Lohagarh Fort - Quick Guide
Lohagarh Fort - Overview
Lohagarh Fort was built by Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal. The main feature of this fort is that it is made of mud and none of the rulers was able to win the fort. British attacked the fort four times but could not win it. The fort is very beautiful and is a must-visit if a tourist comes to visit Rajasthan.
Bharatpur is located in Braj region and was unbeatable once upon a time and that’s the reason the city is also known as Lohagarh. Another title given to the city is Eastern Gateway of Rajasthan. Tourists can visit it if they are travelling in a tringle of Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi. Bhratapur was ruled by a tribe of Siniswar clan around 100AD. Later it went under Rajputs, Mughals, Marathas, and the British.
The fort is opened for the public from 9:00am to 5:30pm. The fort is opened on all days even on government holidays. It takes around one to two hours to visit the whole fort as there palaces, towers, and other structures which the tourists can visit.
Tourists have to pay an entry fee in order to visit the fort. For Indians, the entry fees is Rs. 50 and for foreigners, it is Rs. 400. If tourists want to have a rickshaw ride, they have to pay Rs. 100 extra.
Best time to visit
The period from October to March is the best time to visit Bharatpur as the temperature ranges from 7 degrees to 27 degrees. As the weather is chilly, tourists will enjoy visiting the place. The period from April to June is very hot as the temperature reaches up to 45 degrees. So this period is not suitable. The period from July to September is hot and humid and is not suitable to visit the place. If the tourists want to see greenery then they can come to Bharatpur at this time.
Where to Stay?
There are around 74 hotels in Bharatpur where tourists can stay. The hotels range from inexpensive cheap hotels to expensive five star hotels. There are one five-star, five four-star, fourteen three-star, nine budget, and 39 cheap hotels. Some of these hotels are as follows −
The Bagh Resort located at Old Agra Achnera Road
Hotel The Park located at Fatehpur Sikri Road
Hotel Maggo located Near Bharatpur Bus Stand
Laxmi Vilas Palace located at Old Agra Achnera Road
Laxmi Niwas Palace located at Fatehpur Sikri Road
Hotel Shiv Vilas Palace located at around 6km away from Railway Station
Kadamb Kunj located at National Highway 11 Fatehpur Sikri Road
Hotal Bharatpur Ashok located inside Keoladeo National Park
Udai Vilas Palace located at Fatehpur Sikri Road
Geetanjali Hotel & Motel located at Fatehpur Sikri Road
Mahal Khas Palace located nearby Lohagarh Fort
Budget Hotels or Two-Star Hotels
Chandra Mahal Haveli located at Jaipur Agra Highway
Hotel Kiran Villa Palace located near Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Hotel Pratap Palace located opposite to Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
The Raj Palace Hotel located opposite to Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
Hotel Sonar Haveli located opposite to Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary
Cheap Hotels or One-Star Hotels
Hotel SpoonBill located at Fatehpur Sikri Road
Hotel Park Regency located at National Highway 11 Fatehpur Sikri Road
Hotel Tourist Palace located at Top Circle
Hotel Tourist Complex located at Goverdhan Gate
Hotel Comfort Regency located at Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Lohagarh Fort - History
Bharatpur was named after Lord Rama’s brother Bharata who ruled Ayodhya when his brother with his wife Sita and brother Laxman went for exile of 14 years. The family of Bharatpur made Laxman their family deity and engraved his name on their arms, seals and other emblems.
Bharatpur under Sogariya Clan
Rustam of Sogariya clan founded Chau Burj and after the declination of the Mughal Empire, he established himself in mewat region. Khemkaran, successor of Rustam lost to Raja Suraj Mal.
Bharatpur under Churaman
Churaman was a Jat who helped the peasants to get rid of the tyranny and ill-treatment by the Mughals. Churaman rose against Mughals but was defeated and killed. He was succeeded by Badan Singh.
Bharatpur under Badan Singh
After the death of Churaman, Badan Singh brought the Jats together and began to control a large part of territory. Mughal emperor of his time gave him the title of Raja. Badan Singh established himself as a ruler in 1722 and made Deeg his capital. He constructed a royal palace which is now called as Old Palace or Purana Mahal. Deeg was under constant threat of attacks, so prince Suraj Mal built a fort with deep moat and towering walls.
Bharatpur under Suraj Mal
Raja Badan Singh was succeeded by Raja Suraj Mal who built many forts and palaces in order to protect his kingdom from attacks. Lohagarh Fort was also built by him. Suraj Mal was succeeded by Jawahar Singh.
