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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

Which are the popular places for sightseeing in Sariska?

Chandralekha Singh DEC 10 2012
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

All set to head out for that long overdue vacation? With an abundance of flora and fauna, you’re sure to peg Sariska as a nature retreat, with elements of adventure thrown in. But before you scroll in your itinerary, be prepared to be mesmerised with these sightseeing options in Sariska that are sure to keep you busy having fun:

  • Sariska National Park and Tiger Reserve

    If you’re travelling all the way to this place, you definitely have the unbounded beauty of nature and its many mysteries on your mind. Step into the wild and experience myriad flora and fauna at their natural, uninhibited best. Declared as a protected area in 1958, Sariska National Park is spread across 800 square km, out of which 480 sq km form its very valuable core. Being a part of the Project Tiger, it was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 1971, and is thus naturally home to majestic tigers, apart from leopards, wild dogs, jungle cats, hyena, jackals, sambars, cheetals, nilgais, chausinghas, wild boars and langurs. Explore its endless deciduous and arid forests while you gasp in wonder at sighting a jungle creature.
    November to March is considered to be the best time to visit the national park and tiger reserve, as the temperatures are mild and feasible for jungle safaris. But Sariska remains open to visitors all through the year, so if you’re open to tolerating the heat, the jungle beckons!

  • Kankwari Fort

    Dating back to the 17th Century, this beautiful fort spreads majestically, overlooking a serene lake. Located atop a hillock, a set of steep stairs will get you to the fort, huffing and puffing no less. The fading, beautiful paintings on its walls are reminiscent of its glorious history, the ruins of the fort adding to its old world charm. This is said to be the fort where the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh to usurp him and accede to the throne himself. Built in typical Mughal style architecture near the entry of the national park, the fort offers spectacular views of the bounteous nature that lays ahead in Sariska.
  • Neelkanth Temples

    So you thought India could only have one Khajuraho? Pay a visit to these ancient temples, built between 6th and 13th Centuries and now in ruins, and you’ll be surprised at how vast and varied the cultural heritage of the country really is. Built in a similar style as the Chandelas built the Khajuraho temples, these are largely dedicated to the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva. But that’s not all. The entire complex offers a great insight into the confluence of Hinduism and Jainism, with a number of ancient Jain temples in the same vicinity. Intricate and delicately carved, the entire complex stands testimony to ancient wisdom that achieved such brilliant feats, especially in the field of architecture.
  • The Sariska Palace

    Before gaining the status of a Tiger Reserve and National Park, Sariska was a popular hunting destination of the royal families of Rajasthan. The Sariska Palace stands testimony to this aspect of Sariska, of its royal past and glorious history. The palace was a popular hunting lodge for the royal family but now serves as a heritage hotel for visitors. Walk around the magnificent complex, with beautifully manicured lawns and pristine exteriors, while the soothing interiors charm you with their lavish and luxurious ambience. Experience a piece of history within, with the several paintings and artefacts carefully kept around the hotel premises to add to its appeal. Dine in at their grand dining hall and you’re sure to feel like royalty themselves!
  • Pandupol and Hanuman Temple

    The region that is now famously known as Sariska was believed to have been a shelter to the Pandavas (from the Indian epic Mahabharata) while they were in exile. Pandupol is a reminder of this legend, housing the famous Hanuman Temple within its premises. The temple boasts of a larger-than-life idol of Lord Hanuman, in an unusual reclining position. This idol pays tribute to the legend where Bhima, one of the 5 Pandava brothers, lost a battle of wits to Hanuman. After this, he lived the rest of his life as a faithful devotee of the deity and this devotion is kept alive even today in the form of this temple. As though adding a greater air of Hanuman-devotion, the surrounding area is abundantly inhabited by langurs and monkeys, who the priests and devotees consider incarnations of Hanuman himself and thus offer food out of respect.

A little bit of history, with a dash of religion and the wonders of nature - all in one place. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a holiday, doesn’t it?

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