The Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur is also known as Monsoon Palace which is a palatial residence located on a hilltop in the city of Udaipur. The fort has got its name from Maharana Sajjan Singh who was the seventy-second ruler who ruled Mewar from 1874 to 1884 and was the one behind the construction of the Sajjangarh Fort in 1884. The fort offers a grand view of the lakes, the countryside and the palaces that are found in the city if Udaipur. The fort was basically built for the convenience of watching the clouds during the monsoon season and therefore it is appropriately called the Sajjangarh Fort. This palace also provides a very beautiful sight of sunset as it is located very high on the Aravali Range in the outskirts of Udaipur. The palace remains illuminated in the evening that offers that golden orange glow to the palace.
The Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur is a true piece of beauty because of its exquisite architecture and the art that represents he culture and the tradition that exited during the reign of the Rajputana rulers in Mewar. The Sajjangarh Fort was not only built for the purpose of serving as a residence but at the same time it was also built as an astronomical center that would prove the development work that carried on in the city of Udaipur during the reign of Maharana Sajjan Singh.
Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur - The Monsoon PalaceThe Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur is perched on a very high summit of the mountain called Banasdara on the Aravali Range. The fort appears like a bejeweled tiara on the mountain and adds to the exquisite beauty of Udaipur. The entire palace is made out of white marble and it is situated at a distance of 5 kilometers towards the west of the city of Udaipur. The altitude of the fort is about 944 meters above the level of sea.
The longitudinal and latitudinal extents of the fort are 74.289 and 23.260 respectively. The fort or the place was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh who was a very popular ruler and was considered to be a ‘Man of Vision’. Maharana Sajjan Singh was also awarded with the honor of “Grand Commander of the Star of India” in 1881. He was man who had a great and a very deep fervor for astronomy and it is only because of this reason that Maharana Sajjan Singh proposed the construction of an astronomical center that would consist of nine storeys and could make it easy to track the monsoon clouds and carry out the diagnosis of the conditions of weather.
Another reason that can be cited in support of the construction of the Sajjangarh Fort was making it serve as a hunting lodge and holiday home for the royal family and at the same time it also served towards offering the Maharana a sight of his ancestral home located in Chittorgarh.
However, with the untimely death of Maharana Sajjan Singh at the age of 26, his dream could not be fulfilled and it remained incomplete with the partial construction of a three storey astronomical centre. But it is noteworthy that during the reign of Maharana Sajjan Singh in Udaipur, the city got the recognition of being the Municipality that ranked second after Bombay. The most determined project that Maharana Sajjan Singh undertook while he ruled Udaipur was the construction of the place called Sajjangarh.
The Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur looms at a very great height and it offers a splendid sight of the Udaipur city that overlooks tow lakes namely Lake Fatehsagar and Lake Pichola. The palace was previously under the ownership of Mewar’s royal family but at present it is under the supervision of the Forest Department of Rajasthan Government. The fort serves to be very important for the tourism department of Udaipur mainly because of the location of the fort that offers a charismatic and astounding view of Udaipur city.
The road that leads to the Sajjangarh Fort is quite twisting, steep, hilly and it also has a number of blind turns. Rainy season serves as the best time when people can plan to visit the fort because it is during the rainy season when people can enjoy the scenic and the picaresque sight of the scenery that surrounds the fort which appears like heaven when the palace is cocooned within clouds. The palace also renders a great view from way down in the city and attracts visitors to have a sight of the breathtaking spectacle of the colorful sky amidst sunset.
Architecture of Sajjangarh FortThe palace possesses a very grand court in its center that consists of various rooms and even a staircase. The court also comprises a very huge statuette of Maharana Pratap made out of bronze. Apart from this, the Sajjangarh Fort also consists of domes, fountains, Jharokhas, marble pillars engraved with floral carvings that reflect the vibrant architecture, culture and art of Rajasthan and even the royal quarters that have been further divided into Zanana Mahal (rooms for women) and Mardana Mahal (rooms for men). The fort also comprises the Diwan-e-Khaas (hall meant for audiences that were private) and the Diwan-e-Aam (hall meant for general public). Lime mortar has been used for the plaster of the fort walls. There are tall turrets within the fort that are regulated by guards and they are visible even from a very long distance.
During the evening, the fort is illuminated and the view of the fort is very similar to fairytale castle floating in the night sky. There is a museum located in the ground floor of the beautiful palace that consists of paintings, maps of the palace, designs of the beautiful palace and even pictures of different kinds. The place also comprises an original system for rainwater collection which has the capability to store 195,500 liters of water. This water reservoir served to be very useful and the idea was also very innovative because of the dry desert environment of Udaipur. Boat ride across Lake Pichola renders a mesmerizing sight of the grand palace located at Sajjangarh.
On the flipside, the great palace one would get the stunning sight of the valley that is covered with thick and dense forest along with lush greenery. The place is not found to be commercialized as there are no vendors and no shops found in and around the fort. This makes the fort and the entire area surrounding the fort very peaceful, calm and quite. The palace also possesses a restaurant that remains under the supervision and is also owned by The Lalit Groups.
The restaurant provides breakfast, lunch, coffee and tea to the tourists who visit the fort. The Sajjangarh Fort Udaipur is considered to be the best sightseeing spot of Udaipur and this is the reason why it is very popular as a tourist destination in the city. Rs. 10 is the entry fee for the Indians into the fort and for foreigners it is Rs.80. Students can enter the fort with a nominal entry fee of just Rs.2. However, it is very sad that the fort is not being maintained by the Government of Rajasthan is an appropriate manner. The interiors of the fort have been ruined and the fort walls have also got damaged. The authorities who have the responsibility of maintaining the fort should take useful measures in improving the Palace condition because of its importance as a tourist destination in Udaipur.