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Alwar, a tiny package of surprises

by on August 6, 2007

alwar.jpgAlwar was part of the Matsya Desh Kingdom according to the Mahabharata, but modern Alwar began as a capital of the Macheri Kingdom that was recognized in 1774. The best time to visit is to be between October and March, but my visit during the end of the monsoons was quite an eye opener. The area was a luminous green.

The beautiful 18th century City Palace is now the headquarters of the Collectorate. It was built by Maharaja Vinay singh and blends Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. It has no stairs, only gently inclining corridors that lead to the upper floors. It was divided into three dusty, moth- ridden rooms. The first was the mixture of furniture, clothes and an enormous stuffed tiger.neemrana-fort-alwar.jpg There was also a long dining table made of silver, which is believed to have water gurgling in silver channels down its length. The museum also has a fine collection of Mughal and Rajput paintings and ancient manuscripts. There is also a tomb of one of the Shah Jahan’s ministers named as Fateh Singh ki Gumbad.

The Bala Quila Fort was built by the city’s oldest inhabitants, the Nikumbha Rajputs, and played host to Babur and Jahangir. It is a forbidding structure with 15 large and 51 small towers and 446 openings for musketry. You require taking the permission of the Superintendent of police to visit the fort.

Purjan Vihar is a picturesque garden in the centre of the town. A centre of this garden was built by Maharaja Mangal Singh in 1885 which is also called as Shimla because it always has a cooler than prevalent temperature.

Moti doongri or Lansdowne Palace is situated on an isolated rock on the town’s outskirts. It was the main residence of the Maharaja of Alwar till 1928. But Maharaja Jai Singh dismantled it with the idea to build a better palace, but the ship bringing raw materials from Europe sank. So the palace compounds with high walls all around and the remaining are barren.Vijai Mandir Palace overlooks a beautiful lake. There is a Ram and Sita temple, which attracts a number of devotees especially during Ram Navami.

There are many hotels to stay in Lawar like Hotel Alwar, Circuit House, Hill Fort Kesroli and etc. You will also find Rajasthani cuisine available on the local markets of Alwar.

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