Alwar: The City of Rajputs
Alwar is a where the journey of the Fairy Queen ends! The oldest working engine in the world and one of India’s national treasure, Fairy Queen leads a train from Delhi encampment to Alwar in Rajasthan. The engine was built in 1855 and acquired by the Eastern Indian Railways from a British firm. The train that harnesses this engine is now used for tourism.
The journey of the city of Alwar and its origins can be traced back to 1500 BC. Nestled in the lap of the green hills of the Aravalli range, it is home to beautiful palaces and forts from an era long gone. The deep valleys and thick forest cover of the hills are a haven for many species of birds such as grey partridge and white-throated kingfisher and animals, most notably, the Bengal tiger and golden jackal. It is this splendour and exquisite architecture, along with the calm lakes, royal hunting chalets, dense jungles and a socio-cultural environment unlike any other that makes Alwar a traveller’s delight.
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Come explore the wonders and sites that Alwar has to offer.
The Bala Qila (young fort) was built on the foundations of a 10th century mud fort and is a towering structure set atop a hill. Strong fortifications, graceful marble columns and delicate latticed balconies make up the fort. Bala Qila can be entered through six gates, namely Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Chand Pol, Krishan Pol and Andheri Gate.
Alwar City Palace
Built in 1793 AD by Raja Bakhtawar Singh, the City Palace is an amazing mélange of the Rajputana and Islamic styles of architecture. The highlight of this palace are graceful marble pavilions set on lotus flower bases in the central courtyard. The palace that once belonged to the Maharaja has been converted into the District Collectorate. Its grand halls and chambers now house government offices.
The Palace Museum
The Palace Museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in the opulent life and lifestyle led by the Maharajas of Alwar. Rare manuscripts, including one depicting Emperor Babur’s life, Ragamala paintings and miniatures and even historic swords that once belonged to Muhammad Ghori, Emperor Akbar and Aurangzeb can be found here.
Moosi Maharani Chhatri
This cenotaph, built in the memory of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Rani Moosi, reflects the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The upper portion comprising columned pavilions and domed arches is made of marble while the lower section consists of pillars in red sandstone. The memorial is rated as one of the finest of its type.
Fifty kilometres from Sariska Sanctuary is the splendid town of Bhangarh which was built in the 17th century by Raja Madho Singh. The most popular legend states that the town was cursed by an evil magician and was subsequently abandoned. The evil effect of the curse is believed to be working even to this day. In fact, Bhangarh holds the distinction of being one of the most haunted places in India.
History says that Neemrana Fort was built by the Yaduvanshis, believed to be the descendants of Lord Krishna. Its story is rife with conquests and defeats and it has passed from the Rajputs to the Mughals and the Jats, before finally coming back to the Rajputs in 1775. Today, it is being run as a famous heritage hotel.
Located 15 kilometres to the southwest of Alwar, this tranquil lake is nestled amidst forested hills and boasts of magnificent cenotaphs on its bank. In 1845, Maharaja Vinay Singh constructed a hunting chalet here for his Queen, Shila. Today it is a tourist bungalow.
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve, the first tiger reserve in the world to have successfully relocated tigers, is just 200 kilometres from Delhi and 107 kilometres from Jaipur. It was declared a sanctuary in 1955 and became a National Park in 1979.
Be a part of the festivities and traditions that Alwar has to offer.
The Matsya festival of Alwar held in November over two days is the foremost of all fairs and festivals of Rajasthan. It is celebrated to glorify the prosperity, traditional values and colourful customs of the region.
Engage in the many activities, tours and adventures that await you in Alwar.
Sariska WildLife Safari
Visiting Sariska Tiger Reserve is a must when at Alwar. Although larger than Ranthambhore, it is less commercialised and contains lesser tigers. The landscape of Sariska consists of hills and valleys, and the topography supports arid forests, dry deciduous forests, rocks and grasses. There is a broad range of wildlife found here and the reserve is a wonderful example of ecological adoption and tolerance. Besides the natural attractions, Sariska has ruins of elaborate pavilions and temples that hint at past riches and glory. One must also, if possible, visit the highly-inaccessible Kankwadi Fort known for its long and turbulent history and Maharaja Jai Singh’s hunting lodge, now a heritage hotel.
Boating on Sillserh lake
The tranquil waters of Sillserh Lake are perfect for boating. Surrounded by thick forest and with magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment, it makes for a pleasant and memorable boat ride. One can choose between a motor boat and a paddle boat, any time between sunrise to sunset.