Monday Flashback 21 – Deeg Palace, Deeg Rajasthan

Deeg palace is a marvelous Sustainable piece of Architecture which is situated in the ancient city of Deeg.

Deeg was the capital of the Jat kings before they shifted to Bharatpur. Badan Singh, who came to the throne in 1721. King built a very beautiful palace here. Due to its imperative location and concurrence to Agra, Invaders attacked on Deeg many more times. Badan Sing ’s son, prince Suraj Mal, began the construction of a fortress around the palace around 1730. The fort had massive walls and a deep moat to keep away raiders.

Deeg was a site of a fabulous battle between the Jats and a combined Mughal and Maratha army of 8,000 men. Invigorated by his victory, Suraj Mal began making an invasion into enemy territory. After eight years of success in his sway, Suraj Mal captured Delhi and looted the Red Fort carrying away masses of valuables including an entire marble building, which was demolished and numbered. The palace was then overhauled at Deeg.

The Jat rulers were inveigled by the magnificence of the Mughal courts of Agra and Delhi. The design of the gardens has been inspired by the Mughal Charbagh.

The Deeg palace forms a quadrangle with a garden and walkways at its center. Decorative flowerbeds, shrubs, trees, and fountains cool the place considerably during summer. Two huge water tanks, Gopal Sagar and Rup Sagar, on either side also helped to bring down the temperature.

Keshav Bhawan, the monsoon pavilion, is a single-storeyed baradari placed on an octagonal base. It stands next to the Rup Sagar tank. The erection has five arches along each side which seem to divide it into parts. The walkway runs around the interior of the pavilion over a canal with hundreds of fountains. The walls of the canal are cleave with hundreds of minute water jets. Bullocks were employed with large leather “buckets” to draw water to the tank through a complex pulley system.

In festivals such as Holi, colors are added to the water. Small cloth pouches with biological colors were manually inserted into the holes in the stockpile wall. When the water flowed through them passing along an intricate network of pipelines, the fountains cascade colored water. Deeg Palace with its 900 fountains, which operate twice a year during the avamasaya festivals in February and September months.

The fountain spray and the jets create a monsoon-like atmosphere that is enhanced by a unique technique that produces a thunder-like sound all around the pavilion. Hundreds of metal balls placed strategically on the channel surrounding the roof are set rolling with the water pressure which results in a thunderous effect. The ambiance in a desert town must have been momentous for the Jat kings and queens.

King’s bedroom contains a massive black granite bed of the Maharaja. It had once served as a part of Parsi death rites, functioning as a platform for washing dead bodies.

 

Architecutre

The architecture of Deeg is mainly represented by the mansions called the Bhawans popularly known as Gopal Bhawan, Suraj Bhawan, Kishan Bhawan, Nand Bhawan, Keshav Bhawan, Hardev Bhawan. The striking features of these palaces are a balanced synopsis, fine proportions, commodious halls, attractive and logically disposed of arcades, charming greenery, charming tanks and canals with fountains. The layout of Deeg gardens is based on the formality of the Mughal Char bagh or fourfold garden patterns and belted by two reservoirs called namely Rup Sagar and Gopal Sagar.

The architecture is primarily of trabeate order, but the use of the arcuate system has also been made in certain instances. Mostly the arcades are of a decorative quality as each arch is formed by joining spandrel shaped slab cantilevers projecting from the pillars. The general features of this style are engrailed arches resting on rococo pillars, hypostyle halls flat roof terraces, balconies and pavilions with Bengal roofs, double eaves, moderate structural heights, and spacious subjective arrangements.

Deeg palace is a marvelous Sustainable piece of Architecture which is situated in the ancient city of Deeg.

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