Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh is one of the most prominent ancient gardens in Ghat Ki Guni, Jaipur. I have already written a detailed post on Ghat Ki Guni. It is one of the most striking alleys you can find in the pink city. The entire road is lined with beautiful chhatris or pavilions on either side. Almost every building on this road has a temple. It also has Charbagh style Mughal gardens, the most prominent of which is Sisodia Rani Garden. Recently, a heritage photo-walk was organized here to highlight this lesser-explored tourist attraction of Jaipur. It was a part of a photo-walk series being organized by the Department of Archaeology to spread awareness about offbeat attractions in Jaipur. I too joined this photo-walk as I had not visited Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh, lately. This ancient garden was a popular wedding venue in Jaipur for years until authorities decided otherwise.
Check out Ghat Ki Guni- In Class Of Its Own
70 photographers from Jaipur joined this photo-walk. It is interesting to see so many photographers together despite the fact that they all have a different background. Professional and amateur. Male and female. Young and old. There is only one passion that binds everyone together – photography. There are no rules to join these photo walks in Jaipur; it really doesn’t matter whether you click with a DSLR, point & shoot camera, or smartphone. All that one needs is love for photography.
Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1710 AD for one of his queens, called Sisodia Rani and hence it is called so. She was the princess of the Sisodia Rajput clan that ruled Mewar ( Udaipur) region of Rajasthan. Rani means queen in Hindi. Since she was from Sisodia clan people fondly called her Sisodia Rani.
This place played a silent role in the history of Jaipur. Sisodia Rani wanted a separate dwelling unit from the rest of the queens residing at Janana Dyodi in Amer Fort. The king agreed & he built this place for her. There was another condition attached to her marriage. The son born to her would become heir to the throne bypassing any other claimant. As per prevalent practice eldest son was eligible for the accession. It is clear that she considered herself superior to all other queens of Jai Singh II and demanded a treatment most befitting. She gave birth to Sawai Mado Singh I but with the turn of events, it was Ishwari Singh who became the ruler of Jaipur which led to long years of battle for accession between brothers. Madho Singh, I collaborated with Marathas and attacked Jaipur. Fate had other plans! Ishwari Singh committed suicide and Madho Singh-I finally became the king of Jaipur. This garden predates the founding of Jaipur by 17 years. Just for reference, it was Ishwari Singh who built Isar Laat near Jantar Mantar.
Architecture & Layout
Sisodia Rani Garden is a visual treat for heritage and architecture lovers as it is built in Rajput style adorned with murals & flanked with Chhatris in various styles. The garden, on the other hand, is built in Charbagh style. Where else can you find a Mughal garden with Rajput architecture?
The layout of the garden is in Charbagh style spread over three tiers. To the uninitiated Charbagh concept was introduced in India by Mughals. Originating in the Middle East, probably Persia, it consists of equal size four gardens with water channels & fountains running in between.
Charbagh concept is derived from the Quran which mentions four gardens of paradise. The most prominent Charbagh style gardens in India are in Srinagar, Delhi, and Agra (Taj Mahal). Although the concept is foreign to Indian culture & religion long rule of Mughals in India did influence local architecture and culture. Kachhawa Rajput clan which ruled Jaipur had a close association with Mughals as they fought many wars as their army general. This led to a strong Mughal influence in local architecture at both Amer and Jaipur.
The garden has undergone renovation over the last few years and some elements look out of place. This idol is one such piece because it is certainly not a local style.
I often wonder if renovating a heritage site is a good idea? Well, there is no option if we want to keep our legacy for future generations but at the same time, we need to keep in mind that it should blend well with the overall concept and theme.
I need to mention here that whoever designed this garden 300 years ago ensured that the staircase is not visible from any of the levels. It has been designed in a way that it remains concealed.
Another interesting element to watch out is murals. The walls of the palace section are hand-painted in local style. These paintings cover the entire building and this definitely makes it one of its kind in Jaipur.
Krishna is a popular theme that can be seen here. Apart from this, certain wall sections have a strong local influence & design. Both Jaipur and Mewar rulers were ardent fans of Lord Krishna. I have no clue whether these walls were originally covered in a similar pattern as these have been done under a restoration project.
These Jharokas have witnessed better days when it was a royal abode. It is just a tourist attraction now! Somethings have not changed despite the passing of three centuries. Life is still tough for the common man.
The palace section is closed for the visitors. This enclosure made with a wooden frame and glass seems to have been a later addition when it was being let out as a wedding venue.
Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea because it ruins its original character. Closing off the palace section robs the experience. In my opinion, the palace section should be open to visitors. It will certainly increase its appeal and it will be worth the money.
Have you read a related post on Galtaji Monkey Temple?
Check out other Photo-Walks in Jaipur
Sisodia Rani Garden is not a huge garden unlike the ones in Srinagar, Kashmir. Heritage buildings are always a big attraction among travelers and tourists. You are unlikely to find a similar garden anywhere else except Jaipur. The only notable one worth mentioning here is Sahelion Ki Bari in Udaipur but its layout is quite different. Have you been there or heard about it? In my opinion, Sisodia Rani Garden is an offbeat destination in Jaipur that every explorer must visit.
How to reach?
Best time to visit
In winters, it can be visited throughout the day however during summers it is best visited during the early morning. Sisodia Rani Garden Timing is from 8 AM to 8 PM. There are plans to make it accessible under the night tourism scheme as well. Entry Fee for Indians is Rs 50 and Rs 200 for foreign tourists.