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Pilani, Shekhawati Overview

Pilani is a small town situated in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, mainly renowned for being home to one of the most prestigious educational institutes of the country namely BITS Pilani (Birla Institute of Technology and Science). Grand Havelis and revered shrines are situated in the heart of this quaint town which still reflect the rich saga of the past.

Sightseeing in Pilani is a delightful experience for all those who are looking to delve into the history and culture of Rajasthan. Pilani is adorned with fascinating places like Shiv Ganga, Saraswati temple and Panchwati which add an element of spirituality to the town. Discover your passion for science at the Birla Museum, or relive our country's fascinating legends at Panchwati. Several villages surround the city such as Khedla, Jherli, and Dhindhwa Aguna, giving it a rustic environment.

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Attractions in Pilani

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.

5. Khetri Fort Pahari: Built around 18th century by the Shekhawati ruler, Bhopal Singh, Khetri fort is largest in the region. It was later turned into a museum and displays artifacts and possessions of the rulers from 18th and 19th century.
Panchwati Udyan: It is believed that Lord Ram along with Sita and his brother Lakshman spent their years in exile here. Panchwati Udyan is devoted to Lord Ram’s life and his years as an outcast. Maintained by Birla Trust of Pilani, it covers huge swaths of lush green gardens and flora.

6. Surajgarh Fort: This 18th century Shekhawati palace is named after its founder, Thakur Surajmal. Popular for its frescos and the history associated with it, Surajgarh fort now operates as a luxury hotel with 22 grand suites spread over a 4 acre land.
Birla Haveli: The ancestral haveli of the business conglomerate, the Birlas is popular for its European-Shekhawati design and frescos. The haveli turned museum displays pictures and possessions of Birla household and provides a peek into earlier lives of the family that continues to dominate the Indian economy.

7. Saraogi Haveli: One of the prized possessions of Fatehpur is Saraogi Haveli built in the 1800s. Fatehpur town was established by Fateh Khan in the early 15th century and is home to several stunning havelis famous for their frescos and Shekhawati architecture.

Best Time To Visit Pilani

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.

History of PilaniĀ 

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.

Places To Eat

1. Mahaveerji Pedawaale: If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then you’re in luck! Mahaveerji Pedawaale has the best pedhas in Pilani. The perfect combination of milk and sugar is boiled in traditional iron vats will you leave you wanting for more. You won’t be able to resist from parceling a couple of pedha boxes home!

2. Marwar Sweets: The Chirawa pedha and the famous milk cake have earned this shop its name in Pilani. The store has a wide variety of snacks and meals that you can try.

3. Sandpiper Cafe: If you’re looking out for a cosy place to hang out with your friends and family, then this is the place for you. With great ambience and lip-smacking food and beverages, Sandpiper Cafe should be on your go-to list if you’re in Pilani.

4. Vatika Restaurant La Pizzeria: If you’re craving for some delicious pizzas, then head to Vatika! A favourite spot among locals as well as from people outside, this restaurant offers some great pasta choices and meals and is a one-stop destination for friends, families and colleagues.

How To Reach Pilani

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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