Feb 29, 2012

Deeg, Bharatpur Heritage Weekend Getaway


Located 34 kms. north of Bharatpur, Deeg is known for its palaces and gardens. The rulers here have followed the care and planning that went into the Mughal Gardens. Built by Suraj Mahl in the mid-18th century, Deeg was formerly the second capital of Bharatpur state and the site of a famous battle in which the maharaja’s forces successfully withstood a combined Mughal and Maratha army of some 80,000 men. Now, it is a small town with agriculture as its main focus, but the tourist would enjoy visiting the well preserved and laid out palace pavilions. Gopal Bhawan overlooking the Gopal Sagar, Nand Bhawan, Krishna Bhawan and the ingeniously designed waterworks of the Keshav Bhawan are of interest here. Most of these palaces are rich in history and one can find strong reminders of the Mughal influence. Deeg’s massive walls (up to 28mts. high) and 12 bastions, some with their cannons still in place, are also worth exploring. The fort and pleasure palace are of major architectural importance.


Gopal Bhawan (Suraj Mahl’s Palace) is one of India’s most beautiful and delicately proportioned buildings. Built in a combination of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles, the 18th-century palace fronts onto a tank, the Gopal Sagar, and is flanked by two exquisite pavilions. The tank and palace are surrounded by well-maintained gardens which also contain the Keshav Bhawan, or Summer Pavilion, with its hundreds of fountains, many of which are still functional but usually only turned on for local festivals. Suraj Mahl began the ’Monsoon’ Pleasure Palaces, to the west of the fort.


There is an alternative route from Bharatpur to Jaipur through Alwar which also passes through Deeg. The road is in good condition and the distance of 40 km can be easily covered in an hour. Entry to Deeg palace is free due to lord Hanuman temple inside the complex, but if you want to visit the Jat King Surajmal Palace then a nominal ticket of 5 Rs is charged that includes a guided tour to the palace, King's Drawing room and separate space for vegetarian and non vegetarian food, his personal assistant's office, place where he used to play chess, and his bed room with a real king size bed that was 8 by 12 size as king was himself of 6 and a half feet height. Photography was prohibited inside.

The palace is very beautiful with a well maintained garden all around the complex. Fountain show is fixed twice a year, 4th of February and 8th day after Rakhi. Locals are used to sit and relax in this beautiful complex.

From Deeg there is a route to Govardhan and then Mathura total about 40 km.