Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Basic data and tourism information on Alwar District of Rajasthan

Alwar District at a Glance
·                     District:                       Alwar
·                     Headquarters:           Alwar
·                     State:                          Rajasthan
Area in Sq Km (Census 2011) 
·                     Total:                          8380
·                     Rural:                         8146
·                     Urban:                        234
Population (Census 2011) 
·                     Population:                3674179
·                     Rural:                         3019728
·                     Urban:                        654451
·                     Male:                          1939026
·                     Female:                      1735153
·                     Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males):                     895
·                     Density (Total, Persons per sq km):                        438
Constituencies (ECI) 
·                     Assembly:       11
·                     Lok Sabha:     1

The district headquarter is the city of Alwar.
 It is bound on the north by Rewari district of Haryana, on the east by Bharatpur and Mewat district of Haryana, on the south by Dausa, and on the west by Jaipur district.
As of 2011 it is the third most populous district of Rajasthan (out of 33) after Jaipur and Jodhpur.
The district has industrial estates such as Alwar, Bhiwadi, Shahjahanpur, Neemrana, Behror where companies such as G. S. Pharmbutor, Ashok Leyland, Pepsi, Parryware, Kajaria Ceramics and Honda Motors have manufacturing plants.


Bala Quila

Bala Quila

Bala Quila or Alwar Fort stands atop a steep hill and provides a great view of the city from its watch towers. This fort is said to have been constructed by Hasan Khan Mewati in 1942 A.D. after passing several hands. It was finally conquered in 1775 A.D. by Maharao Raja Pratap Singh, the founder of Alwar.

The fort extends 5 kms from north to south and 1.6 kms from east to west. It is 595 mtrs. above sea level and 304 mtrs. above the city. It has 15 large and 51 small towers with 446 loopholes for musketry. The fort can be entered from six gates namely Jai Pol, Chand Pol, Kishan Pol, Andheri Pol, Suraj Pol and Lakshman Pol. The remains of Jai Mahal, Nikumbh Mahal, Salim Sagar, Suraj Kund and many temples reflect the grand style of yore. A fortress built by Alaghu Rai in 1049 A.D. is also located here.
Vijay Mandir Palace:

Vijay Mandir Palace

This royal residence, built in 1918, belonged to Maharaja Jai Singh and lies 10 km outside of Alwar. It lies a short detour away from the road to Bala Qila (Alwar Fort).

Vijay Mandir Palace was built after Raja Jai Singh ordered the demolition of the earlier residence of Moti Doongri in 1928. It is a privately-owned property and currently entry to Vijay Mandir Palace is not allowed and hence it can only be viewed from afar. The royal family still lives here.

Vijay Mandir Palace was the erstwhile royal palace of Maharaja Jai Singh. It is an example of marvelous architecture, built to look like an anchored ship. The palace looks even more spectacular because of the serene location; the lake fills up during the monsoon making it look even more exotic with a reflection of the massive palace.

Vijay mandir palace by a lake

This sprawling palace has an astonishing 105 rooms. It is surrounded by lush green gardens and a quaint lake by the name of Vijay Sagar that also gives its name. Within the palace complex is a beautiful Sita Ram temple. The picturesque lake overlooking the palace makes it a fascinating sight.
Siliserh Lake

Siliserh Lake

The water palace of Siliserh with a lake surrounded by low wooded hills is on route to Sariska. It lies 12 km Southwest of Alwar. The tranquil lake is nestled in the hills; the sparkling ripples of the lake cover an area of about 7 sq. km, surrounded by thick forest and magnificent cenotaphs on its embankment. A royal hunting lodge /palace was built by Maharaja Vinay Singh for his Queen Shila in 1845. It has been converted into a tourist bungalow and is an attractive spot for a peaceful holiday.
Sariska (35 Kms)

In the hills of the Aravallis this thickly wooded area throbs with wildlife. Not only a delight for wildlife lovers, it is also an attraction for the enthusiasts of art and archeology. About 300 Hindu and Jain temples (8th-12th Century) of mythological, religious and historical significance are built here. Important locations in Sariska are:
Sariska Palace

Sariska Palace

Built as a royal hunting lodge by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 19th century, stands the Sariska palace. A magnificent piece of architecture, it is now a luxury hotel.
Sariska Tiger Reserve & National Park

Sariska Tiger Reserve

It features dry, open forest over a large area of hills and valley with lovely springs cascading through them. It has a number of exotic fauna consisting of tiger, leopard, hyena, sambhar, chital, nilgai, chausingha, langurs and rhesus monkeys. The fauna varies from parakeet, partridge, crested serpent eagle, red spur fowls, treeple and golden backed woodpecker, babble and bulbul.

