Rajasthan, the name is enough for introducing this as a place for kings. The Mahal, architecture, royalty and the grandeur are full of splendid stories here. There are many places already famous among travellers like Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Ajmer. Leaving all the main attraction we planned for a weekend trip to the city of Alwar.
Alwar, the NCR, is a small town and entry gate to the world of Palaces. Surrounded by the Aravali range, Alwar is a picturesque paradise with profound natural beauty. Alwar is among one of the oldest kingdoms and also has some mythological connects. This place was known as Matsya Desh, where Pandavas spent there 12 years of exile. There are places here like Pandupol and Ram Mandir which are related to some Mahabharat facts.
This place is also home to the historical places like City Palace, Bala Qila, Tomb of Fateh Jung, Purjan Vihar, and Vijay Mandir Palace. In addition to that, places like Sariska tiger reserve, Naldeshwar, Pandupol and Siliserh are surrounding this city. Alwar is also a destination for pilgrimage tour as there are many temples in the city like Tijara Jain Temple, Neelkanth Temple, Bhartrihari Temple, and Karani Mata Temple.
Let me take to you to our 2 days trip to this amazing place. Our trip started from Delhi in Mid week of December, we took Shatabdi in the evening from Delhi and reached Alwar within 3 hours only. We checked in our Hotel and planned for the further trip.
Firstly, we started with small trekking to Naldeswar. Naldeswar is a known shrine of Lord Shiva. The trek of 5kms is small and easy. We started walking through the rocky areas. The weather was pleasant and the view from the hills was worth walking. One mandatory thing to carry in this trek is water as there are no shops in between. Naldeshwar is an 18th-century temple surrounded by dense forest. It has a natural water pond. It looks like a monsoon place. However, the peaceful environment is quiet captive.
Then we headed towards Bhangarh, the most famous haunted place in India. We have heard many famous haunted stories that are prevailing in this area. The drive to the fort only was very strange. We crossed Ajabgarh. The road to Bhangarh has ruins of fort walls. There is a small village before the fort. We could not find many tourists there. Most of the people were localities. It was midday and to avoid any surprises we hired a local guide.
The story behind the haunt
The guide told us the story of princess Ratnavati, who was famous for her ultimate beauty throughout the Rajasthan. Moreover, she knew the magic. There were many kings who wanted to make her their queen. A tantrik who too was mesmerized by the beauty of the princess wanted to marry her. He was well versed with the black magic. He tried to cast a spell on the princess with the help of a bottle of oil. However, she came to know about this. She threw the bottle of oil which turned into huge rock and crushed the tantrik. Before dying, he cursed the princess and the whole village for their deed that no one will stay alive in the city and it will diminish. As per his curse, the city men disappeared and no one could make a single house there till now.
By the time we reached the main fort, it was already 3 pm. For the purpose of safety, entry into the fort is strictly prohibited before sunrise and after sunset. Local Guide has many interesting haunting stories which he and other villagers have experienced. Villagers still hear some voices around the fort. Following our guide, we entered the fort. The entry of the fort was intact and beautiful. There are Jauhari markets, Natani ka bara or room for dancers and a stepwell. The fort has simply an exceptional view. “Though we still regret not to find any ghost there.” There is a temple also of Lord Shiva, called Someshwar Temple. This place will take 2-3 hours to walk around and feel the grandeur of the kingdom. We left the place with loads of photographs.
Siliserh lake is one of the prominent attractions in Alwar, located 13 km away from the main city. The lake was built by Maharaj Vinay Singh in 1845. In midst of Aravali hills, this lake is like a treat for tourist’s eyes. There is a hotel called ‘Siliserh Palace’ where one can sit and have a nice evening with a cup of coffee in the lap of nature. We bought tickets for boating and the boat took us in the middle of the lake. The sunset, winds, hills and water, makes a perfect combination for an extraordinary evening. This is also a famous picnic spot.
Places of interest in Alwar District
Next day we started early with our trip to Karani Mata. Our Car left us at the entry point of the temple. The road towards Karani Mata temple is very well maintained and is surrounded by the lush green mountain range. We started climbing down as the temple is located downhills of the mountainous range. There are around 108 stairs. The temple is small and has many rats here. There is one trek also we came to know afterwards but due to the time crunch, we have to travel in our car only.
Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri:
Moosi Rani ki Chatri or cenotaphs are no more than a movie scene. Cenotaphs were made by Maharaja Vinay Singh in memory of his friend Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his wife ‘Moosi Rani’. She committed self-immolation for her husband. This is a beautiful double-storey building made of sandstone. There is a stepwell which is always full of water. Nearby there is one more temple of Mansa Devi. This place was the perfect location for architectural beauty. Moreover, there is a beautiful park which is known as Purjan Vihar.
City palace is situated right below Bala Quila. The government took this palace and is using the ground floor as government officials. The first floor is been converted to the museum. The palace was built by Raja Bakhtayar Singh and is perfect blends of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. You will find a lotus-shaped pavilion situated in the middle of the courtyard. There are some ancient paintings and antiques. They have a collection of manuscripts in Urdu, Arabic and Sanskrit. Most importantly, it has an array of armoury weapons and a copy of Mahabharata.
Bala Quila means “young fort” which is now a ruin of a giant structure. This fort has six gates namely Chand Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Jai Pol, Andheri gate and Krishna Pol. There are only a few parts of the forts are open and needing permission from the Police superintendent. Our car took us to the fort gate after taking permission. The fort was built by Hasan Khan Mewati in the 15th century and it has 15 large and 51 small towers with crafted roofs. One can have an amazing view of the city from the top.
In the evening we went back to the city and had famous food like Pyaz ki kachori with kadhi and Mawa kachori. As the time was less, we have had to remove Sariska Tiger reserves visit. So finally, we concluded our trip and with pleasant and exalted memories. December is the month of chilly winds and fog and season of the mustard crops make the drives to this city more memorable. For a short trip, it is the best place especially for the people living in NCR.
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