The small city of Karauli that has recently caught the attention of tourists is an exquisite home to well decorated havelis, peaceful shrines, picturesque views and imprinted chhatris that dot the entire city. This beauty of a place in Rajasthan shares its borders with the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh and is surrounded by Dausa, Dholpur and sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. This city resonates with Mughal architectural panache and is world renowned for its pale red sandstone that surrounds the entire city with strong and sturdy wall. Apart from its royal history, Karauli offers its visitors a rural and tranquil ambience with warm and hospitable behaviour, echoing the true old Rajasthani culture.
Kaila Devi Temple
Situated on the outskirts of Karauli, at a distance of about 25 km from the city is the temple of Kaila Devi. This beautiful shrine is right on the banks of Kalisal River in the ranging hills of Trikut. It is believed that the temple was built in 1100 AD and is also considered as one of the nine Shakti Peethas of the deity here. The Kaila Devi Temple hosts an annual fair that lasts a fortnight and attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
Madan Mohan Ji Temple
Madan Mohan, another name for Lord Krishna is a very well celebrated temple in Karauli. The erstwhile kings of the region considered it to be very lucky and is known to have blessed many warriors with victories in the battlefield. One can see intricately carved idols of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha there. The ambience is ancient and the architecture reflects the medieval age using the Karauli stone.
GomtiDham is famous for the ashram of SantGomti Das ji, facing SagarTalab and Timangarh fort amidst dense forest. This arena of peace and tranquillity is a much needed getaway from your daily grind.
Kaila Devi Sanctuary
Covered in rich and dense forests, the Kaila Devi Sanctuary begins right after the Kaila Devi Temple and extends on both the sides of the road to eventually join the Ranthambore National Park. This green reserve is home to some great natural treasures like the chinkaras, nilgai, jackals and leaopards. Along with the wide variety of wildlife, one can also spot rare birds like sandpipers and kingfishers.
Dev Giri Fort & Utgir
Utgir, built by the Lodha warriors is situated on a triangular peak of Aravallis while the Devgiri Fort is in the ravines of Chmabal River between Karanpur and Khandar. It is believed that Raja Arjun Deo acquired the Utgir Fort and it remained the capital of Yaduvanshis until Gopal Das built the BahadurpurFort. This was used as emergency garrison fort by Karauli dynasty, till the states merged to form Rajasthan.
Gadhmora is counted amongst one of the most ancient villages of Rajasthan and is believed to have been in existence since Lord Krishna’s era. This place got its name from its ruler - Raja MorDhwaj. Gadhmora is also home to a famous Kund where an annual fare is held during Sankranti every year.
The Gufa Temple as the name suggests is a cave situated amidst the dense forests of Rantahmbore. This temple is actually believed to be the original temple of Kaila Devi. Even after being located in a prime region of the forest, devotees of the deity walk nearly eight to ten kilometres to just get darshan. However, the native and foreigners are usually requested to not venture out in the open in the forest area.
The great Timangarh Fort, built in 1100 AD is named after the King Timanpal and is situated at a distance of 40 km from Karauli. This magnificent structure was destroyed in one of the many attacks and was rebuilt by King Timanpal of Banaya in 1058 AD. A unique feature of this structure is its priceless collection of ancient ashtadathu (eight metals). None the less, the architecture of this fort bares a unique sign of India’s ancient yet royal history. Many mythological gods and goddesses are also indebted on the stone pillars supporting the fort.
Built in the fourteenth century, the monumental City Palace was originally built by Arjun Pal. The structure that one can see now is erected by Raja Gopal Singh in the eighteenth century. This antique building is treasure house of colonial architecture, stone carvings, lattice work windows and magnificent royal style of framework and frescoes. One can notice a hoard of colours in this beautiful palace. Shades of red, white and off-whites are the most common amongst all. However, what tops it all is the view from the terrace from where one can see the entire town laid out by the River Bhadrawati.