Kota is in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan. It is located on the south-eastern side of the state. The Chambal river flows through the town, because of which the place is unlike the arid climate prevalent in the state.
The history of the city dates back to the 12th century A.D. when the Hada Chieftain, Rao Deva, conquered the territory and founded Bundi and Hadoti. Later, in the early 17th century AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, the ruler of Bundi -Rao Ratan Singh, gave the smaller principality of Kota to his son, Madho Singh. Since then Kota became a hallmark of the Rajput gallantry and culture.
The south eastern region of Rajasthan known as Hadoti comprises of Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar and Kota is a treasure of history dating back to several centuries. Prehistoric caves, paintings, formidable forts and the mighty chambal river hurtling from the Vindhyas are dotted in the region. When Jait Singh of Bundi defeated the Bhil Chieftain Koteya in a battle, he raised the first battlement or the 'Garh'(fort) over his severead head. The Independant state of Kota became a reality in 1631 when Rao Madho Singh, the second son of Rao Ratan of Bundi was made the ruler, by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Soon Kota outgrew its parent state to become bigger in area, richer in revenue and more powerful. Maharao Bhim Singh played a pivotal role in Kota's history, having held a 'Mansab' of five thousand and being the first in his dynasty to have the title of Maharao.
Kota is situated on the banks of chambal river and is fastly emerging as an important industrial centre. It boasts of Asia's largest fertilizer plant (CFCL), precision instrument unit and atomic power station nearby. Surprisingly unexplored, the Kota region of Rajasthan has some splendid treasures for the tourist to take home memories of. Its impregnable fortresses, sprawling palaces, exquisitely wrought palaces and lovely waterways act as a magnificent foil to its exotic wildlife and delicate fresco Paintings.
Situated on the banks of the Chambal River,at an important juncture of the trade route between Delhi and Gujrat, Kota is Rajasthan's third Largest City with Polulation of 1,001,365. This Bustling, sprawling city is also called the industrial capital of the state. The tentacles of the modern world have the city in its grip with the Chambal Valley Project giving it a major position on the state's industrial map. Chemicals, fertilizers, synthetic fibres, tyrecord and sophisticated instruments, industry's mainstay, have helped in pushing this ancient city into the forefront of modernisation. Yet memories of its ancient links linger strongly. Present Day Kota owes its foundations to a Kotya Bhil warrior who 800 years ago built a small fortification at akelgarh and put up a protective mud-wall around it all the way to Retwali. In 1580, Rao Madho Singh strenghtened both the fortification and the wall. In time to come, Kota acquired the Hallmark of rajput power as well as culture.
Kota has a mix of hot and pleasant climate. Summers start from March and last till June. The season is very hot with maximum temperature is between 32 °C to 45 °C. it is better to avoid the city at this time of the year. From July to September is the monsoon season. The city gets adequate rain during this season. The season is humid and temperate. Winters prevails from October to February. The season is very cool and the temperature ranges between 8 to 31 degrees Celsius. It is the best season to visit Kota.
Kota Airport is not operational, but is used for VIPs & charter planes. The closest airports are at Jaipur Sanganer (240 KM), Udaipur (284 KM), Indore (320 KM) & Delhi IGI (484 KM).
Kota is well connected to all cities/towns in Rajasthan.It also has a good road network for cities like Delhi (504 Kms.),Jaipur (240 Kms.) & Ahmedabad (540 Kms.). The main bus stop is at Nayapura Area & a new Bus stand is near Aerodrome Circle. Major modes of travel include the state transport buses, private buses and jeeps/cars for hire. The on-hire vehicles are a good idea, as they are fast and convenient,though they require fair amount of bargaining.
Kota is a major junction in the Western Railway sector, on the Delhi-Mumbai line. As a result,most of the trains pass through Kota. A train journey to Jaipur is of about 4 hours, to Delhi about 6 hours & to Indore about 7 hours. 3 Rajdhani Trains crosses Kota Junction.
