As one embarks on a journey from Delhi to Rajasthan, the first major city that graces the path is Alwar. Located at an equidistant point of 150 kilometers south of Delhi and 150 kilometers north of Jaipur, Alwar stands as a unique and vibrant city, beckoning travelers with its rich tapestry of culture, heritage, and natural beauty.
Alwar is renowned as a thriving tourism hub, boasting an array of attractions that captivate the imagination of visitors. From the awe-inspiring Bhangarh Fort, steeped in historical ruins and ghostly tales, to the serene lakes and vibrant bazaars, Alwar offers a diverse experience. It is home to landmarks like the Bala Quila Fort, perched amidst the picturesque Aravalli Ranges, and the elegant City Palace. With its unique blend of history and nature, Alwar emerges as one of the most captivating cities in Rajasthan.
For those seeking a tryst with nature, the Sariska Tiger Reserve, nestled within the Aravali Hills, unfolds across 800 square kilometers. This pristine wilderness, once the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Alwar, is now known as The Sariska Tiger Reserve. It’s a sanctuary for the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers and was designated a national park in 1982. This reserve, which forms part of the Aravali Range, is also an integral component of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion. An interesting note is that it was among the first tiger reserves to successfully relocate tigers from Ranthambore. Beyond its biodiversity, Sariska holds mineral treasures such as copper within its rocky terrain.
Bhangarh, another captivating facet of Alwar, stands out as one of the most enigmatic places in the country, with its reputation as the most haunted location in India. This 17th-century fort, surrounded by ghost stories, is a fascinating historical landmark. Located between Jaipur and Delhi, the Bhangarh Fort was built by Bhagwant Das for his son Madho Singh I. The aura of mystery and awe envelops visitors as they pass through its main gate into the realms of this ‘Bhoot Bangla.’ The fort complex is replete with temples, palaces, and havelis, evoking a sense of wonder.
The Bala Quila Fort, or Alwar Fort, is another architectural gem set against the backdrop of the Aravalli Ranges. This fortress, built in the 15th century by Hasan Khan Mewati, has witnessed the rule of various dynasties, including the Marathas, Yadavas, and the Kachwaha Rajputs. ‘Bala Quila’ translates to ‘Young Fort,’ and it stands perched on a 300-meter-high cliff, providing a commanding view of the city. Visitors can reach it via the metalled road of Laxman Pole, which connects the fort to Alwar.
Siliserh Lake, a sprawling water reservoir covering seven square kilometers, is a splendid attraction in Alwar. The Siliserh Lake Palace, which now serves as a heritage hotel courtesy of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), graces the lake’s edge. This tranquil haven offers myriad activities like boating, fishing, and the opportunity to witness an influx of migratory birds during peak seasons.
Alwar’s unique charm lies not only in its rich history and vibrant culture but also in the intricate synergy between its people, natural wonders, and historical monuments. It stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity that Rajasthan has to offer, drawing travelers into its captivating embrace with open arms. As a city that has effortlessly bridged the gap between the past and the present, Alwar invites visitors to embark on an enriching journey through time and nature, making it an unforgettable destination in Rajasthan.