Friday, 8 July 2011

Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan

About 180 kms. to north-east of Jaipur, along the rolling hills of Vindhyas and Aravali ranges lies the town of Sawai Madhopur. The town founded in 1765 AD was named after its founder Sawai Madho Singh-I of Jaipur. Today Sawai Madhopur is known for Ranthambhor, a Wildlife reserve and a place of historical importance.

The Muslim conquest brought about major changes in the political map of northern India. In Rajasthan, the Chauhan kingdoms of sapadalaksa and Nodal dis-appeared, Govinda the grandson of Prithviraj Chauhan established himself at Ranthambhore and ruled as feudatory of the Sultan of Delhi. Following disturbances after the death of Iltutmish, Vagbhatta besieged the fort of Ranthambhor. He then ruled from here for 12 Years waging continuous battles against the Sultanate. Rao Hamir was yet another figure who carved a niche for himself.

Rana Kumbha captured the Ranthambhor Fort the middle of the 15th century. After the death of Aurangzeb, the fort was taken over by the rulers of Jaipur.

Ranthambhore National Park

This park lies in the shadow of the Aravalli and Vindhya mountain ranges andcovers a core area of 275 sq km. Its razor-sharp ridges, deep boulder-filled gorges, lakes and jungles are the habitat of carnivores such as the caracal, panther, jackal and hyena, numerous species of deer, and a rich variety of resident and migratory birds. The most famous resident, however, is the endangered tiger, and it’s a unique experience to catch glimpses of this majestic animal.

Ranthambhore Fort

This ancient citadel is situated almost exactly at the meeting point of the Vindhya and the Aravalli hill ranges. The fort, after which the National Park was named, is thought to have been built in 944 CE. It was occupied by Raja Hamir for many years until the siege by Alauddin Khilji’s army in 1301 forced the Rajput king to surrender. It can be tiring to walk up to the ramparts but the view of the park and its three lakes from the top is worth the effort.


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