Jhalawar, 85 km south of Kota was created in 1838 by Zalim Singh. Located at the edge of Malwa Plateau, this well laid out city was an important commercial hub in the 19century. It was also a great cultural centre patronising music, theatre and art and boasted a theatre in the palace called Bhawani Natya Shala, built along the western style opera house.
The whole region is a treasure-house of prehistoric cave paintings and formidable forts. Red poppy fields add their own colour in winters to the countryside while driving along the lush green fields. The area around Bhawani Mandi is known for its production of orange.
In the centre of the town is the ruined building of the fort built by Maharaja Madan Singh, new housing government offices. At some places those gloriously decorated walls, glass paintings and mirrored ceilings peep out attesting its rich cultural history. It houses one of the oldest museums of Rajasthan established in 1915; the small government museum has a collection of sculptures, coins, rare manuscripts, a stone inscription dating back to the 5century and exquisite statues ofArdhanarishwar, Natraj and Trimurti.
The ancient city of Chandrawati known for its ancient temples of both Hindu and Jain sects stands nearby. These are impressive due to the symmetry of their architectural elements.