The independent State of Kota became a reality in 1631 when Rao Madho Singh, the second son of Rao Ratan of Bundi was made the ruler, by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Soon Kota outgrew its parent state to become bigger in area, richer in revenure and more powerful.
Maharao Bhim Singh played a pivotal role Kota's history, having held a 'Mansab' of five thousand and being the first in his dynasty to have the title of Maharao.
Kota is situated at a center of the southeastern region of Rajasthan a very region widely known as Hadaoli the land of the Hadas. Kota lies along the banks of the Chambal river.
The historical places and temples are getting surrounded with signs of modern development. Kota is on a high sloping tableland forming a part of the Malwa Plateau. The Mokandarra hills run from southeast to northwest axis of the town.
Apart from the several monuments that reflect the erstwhile glory of the town, Kota is also known for its palaces and gardens.
Tourist Attractions in Kota
Maharao Madho Singh Museum:
Situated in the old palace, the museum has a superb collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school, exquisite sculptures, frescoes and armory.
The museum also houses a rich repository of artistic items used by the Kota rulers. The museum is definitely not to be missed as it is reportedly one of the best museums in the state. This was formerly a palace and is named after the son of the ruler of Bundi who was made the first ruler of Kota State by the Mughal emperor Jehangir.
The museum is closed on Fridays and state holidays. It gives a wonderful glimpse of the glory and history of the place with miniature paintings and ancient armory on display.
Brij Vilas Palace Museum (Government Museum):
Brij Vilas Palace Museum is one of the best maintained Museums in Rajasthan. The Museum is located in the northern part of Kishore Sagar Lake stores an interesting collection of coins, weapons and statues. It is also known as the Government Museum of Kota and is sponsored by the state government.
Brij Vilas Palace Museum is one of the best places to check out the history of Rajasthan through out the ages through many battles and acquisitions.
Brij Vilas Palace Museum concentrates more on the regions culture rather than on anything else. Objects of scientific and historical importance are exhibited here. The main objective of this museum is not profit but to offer students of history a chance to go through the vast resources of Rajasthan that have been collected and preserved throughout the ages.
The museum contains a wide range of objects including manuscripts, documents, artifacts, heirloom items, and archeological objects. The local art and craft of Hadoti region is one of the special features of this museum.
A part of the irrigation canal system on the Chambal River, this beautiful setting is ideal for outings and evening strolls. Other Places worth visiting: Kansua temple with a four faced Shiva Lingam, Bhitria Kund, Adhar Shila Budh Singh Bafna Haveli and Yatayat Park.
Not only does this barrage control floodwater and irrigate canals, it also serves as an alternative bridge in the monsoon season.
Kota Jagmandir Palace was the pleasure palace of Kota's erstwhile kings. It is positioned in the central part of the striking Kishor Sagar Lake. Right in the middle of the tank, on a small island, is the beguiling little palace of Jagmandir.
Remnant of its glorious past, Jagmandir Palace in Kota is a pure delight to the eyes. The reflection of Jagmandir Palace in the crystal waters of Kishor Sagar Lake offers a spectacular view to the visitors.
Built in 1740 by one of the maharanies of Kota, it is best seen early in the morning but is exquisite at any time of the day. The azure water around the red-sandstone monument enhances its beauty. Boat-rides can be enjoyed in the lake. The Keshar Bagh famous for its royal cenotaphs lies in the vicinity.
The Chambal Gardens are on the banks of the Chambal River, south of the fort. Its position on the banks of the Chambal River has given it a mesmerizing setting. They are popular place for picnic.
The centerpiece of Chambal Gardens is a murky pond that plays home to some crocodiles, which can be crossed by a wobbly suspension bridge. Once common all along the river, by the middle of the 20th century the crocodiles had been virtually exterminated by hunting. There are also some rare Gharials, a particular species of fish eating crocodiles that are thin-snouted.
This beautifully landscaped garden is positioned at the Amar Niwas. Visitors coming to Chambal Gardens in Kota can also enjoy boat rides in the Chambal River.
Haveli of Devtaji:
The beautiful Haveli of Devta Shridharji is located in the middle of the busy market. The Haveli is noted for its splendid frescoes and rooms ornate with lovely wall paintings.
Haveli of Devta Shridharji, Kota was owned by Devta Shridharji who was a wealthy merchant in Rajasthan. The rooms in the haveli are adorned with exquisite murals, artifacts and antique pieces. They tell you of the rich heritage and way of life of the wealthy gallants during that time.
Haveli of Devta Shridharji is an imposing structure with large courtyard, huge rooms, spacious lobby and an inner courtyard for the women. The intricate marble carvings and murals adorning the haveli will leave you dumbfounded.
Though there are many havelis in Kota few can match the artistic fervor of this place. The rooms and basic dcor has been kept intact so that the tourist can get an idea of the lifestyle of yore. The miniature frescoes on the wall tell of the high level of artistic genius.
The Temples in Kota were conquered by the Hada chieftain Rao Deva. But during the reign of Jahangir, who had been a deep admirer of architectural works, paintings and other art forms, these temples were gifted to the Mughals by Madho Rao, the son of Rao Deva.
Since the city of Kota is replete with abundant quantity of stone idols of various shapes and forms, gold stained glass works on the walls of the temples, silver mirror works embellishing the beauty and marvelous wall paintings, Jahangir accepted the ownership of Kota quite gladly. Therefore, you can also find a huge number of Mughal Paintings and Architectures over here.
The Shiva Lingam that presides over the Kansua Temple, Kota, Rajasthan is indeed a spectacular manifestation of human imagination. It is not a normal Shiva Lingam with one head; but it is a magnificent four headed Shiva Lingam carved out from stone..
Said to be endowed with enormous celestial power, a visit to this Shiva Temple is said to be a golden achievement for any pilgrim. Even if tourists come here unknowingly, they get the eternal blessings of Lord Shiva. Such is the auspiciousness of this temple. The fast flowing Chambal River, which flows nearby, seems to wash the feet of the deity in this temple.
How To Reach Kota
Fly Away: Jaipur is the nearest (240 km) and large airport through a local airline has flight to Jaipur from Kota.
On Tracks: Kota railway station is located at the extreme northern end of the town. As Kota is on the main DelhiMumbai railway line via Sawai Madhopur, a number of trains pass through and stop here. The trip to Jaipur takes about 5 hours, while it takes 10 hours to reach Delhi from Kota.
On Wheels: Good network of road connections link Kota with many cities inside and outside the state. There are several buses from Kota to Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bikaner.
Where To Stay in Kota
Please stay at Hotel The Grand Chandiram for the best accommodation in Kota.
Where To Shop in Kota
For the shopping buffs, however, an experience of Shopping in Kota would be very thrilling. With its rich tradition in arts and crafts, Kota has a special place in the heart for every Indian woman. Its exclusive range of hand woven sarees appeals greatly to them. They are made of cotton and silk. The textures of these sarees are such that they provide comfort. You can have an assortment of these Kota Sarees at the Bazaars in Kota India.
Main Bazaar, Kota is the most significant of all Bazaars in Kota Rajasthan. Here you can obtain miniature handicrafts and hand woven checkered and printed Kota saris. Small gift items and souvenirs are also available here. Colorful bangles, earrings and other textiles with embroidery works are the other special attractions over here.