Bharatpur is an 18th-century fort city that primarily attracts visitors due to its proximity to Keoladeo National Park. However, it offers plenty in its own right, with a handful of historic heritage hotels along temples and the 18th-century Lohangarh Fort, reputed to be one of India's strongest.
Though Bharatpur primarily serves as a jumping-off point for visiting the nearby bird sanctuary, visitors may want to stop to visit the Lohagarh Fort, with its imposing towers and elephant paintings. There are also a number of temples in the area, and wandering through the city's narrow streets can lend itself to some great photo opportunities. Tours to the nearby park sometimes stop in the city for lunch, but generally don’t make stops at the fort or local temples.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear sunscreen and comfortable shoes.
- Bharatpur is good for history buffs and those interested in local culture.
- Bring binoculars if you plan to visit the bird sanctuary.
How to Get There
Bharatpur is popular with travelers en route from Agra (home of the Taj Mahal) to Delhi or Jaipur and is generally used as a base for visiting the nearby Keoladeo National Park. Trains from Delhi take around 3.5 hours, while it's closer to four hours by road. Agra is an hour or so away, and Jaipur takes 2.5 hours by car.
When to Get There
Bharatpur is a year-round attraction, although it can get quite hot in April and May. The best time to visit based on temperatures alone is during the cooler months of the year, from October through March, which also happens to be the best time to see migratory birds in the nearby bird sanctuary.
If you have a little time to spare in Bharatpur, you may want to sample local cuisine. While you’re likely to find North Indian classics, you may also come across regional delights. Don’t miss the chance to try a raj kachori, round disks filled with lentils or other veggies often served at roadside stalls, or spicy laal maas, a quintessentially Rajasthani mutton curry.