When you read about the North Indian state of Rajasthan, the only thing that comes to mind is historical monuments and colorful attires. The picture that you envisage about the region will not fail you either. Being in Rajasthan means that you will chance upon a fort every so often. Although Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer are the cities that attract the most tourist attention, these places require at least a few days of time to explore them well. Alwar, in contrast, is a quaint town in Rajasthan that is surprisingly pleasant to visit and have a quick, crisp experience of the local culture and history. As you maneuver the roads, you will find remnants of ancient structures and milestones which give a glimpse of how the old world must have been in this province of India.
Unlike most other cities in North India, Alwar in Rajasthan is a veiled gem that does not appear on travel blogs a lot but is a place that you can and must visit, especially if you have only one day to travel. Alwar is one of the calmest towns in the region where you will find forts tucked into the mountains, delectable Rajasthani cuisines and an opportunity to blend with the locals. Such places feel particularly pleasant when you are already tired of the hustle-bustle of Indian cities and want to clear the clutter in your mind with slow travel. Even if you have just one day to go around, you will not feel tired in Alwar as you hop around forts and other places.
Guest post by Aaradhya Singh
Blog: My Choize
What’s the best time to visit Alwar?
Most of the year Rajasthan remains a hot state, especially from March to July when the temperature crosses 45 degrees Celsius. Since you may want to indulge in entertainment activities in Alwar, summer is not the ideal time to be there unless you can bear the scorching heat of the sun.
After the summer starts subsiding in August, the rainy season begins. It is good to avoid traveling to Alwar during heavy rains because the roads are clogged and many places are closed because of the difficult access and risk to people. However, if the showers are mild when you plan to travel after checking the weather alerts, a little bit of rain is not an issue. On the contrary, the wind is pleasant, and forts look even more beautiful while it drizzles.
The best time to arrive in any part of Rajasthan, including Alwar, is winter. From November to February, the entire town is balmy and dry, but the weather is cold at nights. You can roam around without worrying about bearing the heat or getting drenched in the rain. The only downside of traveling during tourist season is that every place gets crowded. Even then, Alwar is a small town that does not attract millions of people. Still, it is better to book your hotel in advance and plan your travels efficiently since you would not like to lose the little time you have.
What’s good to know about Alwar?
The best part about traveling to the smaller towns of any country is that they are still untouched by urban development, which takes away the original charm of that place. There is an air of positivity and serenity in Alwar, which lets you relax even while you drive on the non-fussy roads. Traffic is smooth, small-time shopkeepers and peddlers are busy selling ordinary things, and every person you meet welcomes you with a smile. There are hardly any fancy restaurants and cafes here, but you can get the delectable local food from any bistro.
Rajasthani art is present on the walls of schools, colleges, public buildings and roadside fortifications. Many houses have the names of newly wedded couples painted on the exterior walls to celebrate the wedding in their household. These art forms and wall paintings convey a lot about the local culture of Rajasthan and denote that the people of Alwar are still in touch with their roots. When you say local ethos, it is clearly visible all around this little town.
One day in Alwar Itinerary
Just one day, yes, the only day you have is all you need to visit significant places in Alwar, though you need to make sure that you begin your day early in the morning without wasting any time sleeping. Begin your journey on a positive note and a lot of energy. Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Alwar.
Bala Quila or the Alwar Fort
When something as gigantic and ancient as Bala Quila has been standing upright since 1550, it is a marvel indeed. You need to reach the Alwar Fort, as they call it nowadays, early in the morning to begin your day and witness the majestic beauty of the monument. Although the forts of Rajasthan are a result of human efforts, they all seem unreal considering the lack of facilities 5-6 centuries ago. The 1000-feet tall fort was owned by various dynasties such as the Khanzadas, Pathans, Mughals and Jats. It is the oldest fort of Alwar, and it spreads over an area of 5 kilometers and comprises 51 small fortresses, 15 large towers, 15 temples and 446 apertures for musketry. You must visit the Sita Ram Temple, Chakradhari Hanuman Temple, and Top Wale Hanuman Ji Temple. The entire history behind this landmark of Alwar is full of confusion and various stories, which is also a reason it arouses curiosity among historians and travelers alike.
