Rajasthan is illustrious for stark desert land but perhaps Alwar is the only place where greenery rules the landscape. Before independence it was known as Matsyanagar Agar, the kingdoms of Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli were merged to form the short-lived ‘United Kingdom of Matsya.’ There are different school of thoughts on the origin of the modern name Alwar. Some say it is a corruption of Salwapur, Salwa being the name of a tribe that lived here. Others say it is a corruption of Aravalpur, Aravallis being the hill range running through the district. Many believe that Alwar is erstwhile Alpur, which was founded by Maharaja Alaghraj in 1049. Whatever the beliefs and historians thoughts are, Alwar is undoubtedly one of the biggest tourist attractions of Rajasthan.
Alwar town is small but not less than any modern town of India. You can see girls riding scooters, cycles and almost every house has some sort of private vehicle. Alwar town has no public transport, but cycle rickshaws are all there. These are cheapest transport available in the town. Alwar bus stand is just outside the main residential town and travellers can get buses to almost all parts of Rajasthan. The city stretches west from the railway line to the hills crowned by the 10th century Bala Qila. Most of the tourist places like City Palace and Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri are spread far from the town.
Things to do and see in Alwar
A five-storey medieval tom, Fateh Jung ka Gumbad outclasses all it contemporaries in Delhi, barring the tomb of Emperor Humayun. It is the easternmost of Alwar’s monuments, lying just across the railway line by a pedestrian over bridge, close to the Bharatpur Road. The tomb stands amidst a walled garden, which houses a school. The guard who unbars the steps leading up to the mausoleum seldom turns up before 9 am.
City Palace – This is the most visited tourist place in Alwar. It is a large complex, which is accessible through a gateway with projecting balconies on either side. Beyond the gate lies an open ground with Krishna temples on all four sides. The City Palace, Sagar, a tank, and Moosi Rani ki Chhatri are located just behind these temples. The grandeur structure of the palace is renowned for its beautiful architecture and ornamentation of late 18th century. The palace was built by Raja Bakhtawar Singh in 1793. The City Palace is now become safe house for government officials. The office of Alwar Collectorate and the police superintendent’s offices are present in the palace. Best view is from the top from the palace, which is also good museum to look on.
Bala Qila – The oldest of all forts and palaces in Alwar and guard atop Alwar. It is believed that the qila was built in 10th century by the Nikhumba Rajputs. The fort spreads over the surrounding hills, which, along with the nearby lakes, are Alwar’s most alluring assets. During the rainy season, the place is shrouded by bright green but rocky and rusty during summer.
To know more about India and its travel destination, you can visit author’s official website http://www.sewara.com/sewara/index.html and personal travel blogs http://heritage-rajasthan-tourism.blogspot.com/.
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