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Bharatpur Travel Guide
Home >> Rajasthan Cities >> Bharatpur Travel Guide

Bharatpur Fact File

Location:

Eastern Rajasthan, India
184 Kms from Delhi and 176 Kms. from Jaipur.

Major Attractions:

Migratory Birds at Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary.

Must Experience:

Rickshaw Ride in the Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary. Also, visit to Deeg Fort, Bharatpur Palace and Lohagarh Fort.

Shopping:

The main areas for shopping in the city are: Mathura Gate, Chauburja Bazar, Laxman Mandir and Ganga Mandir.

Where to Eat:

Various delicacies of Indian as well as Rajasthani cuisine can be enjoyed at Hotel Saras, Bharatpur Forest Lodge, Pratap Palace, Hotel Sun Bird and Hotel Pelican.

STD Code:

05644

Best Time to Visit:

October to March

Language:

Hindi, English, Marwari and Rajasthani.

Getting there:

Air: There is domestic airport at Agra but the international flights are accessible only to and from New Delhi.
Train: Station - 6 km far from Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra.
Road: Bharatpur is linked to Agra and Jaipur via good roads. Buses are available to and from Agra and many other places.
Local: City bus, Auto rickshaw, Cycle-rickshaw and Tongas are available at Old Bus Stand and Railway Staion

About Bharatpur:
bharatpurBharatpur – “The Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan”, was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, it was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan. Bharatpur is internationally famous for its Keoladeo Ghana National Park, one of the top-graded bird Sanctuaries in Asia. Bharatpur holds an important place in the tourism industry for it is the home of exotic bird life. Today, bird watchers flock to this once duck-shooting spot of the royal family for an opportunity to soothe their eyes with more than 380 species of beautiful feathered friends who have already been identified here and even for the opportunity to spot some more!

The 55 km journey by road from Agra drives you to the town of Bharatpur is popular for its bird sanctuary - the Keoladeo Ghana National Park - finest in Asia rich avian variety. Every year the rare Siberian cranes come to spend the winter in the warmer climate of Bharatpur.

Bharatpur is one of the world’s best studied wetland eco-systems and is considered as bird’s paradise. The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary or Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary has been deemed as world heritage bird sanctuary. Sprawling over the area of 29 sq km, more than 380 species of birds have already been spotted and identified here. A paradise for bird watchers, photographers and nature lovers, it is the best place to see the exotic beauty of varied species. Egrets, ducks, coots, storks, kingfishers, spoonbills, Sarus crane, laggar falcon, greater spotted eagle, marsh harrier, Pallas' eagle can be seen here quite often and if visitors are lucky, they may even spot the rare Siberian Crane that migrate to this place in winters.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary has variety of flora representing 64 families, 181 genera and 227 subspecies. The forest of Bharatpur includes kadam, babul and jamun. The open woodland is mostly babul, with a small amount of kandi and ber. The scrublands are dominated by ber and kair, Khus grass, water lilies, lotus, duckweeds, water fern, Sedges, reedmace dominate in some areas. Paspalum distichum, a perennial amphibious grass constitutes a major portion of the biomass.

The walled city of Bharatpur has typical medieval period and characterizes the security concern of that period. The walled city is irregular in shape and elongated in the northeast to southwest direction. The street pattern in the walled city is curvilinear typical of medieval townships. Religious building like the Ganga Mandir, Laxman Mandir and Jama Masjid are located on the town central spine between Mathura Gate and Kumher Gate. The hotels are mainly located in a cluster near the Park in the south of the town. The Keoladeo Ghanna National Park is about 5 kilometres from the town and approachable by cycle rickshaw. Only cycle rickshaws are permitted inside the park for maintaining ecological harmony.

Various festivals are celebrated in Bharatpur. Brij Festival is celebrated during the month of February and March. Raas Leela is performed by professionals during this festival. In the month of September and October, Jaswant Exhibition is being held every year during Dussera. Gangur Festival is celebrated by married women dedicated to Gauri, the incarnation of Godess Parvati. This festival is celebrated during the month of March and April. Teej is celebrated during July and August when the monsoons begin. Swings are hung from the trees and decorated with flowers.

The best part about Bharatpur is the location of the place which is very convenient for tourists from many states to access it. The area being a part of desert experiences extreme climates. This land of the Rajputs tells many stories of braveries against the attacks by Mughals and the British. The area is also famous for the forts, palaces and the Mughal and Rajput architecture visible almost everywhere. The Land, its people and the architecture tell an impassive story about these fighters who survived and flourished in these hostile conditions.

History of Bharatpur:
Bharatpur was the premier Jat State in Rajasthan. The history of Bharatpur goes back to the epic age of Mahabharta when the Matsya kingdom flourished in the 5th century BC. Some archaeological remains of this period can be seen in the Bharatpur Museum. The city is supposed to be named after Bharat, the 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. Bharatpur was the stronghold of the Jats in the 17th and 18th century. They maintained considerable autonomy though they were allied to the Mughals; this was largely due to their prowess in the battle and their marriage alliances with the Rajputs. Their fort in Bharatpur even withstood attacks from the British in 1805 and 1825 but later they signed a treaty of friendship with the East India Company. It merged with the union of India at independence.