Bhangarh ruins

Mystery surrounded this ancient town of Bhangarh, as this town of about 10,000 dwellings was suddenly abandoned for reasons unknown. It is well connected by road. Worth seeing is the beauty of several temples in the area. Ajabgarh was the new habitation of dwellers of Bhangarh after it was deserted. Today a bustling village can be seen existing among old structures.
City Palace

City Palace Alwar

A blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the City Palace of Alwar dates back to the 18th century. Presently, in the ground floor of the palace, government offices and district courts are functioning. The attractions of the City Palace Rajasthan include an artificial lake constructed by Maharaja Vinay Singh in 1815.There are also a number of temples on the banks of the lake.

Inside the palace is a splendid chhatri, having Bengali roof and arches. It is known as Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri. Located within this chhatri is the Company Garden, known as Purjan Vihar. The garden was built during the reign of Maharaja Shiv Dan Singh in the year 1868. Maharaja Mangal Singh made further additions to the garden in 1885.This garden is an ideal picnic spot in summers providing lush green surroundings, along with the cool shades of its numerous trees.
Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri

'Chhatri' means an elevated dome-shaped porch which, in Rajput architecture, is built to symbolize honor and pride. 'Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri' is a historical monument of Rani Moosi and her king Bakhtawar Singh. Rani Moosi had committed 'Sati' and in her honor, 'Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri' was built. The Chhatri is located at the top of a  pillared sandstone and the double storied elephant structure built here serves as the major source of tourist attraction. This spectacular design was made by Vinay Singh in 1804 AD.

Moosi maharani ki chhatri

The place is a double storied building with the upper floor completely made with marble stone. It houses magnificent curves and polished roofs. Also, there is a water pond which is located inside the premises. It was built by Vinay Singh in 1815 AD.
Bhartrihari Baba Temple

Bharthari Temple

Raja Bharthari was the ruler of Ujjain in the 1st century BC and is a famous hero of the folk tales of North India. He had handed over his rule to his younger brother, Vikramaditya and had started following Guru Gorakhnath. Later, Bharthari got renowned by the name of 'Nath Panth Yogi' and is believed to have spent the last few years of his life at this place in Alwar. The Bharthari temple was built in his honor. This temple has become a pilgrimage now and attracts a lot of devotees from across the nation.
Company Garden

Company Garden

This garden was laid out during the reign of Maharaja Sheodan Singh in 1868 A.D. A summer house, 'Shimla', was added to it by Maharaja Mangal Singh in 1885 A.D. The garden was originally called Company Garden but later Maharaja Jai Singh changed it to Purjan Vihar.
Neelkanth Temple

Neelkanth Mahadev temple

A few miles west, of Rajgarh town, above Tehla village, lies the Neelkanth temple. Located on a plateau of the hills, archaeologically, it is one of most amazing places to discover. This was once a town adorned with temples and statues Its old name is Rajorgarh.
Jaisamand Lake

Jaisamand Lake (Image credit: Anil Yadav Alwar 091)

Located very close to Alwar, Jaisamand Lake is spread across 1.5 km. Around the banks of the lake there are many beautiful shaded porches and magnificent towers. All of these towers and porches were built on lotus-shaped foundations and have a height of around 7 feet. This lake was built in order to store water from River Ruparail. 
Neemrana Fort

Neemrana Fort

Neemrana is a historical place situated in Alwar district. Previously the place was known by the name 'Raath' and was a home for Chouhan Rajputs. It is situated at a distance of 122 km from Delhi and at a distance of 150 km from Jaipur. The place comes under Behror Tehsil and is located in the middle of Shahjahanpur and Behror. Neemrana is also known as 'Ahirwal region' and serves as an industrial hub for the State.
The famous Neemrana fort is also housed in this area which was built in the 16th century and was occupied by Chouhan Rajputs till 1947. Since 1986, Neemrana is internationally renowned for its fort palace which is revitalized now as a heritage hotel. The place houses hanging gardens, pools and restaurants. 'Mini Japan' is also located in Neemrana.

Tijara Jain Temple

About 60 kilometres from the Alwar-Delhi route lies this important centre of Jain pilgrimage. The exquisitely decorated ancient temple was built to commemorate the eighth Tirthankar, Shri Chandra Prabha Bhagwan. The son of King Mahasen and Queen Sulakshana, he ruled his kingdom for several years before receiving Diksha and being initiated. After serving mankind for several years, he meditated for a month and attained Nirvana.

