Bharatpur in Rajasthan has a longstanding history in the timeline of Indian culture and has many tales inclined towards a rich heritage. It has existed since the days of Matsya empire and it also serves as an incredible natural resource contained with many biodiversity spots. As a mark of respect and adoration, the city was named after Bharat, the brother of Rama. They were honored by the divine family and they, in turn, honored Laxman to be the family deity of the rulers of Matsya kingdom. His image has been traced in the state seals and coat of arms.
Founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, Bharatpur – The ‘Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan’, was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. The trio of Bharatpur, Deeg and Dholpur has played an important part in the history of Rajasthan. The place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur. The legends say the rulers Laxman’s name is engraved on the state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Suraj Mal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam, and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.
Sightseeing Places in Bharatpur
Keoladeo National Park – This would be any bird-watching enthusiasts first choice. Once the royal hunting ground of the princes of Bharatpur, the Bharatpur Keoladeo National Park is one of the finest habitat of birds in the world. Bubbling with over 400 species of resident water birds, the park is furthermore populated by the annual influx of birds from colder countries (during winter season). Exotic migratory birds from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tibet as well as Siberia, the Arctics and China, come here in the months of October/ November to spend the winters.
Lohagarh Fort – The Lohagarh Fort (also known as Iron Fort) was built in the early part of 18th century by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. Supposedly taking its name from its invincible defense, the massive iron structure prides in being one of the few impregnable structures of Rajasthan in India. The fort complex holds three exquisitely built palaces namely – Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas. Two of eight imposing towers – Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj still stands in pride within the fort complex. These towers were built to symbolise his victory over the Mughals and the British rulers.
Government Museum – The Government Museum has a rich collection of artefacts, brilliantly carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions. All these items speak volumes about the rich heritage, art and crafts of the region.