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Rajasthan - Alwar and Sariksha Tiger Reserve
Best time to visit: October- March (you can visit in monsoon as well).
Alwar was the land of Salwar tribes. Previously the name of the city was Salwarpur. But, later on, the name had been changed to Alwar. This was also known as the place of fishermen. The independent Rajpur territory, Alwar, had resisted the attack of various imperialistic forces over the years. But, even after all these the place could maintain its old reputation and uniqueness.
The city of Alwar truly is beautiful. Bounded by soaring Vindhya hill, the city is a singular and distinctive allurement of Rajasthan. The Vinay Vilas Mahal or the City palace, located on a triangular shaped hill, at an altitude of 304 meters from the plains of the city, was an impressive creation of its founder namely Vinay Singh. The palace is attractive and is drawing crowds towards the palace for its pretty Shish Mahal, 12 holy temples, beguiling Sarovar (water body), a huge horse stable (3000 horses were kept) and a primeval museum. The museum is rich in its collection. Inscriptions, miniature paintings, innumerable idols, ornaments (made up of elephants’ teeth) and assortment of weapons are put on display in the museum. More than 7000 inscriptions, inscribed in numerous languages, such as, Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabia and French, are the assets of the museum. 24 meters tall Bhagavad with colorful pictures, Koran (inscribed in Arabian language), autobiography of Babar and plenty of other expensive articles adorn the museum shelves. The swords of Shah Abbas, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan, Dara Sikoh, Nadir Shah and Aurangzeb are kept in the museum and are satisfactorily drawing attention of the tourists. Cups carved out of rare and atypical diamonds along with the dining table carved out of expensive silver are the treats to the eyes.
The museum is closed on Fridays. Purchase a ticket for 3 rupees to watch the excellent anthology of the museum during 10-17 hours. The radio station has now been built in the rooms of the palace.
Bala Quila or fort: The fort, built by the Nikumbh Rajput dynasty, was revamped by the emperor Pratap Singh in 1775. The fort, located at an altitude of 1000 feet, marvelously showcases an excellent commingling of stylish Mughal and elegant Rajput architectures. The fort, unlike any other fort of that period, is not accessible through a staircase. 15 large and 51 small pillars had laid the foundation of the historical palace. 8 contiguous grand doorways mark the entrances. The entire fort and the striking Darbar hall can be seen by granting permission from the Superintendent of Police. Call @0144-2337453 for assistance.
Purjan Vihar: Purjan Vihar, situated at the heart of the city, was formed in 1868 and is known for its aesthetic beauty. It’s a luxurious orchard with spectacular lawns.
A hefty amount of 4 ½ million was spent in 1882 to erect the imposing Moti Dongari or the Lansdowne palace, one of the prime attractions of Alwar, at the hilltop. The palace was used by the royal family members till 1928. Take a walk to watch the pictures which depict very own art form of Alwar. Yashwant Niwas, cenotaph of the emperor Bakhtawar Singh on the southern banks of the Lake, shrine or Chattis of Maharani (the instructor of the king), Jaysamand Lake (about 6 km away from the city of Alwar) and the Vijay temple palace on the banks of another Lake (about 10 km away from Alwar) are the other coveted destinations of Alwar. The blending of Hindu and Muslim architectural grace and stylishness is exhibited on the shrine of Fateh Jang, the minister of the cabinet of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan.
The stately and colossal palace, on the banks of the Vijay Sagar, has 105 rooms which are still occupied by the royal family members. Ask the secretary of the ruler for permission, if you are eager to watch the grandeur of the palace. You can call @ 2347253 for that.
Sariska: Covering a sprawling 866 square km of land, Sariska, is a picturesque sanctuary, positioned on the slanting slope of the towering Aravalli hill.
The forest of Sariska can be accessed through pandupol and Kalighatti. Various species of deer flock to the excavated waterhole in summers to quench their thirsts. It’s probably the best place and time to watch these ambling deer. To watch the absorbing natural surrounds you can climb up the nearby watch tower as it definitely offers a better view.
Once recognized as the meadow of the Alwar emperors (1955), is now famously known as the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. The core area of Sariska, covering a straggling 479 square km of land, had received the crown of the tiger reserve project in 1979. Previously a number of tigers used to amble around the territory of the dry deciduous forest freely but due to the ever increasing illegal activities of hunters (poaching), not many are now left in the vicinity. One of the two tigers which were brought from Ranthambore in 2008 had lost its life. It possibly has no tigers left now. You may see a lot of other natural denizens, such as, leopards, hyenas, sambars, nilgais, wild cats, beers, jackals, wild dogs, Chital deer, four horned antelopes and various other species of deer in the woodland of Sariska. The forest is rich both in flora and fauna. Vegetation, such as, acacia, persimmon and bamboo are commonly seen in the territory. Different species of animated birds sing in concert.
