is in a dancing pose. All these carvings are seen to be made in the seventh century.The Museum shows the Indian Maharaja of Bharatpur in photographs and his entire family also in pictures.
Ganga Temple : This temple was built in 1845 by Maharaja Balwant Singh. But it was left incomplete. So it was completed by Maharaja Brijendra Sawaii in 1937. This construction is made of sandstone and chequered floors. These floors painted in black and white give a unique look to the temple. This is just outside the Lohiya gate in Bharatpur.
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park : With an area of 29 square metres, this hosts all the endangered bird species. The Siberian Crane which is the rarest of birds is found here. It is an ornithologist’s haven . They crowd here to observe the hibernation. The joy of living here is to get a continuous sight of the migratory birds in the Bird Sanctuary
Nehru Park : The Nehru Park has got lush meadows and green lawns to cool a tired tourist’s eye.
Jawahbij : The Jawahbij also offers a spectacular view of the surrounding beauty.
The Entertainment Factor :
Far from the madding crowd, away from the hustle and bustle of trains, buses, children playing and adults hustling and jostling to meet their deadline, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur City, is the best way to unwind during a vacation. As we enter the flush greenery and the immense stretch of grassland, we get the whiff of Nature in its true form. This is the bird lover’s paradise, a feast to the eyes. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary makes life look beautiful in its raw form. More than our liking the place, the place supersedes our emotions.
Thus it is seen that the Fish land or Bharatpur is a much sought after place in the list of tourist cities in India. Declared a World Heritage site in 1971, this is a city well connected by road, rail and air with the rest of India. The city is 55 kms from Agra, 22 kms from the famous city of Fatehpur Sikri, 184 kms from the Indian metropolis Delhi, and 176 kms from Jaipur 39 kms from Mathura and 117 kms from Alwar. This is a tourist’s souvenir of an Indian tour and there should be no stone left unturned to visit this place - Bharatpur. As we leave the place we could perhaps then say - “ And then there were none.”.!