Kota is the third largest city in the state of Rajasthan and is one of the popular tourist destinations. Situated on the banks of the Chambal River, the city of Kota is famous for its distinctive style of paintings, palaces, museums, and places of worship. The city is known for gold jewellery, Doria sarees, silk sarees and the famous Kota stone. The history of Kota dates back to the 12th century when Rao Deva conquered the territory and founded Hadoti. The independent Rajput state of Kota was carved out of Bundi in 1631. The kingdom of Kota had a turbulent history as it was raided by various Mughal rulers, Maharajas of Jaipur and even the Maratha warlords. The city of Kota is well known all over the world for its architectural splendour comprising beautiful palaces, temples and museums which exhibit the grandeur of the foregone era.
Though Kota boasts of a small airport, the main international airport at Jaipur (240 km) connects it to the rest of the world through regular flight services. Kota is a main railhead and connects the city with other major railway junctions in the country. Being situated on the NH 12 (Jaipur Jabalpur Highway) has provided Kota excellent road links with the rest of India.
Dussehra is one of the prime festivals of Rajasthan and is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur in Kota. The Dussehra Fair of Kota, popularly known as Dussehra Mela, is the most important event in the cultural calendar of the city. The history of this Dussehra fair goes back to 1723 AD. History tells that the celebration of Dussehra was started in the reign of Mahrao Durjanshal Singh Hada. At that time various religious programs at different temples were the main event of the ceremonies. Apart from this tradition of processions with royal splendor and the “Darikhana”, a royal meet of different Thikanedaars at the Palace, also started in the same period. During the State time the period of Dussehra festival was 3 days and the height of effigies of Ravan and his family was between 20 to 25 feets. This tradition was continued by the other Hada rulers. But the credit of making this religious event more attractive and colorful goes to Maharao Ummed Singh II (1889-1940 A.D.) Since then the festivities have changed manifolds. Now the Dussehra fair is observed for 25 days. The height of the effigies of Ravan and his family has been raised to 75 Feet.
ATTRACTIONS & PLACES TO VISIT AND EXPLORE IN KOTA
The foremost tourist attraction in Kota is the ‘Garh’. This large complex, also known as the City Palace, is built in a predominantly Rajput style of architecture. The palace is a sprawling complex of suites and apartments built by different rulers of the Rajput dynasty at different times in history.
Kota Barrage is one of the most important water reservoirs in the Rajasthan state constructed over Chambal River. The Kota Barrage spreads over an area of 27,332 square kilometres, which makes it as large as Haiti! The mesmerizing view of water flowing through the gates with a great force makes it a popular tourist attraction. The Kansua temple of Lord Shiva, housing a rare four-faced Shiva lingam is a place of interest near the barrage.
SEVEN WONDER PARK
The Seven Wonder Park is a Rs. 20 crores worth project developed along the Kishore Sagar Lake at Vallabh Bari in Kota. A single visit to this park allows visitors to get a glimpse of the replicas of all the Seven Wonders of the World.
GARADIA MAHADEV TEMPLE
Garadia Mahadev Temple is a noted shrine of Kota, located near the Chambal River. It is located near the NH-76 that leads to Dabi and Chittorgarh. If you’re someone who enjoys spectacular views, then this place doesn’t disappoint. It provides one of the most mesmerising views you can hope to find of the Chambal River, gorge and the plains. The shrine can be reached by descending a few steps where you can pay your respects to Lord Shiva. The place is a tad remote and isolated from regular tourist hotspots but is worth the journey you have to make. Most people recount being stunned by the sheer beauty and memorable view. Thanks to the privacy and view it affords, this spot is quite popular as a picnic destination. Nature lovers can sit here for hours, absorbing its tranquillity and pristine beauty. Budding poets, writers and artists can count on being inspired by the still, blue waters and surrounding wilderness. If peace, blessings, nature’s splendour and privacy is what you’re looking for, you won’t find a better place than this.
The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota between 1743 and 1745, and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Lake. Built in red sandstone, it is a monument of exquisite beauty. The palace is open to tourists who can enjoy boat rides in the Kishore Sagar Lake and the panoramic view of the palace from the lake. The Keshar Bagh, situated near the Jagmandir Palace is well known for its royal cenotaphs.
Guide to Kota’s Lip smacking food.
Traditional food in India offers from state to state. the state of Rajasthan also has its authentic cuisine too. the shortage of water does not allow too much vegetables to grow in this area. however the high cattle rearing over the years has resulted in a variety of food which is rich in milk, ghee, curd and buttermilk. Pulses, lentils and legumes that are grown locally are used extensively in meals. most of the Rajasthani cuisine can be prepared for a long while owing to the absence of ready fuel at all the times. legendary stories about royal feasts are heard where hundred or more dishes were prepared and served during in gold and silver utensils. keeping the tradition alive there are plenty of good eating joints in Kota which serve a variety of cuisines. Starting from authentic Rajasthani to continental you get variety of mouth watering dishes that you desire for in this historical city.
