Nestled in the heart of Rajasthan, Dholpur is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors like Bharatpur and Agra. However, this quaint town, steeped in history and natural beauty, offers a treasure trove of offbeat experiences for the discerning traveler. Join us as we explore the hidden gems of Dholpur, a place where history, nature, and adventure converge.

1. Machkund Temple


Teerthraj Machkund, situated just 4 kilometers from the main town, is a prominent religious site, especially for the Hindu community. This serene location, surrounded by a tranquil ambiance, is named after the 24th Suryavanshi Raja Machh. According to mythology, the demon Kaal Yamaan accidentally woke up Raja Machhkund, who then burned the demon to ashes using a divine power granted by the gods. This sacred lake, surrounded by temples built between 775 BC and 915 BC, is considered highly pious. The architecture, constructed from the famous Dholpur stone, reflects the antiquity of Indian mythology. A grand fair during the Hindu month of Bhado and the Dev Chhat festival draw numerous devotees each year, making it a vibrant cultural hub.

2. Shergarh Fort


Perched on the banks of the Chambal River, Shergarh Fort is a historical marvel over 3,000 years old. Originally built by King Maldev in 1532 and later restored by Sher Shah Suri in 1540, this fort served as a strategic defense point against the Mewar Kingdom. Today, the fort is in ruins, but it still boasts enchanting images, beautifully carved sculptures of Hindu gods, and intricate Jain motifs. The fort complex includes a Hanuman Temple, several palaces, courtyards, and other structures. The fort’s rich history and architectural beauty make it a must-visit for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts.

3. Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary


Located 16 kilometers from Dholpur city, Van Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest wildlife reserves of the Dholpur rulers. Spread over 25 square kilometers, the sanctuary is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including sambhar, chital, blue bull, wild boar, sloth bear, hyena, and leopard. The sanctuary, known for its dhok and khair trees, offers a great escape into nature. Wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers will find Van Vihar a rewarding destination for spotting diverse species in their natural habitat.

4. Talab-e-Shahi and Khanpur Mahal


Talab-e-Shahi, located 27 kilometers from Dholpur, is one of the cleanest and most thriving lakes in Rajasthan. Built in 1617, this lake and the adjoining Khanpur Mahal were intended as a hunting retreat for Emperor Shah Jahan. Though Khanpur Mahal was meant to serve as a pleasure residence, it never fulfilled this purpose. Today, the lake attracts numerous winter migratory birds like pintails, tufted ducks, and common teals. The scenic beauty of the lake and the historical significance of Khanpur Mahal make it a must-visit spot.

5. Chambal River Safari


For adventure seekers, the Chambal River Safari is an exhilarating experience. The Chambal River, one of India’s most pristine rivers, is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including the endangered Ganges River Dolphins, Mugger Crocodiles, and migratory birds from Siberia. The National Chambal Sanctuary, established in 1978, protects a significant stretch of the river. A boat safari offers a unique opportunity to explore the natural habitat of gharials, crocodiles, and nearly 300 species of resident and migratory birds. The breathtaking views of the ravines and the river’s wildlife make this safari a memorable adventure.

6. Damoh Waterfall


Nestled in the wilderness near Sarmathura, Damoh Waterfall is a hidden gem that promises a picturesque setting. The cascading waters, surrounded by lush greenery and rocky cliffs, create a serene and captivating environment. The trek to the waterfall offers a chance to witness the region’s natural beauty up close. The tranquil sound of the waterfall and the pristine surroundings make it an ideal spot for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

7. Ramsagar Sanctuary


Situated close to Van Vihar, Ramsagar Wildlife Sanctuary is another offbeat destination worth exploring. The sanctuary, which includes the beautiful Ramsagar Lake, is home to fresh water crocodiles, various fish species, and a variety of waterfowl. During the winter months, the lake attracts numerous migratory ducks and geese, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. The serene environment and rich biodiversity make Ramsagar Wildlife Sanctuary a delightful destination for nature lovers.

Dholpur, with its offbeat charm and unspoiled beauty, offers a unique blend of history, nature, and adventure. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, this quaint town has something for everyone. So, the next time you plan a trip to Rajasthan, make sure to include Dholpur in your itinerary. Discover the hidden gems of this charming town and create memories that will last a lifetime.