JHALAWAR : THE ENCHANTING WILDERNESS
The princely state of the Jhalas, Jhalawar was created in 1838 A.D., after being separated from Kota by the British.
Remarkable contributions from various rulers including Zalim Singh I made it a culturally rich state. Lying in the south-eastern regionof Rajasthan at the edge of the Malwa plateau. Jhalawar has rocky but water-laden verdant landscape, unlike much of Rajasthan. With some exquisite pre-historic cave paintings, massive forts, thickly wooded forests and exotic wildlife variety. Jhalawar boasts of rich historic as well as natural wealth. One can spot countless species of birds as one drives past the lush countryside. Red poppy fields and orange laden orchards make the countryside all the more fascinating and colourful during winters. The area around Bhawani Mandi is known for contributing a major share to the production of citrus in the country.
Jhalawar Fort (Garh Palace):
The impressive fort in the centre of the town presently houses the Collectorate and other district offices. Some exquisite paintiangs and mirrors on the walls of `Zanana Khas' are of particular interest. Permission to see these paintings can be obtained from the offices located here. Government Museum : One of the oldest museums of Rajasthan established in 1951 A.D., it has a fine collectionof paintaings, rare manuscripts, idols and beautiful statues of Lakshminarayan, Vishnu, Krishna, Ardhanarishvar, Natraj and Trimurti.
Bhawani Natya Shala:
Close to the fort is the most unusual threatre in India. It was constructed in 1921 A.D. where Parsi theatre was performed initially. The building has been recently revived and offers an excellent insight into the theatre art.
Rain Basera (6 kms):
A picturesque wooden cottage on the banks of the Kishan Sagar Pond, it is an idyllic haunt for picnickers. The cottage was originally built elsewhere and later transported to the present location. Amazingly, it still retains much of the original design.
Jhalarapatn (6 kms.):
The small town is popularly referred to as the `City of Bells'. An entire township resides within the confines of a wall, that was built to protect the trade caravans as Patan was the junction of carvan routes. A magnificent 10th century Surya Temple (Padam Nath Temple) is the major attraction of the city. The temple has some splendid sculptures as well as, well preserved idols of Surya.
Chandrabhaga Temples (7 kms.):
On the banks of the magnificent Chandrabhaga River stand some splendid 7th century A.D. temples. The intricately carved pillars and arched gateways are fine examples of the temple architecture and craftsmanship. The 11th century A.D. Shantinath Jain temple is also noteworthy with fine murals and exquisite sculptures.
The impressive fort, built over several centuries (8th to 14th centuries A.D.), stands witness to many great battles and is surrounded by the transquil waters of the Ahu and Kali Sindh rivers on the three sides. A beautiful mausoleum of a Sufi Saint Mitheshah just outside the fort is the venue for an annual colourful fair held during the month of Moharram. Buddhist Caves and Stupas : The ancient Buddhist caves located in the village Kolvi. A colossal figure of Buddha and the carved stupas are the most impressive structures in the caves.
Dag (100 kms.):
Renowed for some 12th century A.D. temples of Dageshwari Mata, Rani Ka Maqbara and Kama Varneshwar Mahadeo, Dag is a fascinating experience in the rustic ambience.
Kakuni (65 kms.):
Kakuni lies in Baran District. Some ancient temples dot the ruins of this old township. A life-size idol of Lord Ganesha and a Shiva Lingam dating back to the 8th century A.D. are the impressive structures. Ruins of the Bhimgarh Fort, built by Raja Bhim Deo, lie on the other side of the Parvan River and are worth a visit.
Bhimsagar (24 kms.):
The dam built on the Ujad River is near the erstwhile capital of Khichi Chauhan rulers. Bhimsagar allows a glimpse of the Rajput and Mughal architecture in the ruins of palaces, temples and mosques. Atishey Jain Temple,
Chandkheri (35 kms.):
This 17th century temple is a notable example of temple architecture. It also has religious value having Adinath statue, 6 feet tall, in a sitting position. Accommodation and meals are available at reasonable prices in the temple area.
Fort of Gandhar (120 kms.):
An impressive edifice with the oldest rock inscription and some marvelously built temples.