Ajabgarh is a sweet rural Rajasthani village located in the once princely Alwar district, very close to the luxury hotel Amanbagh. The little-known Alwar district is hidden between the more popular destinations of Agra, Jaipur and Delhi, which are all under 4 hours’ drive away. Here in the Shekhawati region, craggy hills and knolls are interspersed with seasonal lakes, small rural hamlets, markets and subsistence agriculture.
Ajabgarh was named for its founder Ajab Singh Rajawat, the grandson of Madho Singh, founding ruler of Bhangarh. The Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great, is said to have stayed in Ajabgarh during the inauguration of Somsagar, a reservoir lake in the hills behind Ajabgarh. Emperor Shah Jahan, the famed creator of the Taj Mahal, was entertained here at a Chhatri erected specially for him by Ajab Singh when he was passing through this valley to join his son, Aurangzeb, on a campaign against the Maharaja of Orchha. Ajab Singh’s grand-aunt, Jodha Bai of Jaipur, was one of the favourite wives of Akbar, the grandfather of Shah Jahan. Jodha Bai is well known in local folklore for her beauty and her intelligence and is now the subject of a Bollywood Movie, Jodha Akbar, played by the beautiful Aishwarya Rai.
Today, Ajabgarh is a simple village but it is one of the larger villages in the area. It has a large co-educational school which Amanbagh support with funding and the building of classrooms. Interestingly, Garh is the Hindi word for ‘fort’ and in this part of Rajasthan there are three forts; Ajabgarh, Pratapgarh and Ramgarh, all named after their founders who were brothers in the 15th century. Explore the local area where, surrounded by breathtaking scenery, ruins and relics from a lost empire, the Ajabgarh Fort and the old town of Alwar can all be discovered. The city is located an hour's drive from Sariska National Park, a rich wildlife sanctuary home to many tigers.
Features in the following itineraries
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India