This August, on 21st, Delfites of Class IX – XI had an opportunity to experience learning beyond classroom when they went for one day Archaeological trip to the Deeg Palace (or the Jal Mahal) near Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
The Deeg Palace was built in the 18th century by the Jat rules of the time and it an excellent piece of architecture showcasing remarkable water management practices and innovation, which require further research. The exhibits of the princely times however are a stark reminder of hunting practices of those times and some of them need to be incinerated rather than showcased. The Palace is also famous for its colourful fountains which are reported to run twice a year.
Deeg was the capital of the Jat kings before they shifted to Bharatpur. The place is mentioned as Dirgha or Dirghapura in the ancient texts,”. “Raja Badan Singh, who came to the throne in 1722, built a palace here but due to its strategic location and proximity to Agra, Deeg had to face repeated attacks by invaders. It was then that his son, prince Surajmal, began the construction of a fortress around the palace around 1730. The fort had massive walls and a deep moat to keep away the raiders.” It is known for its fort, palaces, gardens and fountains.
Delfites had an opportunity to observe this marvel of engineering skills. The palaces form a quadrangle. At its center is a well-laid garden with walkways, decorative flowerbeds, shrubs, trees and numerous fountains which cool the place considerably during summer. Two huge water tanks, Gopal Sagar and Rup Sagar, on either side also helped considerably to bring down the temperature. The entire complex, sprawling with palaces and gardens, is a marvel of engineering skill. While the palaces are not as massive as the fortified Rajasthan palaces, they surpass them all in the grandeur of conception and their beautiful detail. It was a visit which gave everyone a great opportunity to explore history of this amazing palace!