Alwar: The Hidden Gem of Rajasthan
About 150 km south from Delhi is the city of Alwar, which without any doubt can be called the hidden gem of Rajasthan. Most travelers have known the city for being home to Bhangarh, one of the most haunted places in the country. But, what Alwar has to offer to its tourists is way more than just a spooky fort.
Image Source: Atul Tater (Flickr)
Formerly known as Matsyanagar, Alwar was the capital of the princely state of Alwar during the British rule in India. Cradled in the Aravali Hills, Alwar has gained popularity over the years for being home to Sariska Tiger Reserve and the haunted Bhangarh Fort.
Surrounded by forests on all sides makes the city is a sight to behold for the tourists during the rainy season. Built in 1775, Alwar was the youngest kingdom of the Rajputana. Therefore, to make a position for their kingdom amongst all the older kingdoms, the rulers built 52 forts and countless palaces under their rule which lasted for 175 years.
Alwar is home to a rich heritage. But despite that, for most visitors, Alwar is the city which must be bypassed to reach Sariska and other popular adjoining places. It is only after one has trotted through the streets of Alwar that you get to know about its rich heritage that makes it worth a visit.
Location & How To Reach:
Located about 150 km from Delhi and Jaipur, Alwar has good connectivity via road and rail. All the major cities of Rajasthan are connected to Alwar via well-constructed roads. It just takes about 3-4 hours to reach Alwar from Delhi and Jaipur.
Nearest Railway Station: Alwar Junction railway station, Alwar
Nearest Airport: Jaipur International Airport, Jaipur (162 km away)
The grassy plain land makes Alwar a city with a temperate climate—the climate that lies between tropic and polar regions. Thus, Alwar has warm summers and cold winters. The city receives less than average rainfall and June is the warmest month of the year. January can be considered the coldest month with an average temperature of 14 degrees.
Things to See & Do In Alwar
Despite almost no attempts to uplift tourism of the city, Alwar has a charm that does not fade away. A 1-day trip should suffice to do all the sightseeing and visit the heritage properties of the city.
Built in the late 18th century by Raja Bakhtawar Singh, Alwar’s City Palace has a charming architecture. However, sadly, the beautiful building now serves as an office to many government-run departments. What’s left for the visitors is the museum at the top of the building. The artifacts arranged perfectly in three sections of the museum give the tourists a closer look into the life of the royals who once ruled the city. The museum remains closed on Fridays. On all the other remaining days, the tourists can visit between 10 am and 5 pm and are charged a very nominal fee.
Image Source – R. Karthik (Flickr)
Vijay Mandir Lake Palace
Built in the year 1918, the royal palace was the residence of Maharaja Jai Singh. The palace is also home to a beautiful Ram temple. However, due to several disputes, the palace now remains closed to the visitors. It is difficult to get a front view of the palace, but you can manage to get a glimpse from the shore of the lake which is right behind it.
Image Source – Sareena Kochar (Instagram)
The big bazaars in Alwar are one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Churi Bazaar lures tourists with its vibrant extremely cheap bangles. The famous milk cake of Alwar is recommended a must for every tourist. Shops are lined up near the Clock Tower and sell the famous sweet for Rs. 100 per kg. Workshops selling marble sculptors are located at Pier Ka Chauraha. There are about a dozen shops in the area selling sculptors made of stone mined from Pratapgarh district.
Image Source – Sanhita Chatterjee (Instagram)
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Alwar is during the winter season which lasts from October to March. The temperature during the winter months remains comfortable which makes it easier to step out for sightseeing.