State : Rajasthan
Bharatpur is a city in Rajasthan state of India. It was founded
by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733. Located in Mewat region, Bharatpur
was once an impregnable, well-fortified city, and the capital of
a kingdom ruled by Jat maharajas. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and
Dholpur has played an important part in the Jat history of Rajasthan.
Located 50 km west of the city of Agra (the city of the Taj Mahal),
it is also the administrative headquarters of Bharatpur District.
The young Maharaja of Bharatpur Jaswunt Singh, aged about eleven,
in his durbar or court in 1862. The young prince sits in the centre
of his guddee or royal seat, which is of velvet richly embroidered
with gold. Behind him are four servants, two of whom hold merchauls
of peacocks' feathers, and the chouree of yak's tail hair.In two
rows on either side of the Rajah, the nobles and sirdars of the
state are seated, who may be relatives, or officers in various parts
of the state services.The town was named Bharatpur after Bharata,
a brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman is the family
deity of the erstwhile royal family of Bharatpur. The name 'Laxman'
was engraved on the arms, seals and other emblems of the state.
The city and the fort of Bharatpur have been believed to be founded
by Rustam, a Jat
chieftain belonging to the Sogariya clan. With the decline of the
mughal empire in the early 17th century, the Jats established a
state in the Mewat region south of Delhi, with its capital at Deeg.
Leaders like Gokula, Raja Ram, Churaman and Badan Singh brought
the Jats together and moulded them into a force to be reckoned with.
Maharaja Suraj Mal was the state's greatest ruler; he made the state
a formidable force in the region. Suraj Mal took over the site of
Bharatpur from Khemkaran, a son of Rustam, and established it as
the capital of his state. He fortified the city by building a massive
wall around it. During the British Raj, the state covered an area
of 5,123 km².; its rulers enjoyed a salute of 17 guns. The
state acceded unto the dominion of India in 1947. It was merged
with three nearby princely states to form the 'Matsya Union', which
in turn was merged with other adjoining territories to create the
present-day state of Rajasthan.
Place to See
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Just outside Bharatpur lies this small, but amazingly rich bird
sanctuary, considered to be one of the world's outstanding heronries.
Perhaps no other bird sanctuary in the world offers so many different
species within so small a compass, creating a uniquely rewarding
bird watching experience. The park originally called Ghana meaning
"dense" takes its name from the ancient temple of Keoladeo,
or Lord Shiva that you will find inside it. The new ecosystem that
emerged became an ideal habitat for birds of all kinds.
The massive iron structure built in the early 18th century. With
its impregnable defences it sustained itself even after a number
of British attacks. The fort was conceived and designed by Maharaja
Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. The fort has three palaces
within its precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas.
A rich collection of artefacts exquisitely carved sculptures and
ancient inscriptions can be admired in the Government Museum located
in the palace. All these items speak volumes about the rich heritage,
art and crafts of the region.
Once the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur, it served as
the second capital of the region. This interesting town is strewn
with massive fortifications , stunningly beautiful gardens, magnificent
palaces and a colourful bazaar.
Built by various Maharajas, the royal monument is a brilliant blend
of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The magnificient apartments within
have patterend floors tiles with exquisite intricate designs. The
main central wing houses the museum which has a rich collection
of beautiful sculptures, ancient inscriptions and other exhibits
which reflect the art and skill of the region.
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj
A few of the eight imposing towers still stand erect within the
glorious ramparts of the fort. Especially two of them - Jawahar
Burj and Fateh Burj are of special interest. These were built by
Maharaja Suraj Mal to commemorate his victories over the Mughals
and British respectively. The coronation ceremony of the Jat rulers
of Bharatpur was also held at the Jawahar Burj.
Fairs & Festivals
Brij Festival (Feb - March)
Bharatpur lies close to the Brij - the birth place of Lord Krishna
and childhood. Ras Leela depicting the life of Krishna is performed
by the professionals selected by the Rai community during the festival.
Gangaur Festival (March-April)
Festival of maidens and married women, dedicated to Gauri, the incarnation
of Goddess Parvati. A gracious procession is taken out, married
women pray for the prosperity and long life of their husbands, while
young girls seek blessings for a good life partner.
How To Reach
: Agra 56 km is the nearest airport.
: Bharatpur is on the main Delhi - Bombay
line with regular connections to Mathura, Sawai Madhopur and Kota
on the same route. It is also connected with Agra.
: A network of bus services links bharatprur
with several cities within and outside the State.