Bharatpur Distance from


Even if counting the feathers of a bird and watching them closely is just a pastime for you then welcome to Bharatpur for this is a place that would surely answer your questions as to why Dr Salim Ali was so fascinated with birds. It is not the beauty or the variety but sheer enormity of the region and the ease with which the birds have accepted this meager offering from us human, makes Bharatpur area and its surroundings a paradise to visit.

Prince Bhamji of Morvi (Gujarat) was instrumental in mooting the idea and implementing it by converting this area into a wildlife reserve. It was a common practice to organize Duck shoots almost every year in honour of Viceroy Lord Curzon. Bharatpur used to be one of the most important princely states located on the edges of Thar Desert.

The land being marshy was always conducive for birds and animals searching water to quench their parched lips and throats. 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.

Founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733, Bharatpur was once the capital of Jat Kingdom ruled by Sinsinwar Maharajas. In fact, this land of the Jats has its own historical significance and 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.


Bharatpur (Keoladeo Ghana) National Park: Keoladeo National Park, also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, was created some 250 years ago by Maharaja Suraj Mal. Formerly the private duck shooting reserve of the Maharajas of Bharatpur, this site was established as a bird sanctuary on 13 March 1956 under the name of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Later on 10 March 1982, the site was designated as a national park and was named Keoladeo Ghana National Park. It was in 1985 that this national park was accepted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

A reserve forest, this national park is the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union. Keoladeo Ghana National Park is visited by more than 100,000 people on an annual basis. The national park currently features 50 species of fishes, 5 species of amphibians and 7 species of turtles. The park is most famous for its avian fauna of 375 species of birds, including Cranes, Spoonbills, Herons, Pelicans and others.

Flora of the park includes trees (particularly kalam), shrubs, marshes and hydrophytes along with 392 species of angiosperms. There are two main seasons to visit the park, monsoon and winter For the maintenance of its vegetation, lakes and marshes, the park is partly dependant on rainfall and partly on the water supply from Ajan Dam (0.5 km from the park).

Site of the Keoladeo National Park is hardly 2 km southeast of Bharatpur city, while Delhi and Jaipur are almost equidistant. From the main city, tourists can take a bus, an auto rickshaw or a cycle rickshaw to reach the site. At the main and the barrier, cycle rickshaw and tonga are available for tourists, to get around the park. Electric van of the park is also available for visiting the park, but on special request. Visitors can even request the local administration of the park to arrange the movie, 'Indian Birds of the Monsoon'.

Bharatpur Palace and Government Museum: Government Museum, positioned in the centre of the famous Lohagarh Fort, exhibits a rich collection of archaeological wealth of Bharatpur as well as other areas in the vicinity. The administrative block of the rulers of the Bharatpur state, known as Kachahari Kalan, was converted into a museum in 1944 AD. Later, the Kamra Khas on the first floor was also added to the museum, displaying a collection of antiquities, sculptures and inscriptions.

The central wing of the museum displays collections from the 2nd century that demonstrate the art and skill of the region. Main exhibits at the museum include sculptures, dating back to 1st to 19th century AD, which were found during the excavation of old villages. Weapons used by the Jat rulers in battles of medieval age, paintings, manuscripts and zoological specimens are other exhibits. The art gallery showcases miniature paintings on leaves of peepal tree, mica and old lithopapers, along with paintings of the Maharajas of Bharatpur.

Lohagarh Fort: Lohagarh Fort, which was constructed by Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal in the 18th century, is one of the finest architectural monuments in Rajasthan. Though the fort is not associated with richness, it depicts an atmosphere of strength and glory as it once featured a highly creative defense system that protected it every time. It was in fact named as the Lohagarh Fort, or Iron Fort, due to its invincibility at the time when British attempted to conquer it.

One of the strongest forts ever built in Indian history, Lohagarh Fort has two gates; Ashtdhaatu (eight-metalled) to the north and Chowburja (four-pillared) to the south. The fort encompasses three palaces; Mahal Khas, Kamra Mahal and Purana Mahal. Of these, the Kamra Palace now serves as the State Archaeological Museum. The sandstone durbar, which was once Maharaja's meeting hall, has also been transformed into a museum, lately.

