Along the eastern bank of the Chambal River lies Kota - an amazing example of majestic medieval age and modern industrialization. Kota is located on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest of the town. Once the part of the erstwhile Rajput kingdom of Bundi, Kota became a separate princely state in the 17th century. Today, besides being Rajasthan's industrial centre, Kota also serves as army headquarters. Its wealth of impressive forts, opulent palaces and splendid temples of past centuries retain their former glory. Its present-day edifices and heavy industries have made it the industrial heartland of Rajasthan. Summers in Kota are quite hot. The city experiences scant rainfall between June and August. Winters are cool and are the best times to visit the city. Dussehra festival is celebrated all over the country but the Kota Dussehra is quite unique for it marks more than just the beginning of a festive period. Rich in courtly splendour and age old traditions, the Dussehra festival here is marked by a glittering procession, which attracts thousands from the surrounding villages.
|Distance from Kota to :|
|Pushkar (Via Kekri)||220 Km|
|Ranthambore (Via Indragarh) |
|135 Km |
|Kota at a glance :|
|Area||221.36 sq. km|
|Altitude||251.1 metres above sea level|
|Languages||Rajasthani and Hindi|
|Best time to visit||October-February|
The commanding fort stands overlooking the modern Chambal Valley Project with its many dams - Kota Barrage, Gandhi Sagar, Rana Pratap Sagar and Jawahar Saga. The fort and the palace complex is one of the largest of its kind in Rajasthan. One can enter the complex through the Naya Darwaza or the new gate. The Durbar Hall is ornate with beautiful mirror work and has ebony and ivory doors. On the right side of the complex's central courtyard lies the Rao Madho Singh Museum. The museum has an excellent collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota School, exquisite sculptures, frescoes and armoury. One can also have a look at the rich repository of artistic items used by the Kota rulers that are housed in the museum.
The Government Museum is housed in the Brij Vilas Palace near the Kishore Sagar Tank. The museum has a collection of rare coins, manuscripts, stone idols and other sculptural fragments mainly from the archaeological sites at Baroli and Jhalawar.
Adjacent to the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation's Chambal Hotel is the Chhatar Bilas Gardens. Here one finds a curious collection of royal cenotaphs or chhatris. The cenotaphs, though somewhat neglected, present an impressive sight.
The enchanting Jagmandir Palace is located on a small island in the Kishore Sagar Lake. It was built in 1740 by one of the Maharanis of Kota. The palace is best seen early in the morning, though it looks wonderful during any time of the day. One can enjoy the boat rides in the waters surrounding the palace. The Keshar Bagh, which is famous for its royal cenotaphs, lies in the vicinity.
The beautiful Haveli of Devta Shridharji is located in the middle of the busy market. The haveli is noted for its splendid frescoes and rooms ornate with lovely wall paintings.
Kishore Sagar is an artificial lake constructed in 1346 by Prince Dher Deh of Bundi. One can enjoy boating in this lake.
To the south of the fort on the banks of the Chambal river is located the Chambal Gardens. This beautifully landscaped garden at Amar Niwas is a popular picnic spot. In the garden lies a pond inhabited by crocodiles.
Beyond the hills of Jaigarh, stands the fort of Nahargarh like a watchful sentinel guarding Sawai Jai Singh's beautiful capital.
Bhanddeora Temple (Ramgarh 110Km.)
Situated in the Baran district atop the Ramgarh Hill, is the 11th- 12th century temple, now in ruins. Easily approachable by jeep or car.
Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary(50Km.)
An erstwhile royal hunting preserve, it is a thickly wooded sanctuary lying along the south-eastern border of Kota adjacent to the mountain range. The wildlife variety includes Panther Spotted Deer, Tiger, Wildboar and Bear.
Fort of Shahbad And Mosque(160Km.)
The fort was constructed in 1577 AD by the Chauhan ruler Muktaman. The mosque is the biggest in Rajasthan and was built during the reign of Aurangazeb.
Rana Pratap Sagar Dam And Bhainsrodgarh(55Km.)
Bhainsrodgarh Fort lies on the right bank of the Chambal River and a village lies within the fort. The fort is set amidst scenic surroundings. An ancient temple of Gopinath Mahadev on the way is an idyllic picnic spot.
