India, Rajasthan. The Monsoon Palace, Udaipur.

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Sajjan Garh


Perched on top of a distant hill like a fairy-tale castle, this melancholy, neglected late-19th-century palace was constructed by Maharana Sajjan Singh. Originally an astronomical centre, it became a monsoon palace and hunting lodge. Now government owned, it’s in a sadly dilapidated state, but visitors stream up here for the marvellous views, particularly at sunset. It’s 5km west of the old city as the crow flies, about 9km by the winding road.

At the foot of the hill you enter the 5-sq-km Sajjan Garh Wildlife Sanctuary. A good way to visit is with the daily sunset excursion in a minivan driven by an enterprising taxi driver who picks up tourists at the entrance to Bagore-ki-Haveli at Gangaur Ghat every day at 5pm. The round trip costs ₹350 per person, including waiting time (but not the sanctuary fees). His minivan has ‘Monsoon Palace–Sajjangarh Fort’ written across the front of it. Alternatively, autorickshaws charge ₹200 one way to the sanctuary gate, which they are not allowed to pass. Share taxis ferry people the final 4km up to the palace for ₹200 per person.

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