Sawai Madhopur -The Hidden Gem Of India
Hear the whispers of history, rustles of nature, chimes and prayers of temples and mosques, and a few melodic tales known only to the city of Sawai Madhopur. Khusboo Sikhawat jots down the top places to visit in Sawai Madhopur. Read on!
Snuggled in the east of Rajasthan, the timeless city of Sawai Madhopur was founded by and named after Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of Jaipur in 1763. This quaint conurbation, popularly known as ‘Gateway to Ranthambore’ boasts of an iconic past, exotic wildlife, natural wonders and holy sites.
Top Places To Visit In Sawai Madhopur
Ranthambore Fort – Of Attacks & Conquests
This mighty fort is perched on a hill in the Ranthambore National Park. It was built by the Chauhan rulers in 10th century to protect the Rajput dynasty against the attacks of foreign invaders. Also associated with the legend of ‘jahuar’, as Rani Padmavati along with other royal women performed self-immolation to protect their dignity against the invader Alauddin Khilji.
Apart from the beautiful ruins and breathtaking views, the fort is known for Toran Dwar, Sametonki Haveli and Mahadeo Chhatri. One of the most interesting facts about this fort is – there’s a temple and a mosque in the same premise, signifying secularity amongst the Rajput rulers. All this and more, make the fort an architectural and cultural marvel, attracting tourists from around the globe. About 16 km away from Sawai Madhopur, the Ranthambore fort is an epitome of powerwhich is a must-see for all the history buffs and nature enthusiasts out there.
Ranthambore National Park – Of Exotic Wildlife & Lush Greenery
Named after Ranthambore fort, Ranthambore National Park sprawls over an area of 392 sq km. Once the hunting ground of Maharjas of Jaipur; this park today is a sanctuary, mainly for the mighty tigers. It is one of the best locations in India to see these fierce predators in their natural habitat. The sanctuary is also houses other animals such as sambhars, cheetals and chinkaras.
Located amid the ranges of Aravalis and Vindhya, and just 14 km away from Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore National Park is a thick-forested haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
Ghushmeshwar Temple – Of Spirituality & Lord Shiva
Devotees from all over India throng Ghusmeshwar temple to pay their respects to Lord Shiva every year, during the festival of Mahashivratri and month of Shrawan. Known to be the 12th jyotirlinga, Ghushmeshwar temple was once an abode to Lord Shiva, who brought Ghushma’s son back to life and found home amid the Devagiri hills; this is how the temple came to be known as — Ghusmeshwar Temple.
Located in Sawai Madhopur, about 100 km from Jaipur, this place is perfect for all those who wish to uncover their spiritual side.
Sunheri Kothi – Of Gold Palaces & Royalty
One of the most glorious havelis of Rajasthan, Sunheri Kothi, also known as ‘Golden Palace of Tonk’ was built by Nawab Ameer Khan in 1824, and later restored by Nawaab Ibrahim Ali Khan. It is said that the haveli was built mainly for dance, music and poetry recitals. The sight of Sunheri Kothi will not give you the slightest hint of what lies in its interiors. Gold-laden artworks, coloured glasses, mosaic work, painted floors and more leave every visitor of this gold mansion in absolute awe.
This beautiful melange of Hindu-Muslim architecture lies about 30km from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur highway and allures travellers for its incredible interiors and tales.
Tonk – Of Many Names & Historic Tales
Nestled near the right bank of Banas River, Tonk is a quiet town in Rajasthan with an interesting historical backdrop. Founded in the seventh century, it was once the fortress of the Pathans of Afghanistan. The modern town of Tonk was later founded by Nawab Ameer Khan in 1818, as an outcome of a British treaty. Today, it’s famous for its ancient havelis, British colonial buildings, and beautiful temples and mosques. This town has several names, like Hindu Muslim Ekta ka Masaan, Adab ka Gulshan and Rajasthan ka Lucknow.
Situated 96 km away from Jaipur, this place is for those who wish to witness an array of architectural and cultural marvel, all in one town.
Jama Masjid – Of Prayers & Devotion
All the ‘Jama Masjids’ in India have something about them that make them an eminent mosque in every city they’re located – the same goes with the Jama Masjid in Jaipur. It was built by the king of Amber, Bharmal in 1569 AD, and is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The mosque is built on an elevated platform with one main dome, and two smaller ones. A beautiful rectangular prayer hall with a façade built by seven arches, Jama Masjid sees devotees bow down in prayers each day.
Located about 138 km from Sawai Madhopur and just a km away from the popular Amer fort, this is a prominent mosque of Rajasthan you shouldn’t miss!
Shilpgram Museum – Of All Things Creative
One of the very unique museums or rather a craft and arts village, Shilpgram aims to economically empower craftsmen and especially women and promote the culture of Rajasthan. Not very old, this village was built in 2013 by Ms. Bina Kak, who was an ex- Hon’ble Tourism, Art, Culture, Forest and Environment Minister of Rajasthan. It encompasses a diverse collection of artworks and handicrafts and showcases the rich heritage of not only the royal state, but also India.
Located near the Ramsinghpura village, about 9 km from Sawai Madhopur, Shilpgram will not disappoint those who have an eye for art and craft.
Hathi Bhata – Of Stories From An Elephant
Hathi Bhata literally translates to elephant stone. Carved out of a single stone, this iconic, life-sized statue of an elephant is one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful monuments. The elephant stone was built by Ram Nath Slat in the 1200 AD during the reign of Sawami Ram Singh and has inscriptions on it that narrate stories of Raja Nal and Damyanti.
Hathi Bhata is located 10 km away from Kakod, en-route Sawai Madhopur. For those who wish to uncover stories of Rajasthan’s royal past, this monument surely gives an insightful glimpse.
This is just a peek into Sawai Madhopur’s best; you have to visit to really unfurl and appreciate its incredible saga! Are you ready for the sojourn?
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About The Author
Lost in the books of CA, Khushboo Sikawat always wondered how it would be like to travel and write for a living; for after all, she wasn’t a number person. Finally, she decided to make her dream a reality! A travel writer now, she finds adventure in exploring new places and encountering different cultures. Apart from that, she also loves binge-watching animated films and reading books 😀 You can follow her on Instagram @sparklingwords