the border of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, nudging its fat
belly into neighbouring MP is this fascinating place - Jhalawar.
A mystery waiting to be unravelled. Questions waiting to be
asked, answers waiting to be found. It was the capital of
a small princely state created in 1838. It is a rock-strewn,
scrub-covered terrain, occasionally bright with fields of
poppies and citrus-green groves of oranges.
How To Get There
Jhalawar can be reached from Kota station - 87 km away and
the whistle halt of Ramganj Mandi 25 km away. Tourist taxis
are available in Kota. State transport buses from Kota and
Accommodation is budget standard. A private hotel and one
run by Rajasthan Tourism
Purvaj Hotel - Ph:- 309 51 on Mangalpura has basic rooms.
Hotel Dwarika - Ph:- 22626 on Hospital Road has rooms with
a bath. RTDC's Hotel Chandrawati - Ph:- 30015 on Jhalrapatan
Fairs & Festivals
Every year the citizens of Jhalawar stage a Festival around
the rich heritage of their area.
Do visit the Fort built by Raja Madan Singh. In it is the
Bhawani Natyashala theatre built on the lines of a European
opera house complete with out-thrusting box seats and a stage
sturdy enough to take an elephant. Constructed by ruler Bhawani
Singh who was devoted to the performing arts, his enthusiasm
was matched by that of his Prime Minister: Pandit Shyama Shankar,
the father of dancer Uday Shankar and sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.
Across a court from the theatre is the former residence of
the royal ladies now used as government offices. One of the
rooms, however, has been cleared of files and visitors can
see beautiful murals of former rulers and other scenes of
the old kingdom’s good life.
In the narrow roads of the old town is the, so-called, Surya
or Sun Temple with typical Jain torana arches but no image
of the Sun god who, traditionally, is shown wearing boots.
A statue of him however, can be found in the small Museum
outside the Fort.
Not far from the Surya Temple is the brightly painted Jain
Temple of Shantipath with an enormous standing figure of the
Tirthankar. The entrance is guarded by huge stone elephants
and there is an interesting water clock in the courtyard.
About 2 km away in an intriguing group of old temples beside
the Chandrabhaga river, all that remains of the ancient city
of Chandrawati. The sculptures in the smaller shrines in particular
exhibit a primitive power which seems to indicate pre-Iranian
Then there is the old fort of Gagron crowning a plateau at
the confluence of the rivers Ahu and Kali Sindh. Parts of
it date back to the 8th century and at the base of the Fort
is the dargah of Hazrat Khwaja-ud-Chisti Khorassani, a Sufi
saint, also known as ‘Mithai Mawali’. His dargah and Gagron’s
Islamic motifs add to the enigma of this once and future destination.