Moving around within the city is limited to auto-rickshaws, privately operated buses and cycle-rickshaws for short journeys. They charge anywhere from 50 Paise/Km. to Rs.4/Km., but it's advisable to fix the rates before taking a seat.
Kota also has a larger three wheeler called tempo, which is by far the cheapest travel mode within the city. It is a shared vehicle with pre-fixed stops and fares, generally .50 Paise/Km.
The native language of the Kota area is Hindi and Dialect is Hadoti, which also happens to be the main official language of the Union Government. However, for official purposes, English is also widely used. Almost everybody you meet will be able to speak Hindi. However, most educated people will also be speaking in English. Punjabi and Sindhi are spoken much less widely. Signage is usually bilingual in Hindi and English.
- Jag mandir Right in the center of the artificial Kishore Sagar tank stands the beautiful red sandstone monument, Jagmandir. Great architecture and location amidst waterplace which looks nice. The new 7 wonders park makes the visit more beautiful and amazing. The lighting at park and the concept adds beauty. Tank had a floating fountain screen with plays on Musical theme.
- Kota Barrage A dam as part of the irrigation canal system on the river Chambal, this is a popular spot especially when the flood gates are let open to allow extra water to flow off.
- Maharao Madho SIngh Museum Named after Kota's first ruler, the museum has a spell-binding collection of miniature paintings, armory and sculptures. The fresco paintings inside are fine and worthy to be visited. It remains closed on Fridays.
- Chambal Garden This garden stretches along the banks of the river Chambal upsream of Kota Baraj. It houses a pond with rare gharial and crocodiles, which can be crossed via a teetering suspension bridge. (*NOTE: as of February, 2016, the pond has been emptied and the suspension bridge is broken and not in use) It also has enclosures for birds, rabbits and such. Vast area has been covered to make it nice place for Picnic/family/friendship gathering etc. People can enjoy by playing some group games etc. Right next to it is the unique Yatayat(traffic) park. It is a theme park; with miniature flyovers, speedbreakers, tunnels, buildings and such all used to showcase traffic rules.
- Seven Wonder Park This park houses the famous wonders of the world in miniature form. Situated in Ballabhbari, bordering Sarovar, Seven Wonders of the world are being raised in a single park in Kota. A single visit to this park will give you a glimpse of the Seven Wonders of the world at one place. Replicas of Seven Wonder in Kota (Rajasthan)1. Taj Mahal. 2. Great Pyramid of Giza 3. Brazil's Christ the Redeemer. 4. Eiffel Tower of Paris. 5. Leaning Tower of Pisa 6. New York's Statue of Liberty 7. Rome's Colosseum.
Plus, ther's also a bridge that closely resmbles the Sydney Harbour bridge.
- Khade Ganesh Ji Temple Its ganesh temple situated in the south part of the city. The thing make this place famous is that this sort of temple where GANESH is standing is nowhere else in India. you can also visit Rangbadi Balaji temple on the way.
- City Mall Situated on Jhalawar Road (NH-12), It has many showrooms such as BIBA, Fahrenheit, Gini & Jonny, Lee, Levi's, Monte carlo, Pepe Jeans, Tantra, US Polo & Benetton. It had food court, Mc Donalds, Cafe Coffee Day, Baskin-Robbins, etc. for refreshment. It also had Fun Cinema (Zee Group) for entertainment.
- Karneshawar Temple A Shiv Temple, situated on Jhalawar Road (NH-12).
- Godawari Dham It is a Hanuman temple at few km from Chambal garden.
- Aalnia Dam (25 km) Beautiful rock paintings adorn the bank of the River Alaniya.
- Mukundara Tiger Reserve (40 Km) Tigers will be relocated from Ranthambore reserve so as to provide optimum space to the big cats in future. It had a core area of 417 sq km and a buffer zone covering 342.82 sq km.
- Garh Palace (in city) This palace has one of the biggest fort complexes in the State of Rajasthan. City Fort Palace in Kota has rugged bastion and ramparts, which is adorned with delicate domes as well as balustrades. The Hathi Pol is this fort's beautiful entrance.
