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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history and culture of Sariska?

Mercy Jacob DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

A holiday can be one of those memories that you would cherish for the rest of your lives, looking at photographs and remembering happy times. Add a little more to those memories, while you delve into the glorious history of your holiday destination. Sariska is, of course, no different, with its own set of folklore and legends ready to transport you into a different era. Take a peek into what it was then and is today, an added dimension to your trip that you will almost entirely enjoy:

  • The Ancient Connection

    Sariska finds mention in the famous Indian epic, The Mahabharata, as early as 5th Century BC. When the 5 Pandava brothers were sent to exile by their Kaurava cousins, they are believed to have taken shelter in what is today known as Sariska for a brief period. This is also believed to be the location for the war of wits between Bhima and Lord Hanuman. Legend has it that Lord Hanuman disguised himself as an old monkey, obstructing Bhima’s path. When asked by Bhima to move out of his way, the disguised deity politely asked him to bodily remove him if he so had the strength. When all his efforts failed, Hanuman revealed his true form and rose to his entire, massive height, giving Bhima a lesson in humility. Bhima then vowed to lead a life of true devotion to Lord Hanuman.
    In tribute to this legend stands the
    Pandupol complex with the beautiful Hanuman Temple within it.

  • Royal Legacy

    Moving into the era of kings and queens, the region around Sariska saw a flourish in terms of architecture. Built between the 6th and 13th Centuries, the group of Neelkanth Temples are a lasting evidence of the magnificent style of architecture of the dynasties during this age. Resembling the Khajuraho temples, these ones built by Mewat rulers too seem to be built in a style that the Chandela dynasty followed, around the same period in a different part of the country.
    This royal legacy then continued with the several ruling dynasties that Sariska saw and in no time, Sariska became a hunting preserve of the royal family. A favourite sport with
    Rajasthan’s royalty, it remained a popular destination amongst the privileged few due to its vast variety of flora and fauna. The Sariska Palace stands testimony to this aspect of Sariska’s history, a magnificent hunting lodge now turned into a heritage hotel.

  • Sariska Today

    With rampant hunting practices, the entire animal population of Sariska was soon depleting. It was under the efforts of Maharaja Jai Singh II that Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary and national park in 1958. This protected area spreads over 800 sq km, with its core surrounding an area of nearly 500 sq km. In 1971, seeing the plight of the ever decreasing number of tigers, the Indian Government launched Project Tiger, under which Sariska came to be recognised as a Tiger Reserve. Ironically, what was once known for being the hot-spot for hunting now stands as a protector of those helpless jungle creatures, preserving their natural habitat and providing them a safe haven. Sariska is now a popular destination among wildlife enthusiasts, who throng to this place for an experience nature in its most pristine state.

With that quick lesson in history, we sure hope your holiday leaves you with memories of a lifetime. And of course, what better way to make sure you capture this lovely holiday than a well-charged camera! Excited yet?

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