Rajasthan is known to be the land of ‘Rulers’ and thus has many amazing forts and palaces all over the state.Udaipur is known to be the city of lakes but has many forts of architectural magnificence, Monsoon Palace also known as Sajjangarh palace is one such architectural marvel constructed at an altitude of 3100 Ft. built by the 72nd ruler of Mewar dynasty ‘Maharana Sajjan Singh’ in the year 1884 and thus got its name ‘Sajjangarh’.
The palace is constructed on marble pillars with walls plastered with lime mortar.There are stairs, hall, rooms, and quarters in the three-storey building, various ‘Jharokhas’ are provided to glance at the whole city and lakes from the top and enjoy the rainy weather in monsoon.After you enter the palace and walk through it to reach backside you will see a huge open space with circular boundary and from there you can watch the lush green hills, lakes, and the Udaipur city.The city looks white in color with the visible lake water of all the three lakes Fateh Sagar, Pichola, and Swaroop Sagar making it a breathtaking view.It is this view for which you climb the mountain as there is nothing much to see inside the fort.Since it is Monsoon palace it is best to visit this palace in the monsoon to witness clouds, infinite greenery on the hills and some mild showers.You can watch an awesome sunset too, for this, you have to be at the palace on the time of Sunset.
Here are some interesting facts about the Monsoon Palace.
1.Maharana Sajjan Singh had planned a nine-storey complex to be designated as ‘astronomical centre’ and to monitor monsoon clouds but due to his untimely death the complex could not be completed and later his successor Maharana Fateh Singh completed it.He used to watch monsoon clouds from the palace and thus it is called ‘Monsoon Palace’.This palace was also used as the ‘hunting lodge’ for the royal family.
2.The ‘Builder’ of the palace Maharana Sajjan Singh was a visionary ruler, he undertook various developmental activities like enlarging infrastructures like roads, water supply, and other civil work.He also introduced civil administration and courts but unfortunately, his reign lasted for just 10 years (1874–1884).
3.The palace is under forest department.There is Sajjangarh wildlife sanctuary surrounding the palace, various wild animals found in the hill forest of the palace some of the animals are the pather, jackal, hyenas, neelgai, owl etc.There is a biological park developed for people and tourists to see the wild animals in their natural surroundings. The entrance to the biological park is at the base. The special attraction of the biological park is the ‘White Tiger’ which was brought from the Chennai.
4. Some Bollywood and Hollywood movies were shot at the palace, some of them are Octopussy, Cheetah Girl, dhamaal, and hum hai raahi pyar ke.In the James Bond movie Octopussy, the palace appears as the residence of the principal villain, an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan(Louise Jourdan)
How to reach Monsoon Palace
The Monsoon Palace is within the city periphery, the best option is the cab, you can easily hire a cab.The local transportation is not that good, you can also hire a bike on rental from the old city.The climbing you can do on foot or you can take your vehicle (2 or 4 wheeler).It’s just a 15-20 mins drive from the base.There is a nature trail walk you will find midway while climbing, you can have a walk to see the beauty of Aravalis from closer.The slope at height is steep, be careful while you drive/ride.
Ticket Charges at Monsoon Palace
The ticket charges as of 2017:-
Indian-Rs 50, Foreigner-Rs 200
Two wheeler-Rs 30, Four Wheeler-Rs 50
There is only one cafeteria by Chunda Palace, which has a nice seating arrangement in the garden and they serve amazing tea in Kullad 🙂
Overall it’s a nice place to visit, the best time to visit is July-December.
Information Source-Personal experience, Wikipedia