This is the second of the three blog series delineating the unmissable attractions of Bharatpur. This post will talk about the Deeg Palace and fort.
Deeg Palace and Fort
While this is another proof of Maharaja Suraj Mal’s fort-building spree and aesthetics, Deeg is also a nature lover’s hotspot. This town lies north of Bharatpur and boasts of a beautiful garden township
and a meticulously-laid palace which displays the engineering skills of the era at its best. Probably, the Deeg palace draws its charm from the fact that it was the idyllic summer retreat of the royals. And like most vacation homes, the palace is replete with spectacular fountains, well-preserved garden, imposing arcades and spacious pavilions.
What’s spectacular about the fountains? The Deeg palace fountains are still in working condition and they emit colorful water. Despite the reservoir supplying water to the fountains is the same, every jet spews out water of a different color. These fountains are turned on only twice a year.
Deeg Palace houses several bhawans or mansions by the names of Gopal, Suraj, Kishan, Nand, Keshav and Hardev. All these mansions form a quadrangle. Gopal Bhawan is the largest of the mansions and is divided into two smaller sections, called Sawan and Bhadon.
An interesting feature of the bhawan is that while a front view gives the feel of a single storey, the rear view clearly shows an additional storey submerged in water. This architecture served two purposes – it lends a cooling effect in the summers, while creating an illusion of a lake palace.
Another curious feature is that this mansion has a hollow ceiling and pillars, equipped with iron spheres. Water was engineered to flow through the ceiling and the columns. When the iron spheres would collide with each other, they would produce a sound very similar to that of rain. The mansion walls also have small apertures through which water can flow sufficiently to form a curtain. Running fountains, sounds of thunder from the ceilings accompanied with pleasant sprays from the water curtain, the Maharajas would never feel the dearth of monsoons in Deeg.
If you wish to visit the Deeg Palace, the best season would be February. Not only would Rajasthan be more pleasant in that month, February 4 is also the day when the fountains are turned on.
- The best time to visit Deeg is between October and March.
- Deeg is at a distance of 32kms from the Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
- Bharatpur is 200kms from Delhi, 270kms from Jaipur and 70kms from Agra.
- It is always recommended to stay in Bharatpur, which has a large number of hotels and guest houses – government and private, forest resthouses, budget motels and dak bunglows. (Check this). You can stay in any of these accommodations and take a jeep or an auto-rickshaw to visit Deeg.