The government museum within the fort exhibits articles like weapons and safety shields. Antiques such as hunted animals, wood articles, jewellery boxes and ornaments are also displayed here. Between the museum and the main entrance lies the Nehru Park, where visitors can just sit and enjoy. The fort is surrounded by deep moats that once thwarted at least four British attempts to lay siege to the Iron Fort.

Two towers, Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, which were constructed within the walls of the fort for celebrating the victories over Mughals and British, still stand erect. Moti Mahal was constructed to commemorate the victory of the king. Inscribed with the genealogy of the Jat kings, an iron pillar called Vijay Stambha (Victory Column) stands erect in the palace complex. The complex of Iron Fort also houses a Ganga Temple and a Laxman Temple.

An art gallery housed inside the fort exhibits specimens of miniature paintings on peepal leaves, mica and old lithopapers. Old portraits of the Maharajas of Bharatpur are also displayed at this gallery. At the upper storey of the gallery is the Armoury section, displaying various types of guns and miniature cannons. Tourists can travel to Lohagarh Fort using any of the local transport modes, be it bus, auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw.

Ganga Temple: Ganga Temple, situated in the heart of Bharatpur city, is one of the most beautiful temples in the state of Rajasthan. The construction of this temple was commenced by Maharaja Balwant Singh in 1845; however, it took almost 90 years to complete it. After completion, an idol of deity Ganga was placed in the temple by Brijendra Singh, who was the fifth descendant of Balwant Singh. The temple thus came to be known as Ganga Temple.

Architecture of this temple depicts a confluence of Rajput, Mughal and South Indian styles. The walls and pillars of this temple are adorned with beautiful carvings, while the entrance is marked with the statues of Lord Krishna, Laxmi Narayanji and Shiva Parvati. Inside the temple sits the beautifully decorated idol of Goddess Ganga with a massive image of a crocodile. Devotees visiting the temple are offered holy water from the river Ganga.

The temple is most visited by devotees during the festivals of Gangashaptami and Ganga Dussehra. Positioned at a convenient location in Bharatpur, the temple can be easily reached from anywhere in the city by a taxi, an auto rickshaw, or even a cycle rickshaw.

Gopal Bhavan: Gopal Bhavan is an imaginatively designed building complex that was completely built in the year 1760. The entrance of this building is marked with beautifully laid gardens, while the rear overlooks the Gopal Sagar flanked with smaller pavilions Sawan and Bhadon. Facing the formal gardens is a raised terrace that features a marble arch. This arch is installed on a pedestal, which is actually a war trophy brought by Maharaja Suraj Mal.

Inside the Gopal Bhavan is a banquet hall that is characteristic of double row of graceful pillars. This hall is home to a rich collection of curios, souvenirs and Victorian furniture. At the rear of the chamber is a charming sunken pool with fountains. The staircase winding upstairs to the next floors opens into a room containing a solid black marble bed. Gopal Bhavan is easily accessible from anywhere in Bharatpur via local transport modes.

Deeg Fort: Deeg Fort, built by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1730 AD, is situated in the Deeg town that served as the capital of Jat rulers in the 18th century. Square in layout, this central citadel stands over a slightly elevated point and is encircled by a shallow wide moat. The walls that run along 8 km in circumference are pierced by 10 gateways and studded with 72 bastions. A gateway protected with anti-elephant strikes serves as the entrance to the fort.

Though the interiors are almost in ruins now, a watch tower still stands erect keeping an eye over the city and the palace. In all, there are 12 towers within the fort, the largest one being Lakha Burj in the northwest corner. The Suraj Mal Haveli, built in a typical bangaldar style, is also a major part of the Deeg Fort. Sprawling gardens in the fort, set on the famous 'Char Bagh' style, are well-maintained, and are often visited by locals for picnics.

