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Shekhawati Circuit of Rajasthan
Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Udaipurwati, Fatehpur, Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Harsha and Khatu Shyamji...
SHEKHAWATI . . .
Shekhawati Circuit A large area in north - eastern Rajasthan, lying between Bikaner, Jaipur and Delhi and comprising Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts, Shekhawati adorns the international tourist map due to the exquisite frescoes that decorate the walls and ceilings of the buildings. This region accounts for such a large number of frescoes that is often referred to as an open air museum. These frescoes often depict many mythological tales, especially themes taken from Lord Krishna's life. The towns of Lachhmangarh, Chirawa, Mukundgarh, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Dundlod, Nawalgarh, Mandawa, Khetri, Pilani, Alsisar, Bissau, Maisisar, Salasar, Churi, Ajitgarh and Mahansar are the main places of tourist interest.
LESSER - KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND SIKAR
LOCATION: Khatu Shyamji is a village situated in the Danta Ramgarh tehsil of Sikar district. It is 16 kms. From Reengus and 25kms. From Danta Ramgarh.
HISTORY: Khatu is famous for its Shyamji (Krishna) temple and has hence got the name Khatu Shyamji.
Shakambhari Mata, Udaipurwati
Heritage Hotel, Mandawa Castle
Khatu Shyamji Temple
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The place is famous for fairs held in the month of Phagun and Kartik which attract crowds in thousands.
There is a Shyamji temple, Shyam Kund and an attractive Shyam garden which are worth visiting.
Sikraimata is one of the prominent pilgrim centers of Shekhawati. The place is famous for a beautiful and sacred temple of Sikraimata . Built in the 7th or 8th century and surrounded by hills on three sides, the location is an ideal tourist spot.
Frescoed wall in a room with Golden work Fatehpur
Double storied monument, Shekhawati
Jeen Mata is another famous pilgrim center of this region. This place is 29 kms. From Sikar off the Bikaner - Jaipur National Highway. Jeen and Harsha are mentioned as sister and brother in the folk literature and stories of their mutual affection and affection and sacrifice are very popular in the Shekhawati region. Lakh of devotees congregate here every year in April- May (Chaitra Navaratra) during the Jeen Mata fair.
Lohargal is also a place of tourist interest because of its natural beauty. This place is associated with Bhim, one of the heroes of the great epic, 'Mahabharat'.
Arch with golden work, Fatehpur
Harsha Temple, Sikar
Bird's eye view of a tank, Lohargarh
LOCATION: Harsha is an ancient village at the base of a hill on which Harshanatha and other temples are located in Sikar district situated around 14 kms, from Sikar town.
HISTORY: According to legend, Lord Shiva had taken birth here under the name of Harshanath to bring an end to the tyranny of a monster (demon) named Tripur. In ancient times the place was known as Harsha Nagar.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Harsha is known for its famous Shiva Temple dating back to the Chauhan period. There is 10 km, long road which leads one to the mountain, from where one can behold the natural beauty of the villages below.
Entrance Gate, Mandawa
There are several temples at Harsha, chief among them being the Harsha temple. From the inscription found at the sanctum of the temple, it is evident that it was built by the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer, Vigrahraj and several changes were made in the temple with the passage of time. Although the temple is now in ruins, one can easily make out that it was once quite unique. Close to this old Shiva temple is a new Shiva temple which was constructed by Rao Raja Shiv Singh. At the southern side of the temple there is a huge Shivlinga made of white marble. Besides this there are many beautiful statues of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
LOCATION: Jhunjhunu is a prominent town of Shekhawati region and is a district headquarter. It is well connected by rail and road.
HISTORY: Some of the prominent places of interest in Jhunjhunu are Badalgarh, Khetri Mahal, Behari temple (old paintings), Qamruddin Shah Ki Darghah, Mertani Baori, Laxminath temple, Khetan haveli, Ishwardas Mohandas haveli, Narsinghdas Tibrewal haveli, Birdhi Chand well and Ajeet Sagar. It is also famous for colourful wall paintings.
Frescoes of Mandawa
LESSER - KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND JHUNJHUNU
LOCATION: Mandawa is a municipal town in Jhunjhunu district.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The medieval fort of Mandawa gradually rises on the horizon like a mirage. A painted arched gateway adorned with Lord Krishna and his cows leads to the bazaar. A fine view of the town can be seen from the terrace of the castle of Mandawa. Notable among the havelis are Chokhani , Saraf, Goenka and Ladia havelis.
Fatehpur is a historic town which was once ruled by the Muslim Nawabs. It is a treasure-trove of beautiful frescoes. The frescoes on the Devra and Singhania havelis are an outstanding combination of Indian and Western styles.
Founded by Nawal Singh of the Shekhawat clan, this is the town where the finest of Shekhawati's frescoes can be seen. Its havelis bear witness to the rich and prosperous Marwari era of the 19th century. Nawalgarh has hundreds of painted havelis and a fine clock tower of British period.
