Kota, previously known as Kotah, is a prominent city if Rajasthan. It is an emerging industrial epicentre situated on the banks of River Chambal. Kota is still a largely unexplored territory and has splendid treasures for tourists. Its invincible fortresses, sprawling palaces and delightful waterways act as a magnificent foil to its exotic wildlife and delicate fresco paintings.
Though a modern city now, memories of its ancient links linger strongly. The foundation of the city was laid down 800 years ago by a Kotya Bhil warrior who built a small fortification at Akelgarh and put up a protective mud-wall around it all the way to Retwali. In the year 1580, Rao Madho Singh reinforced both the fortification and the wall. Later, it became the hallmark of Rajput power as well as culture.
When it comes to tourism, there is no dearth of attractions in the city of Kota, some of which we will explore here.
Maharao Madho Singh Museum: An important part of the Old Palace, this museum houses a wonderful collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school, exquisite sculptures, frescoes and armoury, giving visitors unique insight into the glory and history of the place.
Kota Barrage: The Kota Barrage is an integral part of the irrigation canal system on the Chambal River and makes for an idyllic setting for outings and evening strolls. This barrage not only control floodwater and irrigate canals, it also serves as an alternative bridge in the monsoon season. The work on this dam was completed in 1960.
Kishore Sagar and Jag Mandir: Kishore Sagar is a picturesque artificial tank of which was constructed by Prince Dher Deh of Bundi in 1346. Right in the middle of the tank, on a small island, is the beguiling little palace of Jagmandir which was built in 1740 by one of the Queens of Kota. The palace is made of red sandstone and looks stunning standing in the middle of the lake. Boat-rides can be enjoyed on the lake. The Keshar Bagh famous for its royal cenotaphs lies in the vicinity.
Chambal Garden: Beautiful Chambal Gardens stand on the banks of the Chambal River, south of the fort. It is a much sought-after picnic spot in Kota where tourists and residents enjoy boat rides. The garden encloses a well-maintained pond which also serves as a habitat for crocodiles.
Government Museum of Kota: Housed in the Brijvilas Palace near the Kishore Sagar, the museum has a rich and vibrant collection of rare coins, manuscripts and a representative selection of Hadoti sculpture. The archaeological section of the museum consists of various sculptures, some dating back to the Gupta period (4th century). Then there are enchanting paintings of Shrimad Bhagawata which date back to early 17th century. Various Sanskrit manuscripts about Vedic, astronomical and astrological researches can be seen in the manuscript section. Some Hindi manuscripts have also been preserved.