BHARATPUR: FAVORITE BIRD RETREAT
The 55 km long journey by road from Agra drives you to the town Bharatpur-the
eastern gateway to Rajasthan. Bharatpur is popular for its bird
sanctuary-the Keoladeo Ghana National Park-finest in Asia with a rick avian
variety. Every year the rate Siberian cranes come to spend the winter in the
warmer climate of Bharatpur. Of the remnants of the royal past remains the
marvelous Bharatpur Palace housing a rich repository of a large number of
ancient exhibits that date back to the early 15th century.
Lohagarh Fort: The massive iron structure built in the early 18th
century. With its impregnable defenses it sustained itself even after a
number of British attacks. The fort was conceived and designed by Maharaja
Suraj Mal, the founder of Bharatpur. The fort has three palaces within its
precincts - Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas .
A rich collection of artifacts, exquisitely carved sculptures and ancient inscriptions can be admired on the Government Museum located in the Palace. All these items speak volumes about the rich heritage, art and crafts of the region.
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj:
A few of the eight imposing towers still stand erect within the glorious ramparts of the fort. Especially two of them - Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj are of special interest. These were built by Maharaja Suraj Mal to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and British respectively. The coronation ceremony of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur was also held at the Jawahar Burj.
This royal edifice is a fusion of the Mughal and Rajput architectural styles with magnificent apartments and intricately designed floor tiles having interesting patterns. One can marvel at the ancient exhibits displayed in the museum in the central part of the palace.
Keoladeo National Park:
Once the royal hunting preserve of the princes of Bharatpur, it is one of the finest bird sanctuaries in the world inundated with over 400 species of water birds. Exotic migratory birds from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Tibet as well as Siberian cranes from the Arctic, greyleg geese from Siberia and bar headed geese from China, come here in July/August to spend the winter in the warmer climate and they breed till October/November.
Colonies of cormorants, spoonbills, storks, egrets, herons, pelicans, ibis and grey herons can be spotted all over the park. The raised paths camouflaged by babul trees make their viewing easier.
Deeg (32 km):
Once the summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur, it served as the second capital of the region. This interest town is strewn with massive fortifications, stunningly beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces and a colorful bazaar.