This is a fascinating small town set amidst Jaipur
and Alwar. It possesses a rich history that well explains
the significance of this tiny land. Situated around 90 kilometres
from Jaipur, it brilliantly portrays the settings of the Mughal
era and also has on display, beautiful murals and paintings
depicting the same. This place plays shelter to the remains
of a circular shrine. This shrine is believed to be the oldest
structural temple in India. The most important inscriptions
of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka (273-232 BC) can be found here.
The land is a combination of high ridges and rocky hills.
According to a legend, the land was called Matsyadesa
during the Vedic era. King Virat had Viratnagar as the capital
of the land. The Pandavas, heroes of Mahabharata spent 13
years of exile there. Bairat is more famous as a Buddhist
site and has great attractions for the tourists, like the
Ashoka Rock Edits and a Mughal mansion with fascinating murals.
A 500-metre high hill famous as the Bijak Ki Pahadi
is situated here. There are two-terraced levels in this ancient
monument. The lower level has the circular temple whereas
the upper level displays residential buildings. The latter
has cells for the monks and these quarters are precisely large
and resemble an open courtyard.
The place offers a captivating view of the surroundings. Earlier,
the shrine stood firm on 26 octagonal wooden columns, the
space between which was filled with bricks. The shrine had
a stupa in its domain and the entrance was towards the east.
The Rock Edits (carved on a rock) and the garden house
of the Mughal era are situated at a distance of 5 kilometres
from the shrine on the opposite side. Bairat was, in those
times, a very significant centre for the trading activities.
Though a concrete structure now protects the rock edits, they
are still barely visible.
The Mughal gardens are situated a little ahead. These 17th
century gardens are spread across a vast area along the bottom
of a high ridge. With trees enveloping a walled enclosure,
there are many amazing buildings of historical importance.
The murals, though exposed to the atrocities of the weather
and changing seasons, have been maintained well. One of the
attractions is the beautiful building termed as the Mughal
Gateway by the Rajasthan Department of Archaeology.
Housed inside are wall-paintings that depict the legendary
scenes from Sanskrit epics. This place is supposed to be the
area where Emperor Akbar had camped for hunting in the territory
Legend has it that the garden was once a garden mansion constructed
by a rich merchant to please the Emperor. Some of the murals
have been placed on the dome of the five open pavilions on
the roof terrace. They seem to be in a pretty decent condition
as compared to those preserved in the room, despite being
exposed to weather. The murals showcase narrative themes from
mythological stories in the form of paintings, the most prominent
colours being earth red, green, gray, white and black.