A monsoon palace with breath-taking panoramic views and exquisite architecture
The highest point around Udaipur and home to rare wildlife
Perched at the top of the highest hill of Girwa Valley, 936 metres above main sea level and 343 meters above the surrounding country, Sajjangarh Palace is 5 km in the west of Udaipur. Visible from a great distance the palace offers a breath-taking panoramic bird-eye view of the Udaipur city, Picchola and Fatehsagar lakes, distant villages, palaces and hill ranges. Words cannot describe the beauty of this scene adequately. It has to be seen to be believed. Once covered with dense vegetation, the Bansdara hill had five odis shooting boxes, constructed around it to facilitate hunting and to have a view of the forest area. It is said that Sajjangarh played an important role in the Heliography system of transmitting messages about royal hunting in the erstwhile Mewar state. These messages were sent to Jaisamand via Udaipur. It is said that it was built to monitor the approaching monsoon clouds. The hill was full of wildlife. The last royal hunt of a 9 ft 7 inches long tiger in 1956 is on record.
Maharana Sajjansingh himself designed it as a twelve-story building so that the light of Vijai Stambh of Chittorgarh could be seen from here. He started construction of this palace to house an observatory. However, it is believed that this fortress was designed and constructed in the style of royal buildings of Hyderabad Deccan.
The Maharana died prematurely and the plans were curtailed when only after a few storeys had been built. To decorate the palace he had ordered, products made of crystals from Belgium. However, the consignment reached the Indian port on the day he passed away. Now they are on display in the Crystal Gallery of the Royal Palace Museum.
Later on, in 1899 A.D., Maharana Fatehsingh completed the buildings that has apartments for ladies and gents, a large courtyard and stables, rooms for servants and personal staff and enclosing walls. The delicate carvings on the stone in the first storey are extremely interesting. The smooth shining walls of lime plaster, marble pillars engraved with leaves and flowers, ‘jharokhas’, domes and fountains are living evidence of art and architecture of this region.
It is thrilling to see such a massive construction at such a height done during the old days when no mechanical means were available for such activities. The palace has importance also because of its safety. It served as a royal resort during the rainy season and a place of outdoor recreation apart from hunting.
The palace is also a model of rain water conservation. Every drop of rain water falling at any part of the palace is being tapped and stored in the huge water storage tanks with capacity of 312723.3 litres that even today poses a challenge to modern architects.
With the beginning of rainy season kissed and caressed by hovering clouds. Sajjangarh, also popularly known as Monsoon Palaces comes alive and appears as if the fortress is hanging in the sky. Sunsets here are absolutely fantastic.
Undoubtedly, it is one of the best place to visit in Udaipur.