Bharatpur under Jawahar Singh
Raja Suraj Mal was succeeded by Jawahar Singh. Once Jawahar Singh went with his mother for Pushkar bath. He was asked to bathe in mud bank but he saw the beautiful bathing enclosures and took bath there. He also constructed a new one. Raja of Jaipur became furious with this act and attacked Raja Jawahar Singh but later he was humbled so Jawahar Singh returned back to Bharatpur.
Lohagarh Fort was built in 18th century by Raja Suraj Mal. Besides this, Suraj Mal built many other forts and palaces. Lohagarh Fort is considered as one of the strongest fort as British could not capture it in spite of several attacks. Lord Lake made a siege of the fort in 1805 for six weeks but in spite of so many attacks he couldn’t annex it.
Jawahar Burj and the Fateh Burj were built to celebrate the victory over Mughals and British. The fort is surrounded by deep moats. There is a legend which states that the fort will fall down if a crocodile takes up all the water of the moats. There is also a legend which states that a gate of the fort was brought from Delhi which Alauddin Khilji brought from the fort of Chittorgarh. The gate was brought and fixed in the fort in 17th century.
Attack on the fort by British
General Lake wanted to create enmity between Rajput and Marathas so he reminded Raja Ranjeet of the treaty. At that time Holker was in his protection and Raja refused to hand him to the British. British laid a siege on the fort and attacked it under the command of Lake but were defeated badly. Many of their soldiers and officers were killed. After two days British broke the wall and the Jats attacked them through artillery.
In the third attack, the British successfully crossed the moat but the attack of Jats filled the moat with the bodies of soldiers. General Lake was asked to have a peace treaty but he refused saying that reinforcement is coming. The combined forces of Holker, Amir Khan and Ranjeet Singh attacked on the British.
When the British force was reinforced from the troops that came from Mumbai and Chennai, they renewed the attack. The British solders were attacked by boulders but still some of them succeeded to enter the fort but British suffered heavy losses. Around 3000 were killed and several thousand were injured. After this Lake went into peace treaty with the Rajputs.
Lohagarh Fort - Architecture
Lohagarh Fort has been built by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1732 on an artificial island. The outer walls of the fort have thick walls made up of mud. The fort was impregnable due to these mud walls because the cannons fired on the fort were sunk in the mud. These cannons were later used by the army of the maharaja to attack on the enemy. The construction of the fort took eight years to complete. The British took over the fort and broke the walls in 1826. Some of the structures inside the fort are as follows −
Ashtadhatu Gate is the main entrance to the fort. The spikes of the gate were made up of eight metals that’s why the gate is called ashtadhatu or eight metal gate. Here ashta means eight and dhatu means metal. The gate has rounded bastions along with paintings of war elephants. It is believed that the gate belonged to the Chittorgarh Fort which was brought by Alauddin Khilji to Delhi. In 1764, Raja Jawahar Singh brought the gate to Lohagarh Fort.
Lohiya Gate is situated at the south of the fort. It was also brought from Delhi as it was a part of Chittorgarh Fort and brought to Delhi by Alauddin Khilji.
Sandstone Durbar or Maharaja Meeting Hall was a hall where the king used to have public and private meetings. The walls of the hall are carved, and the hall also has pillars and archways. The hall has now been converted into a museum.
The fort is surround by moat whose width is 250feet and depth is 20 feet. After digging the moat a wall of the height of 25 feet and width of 30 feet was constructed. The fort has ten gates to enter and exit. Each door led to the main road and there was a moat in front of the road whose width was 175 feet and depth was 40 feet.
Walls of the Fort
The walls of the main building of the fort has the height of 100 feet and width of 30 feet. The outer part was made up of brick and mortar but the inner part was made up of mud. The interior portion was not affected by the firing of cannons.
There were eight burjs or towers in the fort out of which Jawahar Burj is the highest. Big cannon-on-wheels were installed on these towers. The cannon-on-wheels had so much weight that around 40 pairs of bulls were used to pull the weapon. Many small cannon-on-wheels were also installed that were either robbed during a war or were bought by the king.
Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj
Jawahar Burj was built by Raja Sawai Jawahar Singh in 1765 to commemorate his victory over Mughals. Jawahar Burj was also used for the coronation ceremony of the rulers. The ceiling of the burj has frescoes which are deteriorating now. There is also a series of pavilions in the burj. Fateh Burj was built by Raja Ranjeet Singh in the commemoration of his win over the British. The burj was constructed in 1805.
Vijay Stambh or Victory Column is an iron pillar which consists of the lineage of Jat kings. Starting from Lord Krishna, the genealogy leads to Sindhupal who was the 64th descendent of Lord Krishna. It goes up to Maharaja Brijendra Singh who ruled from 1929 to 1948. The mentioned rulers in the genealogy belong to Yaduvanshi Jat.
