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JHALAWAR

JHALAWAR

THIS DELIGHTFUL little town, surrounded by orange groves and poppy fields, is dominated by a 19th-century fort, the seat of the erstwhile princes of Jhalawar. It  now houses government offices. An incongruous yet charming part of the fort is the Bhavani Natya Shala Theatre (built in 1921), which was modelled on the grand opera houses the maharaja had seen on his European tours. The old walled town of Jhalrapatan(“City of Bells”), 6 km  (4 miles) south of the fort, has a splendid  cluster of 11thcentury temples. Of these the most impressive is the Surya Temple with its stunning image of the Sun God, About 1.5 km (1 mile) south of this temple, on the banks of the Chanclrabhaga river, stands the superbly carved 7thcentury Chandra Mauleshwar Temple.

ENVIRONS: The 14th-century Ghagron Fort, 10 km (6 miles) west of Jhalawar, is spectacularly situated amid a picturesque landscape of hills, woods and fields, and surrounded on three sides by the Kali, Sindh and Ahu rivers. The lush forests, cliffs and grasslands of Darrah Wild-life Sanctuary, 70 km (44 miles) west of Jhalawar, look just as they do in the famous Kota paintings  of hunting scenes – only the tigers and princes are now missing.

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