The fort is flanked by a number of beautiful palaces including Gopal Bhavan, Suraj Bhavan, Nand Bhavan, Kishan Bhavan, Keshav Bhavan, Purana Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. All these palaces are collectively termed as the Deeg Palace, which is yet another popular attraction among tourists. Situated around 35 km from the city of Bharatpur, this fort can be reached by means of a private car or a cab available anywhere in the city.

Laxman Temple: Laxman Temple, situated right in the heart of the city, is known to be one of the most prominent temples in Bharatpur. Almost 400 years old, this temple stands right in the middle of the main market area. It is said to have been established by Naaga Baba, a sage who worked for upliftment of the mankind. Displaying typical Rajasthan style of architecture, this beautiful temple is visited by a large number of devotees every year.

In the neighbourhood of this temple is another Laxman Temple, which was built by Maharaja Baldev Singh in1870. Made up of sandstone and white marble, this Laxman Temple is home to Ashtdhaatu idols of Laxmanji and Urmilaji. Smaller Ashtdhaatu idols of Ram, Bharat, Shtrughan and Hanuman are also enshrined in this temple. Both the temples can be easily reached from anywhere in the city by a cab, a cycle rickshaw or a tonga.

Deeg Water Palace: One of the most well-preserved and superbly proportioned palace complex, the Deeg water Palace is a must-visit on every tourist's itinerary.

Raja Surajmal commissioned the Deeg Water Palace to ward off the heat during the treacherous summer months. As a result, the quadrangle-shaped palace is surrounded by numerous fountains, gardens, shrubs, trees and two large water tanks called Gopal Sagar and Rup Sagar which help to lower the temperature.

One of the most intriguing buildings in the palace complex is Keshav Bhawan, the monsoon pavilion. A single-storied baradari placed on an octagonal base, it stands right next to the Rup Sagar tank. The structure has five arches along each side with an arcade running around the pavilion's interior over a canal with hundreds of fountains. The canal's walls are pierced with hundreds of minute jets that spew coloured water.

The water spray from the fountains and the jets creates a monsoon-like ambience which is enhanced further by a unique technique that produces thunder-like sound all around the pavilion. Hundreds of metal balls placed strategically on the channel surrounding the roof are set rolling with the water pressure which results in a thunderous effect.

This entire complex, sprawling with palaces and gardens, is truly a marvel of engineering skill.

Bankebihari Temple: Bankebihari Temple, nestled in the centre of the city, is one of the most famous temples in India. Sprawling across a vast land, this temple is considered to be the pious house of Lord Krishna where the dreams of his disciples are fulfilled. Depicting Brij architecture, this temple encompasses a main hall with statues of Lord Krishna and his perpetual companion, Radha. These idols are dressed with jewels and clothes from head to toe.

The walls and ceilings are painted with pictures of various deities, while the verandah is outside the main hall is covered with framed photographs depicting childhood of Lord Krishna. Hundreds of devotees gather at the temple premises during the aarti time, in both morning and evening. Travellers visiting Bharatpur can easily travel to this temple by means of local conveyances like auto rickshaw, cycle rickshaw, or tonga, or even a cab.

How to reach

By Air: Bharatpur does not have an airport of its own. Rather, the nearest international air link from the place is provided by New Delhi, which is approximately 184 km away. The airport has regular services to almost all the major domestic as well as international destinations. Apart from Delhi, the other airports that fall near Bharatpur are those of Jaipur (175 km) and Agra (55 km).

By Road: Bharatpur bird sanctuary is located on the Agra-Jaipur highway and is two-hours by bus from Agra. From Jaipur as well as Delhi, it will take you around 4 hours to reach the place, if you come by you own car. You can also get buses and taxis for the purposes. Private as well as state transport buses connect Bharatpur bird sanctuary with other parts of Rajasthan.

By Train: If you are interested in traveling to Bharatpur by train, rest assured that the city has a rail junction of its own, which is well connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Agra and other key cities of India. In fact, from these cities, you will get direct trains that will take you to Bharatpur.

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