Neemrana Baori (Step well)

Located in Neemrana, the Neemrana Baori is not very far from the fort palace. The first sight itself hints at how glorious the place must have been in the past. A marvel of architecture, Neemrana Baori looks more like a fortress than a step well. With each floor having a height of about 20 feet, and with 9 floors making up the entire structure, you can imagine how deep it runs. There are no carvings in the structure, maybe because it was built rather later in time, after the more architectural times of earlier centuries. However, the structure still shows all signs of being a glorious building. At the ground level, there used to be colonnaded openings later they had to descend steps to reach the deep water source. The lower steps or floors were of course under water most of the time. In its essence, the Neemrana Baori is a glimpse into the architectural nuances of the past, gazing upon which you shall be thoroughly amazed.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Basic data and tourism information on Banswara District of Rajasthan

Banswara District at a Glance
·                     District:                       Banswara
·                     Headquarters:            Banswara
·                     State:                            Rajasthan
Area in Sq Km (Census 2011) 
·                     Total:                          4522
·                     Rural;                         4494
·                     Urban:                        28
Population (Census 2011) 
·                     Population:                1797485
·                     Rural:                         1669864
·                     Urban:                        127621
·                     Male:                          907754
·                     Female:                      889731
·                     Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males):         980
·                     Density (Total, Persons per sq km):            397
Constituencies (ECI) 
·                     Assembly:       6
·                     Lok Sabha:     1

The city of Banswara is the district headquarters. It is bounded on the north by Udaipur District, on the northeast by Pratapgarh District, on the east and southeast by Madhya Pradesh state, on the southwest by Gujarat state, and on the west by Dungarpur District.
The district is named after the former Princely State of Banswara. There are two traditions regarding the etymology of Banswara. According to one tradition, it is derived from the name of the Bhil chief Bansia who ruled over this area before being killed by Maharaval Jagmal Singh in 1529 CE. According to the other tradition, the name is derived from the name “Bans Vara” (the country of bamboos) due to the abundance of bamboos in the dense forests of this region.

Chacha Kota

Chacha Kota

In the backwater of Mahi Dam there is a beautiful natural place known as Chacha Kota, which is 14 km from the city of Banswara. The approach to the place is equally charming with Kalpvriksha and Baitalaab lake falling on the roadside on the way to Chacha kota. The green hills, the sea beach like sight with water visible as far as one can see. The high rising surrounding hills, the green passage all along the approach road, the serpentine zigzag road and the waterfalls collectively give the feeling of being in a hill station. Wrapped in natural beauty, Chacha Kota keeps attracting the tourists throughout the year.
Mahi Dam

Mahi Dam

Mahi Bajaj Sagar dam is the lifeline of Banswara district which has turned out to be a great source of agricultural and economic development of the region. This dam is the biggest water reservoir in the Udaipur division. The dam is situated 18 kms north-east of the district headquarters in the midst of high rising hills. The total length of the dam is 3.10 km and the total water reserve capacity is 77 tmc. A number of hills partially remain submerged in the Mahi Dam Backwater which present beautiful view of Small Islands, which is why the place is also called a “City of Hundred Islands”. When in the rainy season the main dam gates are opened to discharge the excess water it creates a wonderful site for the visitors. Mahi Dam is indeed a favorite attraction for the tourists.
Tripura Sundari

Tripura Sundari

On the Banswara-Dungarpur road near Talwara, is situated the ancient temple of the presiding mother deity of the region Raj Rajeshwari Tripura Sundari in the Umrai village. The temple is a revered place of Shakti upasana or the worship of mother deity. On the north side of the temple there is a shiv-ling of the times of King Kanishka; therefore it is believed that this place must have been in existence even before the period of Kanishka. The temple has been renovated time and again by the Panchal community. The chief attraction of the place is the most astonishing and charismatic black stone idol of the deity. According to the scholars the Shrichakra, at the feet of the idol is the most powerful symbol of the Tantric worship. The gorgeous idol of Tripura Sundari has got eighteen arms holding various armaments riding a lion. There are small idols of 52 Bhairwas and 64 Yoginis around the main idol. The government has taken up in a big way the renovation and beautification work of this area. Tripura Sundari is the most famous place of pilgrimage in the Wagad region and people from far off places visit to pay their respects and reverence to the presiding deity of this tribal area. A big Garba (Dandiya) festival is organized every year during the Navratri.
Andeshwar-Parshwanath Teerth

