Bharatpur - The 'Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan', was founded by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1733 AD, it was once an impregnable well fortified city, carved out of the region formerly known as Mewat. 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. The legends say the rulers Laxman's name is engraved on the state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Suraj Mal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam, and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city.
It is a fine blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture, built in various phases by different Maharajas. The magnificent apartments are richly decorated with patterned floor tiles with exquisite intricate designs. The museum occupies the main central wing depicting collections dating back to 2nd century, which reflect the art and skill of the region.
The very name 'Lohagarh' —Iron Fort—suggests the amazing history behind it. It is so called because it remained invincible during a number of attacks by Britishers, It was able to sustain itself with a powerful resistance due to the ingenious defensive works, conceived and designed by Maharaja Suraj Mai, the founder of Bharatpur in early 18th century. Today it still stands erect and impregnable, permeating an aura of strength and magnificence, Some of the monuments within the fort worth a visit are Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas.
Keoladeo National Park, is a paradise for bird watchers. The geographical location is ideal as it is on the main North-South avian route of India. It boasts of more than 375 species of beautiful birds. The Kingfishers, Pelicans, Siberian cranes, open billed storks, painted storks, egrets, ibises, cormorants, darters or snake birds, spoonbills, grey herons are some of the species observed.
In an adjacent building within the fort is the Government Museum, It antiquities houses a rich collection of items of this region. There are exquisite sculptures, some so fineiy chiselled revealing an epitome of skill and a grace so stunning— almost a symphony in stone. These sculptures speak volumes of the art of a bygone era and a culture typical of this area. There are also some ancient inscriptions.
Many parts of the fort still stand in all their glory, A few of the eight bastions of the fort stand sentinel to time. There is the Jawahar Burj and Fateh Burj worth a visit. These were built by Suraj Mai to commemorate his victories over the Mughals and British respectively. The coronation ceremony of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur used to take place at the Jawahar Burj.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park also known as Bharatpur bird sanctuary is one of the most well-known wildlife reserves in the world. There are a wide variety of migratory and water birds dwelling within the quietness of this park. Around 400 species of aquatic birds are found in the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. Visitors intending to visit this tourist spot can hire a boat and cruise the length and breadth of this park. Cycle rickshaws also provide excellent rides to the tourists who wish to roam around the entire park.