Rock Paintings Of Alaniya(25Km.)
Beautiful rock paintings adorn the bank of the River Alaniya.
An ideal picnic spot, situated near the village of Kelwara in the Baran district on the way to Kota -Shiv Pur. The old temples of Sita, Laxman and seven water tanks are worth a visit. The place is the venue of a tribal fair held in May-June every year. The Remains Of Garhgachh(110Km.) The 9th and 13th century AD temples in red stone, are situated in the Baran district near Atru (30 km).
Bardoli (48 Km)
Bardoli lies about 48 km from Kota on the way to the Pratap Sagar Dam. Here one can find the oldest and the most beautiful temple complex of Rajasthan that dates back to the 9th century AD. One can have a look at the fine examples of craftsmanship that manifests in the intricate carvings and an exquisite image of Nataraj (Shiva), the cosmic dancer, on the door of the mandap. One can also have a look at many other interesting shrines that lie close by.
Bundi (36 Km)
Bundi is a charming little historic Rajasthani town having everything - impressive fort, beautiful palaces and exotic colorful bazaars. Bundi is still a virgin tourist spot. The town still seems living in medieval ages and nothing seems to have changed in the past many years. While driving through the highway to Kota the town of Bundi appears sunk in a pit with the imposing Bundi Palace attentively guarding everything around. Of all the fort-palaces of Rajasthan, the one of Bundi is most imposing. The impressive palace houses "chittrashala", the collection of famous Bundi murals. It is an open courtyard with gallery around a garden of fountains, has splendid miniatures depicting scenes from the Radha-Krishna story. Right on top of the hill is majestic Taragarh Fort, the interesting fort is worth exploring for hours. The fort has many reservoirs, which are annually emptied flooding the streets leading down to the city. Bundi is most famous for its baoris (stepwells) as there are many impressive ones such as the Raniji ki Baori. There are many tanks and lakes in and around Bundi that are worth a visit. The town's medieval looking bazaars offer enormous photography opportunities.The 84-pillared cenotaph is also worth a look and so is the beautiful countryside around the town. The road towards Chittaurgarh is a complete stretch of unexplored and untouched countryside, which promises many surprises like rural bazaars and fairs on the way. On the route is Bijoliyan, which once had 100 temples of which three ancient temples are still surviving. 16 kilometers shorter is Menal having Shiva temples dating back to the Gupta period. An impressive waterfall flows near the temples during the monsoons.
Built by Rana Kumbha, Mandalgarh is the third fort of Mewar, the others being Chittorgarh and Kumbhalgarh. You can reach Mandalgarh by taking a diversion between Menal and Bijolia.
About 48 km from Bundi, on the Bundi-Chittorgarh road lies Menal, the coldest town in the area. The town is famous for its ancient Shiva temples. One can also have a look at the picturesque waterfall, if one happen to visit the place after a good monsoon. Dense forests greet you on the Bundi-Chittor road.
Jhalawar (87km from Kota)
Till the middle of the 17th century, Bundi was the big daddy of southeast Rajasthan, grabbing the major chunk of its history, its stories of valour and those of chivalry, of diplomacy and everything else that goes into creating history. All this went on until Kota was set aside as a separate state and Bundi became a little smaller. Then, as additional blow, it was decided that another state, that of Jhalawar, would also be carved out of Bundi. The region east of Kota and Bundi was given an official name, and so it came to pass that Jhalawar sprang into existence in 1838, a craggy country interspersed with ponds. Originally called Jhalrapatan, the town took its name from the hundreds of temples with bells (jhalarapatan: city of bells) around it. Another legend places the naming of Jhalawar to Jhala-ra-patun, or the city of Jhala Rajputs. Jhalawar is one of the main opium producing centres in India, and during the opium harvest sprawling fields with miles of yellow poppy are a common sight. The Chandrabhaga fair in Jhalrapatan is a rather interesting one. Essentially a cattle fair, Chandrabhaga becomes a hub of activity with cows, horses, buffaloes and bullocks being bought and sold by people who come from as far as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This town is 335km from Jaipur.