This was my fifth visit to Lake Siliserh which is located 13km southwest of Alwar city, Rajasthan. I was actually visiting Alwar for some official work. It is a beautiful city on the edge of the Aravali hills. It is around 160km from Delhi and is a part of National Capital Region. There are many places in and around Alwar which attracts many tourists throughout the year. Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Siliserh Lake, Vijay Mandir Mahal, Mooti Dongri, Bala Quilla, Company Bagh, City Palace are few of those places one can explore.
As my agenda got over by around 4pm, I decided to visit the lake before heading back to Delhi. As mentioned earlier, this was my 5th visit in the last 8 years. Does this place hold this much potential? Well not really but I can quote here what my friend told me when I mentioned to him about my latest visit to Siliserh. He said, “When you have a fight with a friend, either the relationship fades away or it goes stronger”. In my case, as far as Siliserh Lake is concerned, so far the latter is true and yes, I do have a story which I must share now.
It was during my first visit to Siliserh. I do not remember the date but it must have been in the month of March. The weather was perfect for a day visit. Sun was bright and warm but not harsh. I was accompanied by my friend Anirudh, Jyoti and my wife. We reached the place at around 10 am and after spending some time around the palace (was built in 1845 by Maharaja Vinay Singh and later converted to a hotel and now run by RTDC), we took a little detour, went through a village and approached the left bank of the lake. We arranged a charpai from the village and sat on the edge of the water. Soon after, we started drinking beer which was followed by homemade breakfast. Things would have been normal if Anirudh wouldn’t have mentioned about a lesser known Hanuman Temple nearby which he visited few years back. The way he described the whole thing, it created lot of excitement among us and we decided to visit the place although we were down with few beers by then.
The temple is situated on the edge of a hillock and few feet away from a tiny stream coming down through some cave like rocky formation. The place was a little secluded and away from the villages. As we were little dizzy, we decided to avoid the temple and straightway reached the stream. While Jyoti and Anirudh decided to sit on a rock near the stream, me and my wife started walking up the stream. We trekked up to a point beyond which the path was extremely slippery. As we returned, we saw our friends playing in the water. After spending few minutes together we decided to return and started walking towards our car. All hell broke just then.
Suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by three horsemen with long sticks in their hands. One of them targeted Anirudh and tried to hit him on his head. Anirudh ducked and tried to defend himself with his bare hands. As I started running towards him, I felt a big jolt on my leg. Luckily the other horseman targeted my leg instead of my head. Somehow I managed to stay on my feet and within few seconds we were surrounded by more people who came out of the temple. It didn’t take us long to understand what went wrong. The person whom we greeted while entering the area alerted these people from a nearby village behind the hillock. He had not only informed them that we were drunk but also mentioned that we might have some wrong intention. To save ourselves, we played all possible cards and finally a priest came to our rescue. He asked me to go to the temple, pay some amount and ask for forgiveness from the Lord Hanuman. He did not ask for any specific amount and once I did everything as prescribed, we were allowed to go.
By then we were 200% normal and within few minutes we reached the main road towards Alwar. Anirudh’s middle finger was numb and later grew as big as his thumb . The area where I took the hit was swollen too like a spread breaker. We all realized the mistake we committed but to ease the pain, we had to get some more beer.
Now, every time I come to visit the lake, I re-live that incident. This is also one story which I often narrate to people I meet. Since my first visit and till today nothing much has changed around the place other than the fact that the adventure group who manages boating in the lake has added few more activities to the menu including para-sailing and under water diving. The palace still looks haunted. The landscape here is just as it was. And this is still my favorite place to drink a strong beer overlooking the Aravali hills and the blue lake.
As we were entering Gurgaon, the driver put on the radio. Co-incidentally the first song which was played on the radio was
“Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyara
Maein To Gaya Maara, Aake Yahan Re”
I do not have any one here to address as ‘gori’ but that doesn’t make this place less beautiful. You can see Koyal, Mor and many other birds around here. During winter you will also find few migratory birds. And most importantly and literally speaking – mei toh yahan ake sach mei mara gaya tha.
Photographs from my earlier visits: