Kota - Rajasthan Industrial Center
Situated on the eastern bank of the Chambal River in the state of Rajasthan, 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.
The history of Kota is linked to that of Bundi. Both Bundi and Kota came under the rule of the Chauhans in the 12th century. It was in 1624 that Mughal emperor Jehangir partitioned Bundi and made Kota an independent state. Kota became a part of the British Empire in 1818 and later a part of the Indian state 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.
Sightseeing Mughal emperor Jehangir There are a number of interesting places for one to visit in Kota. On the eastern banks of the Chambal River, near the Kota Barrage, is located the City Fort and Palace. Within the city palace is the museum which houses a good collection of artefacts. The Kishore Sagar Tank built in 1346 and the Jagmandir Palace located on a small island at the centre of this tank are other sources of tourist attraction. The Brij Vilas Palace Museum, Chambal Gardens and the Chhatar Bilas Gardens are also worth a visit.
Excursions Excursions around Kota take you to some picturesque locations besides providing an insight into the region’s history and culture. The palaces and forts in the town of Bundi talk of the famous Chauhan clan. At Bardoli, you can find the oldest and the most beautiful temple complex of Rajasthan. In addition, a visit to the town of Menal after monsoons presents you with one of the rare sights in the desert region—the waterfall. You can also take a trip to Mandalgarh, one of the three forts of Mewar.
CITY FORT PALACE AND MUSEUM
The City Fort Palace complex is situated by the side of the Kota Barrage overlooking the Chambal River. The fort and the palace complex is one of the largest of its kind in Rajasthan. You can enter the complex through the Naya Darwaza or the new gate. 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. You can also have a look at the rich repository of artistic items used by the Kota rulers that are housed in the museum.
JAGMANDIR PALACE :- 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
KISHORE SAGAR TANK Kishore Sagar is an artificial lake constructed in 1346 by Prince Dher Deh of Bundi. You can enjoy boating in this lake.
BRIJ VILAS PALACE 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.
CHAMBAL GARDENS 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.
CHHATAR BILAS GARDENS 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.
Excursions for Kota
Bardoli Bardoli lies about 48 km from Kota on the way to the Pratap Sagar Dam. Here you 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. You can also have a look at many other interesting shrines that lie close by.
Bundi :- Surrounded by the Aravalli hills on three sides, Bundi lies at a distance of 36 km from Kota. This tiny picturesque town was once a part of Kota and was ruled by the Hada Chauhans—an offshoot of the famous Chauhan clan that ruled Delhi and Ajmer.
The Rajput legacy of the town has been well preserved in the massive fort. Besides the fort, the palaces, havelis, temples with beautiful stone idols, and chattris with carved pillars are some of the interesting monuments to see here. The picturesque lake in the heart of the town adds to its charm. Bundi is also famous for its intricate carvings and murals.
Mandalgarh 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.
Menal :- 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. You can also have a look at the picturesque waterfall, if you happen to visit the place after a good monsoon. Dense forests greet you on the Bundi-Chittor road.
Fact File • Area 221.36 sq. km
• Altitude 251.1 metres above sea level
• Languages Rajasthani and Hindi
• STD Code 0744
• Best time to visit October–February