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Sajjangarh Palace, Udaipur Overview

Located just on the outskirts of the city of Udaipur, perched atop a hill, Sajjangarh Palace is a former royal residence belonging to the Mewar dynasty, who ruled over this place for centuries. The palatial complex is named after its patron, Maharana Sajjan Singh, who ordered its construction and had it erected in 1884. It was originally intended to be a nine-storeyed astronomical observatory to note and assess the arrival and patterns of monsoon clouds, which could be easily perceived from the palace because of its location at a strategic vantage point at one of the hilltops of Aravalli, called Bansdara Peak. For this reason, it has also earned the name Monsoon Palace. It would have also created employment opportunities for the subjects.

However, due to the premature death of Maharana Sajjan Singh, that did not turn into a reality. His successor Maharana Fateh Singh transformed it into a place of recreation. During his tenure and after that, the Monsoon Palace was primarily used as a hunting lodge for the royal family of Mewar and their guests. Staying true to the contemporary styles of that time, Sajjangarh Palace displays a fascinating Rajput architecture, complete with high towers, turrets, balconies and pillars. It even had the facilities to harvest rainwater in unique scientific techniques.

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History

The builder of the Monsoon Palace, Maharana Sajjan Singh, was the 72nd ruler of the Mewar dynasty. After becoming the Rana in 1874, he undertook many projects of civil work in the city of Udaipur, like road and dam constructions, water supply and other developments in infrastructure. Sajjangarh Palace was his most ambitious project that he started during the late years of his reign, but unfortunately he passed away before he could complete it as per his vision of an astronomical observatory. His successor, Fateh Singh completed its construction keeping a palatial hunting lodge in mind. In any case, it is one of the grandest constructions during that era, with a spectacular view from all around.

From the top balconies of the Monsoon Palace, one can get a splendid view of the entire city of Udaipur, all its lakes, palaces and forts, as well as the ancestral home of the Mewars, Chittorgarh. Maybe for this reason this spot was chosen by Maharana Sajjan Singh to have his own palatial observatory. One can also have a direct view the entire stretch of the Fateh Sagar Lake, constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh himself. If you visit the Monsoon Palace anytime during the afternoon, make sure to wait and witness the sunset, which looks stunning from the vast balconies of the heritage building.

Currently the palace is owned by the Forest Department of the state of Rajasthan and has been recently opened for public entry.

Architecture

The facade of the Monsoon Palace is made of stark white marble, and in true Rajasthani style, it  is characterised by high turrets, multiple pillars, gigantic domes and jharokhas. There is a grand central court with staircases leading up to multiple rooms and chambers on all sides. The pillars which support the entire building have intricate floral motifs on them. The rest of the walls are covered in detailed carvings as well, giving the interiors of the palace an undeniable charm.

The palace housed an underground harvesting structure with a cistern of 195,500 litres capacity. But it still proved to be inadequate given Rajasthan’s arid conditions, and the palace was abandoned eventually.

Nearby Attractions

The Monsoon Palace is surrounded by Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to several native and exotic flora and fauna. The slopes of the hill on top of which the palace stands is covered with thick woods which fall under the sanctuary. These areas were once the favourite huntings grounds of the Mewar royalty, and the palace served as their hunting lodge. Whether you take a safari ride or go for a trek, chances are you will meet some of the wild residents of the forest, like tigers, panthers, jackals, nilgais, sambhar and barking deer, hyenas, wild boars and several species of birds.

Featured In

Apart from being a grand structure of the Mewari style and a favourite tourist destination of Udaipur, Sajjangarh Palace has also made an appearance in one of the famous movies of the 007 franchise. It poses as the residence of the mail villain in the 1983 Roger Moore starrer Octopussy, and multiple scenes including a battle in the courtyard has been shot inside the palace premises.

Entry Timings

The Monsoon Palace is open seven days of the week from 8 AM in the morning to 6 PM in the evening.

Entry Fees

The entry fee to the Monsoon Palace is INR 10 for an Indian and INR 80 for a foreigner individual. If you enter riding an auto rickshaw or a car, then you will have to pay INR 20 and INR 65 respectively.

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Reviews

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Kashish Khatri 11 months ago
This is the crumbling palace on top of the hill you see looking over Udaipur. We made a call at Padharo Udaipur, and asked them to make a booking, for the driver and guide to take us there. The palace itself is fallilng apart and nothing to speak of. But the view from up on top of the hill is amazing. Don't miss it. Must say excellent service by Padharo Team, for any query just make a call, & they’ll help you out with that.
mayank tamboli 3 months ago
This place is a must visit in Udaipur if you are a tourist or even a resident. the best time to visit this place is evening as it is also called as sunset point. you will see a present sunset in the hills there, be sure to reach an hour before as the places gets closed as soon as sun sets. "Link Hidden". This post tells almost all the factors about Sajjan Garh (Monsoon Palace)
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