Last month I went to this very small city called Kuchaman city. Not many people have heard about this town, which is situated in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan about 110 kms away from the state capital and my hometown, Jaipur. I, personally, was least interested to accompany my parents on this trip. But when my father forced me, I had to go with them. Looking back, I am really grateful to my father as it gave me an opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful cities of Rajasthan. /Had it not been for my father I would have never had the opportunity to………..
We stayed in the famous Kuchaman Fort, which now has been converted into a heritage hotel. Perched atop a 1000 ft high cliff, the Kuchaman Fort is the most distinguished attraction of Kuchaman. The scenic beauty and the exquisitely built “Havelis” within the fort make you travel back in time. This 1100 year old fort, built in 9th century AD by the Rathore kings, attracts Indian as well as foreign tourists throughout the year. Even some parts of the bollywood flick “Drona” starring Abhishek Bachhan and Priyanka Chopra were shot in this fort.
The fort displays a rich collection of original work in semi-precious stones, glass and gold paint. The fort also houses the famous Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace), which is a sight to marvel at. In the courtyard of the Mahal a chess board is carved on which the kings used to play chess. There is also an indoor pool with ancient exotic miniature paintings, depicting the Ras leela of Lord Krishna. The old pool which was built hundreds of years ago has been suitably renovated so that it can be used by the esteemed guests.
The city also has some beautiful temples. The Krishna Temple and the Lok Dev Temple are two of them. As the name suggests, Krishna temple is an old yet graceful structure that houses the idol of Lord Krishna. The idol is said to be 200 years old. The courtyard, walls and the entrance have been beautifully carved out and depict the Hindu culture almost 1000 years into the past. Another scenic beauty is The Meera Mahal situated in the centre of the city, which- houses beautiful paintings depicting the life of the passionate Lord Krishna devotee and the Rajput poet saint, Meera Bai.
But the place which makes this city unique is the famous “Sambhar Lake”. This is India’s largest salt water lake (almost 35 kms long) considered to be a “wonder” as the big salt water lake springs out of nowhere. This lake has been providing the means of livelihood for centuries to thousands of people residing in the vicinity, who make salt and sell it in the local market. The area becomes a host to a large variety of birds in the winters like flamingos and some even come from far off places like Siberia.
The visit to the beautiful palaces, the mahals and the havelis of Kuchaman, which are actually unique in their style and architecture, make you travel back in time. Kuchaman city, a rare jewel set in the glittering sea of the golden sands of Rajasthan, intrigued me so much that if provided an opportunity to visit this place once more, I would not give it a second thought.