Known for its vast wetlands that shelter several spectacular birds, Bharatpur is the eastern gateway to Rajasthan. Situated at a short distance from Agra and falling within the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur golden triangle, it is a tourist’s delight, a tranquil space. However, Bharatpur has witnessed its own political upheavals. For instance, in the early 17th century, Raja Ram Jat rebelled against the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and set up a small fortress at Sinsini. The Raja is remembered in history for exhuming the remains of Akbar. His successor and younger brother, Raja Churaman, laid the foundation stone of the fortress of Bharatpur.
“Tour of New Delhi – drive past the stately government buildings of the British Era designed by Lutyen’s, including the Indian Gate & the Presidential Palace”
There is, however, much more to the city than the bird sanctuary and fortress-palace. The city itself is an amalgamation of the Braj folk tradition and grandiose architecture commissioned by the Jat Maharajas. The city remained a centre for power and culture in north India in the post-Mughal era too. The Jat rulers of this land shaped its historic built environment, and one such remarkable edifice is the Jama Masjid.
The interesting story behind the mosque is that it was built by the Hindu Jat Maharajas of Bharatpur in the early 19th century. Droughts occur frequently in this region, situated as it is on the edge of a desert, and during one such severe dry spell, the Jat kings asked all communities to pray for rain. When the sky gods did pour their manna from heaven, and the wells and ponds filled up to the brim, the king asked the community leaders what he could do for them. Upon their request, the Ganga Mandir and the Jama Masjid were built adjacent to each other, to commemorate the gift of rain!
The Jama Masjid of Bharatpur is an imposing complex of domes, chattris and minarets. Built in the Mughal style of mosque building, as against the imperial and the provincial, the complex displays a mix of Indian Islamic, Persian Central Asian, and distinctive Hindu elements in its architecture.
For instance, a chhatri, which is a domed kiosk, generally used in Hindu architecture as a cenotaph, was used in Islamic buildings of the time as a decorative element. Several jharokhas or cantilevered openings, canopies, and extended pavilions show an imprint of Rajputana Hindu culture in the mosque’s aging walls.
visit the Keoladeo national park- it was declared a world heritage site, by UNESCO in 1985.
The lotuses in full bloom atop the domes and minarets add to their sheer smoothness of line. The ingress to the mosque is flanked by extremely prepossessing floral design patterns and minute artistic work. The designs engraved on the front façade are truly intricate, displaying the meticulous skill and craftsmanship of the times.
Visit Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary) on a full-day tour. Keoladeo is home to more than 375 different species of resident and migratory birds, including migrating Siberian cranes. Your guide shares informative commentary about the birds and other wildlife on a private full-day tour that includes a rickshaw ride in the park, entrance fees, private transportation, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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