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 Rajasthan  > Palace to Interest   > Hotels in Rajasthan    > Rajasthan Fairs and Festivals    >  Rajasthan Tour Package

Samode Tour

Hotels in Samode


Deep in the desert, against a background of stony hills lies the large sprawling haveli (palace) of Samode which stands apart in serene splendor amid rugged hills.



To reach the haveli one has to first pass through the quaint little village of Samode. Small havelis and village houses are set on either side of a stone paved road that curves gently up the hill and, entering through a high arched gateway, one is finally inside the building which gleams a pale yellow in the sunlight.

Within the four walls you can almost believe you are in another world. The view of the fašade is rather imposing; the main building fans out to the sides and a series of balconies, one atop another, are set in the center. Fretwork screens run all along the length of the top floor and the family standard flutters from the curved roof emblazoned with its coat of arms.

The Samode palace which belongs to the Rawals of Samode, is about 400 years old and has been converted into a comfortable hotel run by the family. The Rawals trace their descent from Prithvi Singh of Amber (1503-28), 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs, who is turn trace their descent from Lord Rama. Gopal Singh, one of the 12 sons of Prithvi Singh was given Samode.

 


The house is built in the characteristic pattern of an open courtyard with rooms leading off the arched corridor that runs along all four sides of the building. The sultan Mahal is on the first floor-an exquisite room with a marble pillared verandah. It has the famous Jaipur blue tile decorations. Every inch of the ceiling and the walls are covered with floral, paisley and geometric motifs painted in vegetable colors. It is called Sultan Mahal after the painstaking craftsman, who created it. Old and heavy carved silver furniture brought from Nepal by the grandmother of the present Rawal gleams dully as a ray of sunlight strikes it. To the left of the main haveli is the Durbar Hall, which was built about a hundred years ago. Again it is completely painted in ornate floral motifs and colored delicately with vegetable pigments which still have a special glow of their own.

A hall of mirrors which is a must for any palace of consequence is also to be found in Samode. Large and tiny fragments of polished mirror are set into plasterwork. You walk into the room and see a thousand images of yourself. At night a single candle flame can create the effect of a thousand stars-a magical experience to say the least. The people of the desert love mirrors because the cool polished surface reminds them of water.



During the day a camel ride through the Samode village and the surrounding countryside is a good idea. Riding this supercilious looking animal with its rocking gait is the best way of relaxing on a sunny morning.

Half an hour's walk up steep stone steps leads to the old qila or the fort of Sheograrh. This is where the inhabitants of Samode barricaded themselves in times of war. It is an austere building built on traditional lines. We walked around the now tranquil battlements to the sound of cooing pigeons and doves.

Three kilometers away, iridescent with flowering bushes, fruit trees and lush green lawns, is Samode Bagh, a walled garden that once served as the recreation grounds for Samode Palace. It is an oasis set amidst the dry rugged expanse of an ochre desert.

Since Samode is only about 42 kilometers from Jaipur it would be a good idea to stay here away from the hustle and bustle of the city. One can drive out to Jaipur for a day's sightseeing and return to this tranquil hamlet in the evening.

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