Weekend Getaways From Sikar

When you get that much expected long weekend, you would definitely want to get off for a while from the punishing routine of life. Nothing comes close to an exciting weekend trip outside your place, but nearby! There are many places of tourist as well as historical attraction and importance in and around the city of Sikar.
 
The following are the places you can consider as your weekend getaways, in and around Sikar:

Nawalgarh

Nawalgarh is a famous historical destination located in Sekhawati region and is popular because of its havelis. Havelis are old houses built in Mughal era architecture, preserved and painted beautifully. These havelis contain numerous fresco paintings and are built in a large scale. Nawalgarh is one of the very few historical places in India which are preserved in a good condition. You can find many important forts in Nawalgarh, the most famous one being the Bala kila fort. Another interesting fort you can find here is the Fategarh Fort. This famous Fategarh Fort has been built by Thakur Nawal Singh and his descendants.

There are many other important ancient and marvellous structures found here such as Roop Niwas Palace, Lakshmi Narayan Mandir and Sri Gopinath Ji Mandir and these are considered to be almost 300 years old. These structures are renowned for their exquisite architecture, elegant carvings and awe-inspiring paintings. Other interesting tourist destinations include a museum called Podar where you can find a large number of painting collections. To reach Nawalgarh by air, Delhi airport is the nearest airport. To travel by rail route, Jaipur railway station is the nearest railway station. There are also good bus facilities to reach Nawalgarh from major areas of Rajasthan. The best season to visit this place is from October to March. The temperature is moderate in Nawalgarh with temperature ranging from 25 to 42 degree celsius in summer and from 10 to 25 degree celsius in winter.

Morarka Haveli

You can reach the magnificent Morarka Haveli by a short walk towards the north of Dr Ramnath A. Podar Haveli Museum. This haveli is well decorated with murals of Lord Jesus Christ and Shiva, Parvati and Krishna and the highlight is a baithak with an ancient old hand-pulled fan (punkah). There is also the famous attractive Krishna (Gher Ka) Mandir which is directly opposite the Morarka Haveli. This eye-catching structure is an intricate mass of delicate chhatris and dates back to the mid-eighteenth century. While exploring Morarka Haveli, there are many interesting facts you would get to know about the architecture of the haveli. It is notable that Morarka Haveli is preserved in it's original form and no renovations have been done. It is under the maintenance of the famous business house of Morarkas and they used it as their native residence. Also not to be missed are the original frescos in this haveli, which are amazing. All these frescos were made around 1850-1900, so there are many portrayals of western life, including the amazing fresco of Jesus Christ on the first floor.

Aath Haveli


Aath Haveli in Sikar

Aath Haveli is renowned for containing the very well preserved Rawal Madan Singh Ji and it is located very close to the Nawalgarh fort (only 1 km). This is an enchanting and marvellous palace containing a beautiful garden and gorgeous fountains. Because of its beauty, this palace has now been transformed into a heritage hotel with the name, Hotel Roop Niwas.

Since the building is traditional in style, it gives a homely and cozy look to it during winter time. It is fantastic to just look at the beautiful interior design style and ethnic furniture. The total ambience of the hotel is very calm and peaceful with mild rajasthani music playing in the background as you relaxingly eat and roam around. Food is extremely good here and cooked in a traditional rajasthani style and there is also good international cuisine for international guests. The peaceful atmosphere makes it a very good place to get away from the noisy city life and hold parties with friends and family.

Shekhawati

This popular cultural region of North Rajasthan is located inside the triangle made by Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner. This small desert region is covered with several beautiful palaces, havelis and amazing wall paintings. This place is rich in arts, crafts and architecture and so popularly called as the 'Open Art Gallery' of Rajasthan. Shekhawati has plenty of minor castles, forts, mosques, wells, and there is also a deer sanctuary here. The architecture of the Shekhawati buildings dates back to the 18th and 19th century. Horse safari and camel safari are very famous and delightful tourist activities here. In Shekhawati, there are many good hotels available for comfortable accommodation with posh facilities. The climate of the place is mostly in extremes so it is advisable to plan your trip accordingly.

Mandawa

Mandawa is a famous town located in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, close to Sikar (53 km) and Jaipur (190 km). This popular tourist spot established in the 8th century is renowned for its forts and Havelis. The city was ruled by many emperors and the famous Havelis here are Goenka Double Haveli, Hanuman Prasad Goenka Haveli, Murmuria Haveli, Mohan Lal Saraf Haveli, Jhunjhunwala Haveli, and Gulab Rai Ladia Haveli. The city, also referred to as Open Art Gallery, is a famous tourist spot where you can enjoy the privilege of staying in the 17th century fort. This ancient fort is now converted into a luxurious and beautiful heritage hotel full of the old Rajasthani Haveli charm. The carvings, mirror works, colourful fresco art and paintings on folk and social themes are some of the amazing features of Mandawa Fort.

