Samode Palace

       
Samode Palace

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Samode Palace, Samode Haveli and Samode Bagh (Garden) are heritage monuments and structures built by the noble feudatory with the hereditary title of 'Maha Rawal' or 'Maha Saheb’ of the Amber and Jaipur principality in Rajasthan, India. All three have rich history of several hundred years and display a fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani art and architecture. They are now part of the Heritage group of hotels under the flagship name of “Samode” that are run by the hereditary owners of these structures. The Samode Palace is located 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Jaipur city, the Samode Haveli is close to Jaipur (centrally located within city limits, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away from the city railway station) and the Samode Bagh or Garden, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from the palace which is also run as a luxury hotel.

Many Hindi feature films have been pictured with the settings of the palace. The 1984 American HBO TV serial adaptation of the Raj-romance novel The Far Pavilions was also filmed in the palace precincts and starred Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Omar Sharif and Christopher Lee.

Samode is a large town in Rajasthan, which belonged to the landlords known as ‘zamindars’ (in Hindi language) of the principal thakurs of the state of Amber. It shot into prominence due to the thakurs lineage traced to Maharaja Rajveer Singhji, the 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs. Samode was bequeathed to Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons, as a noble feudatory of the Amber and Jaipur principality. Samode was, even then, considered a very rich town under the kingdom of Amber. Behari Das, a Rajput warrior who was then in Mughal service of the Nathawat clan inherited the Zamindari of Somede. It was under the British Raj but was restored to the Nathawat clan with the hereditary title 'Rawal Saheb' or 'Maha Rawal' (title conferred for their valiance and loyalty to the royal family), in 1757, and this lineage is continued to this date.
Samode Palace was initially built in the sixteenth century as a Rajput fort, but in early 19th century, under the nobleman Rawal Berisal, it was converted from a fort into an exquisitely designed palace in Rajput and Muslim architectural style. Rawal Berisal, during this time also served as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and exercised full powers. He was signatory, on behalf of the Maharaja of Jaipur, to the treaty signed in 1818 with the British East India Company, which gave it the status of a protectorate to Jaipur. Rawal Sheo Singh, descendent of Rawal Berisal, who was the Prime Minister of Jaipur state for several years, during the middle of the 19th century, further expanded the Palace by adding the Darbar Hall (considered as "extravagantly florid and hand painted") with a gallery and the Sheesh Mahal or the hall of mirrors. In 1987, it was converted into the heritage “Samode Palace Hotel”.

Samode haveli was also built by Rawal Sheo Singh more than 150 years ago. It was built as a resort for the royal family.
Samode Bagh or Samode garden was landscaped more than 150 years ago by one of the sons of Maharaja Prithiraj Singhji of Jaipur. It was patterned on the lines of Mughal gardens, which the Mughals had developed in other parts of their kingdom as a retreat for relaxation and enjoyment. The royal family of Samode also established a similar garden 4 kilometres away from their Samode Palace.
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