SARISKA TIGER RESERVE
A hunting reserve in the days of British Raj, during the reign of the Maharaja of Alwar-Sariska was an adobe of British Royalty, Viceroys, and functionaries of the Raj. There were shooting blocks for big game.
Sariska was permitted till 1955. After independence, Sariska was declared a Wild Life Reserve on under the Rajasthan Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act,1951. Sariska was included in the list of tiger reserves as the 11th Tiger Reserve of India.
Sariska is a natural grandeur housing over 401 plant species, 211 bird species in an area of 1231 sq. km. Leopared, Hyena, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Sp. of Monkey are other attractions.
Alwar, among Rajput principalities was closest to imperial Delhi. People of this region were daring adventurers. They didn’t submit to alien rule; they rebelled. In 1771 A.D., Pratap Singh, Kachhawaha Rajput belonging to same clan as one which ruled Jaipur won Alwar from Mughals and founded a principality of his own. A historic and eminent fort guards its highest hill and is reminiscent of a regal way.
Alwar is surrounded by the Aravali Hills and has a unique recognition because of Sariska Tiger Reserve , Bala-Quila and Silished Etc.
Ironically, Alwar in Rajasthan, India is the oldest as well the newest kingdom of the Rajputs.
Architectural wonders dot the city and leave you mesmerized. It is the oldest because its customs date far back to the kingdoms of Viratnagar, which flourished around 1500 B.C. Also known by the name of Matasya Desh. In this city, the Pandavas (heroes of Mahabharata) spent the last year of their exile of 13 years. It is believed that a member of the Kachh family belonging to Amber founded the city of Amber.
The city is an architectural delight. The numerous forts and palaces with their intricate decorations take away your heart. Apart from that, the tranquil lakes, grand hunting lodges, archeologically importance sites, numerous varieties of birds and animals, etc, make this city a must see on a tour of Rajasthan.
HISTORY ABOUT ALWAR
The princely state of Alwar was founded by Pratap Singh , a Rajput of the Kachwaha lineage, in the second half of the 18th century. His adopted son, Bakhtawar Singh, aided the British against the Marathas . After the battle of Laswari (1803), Alwar became the first state of Rajputana to sign a treaty of ‘Offensive and Defensive Alliance’ with the British East India Company .
A few years later, Bakhtawar Singh ventured an armed incursion into neighbouring Jaipur , the senior Kachwaha state, and the erstwhile overlord of his predecessor. Bakhtawar Singh was defeated; a fresh engagement was made with him by the HEIC , prohibiting him from political intercourse with other states without British consent.
During the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, Raoraja Bane Singh sent a force comprised mainly of Muslims and Rajputs , to relieve the British garrison in Agra . The Muslims deserted and the rest were defeated by the rebels. Pran Sukh Yadav,who fought beside Rao Tula Ram of Rewari in 1857, settled along with kingmen of dead soldiers at Village Nihalpura, Behror Tehsil, of Alwar District. Kishorpura Village of Bansur Tehsil is dominated by Bhati clan of Gurjar Community.
Following the independence of India in 1947, Alwar acceded into the dominion of India . On March 18, 1948, the state merged with three neighbouring princely states ( Bharatpur , Dholpur and Karauli ) to form the Matsya Union . On May 15, 1949, it was united with certain other princely states and the territory of Ajmer to form the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan .
The lake was built in 1845 A.D. by constructing an earthern dam between two hills to store the water of a small tributary of river Ruparel. When full, the total water spread covers an area of about 10 sq. kms.
Adorned with domed cenotaphs, Siliserh lake is picturesquely set amidst the forested slopes of Aravalli hills. A boat trip in the lake, particularly during winter season, is a rewarding experience.
Sariska Place built in 1892 – 1900, designed by french architect, as a hunting camp by the erstwhile ruler of the Alwar is now a luxury hotel. Sariska is open to visitors throughout the year but the best season to observe wildlife is during winter months. i.e. from November to March.
