Located midway between national capital New Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar seems to have little impact of any of these metropolitans, and manages to preserve its own unique charm. Unlike these bustling cities with suffocating environs. Alwar remains largely untouched with its rustic ambiance, ample greenery and eye-catching vistas. This historical city carved into the Aravali ranges with flourishing forest cover and lakes.
Based on its reference in Hindu mythological book of Mahabharata, the city is believed to have its roots in the ancient city of Viratnagar that flourished around 1500 BC. However in modern history, the city gained its prominence only after 1857, during which the entire region was going through great political turmoil. Before it finally went under the control of British, it remained a battleground for local Rajputs, Jats, Rao, and Muslims for decades that in turn reflects the key position it acquired in the region. On a more interesting note, Alwar is also the home-town of Hemu, the last Hindu emperor who won 22 successive battles against Muslim invasions and is often called the “Alexander of India”.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- City Palace – This 18th century palace with its vibrant fusion of signature Rajputana and Islamic architecture is famous for its central courtyard with marble pavilion set on lotus flower base. The centuries old palace that once used to be royal residence and has seen generations passing by, now has been transformed into a government office.
- Bala Quila – Seated at a hilltop, it is a reincarnation of a 10th century mud fort that that shared the same base. The exquisite carvings, intricate architecture, and elegant marble pillars stand as the highlights of this fort that has six gates to be accessed through.
- Bhangarh – This 17th century fort is one of the most popular tourists attractions in the region owing to its largely mysterious past. Pegged as one of the most haunted places in the country, many folk lores and myths surround the creeps it gives to the tourists.
- The Palace Museum – Housing a rich collection of Mughal artefacts including rare manuscripts, paintings, miniatures, and other belongings of different mughal emperors, this museum is must not to be missed if you have slightest of interest in the opulence and extravagance of bygone era.
- Purjan Vihar – This centuries old garden with its lush green surroundings make an ideal spot for casual walks or a picnic.
- Garbhaji Waterfalls – This natural waterfall over aravali ranges is creates a picturesque environment, specially during monsoon when the entire region is overwhelmed with greenery.
- Siliserh Lake – Covered with thick forest, the serene waters of the lake are as hypnotic as the overall setting itself. Be it a casual walk or a lunch by the lake-side, or a leisure boating, the options around the lake are many.
- Neemrana Fort – Seated on a hilltop, this fort is believed to be prehistoric in age. What remains clear though is the magnificent architecture and the fact that it has endured many warfares for centuries.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS:
This annual festival organised in the month of November is renowned as one of the most prominent celebrations of Rajasthan. Lasting over 2 days, the festival is a major highlight of rich cultural heritage, glorious past, and continuous traditions of the region.
- Shopping in the traditional vibrant bazaars of Alwar are no less than a treat for shopaholics. With unique offering of handicrafts, pottery, leather and embroidered footwear, banges, woven carpets and much more, the budget-friendly shops of the city will definitely put your bargaining skills to test as well.
- Trekking and Nature Walks contrasting the otherwise dry state of Rajasthan, Alwar is endowed with rich vegetation and the Aravali ranges around make a compelling case of adventure seekers. Be it just a casual walk in the wild or persistent trek along any particular trail, the experience is sure to stick for a long time.
- Boating in Siliserh lake with its serene waters, and picturesque surrounding of forest and mountains makes a perfect spot for some leisure boating. Just hop in a motor boat to cruise through the tranquil unspoilt environs or maybe a paddle boat if you prefer the authentic feel.
Located at an hour drive from Alwar, Sariska National Park is mainly famous for its Bengal Tigers that attract numerous wildlife enthusiasts throughout the year. Sprawling over 866 sq. km in the Aravali ranges, the Park is home to a rich variety of wildlife including but not limited to Wild Boar, Indian leopard, Chinkara, Indian jackal, Caracal, Jungle Cat, and Sambhar. The thick vegetation cover also offers ample opportunities for bird watching for it accommodates a wide array of bird species like white-throated kingfisher, Golden-backed woodpecker, Crested serpent eagle, Indian peafowl, among others. Overall, this wildlife refuge wrapped in pristine natural environment proves to an ideal maneuver in your trip to the region.
Having served as the royal hunting ground in medieval times, it also finds its mention in pre-historic Hindu mythological book of Mahabharata. It is due to its historical indulgences, that the region houses many historical forts and temples; the 16th century Kankwari Fort and Sariska Palace being the major heritage sites while Pandupol remains a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Kankwari Fort – Located inside Sariska National Reserve, this 16th Century fort was actually commissioned as a Feminine work by the ruler of Jaipur. The archaic structure has now been restored to bring out the signature architectural style of the region while the stark natural ambiance gives it a soothing feel.
- Sariska Palace – Located at the edge of Sariska National Reserve, this former hunting lodge of ruler of Alwar, is a fine instance of french architectural style that aptly reflect the regality and opulence of bygone era.
- Pandupol – Located Inside Sariska National Reserve, the temple of Hanuman- a Hindu deity, is believed to be prehistoric and remains a prominent pilgrimage site attracting a host of visitors throughout the year.
Home to internationally renowned Bengali Tigers, Sariska offers an opportunity to witness these fierce yet shy creatures head-on under the supervision of expert guides. Do not miss an adventurous jeep safari through the jungle to come across of host of other wildlife as well.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Alwar and Sariska basically has a steppe climate, i.e you get you find both the extremes in the region. The winters (December- February) have a rather pleasant weather with mercury ranging between 7 to 25 degree celsius, perfect for sightseeing during the day in mute sunlight, and cozying up in the chilly nights. The region also receives fairly weaker monsoons and hence the weather ends up being hot and humid, that too should be avoided. The summers (April- June) are specially hot with temperature shooting up to 41 degree celsius on a normal day while the minimum temperature hovers around 25 degree celsius in night. The tourists should generally avoid visiting during these months.
Sunglasses, Hat, Scarf, Sunscreen Lotion; being very dry and hot; sports shoes & binoculars for the safari. Keep your camera with some extra memory for the pictures. Also, Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day by having lot of water and the local favourite butter milk.
HOW TO REACH:-
- By Air – Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi) is the closest airport at 143 kms with frequent flights on major domestic and international routes. The other option is Jaipur International airport at 163 kms.
- By Rail – Alwar Railway Station has well connectivity to all major cities like Udaipur, Jaipur, Delhi, etc.
- By Road – Alwar is located on NH-8- one of the best highways in country, a part of golden quadrilateral. So, Alwar Bus Stand has regular buses plying for major cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, among others.