Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sikar: Shekhawati region, the second most developed city in Rajasthan after Jaipur

Sikar is a city located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan state in India.
This is second most developed city in Rajasthan after Jaipur (Capital of Rajasthan).
It is the administrative headquarters of Sikar District. Sikar is situated midway between Bikaner and Agra on National Highway 11 (India). Sikar is a historical city and at present district headquarter. Sikar presents a good many facts for the tourists. It is 114 km away from the Jaipur, 320 km from Jodhpur 240 km from Bikaner and 315 km from Delhi.

As of 2001[update] India census, Sikar town had a population of 184,904. Population of Sikar district was 2,287,229 according to census in 2001. The population density of the district was 296 according to the same census. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Sikar has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 73%, and female literacy is 54%. In Sikar, 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Sikar is as much part of Shekhawati as Jhunjhunu. It was the biggest Thikana (Estate) of the Jaipur State ruled by Shekhawats (Rao Ji Ka sub-clan). Sikar was the capital town of the Thikana Sikar. It is escorted all around by the high walls comprising of seven “Pols”(gates). The primitive name of Sikar was ‘Beer Bhan Ka Bass’. Raja Bahadur Singh Shekhawat, the Raja of Khandela gifted the village (Beao Nahar Singh & Rao Chand Singh, Rao Devi Singh ascended the throne of Sikar after Chand Singh. He was a great warrior and ruled over Sikar very efficiently. in the year 1795. Devi Singh’s son Rao Raja Laxman Singh Ji was also a great warrior.
He built the Laxmangarh fort erected on the hill and a town which sprang up at the foot hills in called Laxmangarh after his name. Maharaja Sawai Jagat Singh Ji Saheb Bahadur (II), the king of Jaipur was much pleased with him, as a result the title of ‘Rao Raja’ was conferred upon him by the king. His period is known for the love of art, learning, religion and culture. He was very philanthropic, the Sikar state was very prosperous in his period. The seth’s & the rich people got the magnificent buildings built & the painting on them are worth seeing.

Rao Raja Ram Pratap Singh who ascended the throne after Laxman Singh got the marble palace made .The golden painting on its walls is very attractive. The successive rulers of Sikar such as Rao Raja Bhairon Singh, Rao Raja Sir Madhav Singh Ji Bahadur (1866/1922), he was granted the title of Bahadur in 1886 &. Madhav Singh enjoys the credit of making huge Victoria Diamonds Jublee Hall & Madhav Niwas Kothi which are the excellent examples of his love for architecture and paintings. He was always anxious for the welfare of the public. During the terrible famine in 1899 (Samvat 1956), he started many famine relief works for the poor and hungry people. It is evident from ‘Madhav Sagar Pond’ which was built in the year 1899. This pond was made at the cost of Rs.56000/- it clearly speaks the fame of his ruler. It was in the times of Madhav Singh that Sikar saw the first light of electricity. The roads were also constructed in his time. The old monuments, forts, palaces, boundary walls and temples were repaired in his time. He was very strong and courageous. He had very cordial relations with the British Government. The survey of Railway from Jaipur to Sikar was accomplished in his period. After Madhav Singh the throne of Sikar was ascended by Kalyan Singh.

Rao Raja Kalyan Singh Ji was the last ruler of Sikar (1922/1967). Kalyan Singh had been famous for their love of magnanimous building, palaces, temples and ponds He had ruled over Sikar for 32 years. He built clock tower, which adds beauty to the town. For the welfare of public he got the Kalyan Hospital & Kalyan College built. He died in the year 1967. To commemorate the sweet memory of his late son Kunwar Hardayal Singh.

Sikar is a very fascinating and charming place for the tourist. The fresco Painting on the ancient havelies, temples and forts captivate the tourist from abroad. Sikar was the kingdom of royal Shekhawat rajas. Today also many royal Shekhawat family reside in Sikar. One of the great shekhawat is Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Vice President of India is also belong to (Khachriyawas) Sikar. Three most prominent business homes of the country viz. the Bajajs, the Birlas and the Goenkas also belong to the district. Most of the Marwari businessmen community residing in Assam, West Bengal, Bengaluru and Hyderabad also belong to Sikar.

Sikar Fort, Madho Niwas Kothi, Rani mahal, devi pura balaji, khatu shyam ji, maroo park, harshnath, lalolaw balaji, nehru park, Jeen mata mandir, bhagat singh market, Sikar Jumma Masjid, Kashi Ka Bas, birth place of Jamanlal Bajaj, Temple of Ganesha,Fatehpuri gate, Temple of Gopinath ji, Subhas chowk, Shri Ram Hanuman mandir , lal singh colony are the places of worth seeing.

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