The Rajasthan Tourism Dev. Corpn. runs a hotel and also provides transport on hire to visit the sanctuary.
ALWAR FORT (BALA QUILA)
This ancient fort perched on a steep cliff, about 304 meters high has been a standing sentinel to the crumbling history of valour and chivalry. It was perhaps built by Nikumbh Rajputs in 928 A.D. and was later occupied by Mughals and Jats.
In 1775 A.D. the fort was conquered by Maharao Raja Pratap Singh, the founder of Alwar state. The huge fort extends about 5 km from north to south and 1.6 km from east to west. There are 15 large and 51 small towers (Burj) with 446 loopholes for musketry and eight towers (Burj) around it to strengthen its defences. A splended view of the Alwar city can be enjoyed from the watch towers of this impregnable bastion.
Below the scarred battlements of the fort, at the base of the hill across which it sprawls, is the City Palace with its spacious apartments. This now houses a museum within it with its collection of royal memorabilia. An exquisite pond called Sagar is situated behind the City Palace.
A trip through the sanctuary forest follows the trail of th Pandava brothers to a rock-wall through which the strong Bhim created a passage for their escape from the Kauravas.
This forested glen has a narrow stream and deep waterholes. Temples here draw pilgrims round the year, though it is most popular during a September fair.
Behind the city place and just below the fort is a beautiful tank locally known as Sagar. It is very picturesque during the rainy season. The tank has a flight of steps leading to its bottom and is surrounded by 12 chhatries or cenotaphs built of red marble slabs.
The ruins of Bhangarh paint a picture of the ancient kingdom that once flourished here. Founded in 1631 by Madho Singh, Younger brother of th famous Man Singh of Amer, this town of about 10,000 dwellings was suddenly abandoned due to reasons clothed in mystery.
Particularly noteworthy is the town plannng, castle hierarchy, market system and the charming beauty of several temples.
Capital city of Bargujar Kings, Ajaypal,the ruler of Bargujar, contructed this temple town before 1010 AD. Around 2826 statues and ruins are spread around the temple. 100 meter away from the temple, is a 16 ft x 16 ft statue of Digambara Jain Tirthankara, Parasavnath, locally referred as ‘Naugaja’.
MOOSI RANI CHHATRI
A chhatri built in memory of Moosi Rani, wife of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh, is magnificent. It took nine years(1804 A.D. to 1813 A.D.) to complete the construction of the tank.
VIJAY MANDIR PALACE
It is the royal residence of Maharaja Jai Singh, built in 1918 A.D. The largely uninhabited palace is a window on the life style of the royals. Migratory birds and waterfowls can be observed feeding on fish in the lake, beside the palace.
One of the beautiful garden located within the periphery of the City Palace, Company Bagh was established by Raja Shiv Dan Singh in 1868. The garden is well planned and is located in the ‘Chhatri’ of the company palace.
The Company Bagh is a must-visit location because it is the perfect example which shows why Alwar is popularly known as an oasis in the middle of the Thar Desert.
The main attraction of the garden is the Shimla House, which was built during the reign of Raja Mangal Singh. The structure is very attractively designed and decorated and is surrounded by a colorful lawn sprawling with promenade and lush green grass.
TIJARA JAIN TEMPLE
Tijara Jain Temple in Alwar District is a Jain temple dedicated to eighth Tirthankar Chandraprabhu, is an Atishaya Kshetra. The idol of Chandraprabhu, the principal deity of the temple, is 15 inch in height made of white stone.
According to the inscription on the idol, it was installed on the third day of Vishakha Shukla 1554. There is an another idol which is made up of black stone, 8 inch in height, in the lotus position.
The Temple was established in 1956 following the recovery of an idol of Chandraprabha on 16 August 1956. The white stone idol was retrieved from underground, reinforcing the belief that this place was once a Dehra, a place where Jain idols are worshipped.