Variety in the cuisine of Kota
The old princely state of Rajasthan also has its unique line of royal cuisines. The rulers who went on hunting expeditions liked the preparations of the meat or the fowl which they hunted. Till date, Rajasthani princely family feasts flaunt meat cuisines that are unrivaled. Another peculiarity of Rajasthani meals is that sweet dishes are never served after meals, unlike desserts they always had at the beginning of the meals. At times they are served before, during and after the meal.
If you are travelling to Rajasthan, you must try the following traditional Rajasthani dishes. The cuisine is full of recipes which are spicy, sweet and sour at the same time to fulfill your taste buds. These are some dishes, which are favorites of everyone in the state and if you are a Rajasthani, you are already drooling. I have tried to mention all the best dishes from Rajasthan with cost.
1. KOTA KACHORI
This is on number one on the list, because it’s my favorite dish. No matter, wherever I go and try this in other cities , its impossible for me to find the same taste. I bet you will also like it. Go on and try this if you are looking for something hot, spicy and crispy. Tastes best with green chutney. Although, this dish can is available on each and every street in the city. The best food corners in the city Kota, where you can try the Daal Kachori are Jodhpur Namkeens, Jai Jinendra and Brijwasi sweets.
2. KOTA KE PAANI PATASHE
It’s the Paani Puri’s Rajasthani version, called Paani Patashe. This is also available everywhere in Kota, but you can find the best in Kota’s Chaupati. Some street vendors are also really good. Mohan Chaat centre has many outlets in Kota.
3. PANNALAL KE PAKODE IN KOTA DASHEHARA MELA
If you are visiting Kota in just before Diwali, you must try these when you go to Dashehara Mela. These are Gobhi ke Pakode ( made of Cauliflower) served at Pannallal Pakodewala’s outlet. A spicy snack prepared fresh and hot, served with Green chutney. This outlet is popular all over Rajasthan for this delicious signature dish.
4. AMAR PUNJABI KI LASSI
Although the main branch of Amar Punjabi Dhaba is nearly seven decades old, this outlet was established only five years ago and quite famous to serve a large variety of food items. Although, joint is little crowded, despite that the service here is very quick.
ADDRESS: Plot No. 4-A-18, Near Keshawpura Circle , Talwandi, Kota, Rajasthan, India.
5. HOTEL MADRAS KA MASALA DOSA
Madras Hotal, a well-known food joint, serves the authentic flavor of Masala Dosa. The place enjoys a good rush of hungry customers most of the time. The common visitors of this eatery are generally students, but each age group can relish their choice of food here.
ADDRESS: Near Railway Station, Mala Road , Kota, Rajasthan, India.
6. SHANKAR PETHA BHANDRA KA KESAR ANGOORI PETHA
A very old shop, Shankar Petha Bhandar is famous to serve the authentic flavor of Petha at a very reasonably price with quick service at a very reasonably price with quick service.
ADDRESS: Canal Road, Gumanpura, Gumanpura, Kota, Rajasthan, India
7. PRAKASH KI KULFI
Nearly one and a half decade old- Prakash Kulfi, is a popular joint in the local areas to serve the delectable Kulfis at a very reasonable prices.
ADDRESS: Shop No. 2, Shopping Center, Chaupati Bazaar, Kota, Rajasthan, India
8. ABBA KABAB CENTER KA KABAB
A decade old joint, Abba is famous joint to serves a fine delicacies of the kebabs and offers a fine environment and sitting space.
ADDRESS: Near Rampura , Ghanta Ghar, Kota, Rajasthan, India.
9. TREAT FAST FOOD RESTAURANT KI CHOWMEIN
Nearly one and a half decade old Treat Fast Food Restaurant enjoys wide popularity for serving a variety of foods. The joint is well-maintained, and offers a comfortable sitting set-up inside and serves the food items at very reasonable prices.
ADDRESS: Sector 15- C, Talwandi Road, Talwandi, Kota, Rajasthan, India
10. SHREENATH KI PAV BHAJI
More than a decade old- Shreenath Pav Bhaji is a renowned joint to serve quality Pav Bhaji to its customers in a neat and clean ambiance at reasonable prices.
ADDRESS: Opposite Jawahar Nagar Police Station, Indra Vihar, Talwandi, Kota, Rajasthan, India.
Each of these dishes has its own way of delighting our taste buds & that’s why it makes to our first Kota Street Food Guide. Well to be true. There are people who see food as a need to survive, & there are the ones who LIVE FOR FOOD. For the latter, it is the huge varieties and flavours of food which keep their pulse running.
“It may be that meethi si doodh jalebi
Or that tip tip barasta hua golgappa
Grabbing those fatty cheese filled burgers and sandwiches.
Or those creamy sauce pastas and Manchurian balls
Dil ko sukoon dene vala faalooda
Or that chatpati si chatkara bhelpuri’