Palace, fort and Innumerable divine Hindu and Jain temples are dotted in and around the woods.
If you like to stay in a tranquil place which is away from the gripe and grime of the city, then the best spot for you is the Kankwari fort, built long back in 17th century, atop the hill.
The Pandupol watch tower, located at a distance of 22 km inside the forest, was built to commemorate the exile of Pandavas. The waterhole and Hanuman temple in the close proximity are other enticements of Sariska.
The sanctuary is closed in rainy seasons during July-August. The temperature of the sanctuary in winters hover around 3 to 31 degrees Celsius where as the temperature increases to even 47 degrees Celsius in summers. The average rainfall of the city is 650 mm. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during November- March. It is recommended to visit the sanctuary in morning or in evening for a better spectacle. You have to spend 25 rupees per head, however, to watch the agreeable façade of the captivating sanctuary. Take a note that you can go into the forest on every Saturday and Tuesday for free of cost. But, most of the animals hide themselves on Saturdays and Tuesdays for huge gatherings in the sanctuary premise. Avail a night safari package for a class-apart and charming experience. If you are interested to watch the absorbing woods at night, then you have to get in touch with the authority of the Hotel Tiger Den or Hotel Sariska palace of RTDC. You can hire a jeep or avail a mini bus to go inside the awe-inspiring woodland. Don’t forget to carry a spot light and hire a guide alongside. Nature lovers, who visit the sanctuary to gaze at the ambling tigers, have to climb up the watch tower and watch tigers while they collect their foods. But, tigers can be best viewed from the Sawai Madhopur.
Nature lovers would have a nice time at Kesroli Hill Resort, atop the hill, about 40 km away from Alwar. This is the best place where from tourists can enjoy an enthralling sunrise and sunset.
Hordes of temple lovers from across the country visit the divine Bhatrihari temple, about 30 km away from the city. It is believed that the residing deity has the power to fulfill all the wishes and worldly desires of the devotees.
Lies 32 km off the main gate of the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Neelkanth temple, is an ancient temple, the exact construction date of which is still unknown. The undulating land of Neelkanth is covered with stones. Temple lovers can also get the pleasure in 300 scattered temples in the temple town of Bali. These sanctified Hindu-Buddha-Jain temples recall the glorious history of the bygone era. This is the beloved homeland of innumerable vivacious monkeys. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb up the Naldeshwar temple, through 365 stair ways. Surrounded by pebbly hills, the temple deserves a visit.
Hotel Tiger Den, Tourist Rest House, Forest Rest House, Hotel Sariska Palace and Kushalgarh palace are the places where you can stay at.
Siliserh Lake: The picturesque Siliserh Lake, covering 10 ½ square km of area, about 20 km away from Alwar, was excavated after installing a dam and is delimited by soaring mountains. The banks of the Lake are hidden in the darkness of opaque forest. The enthralling ambit around would appease your soul for sure. A boat trip down the lake would fascinate one and all. Crocodiles are there in the water of the Lake. Colorful fishes and animated aquatic birds make this place even more attractive and appealing. The palace, built by the emperor Vinay Singh, amidst the wonderful natural locale, was dedicated by the royal leader to his wife. RTDC has built a hotel in the rooms of the palace now. It’s important to stay at this hotel for enjoying the grandeur of the palace. Chattis or shrine is also there in the vicinity.
Stay overnight at Hotel Lake Palace on the banks of the Siliserh Lake.
Narayani Mata: The place is famous for the spring both of cold and hot water. About 100 km away from Pilani, Narayani Mata, can be accessed by bus from Alwar.
Bairat: Bairat was popularly known as Viratpur during the era of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It was believed that Pandavas had involved themselves in various activities in Bairat for 1 year, after their 12 years long exile.
An inscription of the emperor Ashoka had also been discovered after the excavation in Bairat. Various other substances, such as, a temple, silver coin, a terracotta Jakhi idol, clay bowl and various objects of Buddha saints, had also been excavated. Huge numbers of tourists flock to Bairat for watching these historical objects and substances.
How to reach: Avail a bus from Jaipur or Alwar to Bairat.
Where to stay: It’s better to stay either at Alwar or at Jaipur.
How to reach Alwar or Sariksha : About 37 km away from Alwar, Sariska, is well connected to Alwar, Jaipur and Delhi by bus. Alwar can be accessed comfortably from Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Ahmadabad, Dig, Bharatpur, Jodhpur, Varanasi, Dehradun and Mathura by train.
Where to stay: Ankur Hotel, Hotel Alwar, Ashoka Hotel, Hotel Aravalli, Alwar Guest House, Hotel Meenal, Hotel Imperial and Railway Retiring Room.
Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.