Ranthambhor & Tonk in Rajasthan

ranthambhorNesting between the Aravalli and the Vindhya ranges, Ranthambhor needs very little introduction. Its national park has been one of Indai’s conservation success stories. Though Sawai Madhopur is the entry point ot Ranthmbhor, and is an important town with its own historicity, but it is latter which is known the world over. Founded in the 11th century, this fort is one of the oldest in Rajasthan and was the stronghold of the Yadav kings in the 8th century and later of the Chauhans from 10th century onwards. Situated on a hill and rising 250 metres above the forested valleys, the fort has massive ramparts, mighty gates and bastions all around the hill. It faced several attacks valiantly and its history proves that it was never taken in battle by fair means. Its most valiant ruler was Hammir who faced Allauddin Khilji like a true Rajput and refused to bow to the enemy in spite of the severe shortage of food and provision that his fort faced. The bloody annals of Ranthambhor recall the legendary tales of heroism, of loyalty and of the fierce battles that the brave warriors fought. Most of the palace lies in ruins today but there are still some areas in good condition which give the visitor a fair idea of the fort’s pattern. Badal Mahal is interesting to see for its location.

One of the most famous places on the fort is the temple of Lord Ganesha. Every year thousands of people gather here during the Ganesh Chaturthi to worship at the temple. One interesting aspect is the mail that is sent t Load Ganesha consisting mainly of wedding invitations, the letterls are brought up to the temple in large sacks every day.

Ranthambhor National Park

Ranthambhor was one of the first few areas to come under project Tiger and has continued to be the most successful. It is the ideal place to see the Indian tiger in its natural habitat.

TONK in Rajasthan

Located 96 km from Jaipur, on the way to Ranthambhor, the quiet little town of Tonk which was rules by a tirbe of Pathans form Afghanistan. The focal point of Tonk is the Sunheri Kothi. A fairly ordinary monument from the outside, the interior is richly ornamented with stained galss, mirrors, stucco and gilt. Other interesting buildings are those built to accommodate the Birtish officers. There is a thriving leather and felt industry in Tonk and one can pick up some good bargains in the markets here.

The Nawabs of Tonk were avid book lovers and collectors. In the nineteenths and early decades of the present century, they built up a large collection of rare and manuscripts and books in Arabic and Persian. A few years back, the Arabic and Persian Research Institute has been located here.