- Sawan Phuhar Waterpark Being Hadoti's only waterpark ,this place is a good attraction for people from all age groups.Besides Housing 5 fibreglass sides ,a water playground & the city's Biggest Pool it also has a Fastfood bistro named 'RIPPLES
- Haryali Resort cum Restaurant Its a resort with a Rajasthani setting.Being Kota's first Resort,it offers a diverse range of cuisines. Its Sizzlers are the best!!
- Garadia Mahadev Temple One can see the Grand View of River Chambal. Situated on Dabi Road (NH-76) this site has an view of little wild. It had great scenic beauty . This site looks great in Monsoon . A good Picnic Spot.
- Kansua Temple This is one of the most beautiful and oldest temple of Kota. Even Archeological Department has endorsed this site. It also had a small Pond. The temple of Lord Shiva is said to be build by Pandavas during their exile. Gardens are well maintained and the inner area of the temple is very well maintained.
- Mathuradheesh Mandir This is one of the oldest Temple of Lord Krishna, know as Mathradish ji. Situated at Nandgram near Patanpole . This temple has same significance as Shriath Ji (Nathdwara).
- Boat Safari Take a boat safari on the Chambal river and observe crocodiles at close quarters. It starts from Chambal Garden.
- Gaiparnath Temple, (about 12 Km from Chambal Garden). A beautiful and acient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva constructed more than 200 feed below ground level. The temple is constantly showered by a natural waterfall. The greenery and rocky cliffs around gives a fantastic view. A must visit. Caution : the place is usually deserted, hence avoid going alone. A group of 7 to 8 people would be fine, the more the better. edit
- Walk near Kishore Sagar Take a walk at Kishore Sagar Talaab, situated in the heart of Kota. Long neglected, the area received a major shot in the arm after the opening of Seven Wonders on one side & Chaupati & Floating Musical Fountain on the other side.
- Heritage in Fortified old city Heritage & Architecture lovers can walk in Rampura, Bajajkhana & Patanpole to see the Heritage buildings of Colonial era. Old City has also many massive Gates with wonderful Paintings in it.
- Kota Textile The very famous Kota textile can be bought as sarees, dress materials(for salwar-kameez). Innovative uses include curtains, scarves and such like.
- Puppets Colorful, handmade puppets make for great souvenirs to take back home.
- Laakh ki Chudiyan The very famous laakh ki chudiyan (bangles) designed and resized by local shopkeepers. Your favorites can be Chudiyan (Bangles), Kade(Thick Bangles usually wore single-handed) or Sets (Mix of Chudiyan and Kade). The stylish, beautifully carved jewellery items increase beauty of your hands. You can get variety of bangles from local markets starting from a lowest range to as high as thousand's of rupees.
If you can handle hot, spicy food typical of the country, you would definitely want to try kachori/samosa (deep-fried flour pastries with lentil/vegetable filling) available in abundance here. A must-try.
Also try the Rajasthani speciality: daal-baati-churma. Daal is lentil curry,Baati is roasted balls of flour, churma is the sweet made with wheat flour, ghee and sugar or jaggery. Also served with the dish is gatte-ki-subzi, which is steamed rolls of gram flour cooked in yogurt gravy.
Dal Kachhori is famous all over the country, due to its taste & spices.
Kaat is a also sweet dish made up of Sesame (Til), Jaggery (Gur) & Sugar mostly in Winters.
- Abhera About 10 km away from Kota stands this royal palace with Kotah style of paintings on the inside.
- Baroli Temples Situated in the Hadoti woods, about 50 km from Kota are these beautiful temples of Lord Shiva. They boast of fascinating carved walls and peaceful surroundings.
- Gagron Fort near about 92 kms south from Kota in Jhalawar Region. Gagron fort was established in 1195 A.D by King Bijaldev of the Parmara Empire Three sides of the fort is surrounded by river water.