Founded in the year 1140, Rewa or Rewah as it was initially known was a princely state of Bagelkhand Region and came under the rule of the Rajput Clans. Rewa can best be visited for a day or two on your trip to Bandhavgarh which is just a 2-hour journey. Its a small town but makes for an interesting trip, especially for those interested in historical places in India.
Rewa is another name of the Narmada River, which originates at Amarkantak, a holy city in Madhya Pradesh.
Places of Interest In & Near Rewa
Venkat Bhawan: is an old building that speaks of Rewa’s rich architectural and historical aesthetics. It’s a grand place and has a secret tunnel too that was once used by the kings to hide or run off towards the city points.
At the gate entrance, there are life-sized idols of Lord Shiva & Parvati that were once part of an ancient temple and were later brought here by Maharaja Venkatraman Singh who started building the Venkat place in the year 1894 and completed it in 1907.
Do see the royal swimming pool, the columned courtyards and a famous Shiva Temple called Kothi Temple (Bum-Khata-khat) that has a beautiful metal fountain at its vicinity.
Rani Talab: is a nice place to spend some time during the sunset and late evenings. Soak in the tranquil peace of the area. There is an ancient Shiva temple located right in the middle of the lake that lits up during the night. Do take a boat ride arranged by Rewa Tourism.
Govindgarh Fort: Govindgarh was the summer capital of the Maharaja of Rewa and the fort is located around 20 kms from Rewa and is quite a popular tourist spot due to its mangoes and white tigers! Built on a small palateu along a lake, the palace has lots of greenery surrounding it which makes it quite stunning even now. I remember visiting it and the first thing I saw was the tiger den that belonged to ‘Mohan’, India’s first ever White Tiger which was captured as cub by the Maharaja Martand Singh of Rewa during 1951 and was kept here till he died in 1969 . The Maharaj was concerned of wildlife and wanted to keep Mohan in captivity so that he could breed him for the second generation, else the white tigers would have not survived.
My dad was posted at Rewa and had an opportunity to meet the last king, Maharaja Martand Singh Ju Dev (1923-1995) who was quite old then yet took out time for us and spoke about some interesting stories from his golden days as the ruler of Rewa.
Today the 35th successor of the royal family Maharaja Pushpraj resides in the Palace and takes care of this historical building.
The Baghel Museum is located in the vicinity of the fort palace and is a must visit. The museum is a rich repertoire of interesting artifacts belonging to the region as well has a huge private collection of the Maharaja family. There’s even a stuffed mummy of ‘Mohan’ the first tiger! It was killed by the Maharaja of Rewa, Martand Singh in the year 1951 in the forests of Bargadi and was later brought to Rewa palace. I still remember how thrilled and intrigued I felt when I first saw the well preserved body of Mohan as a kid.
Interestingly, after Mohan’s death in 1969, his legacy continued with his healthy children and grandchildren occupying the grounds of Rewa palace and subsequently leading to gene mutation and breeding a number of White Tigers for the rest of India. However, with the passing of ‘Viraat’ at Govindgarh in July 1976, the white tigers completely vanished from their original habitat at Rewa and it is only now after 40 years that the mighty roar has been a happy welcome.
Learn more on the White Tigers HERE
Interestingly the Govindgarh Palace is soon going to be converted into a Heritage Hotel. I just hope the renovation keeps the essence of the place and keeps the heritage alive in its walls.
Unfortunately, in the year 2012, I learned about a theft, where the thieves decamped with antiques worth over 500 crores. I remember the interesting numbers of pen pistols that are now stolen 😦 along with some really old & antique items like a huge silver chhatri (from 13th century), a massive silver garland each weighing 40 kilos which the Royal Elephants wore and some items that were almost 800 years old. Read More
Do visit India’s first White Tiger Safari located at Mukundpur, Govindgarh for a short yet thrilling ride in the forest maintained by the forest department. Opened for the public in April 2016, the safari lets you understand more on the white tiger and history associated with ‘Mohan’, the first white tiger in the world. Visit Website for entry details and rates.
- I read somewhere that the weapons used in the Shahrukh Khan & Kareena Kapoor’s Movie ‘Ashoka’ were also loaned from the Rewa Museum!
- The world famous Actor & Director Raj Kapoor married Krishna, a girl from Rewa.
- Another interesting fact about Rewa is that the great Musician – Tansen also learned Music here. Although born in Gwalior, MP he mastered Hindustani classical music at Rewa and spent a good amount of years here. It was Akbar who got exchanged Tansen in lieu of offering Rewa Palace the canyon, among other things.
The Govindgarh palace of the Maharaja of Rewa in 1882
Get enthralled at Bhairav Baba, Gurh: Gurh is a small town located 30 kms from Rewa and is popular for a giant rock sculpture (35 feet) of Lord Shiva, positioned in lying form. The place is unreal and just being there will bring you peace.
Visit the Beautiful Waterfalls of Govindgarh Region: The region of Govindgarh is quite picturesque and has numerous waterfalls that must be visited especially after monsoons. Few popular waterfalls of this region include Chachai Falls (40 kms), Purva Falls, Keoti Falls (40 kms), Bahuti and Beehar. Another beautiful spot is Khando which has a temple located by a river which makes it quite a scenic place to visit.
A famous travel blogger Lakshmi Sharath recently visited Rewa and she shares her incredible journey here With fascinating pictures and an even more interesting tales to this historic city, I am sure you will soon be planning a trip to Rewa. My featured Image is Courtesy Lakshmi Sharath. You can read more from her here
Accomodation & Stay Options in Rewa
Hotel Rewa Raj Vilas: is owned & Managed by the Maharaja of Rewa and is a 3 star level hotel that offers a wonderful stay option while you explore this city. Tariffs: 2500-3675 INR
Hotel Aditya: is one of the most popular hotels in Rewa and is ideal for all budgets. The hotel offers the best of amenities and facilities be it for a business traveller or a family visit. Tariffs: 500-1500 INR
Hotel Dee Landmark: offers exquisite deluxe rooms including suites, a club,swimming pool and a banquet hall perfect for he gatherings or weddings. Tariffs: 2500-5500 INR
Celebrations Hotel & Resort: is a luxury hotel & resort catering to budget travellers and is ideally located right at the centre of Rewa City. The place is also perfect for a getaway from nearby cities/towns. Tariffs: 1000-3500 INR
Hotel Safari Regency: is a great place for budget travellers that offers a premium stay option. Offering the finest dining and other services, it is quite a nice place to stay. Tariffs: 700-2000 INR
Shopping & Eating Out in Rewa
Most of the hotels have good dining options but if you want to explore more here are some selected options:
Real Spice Restaurant, Pili Kothi Ahata Bar & Restuarant, Zvaartra Restuarant, Little Chef Restuarant, Utopia, Biryani Bites, Vrindavan Hotel, Shri Ram Hotel, Flavours Restaurant and Dawat Restaurant. Rewa has one of the largest & biggest shopping mall in the state of Madhya Pradesh and the place is Shilpi Plaza.
Distance Guide for Rewa
From Allahabad: 130 Kms
From Bhopal: 420 Kms
By Railways: Following trains run regularly and offer a comfortable trip for those wanting to visit the city of White Tigers:
- 12186/12185 – Rewa – Bhopal Rewanchal Express
- 12447/12448 – Rewa – New Delhi Express
- 11451/11452 – Rewa – Jabalpur Intercity Express
By Airways: the nearest Airports for reaching Rewa are at Khajuraho, Jabalpur & Varanasi. There is also an Airstrip at Chuhata, Rewa but has very limited private landings.