Sikar, is one of the historical cities, which is located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan State in India. It follows the magnificent art, culture and Padharo Mhare Desh tradition of Rajasthan. It is the administrative headquarter of Sikar District. Sikar is situated midway between Bikaner and Agra on National Highway number 11. It is well connected with Jaipur, which is 114 km away, Jodhpur (320 km away), Bikaner (215 km away) and Delhi (280 km away).
Sikar had been the biggest Thikana (Estate) of the Jaipur state. Previously Sikar was known as Nehrawati. It was the capital town of Thikana Sikar. Sikar is surrounded by the fortified walls consisting of seven “Pols” (gates). These historic gates are named as Bawari gate, Fatehpuri Gate, Nani Gate, Surajpole Gate, Dujod Gate Old, Dujod Gate New and Chandpole Gate. The primitive name of Sikar was “Beer BhanKa Bass”.
Raja Bahadur Singh Shekhawat, the King of Khandela, gifted the “Beer Bhan Ka Bass” to Rao Daulat Singh who was son of Rao Jaswant Singh from Kasli Thikana. In 1687, Rao Daulat Singh Ji laid down the first foundation of new Thikana Sikar at Beer Bhan Ka Bass and built the historic fort here. Later his son Rao Shiv Singh (1721/1748) who was known for his strong, courageous, clever and bold characteristics took the work in hands and completed the fort and other palaces. Shiv Singh, due to his charismatic personality, was the most prominent Rao Raja of Sikar. He beautified entire village with strong “Parkota” surroundings. He was a religious man which shows in famous temple of “GopinathJi”, constructed by him. He was a great state builder, mighty warrior, and a great admirer of art, paintings and architecture.
The successor kings after Shiv Singh were Rao Samrath Singh, Rao Nahar Singh and Rao Chand Singh. Rao Devi Singh ascended the throne of Sikar after Chand Singh. He was again a great warrior and ruler. He ruled Sikar very efficiently. He made Sikar as strongest estate in Shekhawati by his ruling skills. He constructed the forts of Raghunathgarh and Deogarh and also founded Ramgarh Shekhawati. The magnificent temple of RaghunathJi and Hanumanji tells the story of his religious inclination. He was so popular that his period is called the golden ruling period of Sikar. He died in the year 1795. Devi Singh’s son Rao Raja Laxman Singh Ji was also a great emperor. He built the “Laxmangarh Fort” on the scattered pieces of rocks which is a unique work of architecture. Maharaja Sawai Jagat Singh Ji SahebBahadur (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 was majorly known for love towards art, culture, religion and learning. He was very philanthropic, the Sikar state was very prosperous in his period. The seth’s & the affluent people got the magnificent buildings built & the paintings on them are still worth seeing.
Rao Raja Ram Pratap Singh who ascended the throne after Laxman Singh constructed a marble palace. The golden paintings on its walls are very attractive even now. The successive rulers of Sikar such as Rao Raja Bhairon Singh, Rao Raja Sir Madhav Singh Bahadur (1866/1922), who was granted with the title of Bahadur in 1886. Rao Raja Madhav Singh built huge Victoria Diamonds Jubilee Hall & Madhav Niwas Kothi which are the excellent examples of his love for architecture and paintings. He was always concerned for the public welfare. During the famine crisis in 1899 (Samvat 1956), he started many famine relief work for the poor and hungry people. It is evident from ‘Madhav Sagar Pond’, which was built in 1899. This pond was made at the cost of Rs. 56000 which clearly speaks the benevolence 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 reconstructed 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 to Kalyan Singh.
Rao Raja Kalyan Singh was the last ruler of Sikar (1922/1967). Kalyan Singh had been famous for his love of magnanimous building, palaces, temples and ponds. He 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 1967.
Sikar is a very fascinating and attractive spot for the tourist. The fresco Paintings on the ancient havelies, temples and forts captivate the tourist from across the globe. Sikar was the dynasty of royal Shekhawat kings. Still there are many royal Shekhawat family reside in Sikar. One of the greatest Shekhawat, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, former Vice President of India also belongs to (Khachriyawas) Sikar. Three most prominent business families of the country viz. Bajajs, Birlas and Goenkas also belong to the district.
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