Poddar Haweli, Nawalgarh
Painted Haveli, Fatehpur
Golden Room, Fatehpur
Vagad Circuit of Rajasthan
Covers Dungarpur, Banswara, Beneshwar, Galiyakot, Arthuna and Talwara...
Vagad Circuit : The Vagad region is the home of the Bhils, a tribe inhabiting the region. Owing to slightly difficult accessibility, the region has been able to preserve its natural beauty and cultural identity.
Dungarpur is located near the Gujarat border. It was founded by Raja Dungar Singh in the early 13th century. the Juna Palace, Udai Bilas Palace and Udai Sagar are the main attraction of Dungarpur.
The Beneshwar fair held in January February every year is a religi ous festival and is an event of great importance in this area.
Banswara is surrounded by Udaipur and Chittaurgarh district in the north and north - east. The district comprises the territories of the former Banswara and Kushalgarh States.
Maharawal Jagamal Singh was the founder of the erstwhile princely state. The name Banswara has been derived from 'bans' or bamboo trees which once grew in abundance. The area is inhabited mainly by the Bhil tribals. Banswara is also known for the Mahi Bajaj Sagar Project and for the dams and canals situated at beautiful sites.
LOCATION: Dungarpur is situated the Udaipur - Himmatnagar section of the Western Railway. It is well connected by the road with Udaipur.
HISTORY: Dungarpur was founded in 1358 A.D.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: Dungarpur is a picturesque town surrounded by hills on three sides. It projects a scenic beauty, especially during the rainy season. Udai Bilas Palace which is built by the side of a lake is famous for its fine architecture and carvings. Juna Mahal is a treasure house of miniature paintings, frescoes, glass and mirror work.
Ornate Frescoes, Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur Fateh Prakash, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur Shiva Temple, Beneshwar
There are a number of old temples in and around Dungarpur. About 24 kms. from here is a temple on the banks of the River Som. The temple is known as Dev Somnath and is an excellent specimen of Indian temple architecture. It is protected monument, under the management of Archaeological Survey of India.
The local artisans here prepare beautiful carved, exquisite idols from green stone.
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND DUNGARPUR
LOCATION: Beneshwar is situated 24 kms. from Aspur in the district of Dungarpur.
HISTORY: The name Beneshwar has been derived from the most reserved Shivlinga of the area.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: there are various temples in Beneshwar dedicated to Hindu deities. Beneshwar is best visited between the months of January - February, when a tribel fair of the Bhils is held at the confluence of Mahi, Jakham and Som rivers. During the fair, magic shows, aerobatics and a sale of traditional weapons add spice to the ambience.
Galiyakot was once associated with the Parmar rulers of the region. The village owes its importance to the shrine of Sayyed Fakhruddin.
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND BANSWARA
LOCATION: Arthuna is located 55 kms. from Banswara and is known for its antiquity. It was once the capital of Parmaras of Vagad.
HISTORY: The area adjoining Arthuna around Lankiya village has remains of Shaivite temples. Some of the idols found here bear inscriptions dating back to v.s. 1173 and 1194. Among the dilapidated ruins is a beautifully carved conjugated statue of Shiv, Ganesh and Parvati.
The statue is considered to be a marvellous piece of Indian sculpture. Another idol found is that of Lord Hanuman seen in a very unusual posture.
In and around the village of Arthuna, clusters of ruined Hindu and Jain temples of the 11th, 12th and 15th century still exist. Temple Mandanesh or Mandleshwar (built in 1080 A.D. by Chamunda Raja Parmara and named after his father, Mandan Deva), bears several inscriptions that speak of the past glory of Arthuna.
Talwara is famous for its ancient temples and the ruins of some old monuments. Laxmi Narain temple, Gokarneshwar Mahadeva and Sambhav Nath Jain temple are the main places of tourist interest.
Covers Pali, Sirohi, Jalore, Mount Abu, Ranakpur, Bali and Sojat...
Godwad Circuit Located between extreme contrasts: the old Aravalis on one side and semi-arid plains on the other, Godwad region is largely an unexplored area on the south - western borders of Rajasthan. Mount Abu, the only hill station of Rajasthan is located here. Rich in vegetation and natural beauty, Mt. Abu is a popular holiday and honeymoon resort.
The Delwara Jain temples are a unique and outstanding example of Jain temple architecture. Built between 11th and 13th century A.D., these temples are famous for their exquisite carvings in marble. Oldest among these temples is the Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath. Achalgarh fort built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar in the 14th century on the ruins of an ancient fort which belonged to the Parmar rulers is a place of tourist interest. Some beautiful temples situated in this area are Achaleshwar Mahadev and Shantinath Jain temple.
Pali is an ancient town of archaeological importance. Its old name was Pallika. It was a trade center and therefore developed into a thickly populated town. Paliwals both among the Jain and Brahmins originated from this town.
