Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Udaipur Diaries: Sajjangarh Palace

Sajjangarh Palace, perched on the hilltop of Banasdara mountain of Aravalli hill range, is a palatial residence in Udaipur city overlooking the Fateh Sagar lake. It is a white marble palace, situated 5km to the west of the city at an altitude of 944mt above the sea level. It was built by the seventy second ruler of Mewar dynasty, Maharana Sajjan Singh in the year 1884. As he had a deep passion for astronomy, he intended to construct a nine story astronomical center  that could facilitate the tracking of monsoon clouds along with the weather conditions and thus the great Sajjangarh palace got its renowned name the monsoon palace. But the construction was done for three story building due to his early demise. It is said that the king built it on the hill top yo get the view of his ancestral home at Chittaurgarh. this place also meant as a resort for the royal family for hunting lodge and as a summer retreat. The place structuring is such that it gives us an panoramic view of the great Aravalli ranges, lake Pichola and the countryside scenic beauty.

The monsoon palace has high turrets and guards regulating each tower. It consist of a grand central courtroom with staircase, grand rooms and quarters. The is structured on marble pillars, which are carved with exquisite motifs of leaves and flowers. The walls of the palace is plastered with lime mortar. The quarters are divided into Mardana Mahal(quarter for men), Zanana Mahal(Female quarters), Diwan-e-Aam(public audience hall) and Diwan-e-Khas(hall for the royals). At night the illuminated palace with the Rajasthani architecture comprising of domes, fountains and jharokas gives it a fairy tale beauty. The ground floor of the palace has an indigenous collection of pictures, paintings, maps of the entire palace that Mahrana Sajjan Singh had intended to construct. There is a structuring of rainwater collection system which can store 195,500 liters of water and considered an innovative way of rainwater collection system for dry desert region. there also exist some cannons which can traced backed to the time Udaipur was attacked by Schindias in the year 1764.

 The palace is surrounded by Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary established in the year 1987 which cobers an area of 5.17nsq km. It is regarded as a reserve for reptiles, wild boars, blue bulls hyenas, wild rabbits, spotted dears, panthers, sambhars, jackals, peacocks and many insects. the hillock has been protected with concrete walls and fences to improvise the flora and fauna in the sanctuary

The numbers change, pages of history turns by, the pages flutter yet the palatial fort still stands firm echoing the history of Mewar kingdoms on its full glory. Looming at a great height the palace is the best destination which gives an exhilarating view of the Udaipur city overlooking the lakes. It is an astounding and charismatic view.

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