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 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.

Monuments and Places to Visit in Bharatpur:

Keoladeo National Park - Once the royal hunting preserve of the princes of Bharatpur, Keoladeo National Park 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, greyleg 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. Colonies of cormorants, spoonbills , storks, egrets, herons, pelicans, ebis and grey herons can be spotted all over the park. The raised paths camouflaged by babul trees make their viewing easier.

Bharatpur Palace- Bharatpur Palace is a fine fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture and was built in various phases by different maharajas. The magnificent apartments are richly decorated with patterned floor tiles having exquisite and intricate designs. The museum occupies the main central wing displaying collections dating back to the 2nd century which demonstrates the art and skill of the region.

Deeg Palace- Deeg in the 18th century, was the capital of Jat rulers. The central citadel, set up in 1730 is square in layout and stands on a slightly raised ground. The whole monument is encircled by a shallow wide moat. The protective walls are 8 km in circumference pierced by 10 gateways and studded with 72 bastions. The gateway to the fort is protected with anti-elephant strikes. The most impressive are huge towers haughtily piercing the sky. The towers are fitted with cannons to take a good shot at any approaching enemy. Within the fort, is the Suraj Mal Haveli with its typical bangaldar style - which is a typical Bengali curved bamboo roof, imported to Rajasthan by Bengali architect of Jaipur - Vidyadhar Bhattacharya.

Lohagarh Fort- Lohagarh fort, or the Iron fort was built in the early 18th century and took its name from its supposedly impregnable defences, which are said to be inspired by a description given in the epic, Ramayana. Maharaja Suraj Mal, the fort's constructor and founder of Bharatpur, built two towers within the ramparts, the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and the British. The fort was encircled and protected by deep moats, and according to a legend would fall "only when a crocodile swalled up all the water of the moat". The gate of the Lohagarh has an interesting history behind it. It originally belonged to the fort of Chittorgarh but was carried away by Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. In the late 17th century it was brought back in triumph by the victorious Jat armies from the imperial capital of Delhi to Bharatpur.

Government Museum - This museum is the repository of traditional artefacts, delicately carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions that speak a lot about the region's cultural heritage.
Laxman Mandir- This temple is famous for beautiful stone work with elaborate carvings from doorways to ceilings, pillars, walls and arches. The temple is dedicated to Laxman, brother of lord Rama.
Excursions:

Deeg: 32 km from Bharatpur, Deeg was the tranquil retreat of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur and it served as the second capital of the region. This interesting town is strewn with massive fortifications, stunningly beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces and a colorful bazaar. Though, its name has now been into obscurity, most of the palaces in Deeg are in an excellent state of repair. The one-time royalty of Bharatpur were living in their palaces as recently as 1970's. This is the reason why these palaces still retain some of their unique furnishings. The palaces sport well-planned Mughul gardens with calm pools and fountains. They are richly ornamented with carved cornices, pavilions and attics and the trophies collected by Jats in their various adventures.

Govardhan - A Pilgrimage Town: 48 kms from Bharatpur, This quiet little spot with narrow winding lanes is closely linked with Lord Krishna, the most loved deity in Hindu mythology. This mischievous god is said to have lived in these areas, and as such worship and devotion have a very tangible feel here. Govardhan is an important place of pilgrimage too. According to legend, Krishna once protected the people of Govardhan from the wrath of Indra, the God of Rain (also the great Warrior God). It so happened that Indra hurled a terrible thunderbolt at these poor people (for reasons quite unknown to us). So Krishna lifted a whole mountain, the nearby Mount Giriraj, and held it on his little finger for seven days and nights as an umbrella against the terrible rain and cyclone. Such were the miracles Krishna is supposed to have performed.Later Indra had to fall at Krishna's feet and ask for forgiveness, of course.
Bayana: Bayana is 45 kms. from Bharatpur. The ancient name of Bayana was Sripatha or Sriprastha. It became an important town under the Mughal emperors (early 16th-mid19th century). It was close to this place that Babur defeated Sangram Singh (aka Rana Sanga) of Chittor and it was after this major battle that the Rajput town of Sikri became the famous Fatehpur Sikri (which is situated in what is now Uttar Pradesh, very close to the border). Since then Bayana became a stronghold of the Mughals. Bayana is the old fort, Vijaygarh, perched on a low hill. A curious mixture of Hindu and Muslim relics, the fort has been the scene of many historical events.
Climate:
The temperature ranges as high as 38ºC to 45ºC in summers. There is retrieve when the monsoons approach in July and August and lower the temperature to about 27ºC. Winters are cold and temperature may drop down below 10ºC. Fog and mist is not uncommon throughout January.

How to reach Bharatpur:

Air: - Agra Airport (60 Kms.) is the nearest airport that has flights for Delhi, Bombay, Varanasi and Lucknow.

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)

Road: - A network of bus services links Bharatpur with several cities within and outside the State. Road distance to important places from Bharatpur is: Agra 55 kms, Fatehpur Sikri 22 kms, Mathura 39 kms, Delhi 184 kms, Jaipur 176 kms and Alwar 117 kms.

Local: - Tongas and Cycle-rickshaws are available.

For more details kindly enquire now for the above proposed tour.

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