Sikar – A Tete a Tete with the City :
Location : North Western India, Rajasthan
Founded In : 17th century
Best Time to Visit : October to March
Places to Visit : Lachmangarh Fort, Rambagh temple, Khatu Shyamji village, Sakhambari picnic spot, Fatehpur City, Jeen mata temple, Harsh Nath temple.
Local Transport : Jeeps, unmetered taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle Rickshaws and tongas.
Souvenir : Handicrafts from Rajasthan and other decorative Articles.
Sikar – The Tale of the City :
Founded in the 17th century, Sikar was the largest feudal state of Jaipur. Considered the richest “thikhana” the town was rebuilt in the lines of the city of Jaipur. Sikar was originally known as “Beer Bhan Ka Bass”. The village was gifted by the Raja of Khandela, Raja Bahadur Singh Shekhawat. Sikar was ruled by Rao Devi Singh who was a very efficient administrator and a great warrior. Raja Laxman Singh was the son of Devi Singh. He built a fort at the foot of the hills and this city was named after him as the Laxmangarh fort. Laxman Singh was given the name of Rao Raja as the Maharaja Sawai Jagat Singh Saheb Bahadur gave him the title. Rao Raja was a philanthropic and ruled the place well. The rich people of Sikar and the Seths produced some of the finest buildings and painted on them. After Laxman Singh, Rao Raja Ram Pratap Singh became the king. He built the marble palace in Sikar. After this, Rao Raja Sir Madhav Singh Bahadur granted the title of Bahadur in 1886 and he got huge Victoria diamonds made. Madhav Singh also built the “Madhav Sagar Pond” which was built to ease the famine problem here. The last ruler of Sikar was Rao Raja Kalyan Singh. He added to the beauty of the town. In this way, Sikar grew into a flourishing progressing town.
Sikar – Down the Ages :
Sikar, the richest Thikana was the Shekhawat raja kingdom. A fascinating and charming place for the tourists, the town sees a lot of Shekhawat family residing here even now. Today Sikar is the place for many prominent names like the Bajajs, Birlas, Goenkas etc,. The Marwari community in other parts of India come from Sikar. A traveler can get his travel kitty from the Station Road Market, Jatia Bazar, and Fatehpur Gate Bazar. Thus down the ages, Sikar has grown into a prosperous and successful town.
Travel Kitty :
The feudal state history and the early days of havelis and temples with lot of decorative buildings and ornamented frescoes are the prime attraction in Sikar. A tourist visiting Sikar will be struck by the magnificence of the place and would be spell bound. The travel kitty includes keeping this in store and also collecting the local artifacts available.
Sikar – Joie de Vivre in the City :
Sikar,the Shekawat kingdom resembles a rich man’s land with it being the richest feudal state in earlier days. The lofty buildings, the walled city look and massive forts, the magnificent mansions, and ornate temples all add to the charm of the city. Sikar is now a part of the two Shekhawati districts. The other Shekhawati district is Jhunjhunu. A tourist coming here would be able to see the following :
Lachmangarh : This is supposed to be one of the most imposing forts of the Shekhawati region. This fort has a bird’s eye view of the town. This town, which was remodeled to look, like the city of Jaipur. Raja Lachman Singh of Sikar founded this fort in the 19th century.
Rambagh : This temple was founded in the 18th century by the Poddars. The Shani temple is famous for its intricately painted frescoes. The Poddars also have built magnificent cenotaphs here. These cenotaphs are known for their intricately designed ceilings. There is also the Ganga Temple here, which is a source of attraction.
Khatu Shyamji : This village is known for its Shri Shyamji Temple. This is built of white marble. It is situated in the Sikar district. Lord Shyamji is revered as the God of Kaliyug. Kaliyug is the present age where sin and wrongdoing is at its height. Since Shyamji is the other name for Lord Krishna, he is worshipped in the same form.
Harsh Nath Temple : This is 11 kms away from Sikar. This ancient 10th century temple is situated on the Harsh Nath hills. This is worth seeing.
Jeen Mata Temple : Situated 29kms away from Sikar, this is believed to have been built 1000 years ago. The temple has a fari, which is held twice a year during the festival of Navratras,
Sakhambari : This temple of the 7th century is dedicated to the Sankari Mata. The specialityof the town is that it is surrounded by hills on the three sides. This is a preferred picnic spot for people.
Fatehpur : This is a city found in the mid 15th century. It was founded by Fateh Khan. He was a Kayamkhani Nawab. This town of Fatehpur is known for its frescoes, which is an unparalleled beauty. The location of the city has attracted wealthy merchants and they do a lot of business here. The intricately carved mansions or havelis are also a source of beauty in the city. The combination of the Indian and the western styles of construction makes this place beautiful. The Chamariya and the Singhania havelis are very important and popular among them.
Besides, all this the town of Sikar also has a large market, a clock tower and the magnificently painted Biyani Havelis. There is one mansion, which is notable for its exquisite paintings. These are done with the typical Chinese blue and white porcelain. The Sagarmal Sodhani Haveli, Madho Niwas Kothi, Jubilee Hall and Fort are all stupendous constructive examples. The Temples of Gopinath, RAghunath, are also extraordinarily elegant and popular.
Thus Sikar, the makrana marble town, is a place with intriguing architecture, exemplary works of frescoes and works, and magnificent havelis and constructions. A person getting into Sikar is bound to be spell bound when he goes back and he would go back surely only with feelings of pride, acceptance and a feeling of awe. The tourist would think that Sikar is where the traveler’s heart is., as he makes his way back.