Deeg was an awe-striking delight to my appetite. With its diverse and less traveled attractions, it certainly surpassed my expectations and quite rightly justified its presence in Rajasthan. While returning back to Bharatpur from Deeg, I witnessed a series of forts (Kumher fort), temples, palaces, relics and ruins those ASI is trying to restore to lure more tourists in this region of Rajasthan. I am wondering which city of Rajasthan will be classified as Non-Touristy in next decade.
Entrance Gate Bharatpur Fort
Due to its proximity from home, I was fortunate to visit Bharatput plenty of times and mostly my trip was to Keoladeo bird sanctuary (UNESCO World heritage) for which Bharatpur is known. Other than the sanctuary, Bharatpur is also blessed with a walled fortress which occupies a large area of the city and now home of many Bharapur’s natives. This little known fortress also has a museum and other buildings those are now part of a ticketing monument. We negotiated with the narrow lanes of the old city of Bharatpur to reach the site which is called Bharatpur Fort. Unlike other monuments of Rajasthan, Bharatpur fort witnesses very few tourists (mostly locals) and closed relatively early (5:15 PM).
Some Building inside Bharatpur Fort
Visiting hours: 9:45 AM to 5:15 PM (Monday closed)
Entrée fee: 5 INR (Indian), 100 INR (Foreigners)
This strong fort popularly known as Lohagarh was built by maharaja surajmal in the first half of 18th century A.D. Made of stone blocks, this high fortified rectangular fort having 2872 meters perimeter is strengthened by 34 bastions. A moat varying 41 to 72 meters in width is running around the fort with 8 to 10 meters depth. There are two lofty gateways viz Astadhatu on the north and Chouburja on the south. Inside the fort main structures include jawahar burj, court and palaces, havelis, horse stable, cannon points, residential palaces, temples, etc. The jawahar burj was built by maharaja surajmal (1756-63 AD) but pavilions over it were raised by maharaja jawahar singh (1763-68 AD) in commemoration of his victory over Delhi. Of the three pavilions, one is painted with epic scenes. An inscribed iron pillar bearing genealogy of jat rulers is a later addition.
Kishori mahal, maharaja surajmal sanskratik bhavan, kachahari kalan-kamara khas (state museum), foujdar haveli and temple of bihariji are some noteworthy edifices inside the fort.
Kacchari Kalan (Old Court)
Kacchari kalan (old court)
Kaccheri kalan is situated in the kamra khas campus which was used to organize the general meetings by the rulers of bharatpur. From the balcony of the upper storey, the female members of the ruler's family used tq watch the activities of the general meeting. This building named as 'darbar hall' was built by maharaja balwant singh in the early half of the 19th century. In the year 1948 AD, The historic meeting was held in this hall under the chairmanship of sardar vallabh bhai patel in which the decision regarding formation of the matsya-pradesha, combining the four states of rajputana namely dholpur, bharatpur. Karauli and alwar was taken. Later on H.H. sawai brijendra singh established here a museum in the year 1944 A.D.
the earliest evidences of bathroom are about 5000 years old revealed from the excavation at famous Harapaan site of Mohenjodaro. It was used for religious and ritualistic purpose. 'Hamam' is an Arabian word used for bathroom since medieval period. Hamam became an important part of Turkish residential palaces architecture in 15th- 16th Century. In medieval age in India a fundamental change took place in bathroom's architectural style and system with the arrival of Turk-Mughal royals. Turkish Hamam were splendid very huge and built in lndo-Persian style and decorated with colorful tiles and fountains.
Pillars at the roof of Bharatpur Fort
In the beginning of post-medieval and modern period, the Rajput and Jat rulers also built Hamam in their resident building which were mixture of Rajput and Persian style of architecture. The walls of the Hamam were beautifully decorated in traditional method with fresco paintings depicting flowers and creepers on ariash plaster which even today retains their past glory. The Hamam in the premises of Govt. Museum Bharatpur is an exquisite example of that kind of Hamams. This Turkish Hamam was built in Indo-Persian style of architecture. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Jawahar Singh in the second half of the 18th Century. This famous Hamam is divided in two sections and inside walls are decorated with attractive fresco wall paintings in natural colors on durable ariash plaster. The windows and screens have been incorporated for natural light and air and is also very scientific. The Hamam has provision of mixing hot and cold water. This technique is very interesting from research point of view. It appears that the Hamam was used like modern spa and member of royal family had massage, heat-soaking etc.
State Museum Inside Bharatpur Fort
The Hamam of famous Deeg Palaces also has arrangement for hot water, but it was very close to English pattern. The Hamam of world famed Amber palaces in Jaipur built by Kachhawaha rulers is also remarkable for its unique characteristics.
Courtesy: Superintending archeologist, Archeological survey of India, Jaipur Circle, Jaipur
Another view of Bharatpur Fort and Museum
An offbeat traveler's trail around Agra: I am not the first one to follow this trail.. Many already did but none ever talked about it.. It is one of the finest circle around Agra full of diverse attractions and can be covered as 3 days trip.. Here you go….
Agra – Fatehpur Sikri – Bharatpur (Fort and Bird Sanctuary) – Deeg (Palace, Fort) – Govardhan (Religious) –Vrindavan(Temples) - Mathura (Birth place of Lord Krishna) - Agra
While navigating through this circle, you can have an overnight stay at Bharatpur and another overnight stay at Vrindavan (Recommended). All of these cities are very well connected with public transport so independent/budget travelers won’t face any problem.