Pilani is a small town situated in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, famous as a hub of several educational institutes. However, other aspects of the town prove it to be worth every visit. Mainly renowned for being home to one of the most prestigious educational institute of the country namely BITS Pilani (Birla Institute of Technology and Science), it is also an unlikely hub for tourists. Grand Havelis and revered shrines are situated in the heart of this quaint town which still reflect the rich saga of the past.
Thakur Nawal Singh founded a city called Nawalgarh in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan in the year 1794, and he commissioned his fourth son Dalel Singh with the task of constructing a fort in the town which is now known as Pilani. The fort came to be known as Dalelgarh after Dalel Singh. As Dalel Singh was expanding his base, Raja Laxman Singh of Sikar attacked him. In these times of peril, Dalel Singh's brother Pilania Jatwith rose to the occasion and the fort was saved against the attack. To commemorate his bravery, the town was renamed Pilani.
Initially, Pilani was a village which was inhabited by about 1500 people belonging to a number of different communities. One family out of these was that of the Birlas which gave rise to India's leading industrialist G.D. Birla. He went on to build BITS Pilani here which is one of the best engineering schools in the country. Pilani also houses CEERI which was established in the year 1953 and is a pioneering research institute in the field of electronics.
Pilani has numerous attractions which beckon tourists to this humble destination throughout the year. Some of the major must-visit destinations here include:-
1. Panchvati: Begin your day with a holy visit to Panchvati, which is believed to be the place where Lord Ram spent his days during his banishment to the forest. This destination is managed by the Birla Trust and has figures of Lord Ram, Lord Laxman, Goddess Sita and Lord Hanuman placed in the midst of a beautiful green garden which is adorned with a number of shrubs and trees.
2. Birla Science Museum: The Birla Science Museum is a delightful place to learn the nuances of science by the means of experimental apparatus, working models and illustrative diagrams. This attraction was built in the year 1954 and tracks the country's progress in the field of science. This is the only privately sponsored technological museum in India. Visitor information is as follows:-
Timings: 9:15 AM - 12:45 PM and 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Closed on Mondays and other gazetted holidays
Entry Fees: INR 10 per person, 50% concession to school groups
3. Clock Tower: Pilani's Clock Tower is one of the most notable attractions in the city. The tower is situated in the midst of the BITS campus and is about 50 years old. The Clock Tower has an array of 10 bells which chime together to generate the most endearing tunes. Needless to say, a number of stories and legends associated with the BITS community are closely related to this mighty edifice.
4. Shiv Ganga and Saraswati Temple: Shiv Ganga is a tranquil destination which houses a picturesque canal encircling a commanding statue of Lord Shiva. Seated in the midst of a lush green garden, this destination is frequented by all looking for a close rendezvous with spirituality and nature. A magnificent Saraswati Temple is also situated close to Shiv Ganga and is the perfect destination to sit back and introspect. The shrine is also situated in the BITS campus.
The best time to explore the city of Pilani is between the months of October and March. The weather during this time of the year is pleasant and offers a great respite from the scorching heat of the summers.
You can take a bus Delhi to Chirawa via Gurgaon which are also almost once every hour. Chirawa is 16 KM from Pilani. You can also take a train from Sarai Rohilla Railway to Loharu station which is 26 km away from Pilani. Getting around the city of Pilani can be done by public transportation which is easily available. Taxi, autorickshaw, and bus are the best options for the visitors.
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