India // Rajasthan //


Bharatpur was founded by the Jat king Surajmal, who constructed the virtually impregnable Lohagarh (Iron Fort) at the heart of town in 1732; time and modern development have had little effect on its magnificent 11km-long bastions and immense moat. You’re most likely to enter the fort from the south, though it’s worth having a look at the impressive Ashtdhatu (or Eight-Metal) Gate, named on account of the number of different metals that apparently went into the making of its extremely solid-looking doors.

The fort is home to no less than three large royal palaces in various stages of dereliction, all built by the Jats between 1730 and 1850. The best preserved is the large orange Kamra Khas Mahal, on the west side of the fort, which now serves as the town’s recently upgraded museum, home to a large collection of finely carved sculptures, weapons and a superb little marble hammam (baths), plus the usual ragtag collection of miniature paintings and other regal memorabilia.

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