The eastern gateway of Rajasthan is Bharatpur. It was first founded in the late 17th Century A.D. by Rustam Jaat and later developed into the capital of Maharaja Suraj Mal in the 18th Century A.D. It was once an invincible well-fortified township moulded out of a region formerly known as Mewat. It has the famous Fort, whose symbol is a looted canon.
The legends say that the place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers, Laxman's name is engraved on the state arms and the seals.
The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th Century leaders like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with. Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century.
The main architectural buildings of Bharatpur are as,
v Loha Garh – It is a Fort founded and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal in the early 18th Century A.D. This ironed fort, as the name suggests, has an amazing history behind itself.
It is so called because it remained invincible during a number of attacks. There are several towers in the fort, namely, Jawahar Burj, which celebrated the victory over the Mughals by Maharaja Jawahar Singh in 1765 and Fatehburj, which marked the defeat of the British in 1803 A.D. Some of the monuments worth a visit inside the fort are Mahal Khas, Kohli Khas and Kishori.
v The Palace – This royal palace is a brilliant blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture. The magnificent apartments within which the royalty lived have patterned floor tiles with beautiful intricate designs.
v Deeg – The town of water palace is called the Deeg. It used to be the royal summer resort of the rulers of Bharatpur and hence served as a second capital of the region. It is dotted with a number of forts, palaces and gardens.
Many tourists traveling to this destination have rate it as the highlight of their visit. It is just 55 kilometers from Agra and 176 kilometers from Jaipur.