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Garh Palace Kota is a fort cum palace situated in the Kota district of Rajasthan. This place, also known by various other names like City Palace, Kota Garh, and Kota Fort, was founded in the year 1264 AD by Jait Singh after defeating the Chieftan Kotya Bhil of the local community. Located on the banks of River Chambal, this fort is blessed with numerous heritage collections of canons, paintings, armors, palaces, instruments, dresses, manuscripts, kiosks, and buildings belonging to the times of Rajput rulers from 13th century onwards. The scenic view of River Chambal from the top of the Fort is really scintillating.
Let us explore this must-visit place in Kota…
Location of Garh Palace-
Garh Palace is located on the banks of the Chambal River in the Kota district of Rajasthan. Kota is also renowned by the names of Educational City, and the Industrial City. It has an approximated elevation of 889 feet from the sea level.
Kota is located in the south-eastern Rajasthan and is a part of the Hadoti region that comprises four districts, namely- Kota, Bundi, Baran, and Jhalawar. This region was founded and ruled by the Hada Rajput rulers and so it gained the name Hadoti.
The distance of Kota from major cities of Rajasthan and that of India is given here- Jaipur-256 km, Udaipur-290, Jodhpur-374 km, Ajmer-214 km, Mumbai-961 km, Kolkata-1515 km, Bengaluru-1661 km, Chennai-1823 km, Delhi-518 km, and Ahmedabad-590 km.
History of Garh Palace-
According to historians, the foundation of the Garh Palace of Kota was led in 1264 AD by Rajput ruler Maharaja Jait Singh after defeating a local community leader named Kotya Bhil in the same year. The name Kota was thus derived from Kotya only.
The city of Kota was formed out of Bundi, the Queen of Hadoti, in the year 1624, when Rao Madho Singh Ji separated 8 districts along with Kota city from Bundi and started ruling independently.
The architecture of Garh Palace-
The main architectural features of the Garh Palace are different monuments and art collections of paintings and decorated walls. The architecture of the Garh shows a perfect blend of the Mughal and the Rajput styles of architecture.
The entrance to the fort is through a huge South facing gate on the main road, known as the Naya Darwaza. A massive cannon is also deployed in front of the gate that faces the fort and adds to its royal power.
The second gateway, majestically decorated Hathi Pol with 2 elephant structures on the top, is guarded by two brass canons named as Shankar Ban and Gajpat Ban in front of the gate.
Baradarhi reception rooms are present on the upper floors of the fort, from where one can get an aerial view of the whole fort. It was constructed by Rao Madho Singh Ji.
A number of instruments like the Water Clock, Armillary Sphere, and Sun Dials are a unique feature of the museum.
Rao Madho Singh Trust Museum– This museum within the Garh Palace complex was made open for the visit of the public in the year 1970. Palanquins, dresses, washing machines, hookahs, manuscripts, weaponry, statues, paintings, flags, animal skins, ivory utensils, ornaments, musical instruments, and decorated walls are some of the beautiful attractions of this museum. Mahi-O-Maratib is an important structural symbol of that era seen in this museum.
Gokaneshwar Mahadev Temple is also a must-visit shivling temple within the fort premises.
Badal Mahal is a huge bastion within the fort for keeping an eye on the enemies.
How to Reach Garh Palace?
ADDRESS– Tipta, Kota, Rajasthan
PIN Code– 324006
Although the nearest airport to Garh Palace is the Kota Airport at a distance of about 4 km and can be reached within 10 minutes through autorickshaws or taxis. But this one is not well connected and developed airport and only service one or two flights daily and that too only to Delhi and Jaipur. So, the best option would be the Jaipur International Airport, 250 km distant from Kota. You can board both domestic and international flights from this airport.
Kota Junction is the nearest railway station to Garh Palace at a distance of about 11 km and is very efficiently connected with almost all major cities of the nation. You can access Jaipur Airport by boarding Kota-Jaipur EXP at 12:05 am.
The nearest bus stand to the Garh Palace is the Nayapura Bus Stand at a distance of about 4 km and can easily be reached by having local public vehicles running throughout the city. It is well connected to the nearby states and to the cities and villages of Rajasthan too.
Best Time to Visit-
The months of October-March are considered to best suitable for planning a visit to the Garh Palace of Kota. These months of winters will save you from the zenith of summer heats in April-June and the monsoons of July- September and would help you to explore the place with full enthusiasm.
An additional benefit to enjoy the Dussehra fair can be achieved if you visit during the month of October during the festival of Dussehra. The main fair and celebrations are taking place here continuously from more than 125 years and it is the 3rd largest national Dussehra in the country.
Timings of the Garh-
The opening hours of the fort are from 10 am to 5 pm and it remains open on all the days of a week. The only time when the fort and the museum remain closed is the public holidays and during the Dussehra Celebration in October-November.
- INR 50 is charged extra mobile photography.
- INR 100 for video cameras and DSLRs.
- INR 20 for students and children below 12 years.
- INR 40 for Indians (only museum).
- INR 100 for Indians (museum with Badal Mahal)
- INR 300 for Foreigners (museum with Badal Mahal)
It takes around 3 hours to completely explore the fort, so plan your day accordingly. Try to visit the fort in the morning hours only so that heat does not bothers you.
Do carry proper arrangements of food and water with you, as there are no such facilities available inside the fort.