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Monday, March 10, 2008

Hadoti Circuit of Rajasthan

Hadoti Circuit of Rajasthan

Covers Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar, Baran, Badoli, Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary, Sitabari, Bhainsrodgarh, Buddhist Caves Stupas, Gagron Fort, Jhalarpatan, Ren Basera, Menal, Bijolia, Keshoraipatan...

Hadoti Circuit : The Hadoti region is a treasure house of ancient relics, waiting to be explored. Traced along the Chambal river, the area is sprinkled with prehistoric cave paintings, beautifully carved temples and formidable forts.

The little town of Bundi nestles in a picturesque valley.

Isolated and independent, the township is like a miniature painting, frozen in stone through the ages. The Bundi palace is one of the finest examples of Rajput architecture. Intricate carving and amazing frescoes lend the palace an irresistible charm. Taragarh Chitrasala, Sukh Mahal and Shikar Burj are definitely places worth a visit. The elaborate step-wells of Bundi also are very well known.

Kota is fascinating blend of medieval grandeur and modern industrialization. The fort, overlooking the Chambal river and housing a museum, has elaborately painted chambers and is a prime attraction. Jag Mandir, Brij Vilas Palace, Umed Bahwan Palace and Brij Raj Bhawan are other prominent edifices of the 18th & 19th century.

Sheetleshwar Mahadev Chandrabhaga, Jhalarpatan

84 Pillared Cenotaph, Bundi

Sukh Mahal, Bundi

Fort, Kota

Kota, with its irrigation and hydel electricity projects, atomic power stations and a host of other industrial units has now transformed itself into the industrial capital of Rajasthan.

Jag Mandir Kota

Jhalawar, the lend of the Jhalas, was created in 1838. A culturally rich area, its surroundings are dense forests and exotic wildlife. Situated on the edge of the Malwa plateau, it excels in the cultivation of citrus fruits and red poppy. A large fort located in the centre of the city now houses district offices. So,e portions of the fort have beautiful paintings and exquisite mirror work. Other places of interest are the Sun temple and the Chandrabhaga group of temples at Jhalarpatan and the magnificent Gagron fort.


Jag Mandir, Kota


Air: Jaipur 206 kms. is the nearest airport.

Rail: Kota 36 kms. is the most convenient rail head.

Road: Good road connection link Bundi with all important places. National Highway No.12 passes through the town.



LOCATION: Keshoraipatan was called ' Patan' in the ancient times and it was ruled by king Ranti Dev. Keshoraipatan is one of the oldest cities whose past can be traced to ancient times when it was a religious centre. The city witnessed many ups and downs and its archaeological remains reflect its past glory. In "Chhatrasal's Charitra" a book written by Vishwanath, it has been mentioned that Keshoraipatan was a place known as 'Jambu Marg Dham'. This name is also found in Harivansh Purana and Vayu Purana .

MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Keshoraipatan is famous for its temple known by the same name. It was renovated by Rao Raja Chhatrasala (1631-1658) of Bundi. The temple stands beautifully on the plains against the backdrop of clear blue sky, amid a sylvan setting with the river Chambal flowing silently nearby. It is so perfect in its design and construction that the temple remains safe even during the monsoons, when the Chambal is in spate.

Palace & City, Bundi

Keshavraiji Temple, Keshoraipatan

Temple Complex, Menal

Keshoraipatan becomes a 'mini-Pushkar' on the night of the full moon in the month of Kartika. Early in the morning, the banks of the river Chambal witness a colourful scene of men and women, clad in fantastic costumes mirrored in the crystal clear waters of the river 'Charmanyavati' or Chambal. Women float lighted diyas (lamps prepared by them from flour dough), into the river and seek boons.

The temple and the scenic beauty arrest the attention of visitors and speak of its grandeur and glory in silence.


