Surrounded by the rugged and rocky Aravalli Hills with several forts and army strongholds that guarded the sovereignty of Alwar, this land of brave men and warriors never bowed their head down before invaders. Nor did they submit to the mighty Mughals, even though the area lies pretty close to Delhi, the Mughal seat of power. In fact, they rebelled. In 1771, Pratap Singh, a heroic Rajput warrior, waged a war against the Mughals to win Alwar back from the Mughal rulers. He founded a principality of his own. Alwar is of course now a part of the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan, India’s desert and fort state, has many attractions. But most tourists end up visiting just a handful – Jaipur the state capital, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, and Mount Abu. But there are many other hidden gems, like Alwar, for instance. It’s just 3 and half hours by road from Delhi, so you could visit and return on the same day. But of course, it’s best to stay in Alwar for a few days to see the city and the many attractions nearby.
Tourist Attractions In and Around Alwar
Popularly known as the gateway to Rajasthan, Alwar is famous for its massive Bala Quila fort, City Palace, Silisher Lake, Bhrtihari Celebrations, Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri and the Sariska Tiger Reserve. It is indeed one of the prettiest holiday destinations for travelers, especially during the winter months.
Bala Quila is a colossal ancient fort that is perched on top a steep cliff in Aravalli mountain range. It runs for 5 kilometers from north to south and 1.6 kilometers from east to west. Believed to be built by Nikumbh Rajputs in 928 AD, it is reachable by foot. The view from its top is amazing.
City Palace at the heart of the old city is a perfect example of 14th century architecture that combined Mughal and Rajput construction styles. The palace museum within holds a priceless collection of manuscripts, paintings, various art objects and a collection of arms that was used during the gun powder days.
Siliserh Lake & Palace used to be the summer resort of the royal families of Alwar. The lake sprawls over more than 10.5 kilometers amidst sylvan surroundings. It is bordered by thick forest. You can skim the tranquil waters of this wonderful lake by hiring a paddle boat. A royal hunting lodge and palace adjoining the lake has now been converted into a luxury hotel.
Bharthari Celebrations are religiously observed in Alwar as also all over Rajasthan. It revolves round the story of Raja Bharthari who bequeathed his royalty after coming into contact with Saint Gorakhnath. He chose the life of a commoner to attain mental peace, which he could never achieve as a king.
Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri is an imposing cenotaph or chhatri that was built on the banks of the picturesque Sagar Lake in memory of Bakhtawar Singh’s ladylove.
Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar is considered to be one of the foremost National Parks in India. Before being converted to a National Park, Sariska served as the private game reserve of the Alwar Royalty. In 1978, it received the status of Tiger Reserve under India’s Project Tiger Scheme. Some tigers have been recently relocated to Sariska from the nearby Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. Sariska is also home to the leopard, jackal, chital, jungle cat, striped hyena, nilgai, chinkara, sambhar, four-horned antelope, rhesus monkeys, and wild boar.
Bhangarh, India’s famous haunted fort, is also close to Alwar. It is just 2 hours by road.