Perched on a high summit of Banasdara mountain of Aravalli hill range, just like a bejeweled tiara stands the glorious Sajjangarh fort. It is a white marble palace. The fort is situated 5km (2 miles) to the west of Udaipur city at an altitude of 944m (3100 ft) above sea level. The latitudinal and longitudinal of fort are 23.260 and 74.289 respectively. It was built in 1884, by seventy-second ruler of Mewar dynasty, Maharana Sajjan Singh. He was considered as a renowned ruler and a “Man of Vision” and was also honourerd with the title of “Grand Commander of the Star of India” in 1881.Having deep passion for astronomy, Maharan Sajjan Singh intended to construct a nine- storey astronomical centre that could facilitate the tracking of monsoon clouds and diagnose the weather conditions. Hence popularly known as monsoon palace. The other reason that added to building up of the fort was to serve a holiday home and hunting lodge to royal family and also to give Maharana a view of his ancestral home in Chittaurgarh.Due to untimely demise at the age of 26 , his dream remained unfulfilled with shelving of his plans by construction of partial three-storey building. But during his reign (1874-1884) Udaipur was recognized as the second Municipality in India after Bombay. The construction of Sajjangarh is considered as the most ambitious project which Maharana undertook during the span of his rule.
Looming at a great height, the fort offers an exhilarating bird eye view of Udaipur city overlooking the two lakes – The Pichola & Fatehsagar. Previously the palace was owned by the royal family of Mewar but now it is controlled by the Forest department of Rajasthan Government. The importance of the fort lies in it’s unique location to give it’s visitors an astounding and charismatic view of the city. The road leading to the fort is hilly, steep, twisting with several blind turns. The best time to visit the place is at the time of rainy season because the picturesque and the scenic view of the scenery around is seen like heaven with the palace seeming as cocooned within the clouds. Rather than monsoons, from way down the city , the White Palace renders a visual treat with a constraining attraction of pulling a visitor up to see the breathtaking spectacle of the setting sun with a colourful sky.
The palace consist of a grand central court with a staircase, rooms, a huge bronze statue of Maharana Pratap, Fountains, Domes jharokhas, Marble pillars with floral carvings reflecting the vibrant art and architecture of culture of Rajasthan and royal quarters which are subdivided into Mardana Mahal(quarter for men), Zanana Mahal (quarter for females), the Diwan-e-Aam(hall for public audience) and the Diwan-e-Khaas(hall for private audience). The walls of the fort are plastered by lime mortar. The tall turrets with guards regulating each tower can be viewed from a distance. At night the illuminated palace seems like a fairytale castle floating free in the sky. The ground floor of palace is a museum with a collection of pictures, paintings and maps of the entire palace and the design of the palace that Maharana Sajjan Singh intended to construct. There is also an ingenious rainwater collection system in which 195,500 litres of water can be stored and it seems to be an innovative way of collecting rain water where dry desert conditions exists. Some cannons too still remain there, since the time Udaipur was attacked by Schindias in 1764, when the hill was used as ordnance dump. A boat ride across the lake Pichola provides a mesmerizing view of the palace.
The palace is enveloped by Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1987 which covers an area of 5.17 sq km. It is regarded as a reserve for reptiles, wild boars, blue bulls, hyenas, panthers, sambhars, jackals, spotted deers, peacocks, wild rabbits and many migratory birds. The entire hillock has been well protected with concrete wall and fences to improve the flora and fauna of the sanctuary area. To the left of the fort lies Shikarbadi or the Khas-Odi and at the northwest lies an artificial lake known as “Badi Lake”or“Tiger Lake. The adventure freak people can also make their way to the fort by trekking from the lake. On the western side of the hill lies the “ Jhar Water Hole”, a small perennial source of water encircled by numerous Mahua trees adding tranquility to the place along with a small temple of lord Shiva.
The backside of the palace gives the spectacular view of valley covered with dense, thick forest and lush greenery all around it. The place is not commercialized so no shops, no vendors etc lending a peaceful, quite and calm atmosphere. At the palace, a restaurant is operated by The Lalit Groups providing lunch, breakfast, tea, coffee etc.
Monsoon Palace / Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur Entry Fee
- 10 per person for Indians
- 80 per person for Foreigner
- 20 per person for Video Camera
|Monday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Tuesday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Wedesday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Thursday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Friday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Saturday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
|Sunday||8:00 am – 6:00 pm|
Architecture of Sajjangarh Fort
Located on a Bansdara peak of Aravalli hill (3100 ft above sea level), Sajjangarh Palace is built with stunning white marble. As per the plan laid out by Maharana Sajjan Singh, the Palace was supposed to be nine stories, but due to the premature death of the King, the planned was shelved. However, it was later completed by Maharana Fateh Singh, his successor. The Royal family used the Sajjangarh Palace as a hunting lodge as well as to watch the monsoon clouds which brought the name of Monsoon Palace to the Sajjangarh Palace.
The foundation of the Fort is laid on marble pillars which have exclusive motifs of flowers and leaves carved all over it. The palace walls are plastered with lime mortar. There is a vast central court with a stunning staircase and several quarters and rooms. The Fort has high turrets and guards monitoring each of the towers. The domes, fountains, and jharokhas all around the palaces are the exquisite marvels of Rajasthani architecture.
How to reach Sajjangarh Palace
The City of Lakes, Udaipur, is very well connected. There is an airport, railway station and a national highway connecting it to all nearby cities and states. You can reach Sajjangarh Palace via multiple ways mentioned below.
Airways– Dapok airport of Udaipur is about 27.4 Km away and can be easily reached by domestic flights from Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Ahmedabad.
Railways– You can take a direct train to Udaipur from various places such as Mumbai, Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. Udaipur railway station is 7.9 Km from Sajjangarh Fort.
Roadways– The Sajjangarh Palace is 10km away from central Udaipur City. You can take a local cab, auto-rickshaw or a bus run by the government to reach the destination.
Things to do at Sajjangarh Palace
1. If you are history enthusiasts, you can move along and watch around. You can explore the hilly region and have a taste of local Udaipur delights.
2. If you wish to learn about popular folk literature, then the Chittorgarh Palace is the perfect place.
3. There is a wildlife sanctuary nearby; you can take your kids and enjoy some family time.
4. Shopping for local souvenirs is a must in Udaipur region of Rajasthan.
Places to visit near Sajjangarh Palace
Some of the surprising places to visit nearby are Lake Fateh Sagar, Lake Palace, City Palace, Lake Pichola, and SajjanGarh Biological Park.
Interesting facts about Sajjangarh Fort
1. The sunset point is one of the most attractive sights of the Palace. During the sunset, the Palace illuminates the glow of golden orange. So never miss out on this marvelous view.
2. The Palace has been featured in a James Bond movie named Octopussy as the abode of Afghan Prince.
3. The Palace is decked up every night with fairy lights, giving an ethereal view.
Things to keep in mind while visiting Sajjangarh Palace
1. Don’t forget to carry your camera to capture the stunning images coming live in front of your eyes. The cost of bringing a video camera is Rs.20 per person.
2. Please make sure you wear comfy shoes and cotton clothes as the city has a hot and humid weather and it will take around an hour to explore every nook and corner of the Palace.
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