Intricately designed ceilling, Delwara Jain Temple, Mount Abu A view insid Delwara Jain Temple, Mount Abu Chaumukha Temple, Ranakpur
Jalore was also known as Jabalipur in ancient times. It has also been called Swarngiri after the name of a hill. In the ancient and medieval times it was a flourishing town adorned with temples and beautiful buildings. Jalore has a long glorious history of chivalry and sacrifice. It is famous for the impregnable fort built by the Parmar rulers.
LOCATION: Pali is a railway station situated on the banks of the Bandi river on the Jodhpur - Marwar track of Northern Railway.
HISTORY: In the late medieval times Pali was an important trade center. Good from China and the Middle East were exchanged here. The place has also been famous for its dyeing and printing of woolen, silk and cotton cloth.
LESSER KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND PALI
HISTORY: The town is situated on the left bank of the Mitri river. This walled town was the headquarters of a district having the same name in the erstwhile state of Jodhpur.
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: There are various beautifully carved temples within the town. Prominent among these are the temples of Manmohan Parsavnathji, Chandraprabhuji, Vimalnathji, Dharmnathji, Charbhujaji, Mataji, Hanumanji and Thakurji. The old fort of Bali is also worth seeing.
12 kms. South - west of Bali is a village named Beejapur in proximity to which his a site where remains of an ancient city called Hathundi or Hastikundi have been excavated.
LOCATION: Sojat is situated on the left bank of the Sukri river at a distance of 110 kms. From Jodhpur. The old name of this place was 'Sudhadanti'.
HISTORY: Sojat is an ancient town and has a chequered history. The Sojat fort had a number of onslaughts and changed hands over the centuries. Initially it belonged to the Hada Rajputs. According to the Khyats, it passed in to the hands of the Songaras until the Sindhalas occupied it, after which it finally passed in to the hands of Rao Ranmal .
Sojat was known for the manufacture of cutlery, daggers, swords, bridles and saddlery, and is also famous for the cultivation of henna.
Pali Sojat Fort
MAIN ATTRACTIONS: The town has a big reservoir and several old temples and a dargah of Pir Mastan. However the place is more prominently known for its famous fort, namely Sojat fort. This fort is situated on a hill called Nani Sirari. It was rebuilt by Nimba, son of Rao Jodha, around 1460 A.D. The fort is surrounded by a high and massive rampart wall. A small ascent leads to the main gate of the fort, made from two huge semicircular bastions, joined by a portal and a gate cut through them. Upon entering the gate one finds gaping ruins. The ruins reveals a women's apartment and a temple and mosque lying in ruins side by side, echoing the presence of communal harmony.
LOCATION: Sirohi is a district, situated in the south - west of Rajasthan. It is surrounded in the north - east by Pali, on the east by Udaipur on the south by Banaskantha (in Gujarat), and on the west and north - west by Jalore.
HISTORY: It is popularly believed that Sirohi has derived its name from the 'Siranwa' hill, on the western slope of which it stands. Sirohi also means 'sword' and it has led some people to believe that this state of brave Deora Chauhans received its swords. In Puranic traditions, this area has always been referred to. In 1405, Rao Shobhaji, sixth in descent from Rao Deoraj, the progenitor of the Deora clan of Chauhans, built the town of Sirohi, situated in a day of the hills. His son and successor, Rao Sahas Mal, built the new city on a healthier site, on the western slopes of the Siranwa hills, which was also called 'Sinchi'.
LOCATION: Jalore is located on the left bank of the Sukri river.
HISTORY: In the ancient-medieval times Jalore was known as Jabalipur. The city is also referred to as Suvarnagiri after the name of the hill at the foot of which it is situated.
Jalore was a flourishing town in the 8th century A.D. It was ruled by Pratihar kings and consisted of beautiful temples and residential houses. The fort and the places passed into many hands before finally falling into the hands of the rulers of the Marwar. During those times the hindu rulers were great patrons of art and culture. Two of the greatest poetic works in any Indian language, namely, 'Kuvalayamal' and 'Kanhad Dev Prabandh' were composed in Jalore.
MAIN ATTRACTION: Jalore is famous for its fort built by the Parmaras, probably in the 10th century. The places here are simple, without any superfluous embellishment. The fort of Jalore has a proud past aptly expressed in this famous couplet -
"let the sky be torn,
the earth turned upside down,
let the iron armour be cut to pieces,
body fighting alone,
but Jalore still would not surrender. "
Jalore Fort Arched Gate
The fort has four gigantic gates but it is approachable only from one side, after a two mile long serpentine ascent. The fort is built on the lines of traditional Hindu architecture. The enclosure is spacious with the mosque of saint Malik Shah, said to be built by Alauddin Khilji, in the centre.
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
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
HOW TO GET TO BUNDI
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.
LESSER - KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND
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.
HOW TO GET TO JHALAWAR
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
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.
BUDDHIST CAVES AND STUPAS
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
HOW TO GET TO KOTA
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.
LESSER - KNOWN DESTINATIONS AROUND KOTA
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.
DARRAH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
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.