There are also paintings depicting European themes in the various murals and frescoes of the Mandawa castle. Thousands of tourists from all over the world come to Mandawa to see the open art gallery of Rajasthan and its gorgeous Havelis. This place is very popular for horse riding and has the best horses in India including the best breed, the Marwari horse. If you plan to travel to Mandawa by air, Jaipur airport is the nearest airport (203km). If you plan to travel by rail, the nearest railway station is the Jhunjhunu railway station. If you choose to travel by road, there are many buses available from all major cities of Rajasthan to Mandawa. The summer temperature ranges from 32 to 45 degree celsius and the winter temperature from 10 to 23 degree celsius and the best time to visit is from October to March.

Bagar

This beautiful town in the Shekhawati region is famous for being filled with painted havelis. Among the famous Havelis, the most important attractions are those of Rungtas and Piramal Makharia, which have been turned into heritage hotels. Other famous tourist spots in Bagar are the White Gate, Fatehsagar Water Tank and Durgah of Miya Saheb. If you want to travel by air, Sanganer airport in Jaipur is the nearest (150 km) and if you plan to travel by train, Jhunjhunu is the nearest railway station. If you plan to travel by road, you can avail the various bus services available from various major cities of Rajasthan to Shekawati. The summer temperature of Bagar ranges from 32 to 45 degree celsius and the winter temperature ranges from 5 to 28 degree celsius and the best time to visit is from October to March.

Kuchaman

Kuchaman, a famous heritage city and a busy commercial hub belongs to the Nagaur district in Rajasthan. The most impressive feature of this place is the Shekhavati style of Havelis and you can find awesome murals, frieze paintings and fresco paintings here. Kuchaman city was founded in 1781 and at present, many religious congregations are held here. This  historical place with important monuments is also fun filled and bustling with markets and so an ideal place for shoppers. The world famous Kuchaman Fort has been converted into a luxurious heritage hotel by Ranjit Singh Rathore, a direct descendant of the Rathore royal family. The fort's original beauty is still preserved in its lay work of precious stones, glass and gold. In fact, the well restored and well maintained havelis and the paintings at the fort reveal the art of the region. Kuchaman was named after the Kuchaman fort which was a strategic military post built by the Gurjar Prathihara dynasty. It is a notable fact that Kuchaman was a major halt destination in Central Asia's historic trading routes for centuries.

Sambar Salt Lake


Sambhar Salt Lake in Sikar

This gigantic salt water spring is a wonder of nature and an excellent place for bird watchers. You can find thousands of migrating birds here and other wildlife in the nearby forests, where Nilgai lives freely along with foxes and deer. This lake is India's largest saline lake and contributes to most of Rajasthan's salt production. It produces about 196,000 tonnes of clean salt every year, which is equal to around 9% of India's salt production. The Indian epic Mahabharata mentions the Sambhar lake as being under the kingdom of the king Brishparva and as the place where his priest Sukracharya lived. Sambhar has been given the title of Ramsar site (a recognized wetland of international importance). This is because this wetland is the prime wintering area for thousands of flamingos and other birds migrating from north Asia. The different algae and bacteria growing in the lake gives striking colours to the water and supports the lake ecology which sustains the migrating waterfowl.

Sheesh Mahal


Sheesh Mahal in Sikar

This famous house of mirrors contains a colossal chess board at the courtyard and many paintings of rulers. Therefore, this is the best place to gain knowledge about the rulers of Rajasthan. This magnificent building contains a ceiling mural with the maps of Nawalgarh and Jaipur. Sheesh Mahal is astounding and its architectural work is amazingly done using forty beautifully constructed pillars and thousand pieces of mirrors. The palace is said to have been built for the King for it was his custom to shift from Sukh Niwas to Sheesh Mahal in winter season. This is because the thousand pieces of mirrors in the palace used to reflect light inside the place and keep the rooms warm.

The beauty of the Mirror palace can be easily viewed in the darkness when a single candle lights up the entire palace as if thousands of candles were lit up. The intricate art of the mirror work makes the palace beautiful and when the mirrors reflect different colours of lights, it looks like thousands of colourful gems.

Meena Bazaar

The popular Meena Bazaar is where the King, Queen and the other royal family members used to do shopping. In the Meena Bazaar, the Kuchamani folk artists and crafts people regularly set up their exquisitely made handicrafts and sell them. 

Meera Mahal

The Meera Mahal is famous for its numerous paintings on the life history of the Rathore poet, saint Meerabai, who married the son of Rajput. This Mahal was built by Ranjit Singh and also comprises of a temple with lok devtas and the gurus of the masses. It is interesting to note that the idol in Maa Kaali Mandir temple is about 1200 years old and was brought from Karnataka to Kuchaman by the Rathores. The other temple, Krishna Mandir also dates back to about 2000 years.

Sunheri Burj

The Sunheri Burj displays the Rajasthan architectural skills during the days when the artisans were tragically beheaded or disabled after completion of work so that they would not repeat a similar masterpiece. The Sunheri Burj is also called  Golden Prop because the interior of the building shines bright till today due to the golden color reflecting all over from the Gold inlay works. The skilled art work of the architecture here is partly Rajput and partly Mughal art interwoven seamlessly. The walls also contain many murals, frescos and paintings created in honour of the kings which was the practice of those days. As an exception, the Sunheri Burj also displays frescoes of animals and birds creatively and elegantly designed in gold.

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