bharatpur palace: history, tickets and stay- Travel
The most famous bird sanctuary in India is called Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It is located near the town of Bharatpur in Rajasthan, about 180 Km from Delhi, 180 Km from Jaipur and 55 Km from Agra. The town gets its name from Bharat, a mythical warrior king from ancient times and is a historical place with many interesting tourist attractions.
It is very easy to visit Bharatpur as it has a train station, bus station and is well connected by road. If you are visiting this part of Rajasthan, you must surely check out the Bird Sanctuary but besides birds, there is also a wonderful palace in Bharatpur that is worth seeing. It is called the Bharatpur Palace or the Deeg Palace and is considered to be one of the most interesting palaces in North India.
About the Bharatpur Palace
A perfect blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, the palace is an imposing structure that covers a vast area. It is impressive and daunting to look at from the outside but the inside is even more interesting. A vast labyrinth of interconnected pathways and rooms, it was designed to impress guests and, in its heyday, it was a lively and pulsating centre of culture and power.
Bharatpur Palace or Deeg Palace is located 32 Kms from the city of Bharatpur. Built-in 1772, it was originally designed as a summer retreat for the rulers of Bharatpur State. It is skillfully designed to shield its inhabitants from the oppressive summer heat of Rajasthan using several interesting technologies.
The palace uses pools, fountains, aqua ducts, angular walls, strategic shading, intricate ventilation and a host of other interesting curiosities to ensure that the inhabitants are comfortable and cool in the hot summers without the use of electrical appliances. Its engineering is so potent that the palace was in active use until the 1970s.
Perhaps the most interesting feature among this palace's many wonders is the intricate fountains that use colored water to create a spectacular experience. The system does not use electricity but is engineered to create explosions of colours in different parts of the structure using complex ducts. This system still works today and is turned on twice a year during ceremonies as a demonstration of native Indian design.
The Palace also has an interesting museum that houses original artefacts from ancient times. Swords, armour, utensils, artworks and other items are stored in the “Kamra Khas” and provide a fascinating and educational journey that tracks the rise of this pleasure palace and tells all about the people who built it.
History of Bharatpur Palace
In the 1700s, Bharatpur State was a powerful kingdom ruled by Jat Kings. When Badan Singh came to the throne in 1771, the kingdom flourished, so he decided to build a new palace at a strategic spot. Due to its proximity to Agra and Delhi, the palace served as an important meeting point for administrators and diplomats.
However, the palace came under repeated attacks due to its legendary riches and luxuries and also due to its proximity to Agra and Delhi. When Badan Singh’s son Suraj Mal came to power, he built a large and strong fort around the palace in 1730 with thick walls and deep moats to secure the palace.
Emboldened by his success, Suraj Mal decided to make inroads into enemy territory, ending with him sacking Delhi. His Jat army captured Delhi and plundered the Red Fort. They completely disassembled a marble building that was used as a playground for Mughal Children and numbered the pieces. Using this as a guide, they reconstructed the entire structure at Deeg.
Tickets for Bharatpur Palace
The Bharatpur Palace is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and costs only Rs. 20 to enter for Indian citizens and Rs. 250 for foreigners. However, to fully understand the palace and explore its many treasures, it is preferable to get a guide, which may cost extra. The Museum at the Palace also charges another Rs. 20 for entry and is also worth checking out.
Where to stay
The best hotel in Bharatpur is the Amritara Chandra Mahal Haveli. This charming heritage property is located in the rustic village of Paharsar, about 25 Km from Bharatpur. With a 170-year-old history, Chandra Mahal has been carefully restored and stands today as the perfect combination of stately architecture and modern luxury.
If you stay at the Chandra Mahal Haveli, you can easily access the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and the Bharatpur Fort. You can also check out the other attractions in the area as and when you please. The service at the resort is exceptionally good and they will take every measure to ensure that your trip to this earthly paradise is a roaring success.