The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression; and was flooded after the Ajan Bund (dam) was constructed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the then ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur, between 1726–1763. The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organized yearly in honor of the visiting distinguished guests. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were shot by the shooting party.
The park was established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850s, the area was designated as a bird sanctuary and now it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a delight for both serious bird watchers and a layman. Tourists throng this national park as it boosts of a variety of species of animals, reptiles, insects and plants besides the innumerable species of birds.
The city is in the Agra district of the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 22 kms from Bharatpur, and was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar. It served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. After his military victories over Chittor and Ranthambore, Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to a new location, 37 kms away, on the Sikri ridge, to honor the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Here he commenced the construction of a planned walled city which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction of a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. The easy availability of sandstone in the neighboring areas of Fatehpur Sikri, also meant that all the buildings here were made of the red stone. The Imperial complex was abandoned in 1585, shortly after its completion, due to paucity of water and its proximity with in the Rajputana areas in the North-West, which were increasingly in turmoil. Buland darwaza, Jama Masjid, Panch Mahal, Tomb of Salim Chisti, are some of the few points of interest in Fatehpur Sikri.
Drive down from Laxmi Niwas Palace to explore this marvelous architectural wonder at leisure and return back in the serene surroundings of the hotel to ponder over your day well spent.
About 32 kms from the city of Bharatpur lies this palace complex, which was the first capital of the Jat dynasty of Bharatpur. Deeg was the capital of the Jat kings before they shifted to Bharatpur. Badan Singh, who came to the throne in 1721, built a palace here but due to its strategic location and proximity to Agra, Deeg had to face repeated attacks by invaders. It was then that his son, prince Suraj Mal, began the construction of a fortress around the palace around 1730. The fort had massive walls and a deep moat to keep away the raiders. After his historic victory over Delhi, Suraj Mal plundered the Red Fort and his army carried back innumerable valuables. Among these were the famous marble swing of Nur Jahan, and a complete marble structure with inlay work of semi precious stones (dismantled and reconstructed at Deeg). Both of these remarkable examples of mughal design are still intact at Deeg. The Jat rulers were highly influenced by the Mughal rulers, and hence it shows in the architecture and the ground plan of the Deeg palace complex. In recent times, Deeg palaces are more popular among tourists for their annual show of colored fountains (Braj festival- February). Stay at Laxmi Niwas Palace and witness this unique show in the beautiful surroundings.
It is one of the “Seven Wonders of the World”; a UNESCO world heritage site; and foremostly ‘The Monument of Love’. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the monument for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal as a symbol of eternal love, and that is what it stands for still. Hence, the city of Agra (home to Taj Mahal) is a crowded tourist destination. Laxmi Niwas Palace is only 56 kms from Agra and therefore offers a much more peaceful and romantic stay that prolongs the sensations you feel at the Taj Mahal.
situated right in the heart of the city, it is known to be one of the most prominent temples in Bharatpur. Almost 400 years old, this temple stands right in the middle of the main market area. It is said to have been established by Naaga Baba, a sage who worked for upliftment of the mankind. Displaying typical Rajasthan style of architecture, this beautiful temple is visited by a large number of devotees every year.
In the neighborhood of this temple is another Laxman Temple, which was built by Maharaja Baldev Singh in 1870. Made up of sandstone and white marble, this Laxman Temple is home to Ashtdhaatu idols of Laxmanji and Urmilaji. Smaller Ashtdhaatu idols of Ram, Bharat, Shtrughan and Hanuman are also enshrined in this temple. Both the temples can be easily reached from anywhere in the city by a cab, a cycle rickshaw or a tonga.
To know the history of Bharatpur one must visit the museum. It was the palace of the Jat rulers of Bharatpur, later taken over by the Indian government. Now, it is the state museum and has an interesting collection of statues and artefacts.