Andeshwar Temple

40 km from Banswara on Kushalgarh road the famous jain pilgrimage spot Andeshwar temple is situated. The stone idol of Jain Tirthankar Parshwanath is placed in this temple. Inside the temple the beautiful mirror paintings of major jain pilgrimage places are adorned. There are also beautiful sculpture works in marble on the premises. People from all the religions visit this place frequently for picnics and religious and academic reasons.
Abdullah Peer

Abdullah Peer dargah

Situated in the southern part of the city is the Dargah of Abdul Rasul which is known as the "Abdulla Peer". Every year "Urs" is held at the Dargah and is very popular with the masses. The people of the Bohra community take part in it in large numbers.
Kagdi Pickup

Kagdi Pickup

On the eastern part of the city Banswara Kagdi Pick-up is a prominent centre of attraction for the tourists. The Kagdi lake and the garden on the side are worth seeing. A number of migratory birds have made the lake their playground, particularly in the rainy season. It is a major attraction for the bird watchers, particularly at the time of sunrise and sunset.
Mangarh Dham

Mangarh Shila (Memorial)

Govind Guru was a popular saint of the Bhils who made the Mangarh hill a centre of faith. He awakened the Bhil community and filled them with a sense of patriotism. The Bhils were so inspired that they sacrificed their lives for freedom. Later, 1500 Gurubhakt Bhils sacrificed their lives while fighting against the British army. It is therefore also known as Jallianwala Bagh of Rajasthan.
Arthuna Temple (Land Mark Archaeological site)

Arthuna temple

This place of great archaeological importance, is the major attraction of Banswara district. There is a complex of ancient temples which were built in the 11th and 12th centuries. In ancient times it was the capital city of the Parmar rulers. Many temples have been excavated which reveal the glorious past of our rich heritage. It is called the village of old and broken temples.
Brahma Ji Temple

Brahmaji temple

The famous Bhrahmaji temple on the Banswara Bagidora road in the Chinch village was built in 12th century. There is the Saptdhatu idol of Lord Brahma inside the temple. The Brahmaji idol is very significant for its sculptural beauty. Brahma temple is very rare as generally the temples of Brahmaji are not found anywhere.
Datt Madareshwar Mahadev

Datt Madareshwar temple

On the north east of the city lies the famous temple of Lord Shiva where a huge Shivalinga inside the mountain cave, is a major centre of Shiva worship. This temple has been carved out of the mountain and very impressive surroundings have been created by the trust which provides a very soothing effect to the visitors. Most significantly Kavad Yatris every year walk 42 km to fetch holy water to perform special abhishekh (holy bath) of the Shivalinga. A large fair takes place on the day of Maha Shivratri every year.
Beneshwar Dham (Landmark of Tribal fair and festivity)

Beneshwar tribal fair

The Beneshwar Dham is known as the prayag of Wagad region. The confluence of three rivers Mahi, Jhakham and Som takes place here. It is a major centre of religious, cultural and social activities. The place is known for the spiritual activities. Manuscripts composed by Mavji are available at this place. Beneshwar is like a small island surrounded by rivers from all around. There is an ancient Shiva temple, Radhakrishna temple, Brahma temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple at this spot. Every year on Magh Poornima during February the biggest tribal fair of Rajasthan is held here. This seven day fair is jointly organized by Dungarpur and Banswara district administrations. During this period the Sant Mavji’s Chopra (Mavji’s composition popularly known as Mavji’s Chopra) is also displayed for the visitors.
Ghotia Amba


35 km from Banswara, in the lap of beautiful hills, Ghotia Amba is believed to have been the hiding place of Pandavas during Mahabharat times. Ghotia Amba has got a distinct value amongst the tourist places of the district. People here strongly believe that the mango trees, (which is called Amba in local dialect) planted by Pandavas, gave this name to the place as Ghotia Amba. Every year during the Hindu month Chaitra a huge fair takes place here in which pilgrims from Rajasthan, Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh come in large number. Very close to this place is another place of reverence called Kela Pani. Kela means banana and it is believed that Pandavas at this place had served food in banana leaves to the Rishis and Sages. This temple and the place is looked after by the Devasthan Department of Government of Rajasthan.

Apart from these, there are some other major attractions worth seeing and visiting in and around the city of Banswara. Natural spots like Juha falls, Kadeliya falls, Singpura Jharna, Pratap Setu on Ratlam Road and religious places like Mangleshwar, Bhavanpura Bhairavji, Sidhi Vinayak and Sun temple Talwara are also very popular and significant on the tourist map of the district.

Juha Falls

Kadeliya Falls