Shivaji Temple, Bijolia 50 kms. on the Bundi-Chittaurgarh road, in Bhilwara district, is the old fort and city of Bijolia. In ancient times it was known as Vindhyavali. During the Chauhan period, it became a famous centre for art and architecture. Several beautiful Shiva temples were constructed by the Chauhan rulers on this place. Most of the temples have either disappeared or are in ruins today. On the eastern side of the town near the city wall, there are three beautiful temples. Prominent amongst them is Hajaresvara Mahadeva temple. It has a high linga surrounded by hundreds of small lingas and hence called Hajaresvara or Sahastralinga. The temples of Mahakala and Baijnath are also well known. The temple of Undeshwar Mahadeva is also well known. Near by Mandakini Kund is a holy water tank. Bijolia inscription dating back V.E. 1226 is very important because it through a new light on the early history of the Chauhan dynasty.


70 kms. on the road from Chittaurgarh to Bundi lies Menal, in the district of Chittaurgarh. A place full of natural beauty, Menal is famous for its ancient Shiva temples, picturesque water falls and dense forests. The word Menal is derived from mahanal, a great chasm or cleft. Menal was a centre of art and architecture during the Chauhan period. Chauhan rulers of this region were followers of Shaivism and because of their patronage Menal became a great centre of Shaivism. The magnificent temple of Mahanaldev, named after this place was built in or around 10th or 11th century A.D. and is famous for its architecture. Menal is mentioned as a place of pilgrimage in the Bijolia rock inscription dating V.S. 1226 (1170 A.D.) After the region of Chauhans. Menal came under the Guhilas of Mewar.



Air: Nearest airport is Jaipur - 325 kms.

Rail : Disembark at Kota, then proceed to Jhalawar by taxi or bus (87 kms.)

Road: Situated on National Highway No.12. Some important distances are Jaipur 335 kms., Ajmer 292 kms., Kota 87 kms., Bundi 123 kms., Delhi 590 kms., Bhopal 265 kms.

LOCATIONS: Jhalawar or the land of the 'Jhalas' is situated in the south-eastern region of Rajasthan. Jhalawar district is known for the Chandrabhaga fair, celebrated every year in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov) on the banks of the Chandrabhaga river. An air of celebration pervades the whole area not thousands of people take a holy dip in the river on Kartik Purnima (full moon). Traders from as far as Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra assemble here and brisk trading takes place. The fair provides ample opportunities to the tourists to acquaint themselves with the people of this region, their culture and traditions.


One gets to see prehistoric cave paintings, formidable forts, forests and exotic wild life. Jhalawar is also a heaven for numerous species of birds. The red poppy fields (wherever permitted) add a special colour to the countryside while the orange-laden-orchards are a rich and delightful sight to behold.

Ren Basera Cottage, Jhalawar

Sun Temple, Jhalarpatan

Natyashala, Jhalawar


6 kms. further away is a beautiful wooden cottage, located on the banks of the Kishan Sagar, to the west of the Jhalawar. The most interesting fact is that it was originally built by the forest Research Institute, Dehradun and was put on view at an exhibition in Lucknow in 1936. The Maharaja took a fancy to it, brought it, had a dismantled, transported and erected at the present site.


Another 6 kms. away, Jhalarpatan, 'the city of bells', is quite unique. It was believed to have been built basically to protect the trade caravans as Patan happened to be a junction of caravan routes. The pride of Jhalarpatan is the 10th century Surya (Sun) temple (Padam Nath Temple). The idol of Surya and the lovely sculptures on this massive temple are impressive. The 11th century Shantinath Jain temple is known for its fine murals and sculptural richness.Jhalarpatan is famous for the ruins of beautiful temples, artistic creations, exquisite sculptures and other elegant specimens of architecture. A magnificent 10th century Sun Temple (Padam Nath Temple) is the major attraction of the city. The idol of surya and some splendid sculptures are very impressive. The 11th century Shantinath Jain temple is also famous for its fine murals and artistic richness.