Mahal Khas was built by Suraj Mal who reigned from 1733 to 1763. The roofs of the palace are curved and caved brackets were used to support the balconies. All this construction was a part of Jat architecture. One more Mahal Khas is there on the eastern side of the fort which was built by Raja Balwant Singh who ruled from 1826 to 1853.
Badan Singh Palace
Badan Singh Palace was constructed by Suraj Mal’s father at the northwest corner of the fort. The palace is also known as Old Palace and was built at the highest point of the fort. Suraj Mal’s father ruled Bharatpur from 1722 to 1733.
The Kamra Palace was built adjacent to the Badan Singh palace and was used to keep weapons and armoury. The palace has now been converted into a museum which includes Jain sculptures, collection of weapons, and Arabic and Sanskrit manuscripts.
Ganga Mandir was built by Raja Balwant Singh in 1845. Raja announced that the persons who are involved in the construction have to donate their one month salary. The architecture of the temple is very beautiful.
Laxman Temple is dedicated to Laxman the brother of Lord Rama who went with him for the exile of 14 years. The temple was constructed by using stone work. There are carvings from doorways to pillars, ceilings, arches, and walls.
Lohagarh Fort - How to Reach?
Bharatpur does not have airport but rail and road network is very good. The city is well-connected to many cities through road and rail transport as there is good network of both the modes. The nearby cities with their approximate distance from Bharatpur is as follows −
Bharatpur to Delhi
By rail – 167km
By road – 199km
Bharatpur to Agra
By rail – 52km
By road – 52km
Bharatpur to Mathura
By rail – 34km
By road – 39km
Bharatpur to Kota
By rail – 291km
By road – 327km
Bharatpur to Jaipur
By rail – 187km
By road – 192km
Bharatpur to Jodhpur
By rail – 497km
By road – 522km
Bharatpur to Jaisalmer
By rail – 786km to 1058km (depends on route as there is no direct train)
By road – 741km
Bharatpur to Ajmer
By rail – 322km
By road – 318km
Bharatpur does not have airport but the nearby national and international airports are Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi. Tourists can reach these places by air and then hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Bharatpur.
Bharatpur is situated on the main broad gauge line of Delhi to Mumbai and Delhi to Jaipur. In this way it is connected to almost all parts of India and tourists can reach here easily and comfortably. The trains that have stoppages here include Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Superfast and Fast Mail and Express and Passengers. No Rajdhani, Duronto, or Garib Rath Express stops here.
Bharatpur is connected to many nearby cities as well as cities of nearby states through road transport as it has a good road network. The city comes in the route of National Highway 11. Buses arrive to and depart from Bharatpur Bus Stand. Private operators are also there to arrange buses from Bharatpur to various cities.
Bharatpur has hiring agencies that provide cabs for a fixed period to move around Bharatpur. This is considered as a best way of transportation inside the city. Besides these, Bharatpur has the facilities of cycle-rickshaws and local buses with which tourists can reach their local destination.
Lohagarh Fort - Nearby Places
There are many places nearby Lohagarh Fort which the tourists can visit. Some of these places are as follows −
Keoladeo National Park
Raja Suraj Mal created Keoladeo National Park, also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Previously this park was established as a bird sanctuary in 1956 and in 1982, it was converted into Keoladeo National Park. The park has animals of many species like 50 species of fishes, five of amphibians, and five of turtles. Besides these, there are 375 species of birds found in the park.
Raja Suraj Mal built the Deeg Fort in 1730AD. The fort is around 34km away from Lohagarh Fort. The fort is square in shape and has a shallow moat. The circumference of the walls of the fort is 8km. There are ten gates to enter and exit the fort and besides these, there are 72 bastions. There is a watch tower which was used to view the whole city and the palace. The fort has been ruined now.
Gopal Bhavan is a building complex built in 1760. The front portion of the complex has gardens while the back portion faces Gopal Sagar. Sawan and Bhadon are small pavilions. Maharaja Suraj Mal brought a war trophy which is in the form of an arch installed here on a pedestal. The banquet hall has collections of souvenirs, curios, and Victorian furniture. Along with it, there are pillars arranged in rows.
Bankebihari Temple of Bharatpur is very popular and is considered as a house of Lord Krishna. The devotees believe that their dreams will be fulfilled here. The temple has the statues of Lord Krishna and Radha which are put in the main hall.
Clothes and jewels have been used to decorate the idols from head to toe. The walls of the temple are painted with the pictures of various deities while the verandah has various pictures of the childhood of Lord Krishna.