Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sajjangarh - monsoon palace

Situated on the top of a hill, this palace was built by the Rajput king, Maharana Sajjan Singh in the 19th century as his monsoon retreat. Surrounded by the Sajjangarh wildlife sanctuary, the palace overlooks the twin lake city of Udaipur on one side and the beautiful Aravali hills on the other, offering excellent panoramic views of both. A 4x4 vehicle is ideal though not essential for the short drive through the sanctuary and the rather steep hairpin bends near the top. For people interested in wildlife photography there is the distinct possibility of spotting some exotic birds enroute.

The building has been reopened to the public after repairs and has certainly seen better days from the times of its Rajput kings to hosting James Bond in the film Octopussy. I visited during the monsoons and being neither royalty nor secret agent, was more interested in watching the sun set over the Aravallis.

By virtue of its more modest scale, Sajjangarh offers a more intimate insight into the lifestyles of the royal families of the past. The passage of time has taken its toll on India's principalities and only their vestiges linger to remind us of the days gone by.

#sajjangarh #monsoonpalace #rajput #udaipur #4x4 #photography #octopussy #indranilgoswami

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