This impregnable fort was the capital of Khichi Chauhans and has a glorious history of valour and sacrifice.the foundation of this magnificent fort was laid in or around 7th or 8th century A.D. It is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Ahu and Kali Sindh rivers and is and ideal example of a Jaldurg. Outside the fort is the mausoleum of a Sufi saint, Mitte Shah where a fair is held every year during the Islamic month of Ramzan.


About 95 kms away, the ancient Buddhist caves, located in and around village of Kolvi are of great importance. A colossal figure of Buddha and the carved Stupas are some of the highlights of these caves.

Gagron Fort, Jhalawar Kolvi Caves, Jhalawar Kolvi Caves, Jhalawar



Kota Palace, Kota Air: Jaipur 245 kms is the most convenient airport to Kota.

Rail: Lying on the Delhi-Mumbai route, Kota is will served by regular and fast rail services.

Road: A good network of road connections including National Highway No. 12 links Kota with many important cities in and outside the state. Some notable distances are : Udaipur, 270 kms; Bundi 40 kms; Delhi 504 kms; Ahmedabad, 522 kms & Jaipur 245 kms.



LOCATION: Bhainsrodgarh, in Chittaurgarh district, is picturesquely situated on the confluence of the Bamany and Chambal rivers, around 110 kms east of Chittaurgarh.

HISTORY: Not much is known of history of Bhainsrodgarh. According to Col. Td, the place derived its name from a merchant called Bhainsa called Roda and the fort was built to protect caravans during that period. Others say that the village and fort were constructed by named after a mahajan (money lender) called Bhainsa Shah, Probably a servant of the Chauhan Kings. Who ruled over Sambhar and Ajmer .

MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Amongst the various places of interest there is a ruined fort situated on a steep cliff. It overlooks the sole passage which stretches for many a mile across the Chambal.

Ghateshwar Temple, Badoli

Ornate Carvings at Lakulish Temple, Jhalarpatan

Porch of Ghateshwar Temple, Badoli

Another picturesque spot is a magnificent waterfall of the river Chambal, about 60 ft. in height. It is located in Chulia village.

Apart from these, there are various old Hindu temples. Amongst these, the temple called Ghateshwar Shivalaya, dedicated to Lord Shiva, indeed a remarkable one. The temple which, resembles in form the contemporary temples of Orissa, was built by the ruler of Bhainsrodgarh named Huna. It has a plain base, ornamented only with three great niches filled with sculptured groups of considerable merit, all referring to the worship of Shiva. The spire of the temple rises to a height of 18 mts. from the ground and is most elaborately carved. The temple has an elegantly designed pillared portico and is sculptured with images of passionate lovers. The design and construction of the roof of the temple is a beautiful specimen of Hindu architecture.

Besides this, the other objects of interest include a detached porch called the Singar Cahori or Nupital hall of Raja Hun, the shrines of Ganesh , Asht Mata Trimurty, Narad and two pillars.


Exquisite Carving at Badoli Temple 48 kms. on the way to Pratap Sagar dam lies one of the oldest and most spectacular temple complexes in Rajasthan, going back to the 9th century A.D. It was built a little before the classical period of temple building. The principal temple is of Ghateshwar Mahadeva. It is protected by a walled by a enclosure where one comes across archaeological remains, sculptures, carved ornamented pillars, etc. The craftsmanship seen here is stunning. The carvings and the figure of Shiva as the cosmic dancer, Nataraja, on the door of the sanctum are bewitching. There are also many other interesting shrines in the vicinity.


A thickly wooded forest, along the south-eastern border of Kota, adjacent to the mountain range, is the former royal hunting reserve. It has been converted into a wildlife sanctuary where panthers, spotted deer, wild boar, and bear live without any threat to their lives.


120 kms. away and situated near the village of Kelwara in Baran district, Sitabari is a beautiful picnic spot. The old temples of Sita and Laxman besides seven water tanks are worth a visit. Every year a tribal fair is held in the months of May / June.

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