Strung along the banks of the River Chambal, Kota is a former princely state now incorporated into the state of Rajasthan.
Building of the city began in 1264, though Kota didn’t reach its present size until the 17th century when Rao Madho Singh, son of the ruler of neighbouring Bundi, was made ruler of Kota by the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Subsequent rulers have all added to the fort and palaces, which still stand today. Today, Kota serves as an army headquarters.
The City Palace and fort is one of the largest complexes in Rajasthan. Although the older fort ramparts are crumbling, the palace buildings are still in an excellent state of repair. Indeed, state departments now occupy some of the buildings, but much of the complex remains open to the public. The Rao Madho Singh Museum in well stocked with exhibits including weaponry, old costumes, stuffed beasts, photographs from a bygone era and some of the best-preserved murals in the state.
Near the City Palace is the picturesque artificial tank of Kishore Sagar, constructed in 1346. In the middle of the tank on a small island is the little palace of Jagmandir, which was built in 1740 for one of the maharanis of Kota. Also close by is the Brij Vilas Palace Museum, which has a small collection of stone idols and other sculptural fragments.
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