While Sariska Tiger Reserve is a destination in itself, there are many interesting places in and around the reserve that will light up your stay here. Ranging from nature and heritage to religious spots, here is a list of some of the in and around Sariska during your stay here.
Some 35 km away from the Tiger Reserve, the ancient Neelkantheshwar temple is located at a picturesque spot atop a plateau, with the daunting-yet-dramatic approach roads offering unique presepctives of the park and the nearby areas. While the main temple, dating back to the 8th century, is dedicated to Lord Shiva, there are several small temples around the complex. It is believed that Aurangzeb tried to take control of the temple, but was chased away by bees.
Image Source Vagabond
Located on a small hillock inside the Sariska Tiger Reserve itself, the Kankwari Fort (variably spelled as Kankawari) is a place of great historical importance locally. Built by the Maharaja Jai Singh I in the 17th century in the time of a famine, the fort was later used by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to imprison his brother Dara Shikoh in a tussle for succession to the throne. While the sight of the fort on a hillock in the middle of dense greenery makes for a visual treat, it should also be visited for its architecture and Rajput- Mughal legacy.
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Built as a retreat and hunting lodge for the royal family of Alwar, the Sariska Palace is now a heritage hotel and, needless to say, a major tourist attraction. The exteriors, a mix of traditional Rajputana and French architecture, are a major draw for the travellers. The place is a part of popular culture too, having featured in the cult movie ‘Karan Arjun’. Visit it during a sightseeing session, or choose to stay if you have the moolah.
Image Source- Wikimedia
Believed to have been a temporary residence of the mythological heroes ‘Pandavas’ from the epic Mahabharata, during their 14 year Agyaatvaas (exile incognito), Pandupol houses a famous temple of Lord Hanuman and a natural freshwater stream. Legend has it that Bhim, the strongest of the Pandav brothers, shattered a rock here to create an opening in the face of the hill, from where flows the stream.
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Thirteen km from the Alwar city and about twenty km from the Sariska Tiger Reserve, this idyllic lake surrounded by the Aravalli hills was built by Maharaja Vinay Singh in mid-19th century for his queen as a lake palace and hunting lodge. While it was also used as a resrvoir to supply water to the Alwar city, the lake and the adjoining palace are great tourist destinations now. Enjoy boating, or just appreciate the views. But be careful, some spots of the water body are believed to be still inhabited by crocodiles; we’re sure you wouldn’t want to find out where.
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