About 178km from the capital city of Jaipur, Bharatpur is an enchanting city on the golden triangle of Delhi-Jaipur-Agra, making it a major attraction among discerning travellers. Also known as the ‘Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan’ and ‘Lohagarh,’ it’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to explore Rajasthan a little off-the-beaten-path.
The primary attraction is Bharatpur National Park, and is among the iconic heritage sites of India. What was once a duck-shooting ground for the kings is today a park that houses the most number of birds in the whole of India. There are about 366 species of birds to be spotted here, and a good variety of reptiles and amphibians as well. The best time to visit the park is during the monsoons and winters when there’s lush greenery all around.
The epitome of strength, Lohagarh Fort (‘Loha’ literally translates into iron) commands a visit by virtue of it being one of the strongest forts of all times. Though the fort was attacked a number of times, it has gracefully withstood the blows. There’s an interesting museum inside the fort; a must-visit for all history aficionados.
Among the temples here, the Ganga Temple is the most important. In fact, it is believed to be the most beautiful temple in the whole of Rajasthan. Apparently, it was built over a period of 90 years. It’s a beautiful mix of Mughal and Rajput style of architecture, with intricate carvings on the pillars to well-adorned idols of Shiva-Parvati, Lord Krishna and Goddess Ganga.
The other notable temple attractions are the Banke Bihari Temple (dedicated to Lord Krishna and Radha) and the two Laxmana Temples. The nearest domestic airport is in Agra, about 56km away, and the nearest international airport is in Delhi about 184km away. You can also hop onto a bus from Delhi to reach Bharatpur easily.