Bharatpur Travel Guide
Bharatpur city is named after Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama. This city is also called the Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan. The foundation of this city was laid by Maharaja Suraj Mal, an adopted son of Badan Singh in 1733 AD. It was once an unconquerable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewar. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. The fort is popularly known as "Loha Garh" or " Iron fort". The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th century, leader like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with.
Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century. Today Bharatpur is better known for the Keoladeo Natinal Park, a unique bird place, delight of ornithologists. A paradise for the avian world, and the pilgrimage for the bird lovers, it was known as the best duck shooting resort in the British empire. But was declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to National Park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site. The geographical location is ideal as it is on the main North-South avian route of India. Although small in size, 29 sq km. Only, it boasts to house more than 375 species of beautiful birds, and more than 132 of them breed inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park and nearly every year new ones are added to the list.
The sanctuary not only attracts birds from India but also from places like Europe, Siberia, China and Tibet Before monsoons hundreds of these exotic birds roost and nest building activities start on the babool and kadam trees of the park. Water coming through the Ajan Bandh starts filling the various ponds and lakes of the Park.
Tourist Places in Bharatpur
The massive iron structure built in the early 18th century. With its impregnable defences it sustained itself even after a number of British attacks. The fort was conceived and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. The fort has three palaces within its precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas.
A rich collection of artifacts, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions can be admired in the Government Museum located in the Palaces. All these items speak volumes about the rich heritage, art and crafts of the region.
Keoladeo National Park
Once the royal hunting preserve of the princes of Bharatpur, it is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world inundated with over 400 species of water birds. Exotic migratory birds from Afghanistan, central .Asia, Tibet as well as Siberian cranes from the arctic, grey leg geese from Siberia and bareheaded geese from China , come here in July/Aug to spend the winters in warmer climate and they breed till Oct/Nov.
This royal edifice is a fusion of the Mughal and Rajput architectural styles with splendid apartments and intricately designed floor tiles having interesting patterns. One can marvel at the ancient exhibits displayed in the museum in the central part of the palace.
How to Reach Bharatpur
Air : Agra 56 km is the nearest airport. Daily flight form Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Lucknow are available to Agra.
Bus : A network of bus services links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State.
Train : Regular rail services connect Bharatpur with several cities on Delhi-Mumbai trunk route, Jaipur and Agra. Some important train connections are : Golden Temple Mail (Mumbai-Bharatpur-Jammu-Tawi); Intercity express ( Hazrat Nizamuddin - Bharatpur ); Paschim Express ( New Delhi - Bharatpur - Mumbai ).