The former summer home of Jat rulers of the kingdom of Bharatpur, Deeg Palace is a beautiful palace dating back to 1772. It was commissioned by the ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal, a notoriously brave ruler known for plundering sites such as the Red Fort in Delhi and the Taj Mahal. In fact, much of the granite and marble used in the palace’s construction is believed to have come from the Red Fort itself.
Deeg Palace is a beautiful old palace known for its beautiful Rajasthani architecture, which is characterized by carved archways, tall pillars, and rounded domes. It was used by Rajasthani royals until the 1970s. Today, this off-the-beaten-track structure sits unoccupied, though it does attract the occasional organized tour passing through en route to or from nearby the Keoladeo Ghana National Park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring bug spray, as there’s lots of water around.
- This is a must-visit for architecture lovers and history buffs.
- The palace and its grounds are not wheelchair-friendly.
How to Get There
Deeg Palace is located about an hour's drive northwest of Bharatpur and Keoladeo Ghana National Park or an hour east of Mathura, right on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Delhi is about 3.5 hours away by car, while getting to Jaipur takes closer to four hours. While there are municipal busses that link Deeg with other neighboring cities, most tourists opt to visit by car or as part of an organized tour.
When to Get There
Deeg Palace is open throughout the year (except on Fridays), though the best months to visit are between October and March, when temperatures are cool and pleasant; it’s best to avoid the months of April and May, which can be oppressively hot in this part of India. Monsoon season starts in mid-June and goes through August, though rainfall in Deeg isn’t as severe as it is farther south and east.
The Fountains of Deeg
Deeg Palace is most celebrated for its fountains, which are spread across the palace grounds and interspersed with beautiful courtyards, floral gardens, and trees. A large reservoir sits at the heart of the complex and is used to supply the fountains with water, though they remain defunct throughout most of the year, only to be turned on during special occasions. For example, during the annual Holi (festival of colors) celebrations, colors are added to the fountains to create a vibrant effect.