Bharatpur - The 'Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan', was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, it was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. The place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur. The legends say the rulers Laxman's name is engraved on the state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Suraj Mal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam, and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.
Places to Visit in Bharatpur
It is a fine blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, built in various phases by different Maharajas. The magnificent apartments are richly decorated with patterned floor tiles with exquisite intricate designs. The museum occupies the main central wing depicting collections dating back to 2nd century, which reflect the art and skill of the region.
The Lohagarh Fort
The Lohagarh Fort,or the Iron Fort, true to its name stood solidly in front of many British attacks, and frustrated them to ends. It faced the British onslaught four times and after a long siege they had to withdraw, but Lord Lake, however was successful in capturing it in 1804. It is very different from the other forts in state, there is no flamboyance associated to fort but it generates an aura of strength and magnificence. The fort is surrounded with moat which was previously filled with water to ward off the enemy attacks. The sandy ramparts were strengthened by sandy battlements, thus the enemy guns proved of no avail.
Some interesting monuments in the fort are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Moti Mahal and towers like Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj were erected to commemorate the victory over the Mughals and the British army. The Gateway has paintings of huge elephants.
Keoladeo National Park
Keoladeo National Park, is a paradise for bird watchers. The geographical location is ideal as it is on the main North-South avian route of India. It boasts of more than 375 species of beautiful birds. The Kingfishers, Pelicans, Siberian cranes, open billed storks, painted storks, egrets, ibises, cormorants, darters or snake birds, spoonbills, grey herons are some of the species observed.