The beautiful Samode Palace has been rebuilt and renovated providing a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture. The highlight of the building is the exquisite Diwan-i-Khas, covered with original paintings and mirror work. It is an ideal spot for outings. Awarded by one of the Kachchwaha rulers of Amber to one of his twelve sons about five centuries ago, the palace became known for the high quality of its frescos, and particularly in the use of indigo colours, and the richly painted Durbar Hall.
It is only recently that the fairytale palace was reconverted into a hotel. Samode is situated 45 kms from Jaipur and is famous for its Samode Palace and Samode Bagh (Garden). The Nathawats of Samode played an important role in the durbar of Jaipur where they served as prime ministers. Fertile fields surround their thikana, which is located in a charming village, while a ring of sharp hills was the seat for their fortifications.
The winner of the award for the best Heritage hotel in the country, for 5 consecutive years, the Palace has been meticulously restored offering a retreat into an aesthetically beautiful environment. One can enjoy India's natural beauty and rich history. The Samode Palace hotel maintains an immutable majestic presence and is a touching reminder of the vision of its creators.
Like most other places in north India, Samode too has an extreme climate. The best time to visit is between October and March.
|How to Reach||:||Jaipur is well connected by rail, road and air to all the major cities in the country.|
|Location||:||Samode nestles among the Aravali ranges.|
|Samode - Climate||:||Like most other places in north India, Samode too has an extreme climate. The best time to visit is between October and March.|
|Best Time to Visit||:||between October and March.|
|History||:||Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer was a large and flourishing town. The Zamidars or landlords of Samode the principal thakurs of the state of Amber were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, tracing their relation to the fabled Prithviraj Singhji. One of his sons, Gopal Singhji was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amber and Jaipur principality. It was among the wealthiest territories in the Amber kingdom. The Zamindari eventually passed within the clan to the hands of Behari Das, a Rajput warrior in Mughal Service. After 6 generations in the hands of his descendants Samode was relinquished to the Raj. In 1757 the territory was returned to the Nathawats. For the 1st half of it's existence this palace was a little more than a fortified stronghold in the rugged Rajput tradition. Only in the early 19th century under Rawal Berisal did the castle begin to take on the lavish aspects. He was an eminent statesman and reached distinction as the principal signatory of the historic 1818 treaty making Jaipur a protectorate of British East India Company. He later became Chief Minister of Jaipur and wielded absolute power. Samode Palace began expanding during his reign and continued under his descendant Rawal Sheo Singh who was the Prime Minister of Jaipur state. He is credited with the Palace's most fabulous addition - the extravagantly florid had painted Darbar Hall and the overlooking gallery forming the breathtaking Sheesh Mahal or the hall of mirrors. Samode Palace was transformed into one of the country's premium palace hotels in 1987. It is a perfect example of Rajput-Moghul architecture and is built on a small hillock, planned in a progression of courtyards of increasing height. On a hill immediately above the palace is the Samode Fort, the family's former residence accessible in times of trouble by an underground passageway. 300 steps replace the original stone zigzag path. Though the fort itself is dilapidated, the view from its ramparts is excellent.|
|Excursions||:||Shekhawati village is about two and half hours away from Samode and is quite famous for its havelis with murals and wall paintings. Many experts also call this place the living art gallery of the world. People take a camel ride through the Samode village and the surrounding countryside. A real visit to Samode cannot be considered complete without a musical evening of folk dances and songs. Rajasthani bards and musicians with their colourful dresses and unusual musical instruments provide one of the best evenings one can have in India. They sing with plaintive abandon under the faint light of the crystal stars.|
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