Rajasthan’s Hadoti region is a few notches better than perfect in the monsoon. Dominated by the Chambal river, the otherwise parched landscape of Hadoti adorns gorgeous shades of green when the south-west monsoon arrives.
The old cultural region of Hadoti was established by the Hada Rajputs in the 12th century. Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar and Baran are its major towns. Blessed with some of the most stunning natural sites of Rajasthan, the region has finally started to receive its share of touristy fame. On offer here are unparalleled wildlife experiences, deep ravines and gorges, enchanting waterfalls, ancient temples, Buddhist caves, river cruises, and much more.
It’s July and Hadoti has embraced this year’s monsoon already. This may well be the best time to discover the lesser-known natural wonders of this part of southern Rajasthan.
Here are the must-visit monsoon spots of Hadoti.
This waterfall is possibly one of the most beautiful natural sites you'll ever visit in India. Still untrammeled by tourists, it is one of Rajasthan’s best-kept secrets. The powerful roar and serene surroundings will wash away your blues in a jiffy. Located in Rawatbhata, 60km from Kota, the scenic spot is also home to a Shiva temple.
This important Shaivite pilgrimage is home to a 16th century temple, but the real draw here is the marvellous three-step waterfall that cascades down from a height of 120 feet. The water falls down into a narrow gorge among trees and foliage where birds, pilgrims and picnickers wait with open hearts to drink in the beauty.
To get the most breathtaking views around Kota, head to this Shiva temple nestled in the deep ravines of Chambal. This is where the Aravalli and Vindhyachal ranges meet. The Chambal meanders below, creating a horseshoe gorge.
It is simply spectacular—the red hills covered with green foliage that dips in and out of the river. In the monsoon, spurts of waterfall canvas them. The crevices make for great nesting areas for birds as well as sloth bears.
Created as a result of an 8th century earthquake, the awe-inspiring Bhimlat waterfalls cascade down from a height of 150 feet. You will have to visit the spot to believe that a dry and arid state like Rajasthan could also be home to something so surreal and utterly gorgeous. According to popular folklore, the waterfall was created by Bhima (of the Pandava brothers) to satiate his thirst.
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Nestled in the lap of the lush green Aravalli ranges, Rameshwar is known for its cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, and an alluring waterfall with a plunge pool. The cave shrine here is known for its medieval era wall paintings. You can bathe in the pool or climb up the mountainside to come out on top of the waterfall, and drink in the views.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located at the junction of the Ahu and Kali Sindh rivers that surround it from three sides. In the classical categorisation of forts in India, this is a rare one because it is a jal durg (water-protected fort) as well as van durg (forest-protected fort). The verdant environs surrounding the fort will tell you why Jhalawar is called the Cherrapunji of Rajasthan.
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Few visitors to Rajasthan are aware of the existence of the antique Buddhist monastic caves in the Kolvi and Vinayaka hillocks in Jhalawar. The drive to these hillocks, en route to Dag, gives one a splendid introduction to Jhalawar’s pretty countryside, which is a mosaic of fields and water bodies. The caves date back to the post-Ashoka period of Buddhist expansion.
Encompassed by picturesque wooded hills and valleys, Kapil Dhara has some splendid waterfalls, which are at their scenic best during the monsoons. The place lies at a distance of 50km from Baran and can be clubbed with a visit to the glorious Shergarh Fort.
Perched atop a hillock on the banks of river Parvan, the Shergarh Fort looks straight out of a fairy tale. The prime attraction here is a stone inscription called Koshvardhan which dates back to 790 AD. The fort was of utmost strategical importance for the erstwhile rulers of Hadoti and is home to ancient Jain and Hindu temples.