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Bharatpur is often stated as the Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan and this city was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mall in the year 1733. Bharatpur is a lesser known city comparing with the major cities of Rajasthan interesting and is known as one of the cities which are also rich in religious sites and especially is a home to the World Heritage National Park. According to the history of Bharatpur, the city is remembered for the Jat rulers and the Mughal kings who spend eras in this city and left many examples of architectural beauties through many temples and forts.
The history of Bharatpur dates back to 5th century BC, when the Matsya kingdom flourished here. The Matsyas were allies of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war. Legends say that the origin of the name Bharatpur is traced to Bharat, younger brother of Lord Ram. Laxman, the other brother, was given the most prestigious position as that of the family deity of the ruling family of Bharatpur. His name also appears in the state seals and coat-of-arms.
The saga of Bharatpur history says that the city is named after Bharat who was Lord Rama's brother it used to be an unconquerable kingdom. The main attraction of the Bharatpur city is the huge Iron Fort which is popularly called as Lohagarh Fort which is grandeur and it is true to its name, as the fort survived a number of British attacks. There are many ancient buildings that depict the history of Bharatpur presenting the best zenith of the Rajput and Mughal lifestyles.
Bharatpur was ruled by the kings who belonged from Sinsinwar Dynasty and this was an indo-Scythian community that migrated to India during the era of AD100. The city was also ruled by the Jats and before that many notorious groups disturbed the city and even tried to demolish the grave of Akbar which is located in Sikandra as it was again cremated by the Hindus as per their tradition. During the 10th century, the Yadav clan governed Dhaulpur, which had been ruled by the Rajputs earlier and was gifted by the Gohads during a contract between the Marathas and the British.
Dhaulpur was taken over by Sikandar Lodhi in 1501 and thereafter handed over to a Muslim governor in the year 1504. Dhaulpur fort was reined to Babur in 1527 and sustained under Mughal rulers till1707. After the demise of the last Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Raja Kalyan Singh Bhadauria took over the control of Dhaulpur, and his family made it as their official residence till 1761.
According to Bharatpur History, in 1775 Dhaulpur came under rule of the Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur; with the help of Mirza Najaf Khan; along with the Scindia ruler of Gwalior and then it was taken into rule by these kings and was controlled by the British Raj too.
Bharatpur was controlled by many Maharajas and they were some Jats and Rajputs since Gokula and Raja Bachho Singh. Then it was followed by Raja Ram, Churaman , Maharaja Suraj Mal, Maharaja ,Kishan Singh, and Maharaja Bijendra Singh till the independence of India till 1947.
There are most attractive places of Bharatpur are being described below:
Bharatpur National Park is one of the historical as well as one of the national park in Rajasthan. . The place was a royal hunting spot for thee then Maharajas and later for the British generals. Bharatpur National Park is an artificial wetland which was used as a hunting ground by the royals. The park gets its name, Keoladeo from Keoladeo Temple located inside the boundary. It comprises of woodlands, swamps, wetlands, dry grasslands and others. Apart from the 350+ local species, you can find thousands of migration birds that visit during winter.
Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, the Keoladeo National Park is recognised as one of the world's most important bird breeding and feeding grounds. It originated in as a royal hunting reserve during the 1850s and was a game reserve for Maharajas and the British. In fact, Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943, shot over thousands of ducks with his hunting party in a single day! In 1982, Keoladeo was declared a national park and then later listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. The park is home to over 370 species of birds and animals such as the basking python, painted storks, deer, nilgai and more. Noted Indian ornithologist and naturalist Salim Ali used his influence to garner government support to create Keoladeo National Park. It was also known as the breeding ground for the rare and elusive to spot Siberian crane. Keoladeo National Park offers well-defined treks which can be covered on either foot, or cycle or rickshaws. In fact, the park management has trained the rickshaw pullers in bird watching and they make for extremely knowledgeable guides.
One of the most beautiful temples of Bharatpur, Ganga Maharani Temple was built back in 1845 by the ruler of the city, was located at center of city. Maharaja Balwant Singh. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The temple has a huge idol of Goddess Ganga with a large image of a crocodile. Holy Ganga Water is distributed to all the devotees as Prasad. The temple is known to signify the purity and holiness of Maa Ganga.
The temple has two entrance gates, while Lord Krishna stands holding the mountain of Giri Raj on one side; there are statues of Laxmi Narayan ji and Shiva Parvati on the other gate. The temple is considered immensely sacred and people from all over the country visit the temple to seek the blessings of Maa Ganga.
The temple is remarkable for its beautiful architecture. Ganga Maharani Temple features a unique mix of South Indian, Mughal and Rajputana form of architecture. The walls and pillars of the temple are decorated with beautiful carvings.
The temple is mostly visited during the time of festivals like Gangashaptami and Ganga Dusshera. During this time, the temple is decorated with beautiful lights which make it more colorful and alluring.
Built in the early 18th century by Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal, Lohagarh Fort Bharatapur ranks as one of the most beautiful Forts and Palaces in Rajasthan India. Due to its unassailable defenses, the fort came to be known by the name of Lohagarh (Iron Fort). Lohagarh is a monument worth visit while on tour to Rajasthan. The fort stands proudly, as a living testimony to the chivalry and courage of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur.
Situated at Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India - Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur was built in the early 18th century by Maharaja Suraj Mal - the founder of Bharatpur. History mentions that Suraj Mal used all his power and wealth to erect various forts and palaces across his kingdom, Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur in Rajasthan being one of them. One of the strongest forts ever built in India, Lohagarh withstood repeated attacks from the British forces led by Lord Lake in 1805, when they laid siege at Bharatpur for over six weeks.
Unlike the other forts in Rajasthan, Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur has almost no flamboyance associated with it; instead, the fort generates an aura of unassailable strength and magnificence. Maharaja Suraj Mal built two towers within the ramparts of the fort - the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj, to celebrate his victories over the Mughals and the British.
Lohagarh Fort in Rajasthan India was surrounded and protected by deep moats, and there is a legend associated with the moats, stating that the fort would fall only when a crocodile swallowed up all the water of the moats. It is believed that the gate of Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur originally belonged to the fort of Chittorgarh, but was carried away by Sultan Alauddin Khilji of Delhi. Towards the end of the 17th century, the gate was brought back by the victorious Jat armies from Delhi to Bharatpur. Of the two gates in the fort, one in the north is known as Ashtdhaatu (eight metalled) gate while the one facing the south is called Chowburja (four-pillared) gate.
It is very different from the other forts in Rajasthan state, there is no flamboyance associated to fort but it generates an aura of strength and magnificence.
Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur or the Iron Fort is one of the finest architectural monuments in Rajasthan India. Of the two gates in the Fort, the one in the north is called Ashtdhaatu (eight metalled) gate and the gate facing the south is known as Chowburja (four-pillared) gate. The Ashtdhaatu gateway is adorned with paintings of huge elephants. Some fascinating monuments within the Lohagarh Fort Bharatpur include Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kothi Khas. One of the strongest fors in Rajasthan, Lohagarh was able to successfully thwart many a British attack.