I visited Alwar, a small town in Rajasthan, India in January. I saw these arches on my way to Siliserh Lake. There is no indication anywhere what they were but they sure look beautiful!
Blue Skies at Alwar, Rajasthan
A little ahead there are more such arches and they look like a bridge but they certainly don’t seem to be in use. We stopped our taxi at the side of the narrow road to get a picture!
This post is part of Sky Watch Friday. Check them out!
Recently we visited Alwar on a very short trip. We went on Friday morning and came back on Saturday night! The good bit about Alwar is that it is quite close to Gurgaon. The Shatabdi Express train takes only an hour and a half to reach Alwar. My husband has been to Alwar before and he was quite keen on visiting the Siliserh Lake again. On his previous visit (which was office related) they stayed at the hotel Siliserh Lake Palace as well.
Siliserh Lake, Alwar, Rajasthan
The lake is about 15 km away from the main city. And there is no easy way to reach there by public transport. But that never stopped us from trying. There are small jeeps (maxxi type) plying within the city called Alwar Vahini and they were asking for a lot of money to go there. So we went to the bus station and asked around. One of the bus conductors told us that none of the buses stop there but they will take us and we should go and sit on the conductor’s seat. The bus was quite full.
Beautiful Siliserh Lake, Alwar, Rajasthan
As the bus started someone from the back told the conductor to stop the bus as a passenger was still outside. The conductor said this to the driver who kept on driving. So the conductor opened the mirror to the driver’s cabin and repeated the request saying, cabin band kar ke bahre ki tarah baith jate ho! (You shut your cabin and sit like a deaf person). The driver responded- ye company bag hai kya ki log ghumne chale jate hain! (Is this a bus or a public garden that people get down and start walking whenever they please). The missing passenger came back in the meanwhile and the driver started again only to break slyly knowing that the conductor was standing without support and he would be thrown forward! All this was done in good humor and thus started our journey to Siliserh Lake.
The Restaurant at the Siliserh Lake, Alwar, Rajasthan
If you are lucky to get a bus it will drop you at the mod (turn) to the lake. The lake is still 7-8 kilometers ahead. We got a shared tempo to go further. It was not too crowded but otherwise a lot of them seem to be advertisements of Fevicol rather than tempos meant for public transport. The tempo dropped us to the outskirts of the lake. We walked after that. Now that I know this I would say hire a cab and take out this hassle but then if you want to have some adventure can try our way too! The good bit- our daughter takes all this quite calmly.
The Boating Station, Siliserh Lake, Alwar, Rajasthan
At the entrance of the Hotel Siliserh Lake Palace there is an entry fee but I think that is optional. If you buy the ticket for entry they adjust it in your food bill in the restaurant. Boating tickets are available from this counter only. I say the entry is optional because the next day Chhavi and I visited the lake again (this time we took a taxi which cost us 800 rupees) and they did not charge us the entry fee as they did not have change!
To reach the boating station we climbed down and there are a lot of monkeys on the premises. We took a paddle boat for half an hour (Rs 200) and it was fun! The first day we went there was a Friday and the place was not that crowded. On Saturday there were a lot of people by the lake!
Chhavi had a great time, she particularly liked talking to the monkeys and was really thrilled with the Monkey drinking Mountain Dew!
Self Portrait in the Restaurant Window, Siliserh Lake, Alwar Rajasthan
There is only the RTDC hotel by the lake but a few kilometers before there are many dhabas. At the mod there is another hotel. But location wise no one can compete with the RTDC Hotel Siliserh Lake Palace. We ate at the hotel restaurant. The food and the snacks at the hotel are fine. The staff was attentive to the best of their capabilities.
When we went to the Siliserh Lake I had no idea it was such a huge one! It looks more like a mini ocean rather than a lake! I would say go there on a week day if you want some peace and quiet.
I recently visited Alwar in Rajasthan which is about 150 kilometers from Delhi. But as both of us are not a big fan of driving we took the Shatabdi Express from Gurgaon. Alwar is one and a half hour journey from Gurgaon by Shatabdi. I used to think that when we would start traveling with Chhavi we would become more organized. But true to our previous form we turned up at Alwar without any hotel reservation. We stayed at the Aravali Hotel quite close to the Railway Station in the end.
This was a very short trip we arrived at around 8.30 am on Friday and we were taking the 7.32 pm Shatabdi the next day. But it was a great trip nonetheless. We visited only two places the Siliserh Lake and the City Palace Complex. It was within the City Palace I saw Moosi Rani ki Chharti (Queen Moosi’s Cenotaph). And what a place it was!
Moosi Rani ki Chhatri, Alwar, Rajasthan
The main structure is quite impressive. As the name suggests it is the memorial to the queen and king of Alwar, Bakhtawar Singh and Rani Moosi. Unfortunately the signpost doesn’t tell much beyond that it is a 19th century monument and that it is made of limestone and marble.
Interiors of the Moosi Rani ki Chhatri, Alwar, Rajasthan
Not only the monument looks grand from the outside it has impressive interiors. To go to the main platform one is required to remove the shoes. And don’t go by my pictures, the place had a lot of people. Many people were merrily eating groundnuts and discarding the shells around. Locals also use it to play cricket. I am all for people and history interacting with each-other and for locals having the first claim to the monument but I am not sure such a place is best used as an informal cricket ground. The less I say about discarded groundnut shells the better it is.
The Water Tank at City Palace, Alwar, Rajasthan
Adjacent to the Moosi Rani ki Chhatri is this water tank and I flipped when I saw the reflections! I am not sure what was the purpose of this tank but it simply adds so much to the beautiful structures surrounding it. If I can let my imagination run wild this must have been the place where people liked to take a dip on hot summer days in the eighteenth century!
Reflections in the Water Tank, City Palace, Alwar, Rajasthan
The place was such a magnet for photography but there was a counter balancing force- my daughter Chhavi. My husband was not feeling too well on this day and he stayed at the hotel. So it was only the two of us. I needed my third eye to keep a watch on Chhavi while taking pictures. She is a curious child and wanted to go down the steps to the water level. I took her there holding her hands tightly. But even after that, every time I put the camera to my eye, my third eye had to be active lest she went down towards the water on her own.
An Arch and a Reflection, City Palace, Alwar, Rajasthan
She didn’t do that at all but then I didn’t had a luxury to wait for the pigeons to fly and then take my pictures. I have to grant it to her that she was remarkably patient on this spot and would ask me, “ho gaya photo?” (are you done with your pictures). She also walked around with me the entire complex without ever telling me “mamma godi” (mamma carry me). It was only when we reached the Siliserh Lake that she would bang her head at my waist (that is how high she is at the moment) and say mamma mamma mamma to draw my attention!
Moosi Rani ki Chhatri, Refletion in the Tank, Alwar, Rajasthan
The place was so beautiful and yet in such a state of disrepair that I was simply taken aback. Once again don’t go by the pictures, they are selective in what they show. For example the tank is full of filth and I wonder why no one cares to keep it in a better shape. I am no history buff but even I was surprised that there were just two lines or so available as description about the cenotaph. And yet the place is so beautiful!