Rawatpara

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Rawatpara

Rawatpara is one of the oldest localities of the historic city of Agra. It is situated very close to Agra Fort and also the river Yamuna. Rawatpara draws its name from the title Rawat. The Hindi dictionary meaning of the word "Rawat" conveys expressions that are akin to titles that used to be conferred by the Mughal emperors upon those whom they considered to be worthy of their salt. The legend is that Akbar's son Salim had raised the flag of revolt. During this period once Akbar's life was in danger owing to some surprise skirmish that was secretly planned and executed by those close to Salim. At that time Akbar was on a hunting trip some distance away from Agra and one Brahmin protected him and also gave him shelter till his troops arrived. Out of his gratitude Akbar conferred the title of RAWAT upon this Brahmin. Besides giving vast stretches of land, Akbar also gave a Haveli close to the Agra Fort to enable this BRAHMIN to stay close to the AGRA FORT. This place became an abode for the BRAHMIN and his family and came to be known as RAWATPARA. The family and kinsmen of the BRAHMIN saviour of Akbar continued to lead a prominent role as a part of the Mughal administration and prospered well owing to their proximity to the rulers and the place they had acquired in the power structure. They continued to profess their Hindu religion and Akbar being a liberal never had any problem on this count. Even his successor Shahajahan had no issue with some of his close courtiers being Hindus. However, Aurengzeb had different views on this issue. He wanted all those close to or part of the administration convert to Islam. This became a sort of Emperor's Writ. Forcible conversions became the order of the day. At that time, the Rawats of Rawatpara had two options either to convert to Islam or escape to the wilds with whatever they could carry with them. They exercised the second option. They left their abode at Rawatpara and moved towards the ravines of Chambals. In the process, the kin broke into small groups many of whom settled down in the areas outside Agra towards Kanpur and Shivpuri. The Haveli of Rawats at Rawatpara became abandoned. Over the years the place has assumed a new identity as a wholesale market for grains, pulses, spices etc.

The best place to buy the famous Agra Petha and Dal Moth is Rawatpara. Most of the shops there are very old; some have been there since the Mughal period. It is also very close to Johari Bazar and Kinari Bazar, which are the most popular shopping markets for the locals and tourist alike.

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