Alwar City Palace
At the base of the Aravalli Range, the Alwar City Palace is nestled exactly beneath the Bala Quila. The City Palace, also known as Vinay Vilas Mahal, is an absolute marvel of architectural mastery as it showcases a brilliant blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. Jai Pol, Laxman Pol, Suraj Pol, Chand Pol, Andheri Gate and Kishan Pol are the various gates that let you enter the palace. Walls of the City Palace are ornate with mirror work and abundance of murals. Dozens of big and small fortresses and towers enhance the beauty of this place.
The Alwar City Palace is now government property and a museum, which was the idea of Maharaja Tej Singh Prabhakar Bahadur who suggested that the place be recreated in 1940. You can find the royal furniture, armor, manuscripts and many other things in there.
Siliserh Lake Palace
The Siliserh Lake Palace has now been converted into a fort hotel. The entry inside the hotel is reserved only for guests, though the lake is open for public. The great span of this lake over seven kilometers makes it an astonishing body of water to enjoy while boating and jet-skiing. In the backdrop, the mountains look even more mesmerizing as you view them from the Lake Palace. If you like the serenity of the place, you can book a room in the Siliserh Lake Palace Hotel and wake up to the chirping sound of birds. If you come during the migratory season, you may even see migratory birds with the binoculars as well.
Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary is snuggled in the Aravalli Mountain Range and extends over an area of 800 square kilometers. Visiting a sanctuary like Sariska means that you get to witness high cliffs, rocky landscapes, dry deciduous forests and grasslands. Rich flora and fauna welcome you to the sanctuary during winter, and you can observe the Royal Bengal Tigers roaming around in significant numbers in the sanctuary. The tigers were relocated in good numbers to this place, and they have adapted to the local environment to become the celebrities of the wild here.
Along with the countless trees and animals, the sanctuary is home to the remains of medieval temples from the 10th and 11th century. You can have a panoramic view of the hovering eagles and birds from the 17th-century castle present on the hilltop.
Although you may fall short of time, you may still pay a quick visit to the Sariska Palace because the citadel is located right next to the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary. The fort used to serve as a guest house for Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, who would come to the place during his hunting expeditions. The thick forest cover around the Sariska Palace magnifies its splendor. Although the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel, you can still catch a breath for the late evening tea or dinner and call it a day.
Where to stay in Alwar?
When you are in a historical city, you must avoid staying in clichéd hotels. A few forts have been transformed into stunning hotels and are reasonably priced. After enjoying your entire day visiting various places, you can stay at a fort hotel and have a blissful night.
Neemrana’s – Hill-Fort, Kesroli
Since the Hill-Fort Kesroli was initially built as a home to the royalty, it does not feel like a traditional hotel, either. The staff of the inn has done a brilliant job maintaining the old-world appeal of the place while accommodating modern-day facilities for the comfort of their guests. The ground staff and the management are exceptionally polite, which will make your stay even more pleasant. And you will taste the most delicious Rajasthani food here at the dinner buffet. Moreover, you can keep yourself engaged with activities like badminton, chess, carom board and watch TV when you want to relax.
The perfect blend of natural wonders and modern comforts can be found in the Dadhikar Fort, which is a great place to the stay in Alwar. This hotel is also a restoration of an ancient fort, the charm of which is still there. The compact dimensions of the Dadhikar Fort let you roam around the place several times a day, which also makes sure you do not feel tired. You can enjoy a walk to the village adjacent to the fort and interact with the local villagers, too.
Extra tips for visiting Alwar?
- Since you have only one day in Alwar, make sure that you begin your day early without wasting any time.
- Cabs may not be easily available in town, so you can either take your car or book a Self-Drive Car to visit various forts in Alwar.
- Do not forget to try the Rajasthani cuisine, especially Dal-Bati-Choorma and Chana Dal.
- Spend some time on the porch or in the garden of your hotel to behold the sight of clear sky and stars. Take a glass of wine with you and enjoy the company of your loved one to spend some quality time together.
- The local people in Alwar are warm by nature, so don’t be shy and afraid talk to someone milking a cow. You can also give away a few candies to the kids playing around. They are happy to get a picture clicked with the tourists.
Cherish every moment when you are in Alwar and be a part of the small town life.
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