Bharatpur is named after Ram’s younger brother, Bharat. Mythologically, Bharatpur’s history dates back to the 5th century B.C. These lands fell under the powerful Matsya kingdom who were on the side of the Pandavas during the epic battle of Mahabharata.
Till the early 1700s, Bharatpur was ruled by Khemkaran, a local chieftain. Maharaja Suraj Mal attacked Bharatpur Fort and was successful in battle. Most of the historical locations that pepper Bharatpur were commissioned by him. The fort and palaces here are a thing of beauty and hark back to a glorious history.
Besides the historical attractions, most travellers visit Bharatpur to explore the Keoladeo Ghana National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best birdwatching destinations in Rajasthan. A good monsoon season sees close 400 species of birds land up here October onwards. The park is spread over a meagre 29 sq. km. but you get to witness the avian guests in their natural glory. Herons, egrets, storks, moorhens, cormorants, and many more, can be spotted here.
If you’re visiting in February, the pre-Holi Brij Festival will show you another side of Bharatpur. Don’t miss out on the traditional raslila performance—a theatrical dance and music show centred around Krishna and Radha’s courtship.
Planning on how to reach Bharatpur is pretty simple. All you need to ensure is that your travel bookings are done in advance.