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Samode palace - Former residence of the Maharaja of Rajasthan

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Published on Mar 30, 2013

The winner of the award for the best Heritage hotel in the country, for 5 consecutive years, The Samode Palace, situated in the Aravalli range of hills, just outside the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. A perfect example of Rajput - Mughal architecture. The palace is built on a small hillock and planned in a progression of courtyards of increasing height. 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. 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.

Exclusive and discreet, Samode Palace has been host to celebrities, royalty, artists, and the discriminating traveller. A splendid example of regal Indo-Saracenic architecture, the Palace combines the best of Indian and Mughal styles. The 475-year-old palace is a celebration of the senses, underlined at all times by contemporary luxury and the signature service of Samode hotels - a magical hospitality and rare courtesy. Guests are known to want to lose themselves in the maze of bougainvillea covered courtyards, connected by quaint narrow staircases and chance upon lounges adorned by charming arches, stunning mirror work, exquisitely painted walls and ceilings. Royal suites and rooms surround the courtyards, each with their unique personality and décor. 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.

The palace, built by the noblemen of the court of the royal family, is located near the Samode village on the outskirts of Shekhawat. It is built of sandstone at the foot of the Aravalli range of hills (the foremost mountain range of north-western India) with a fortress like setting. The interiors of the palace are composed in the ancient architectural style of Rajasthan: marble floors, intricately ornamented pillars, mosaic walls (with tiny pieces of small inlaid stones), with luxurious carpets, and decorated with old wall paintings (hunting scenes, floral motifs and so forth). At the entrance gate of the palace is a unique piece of a large sized treasure chest made of dark wood with marble settings and gleaming glass.

The Sheesh Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) is located on the southern side of the palace. The frescoes in the Durbar hall and in the Sultan Mahal are said to be 250 years old.The palace is built on three levels (planned in a sequence of courtyards of increasing height) with a patio on each floor. There is an old ruined fort above the palace from where a panoramic view of the valley could be seen. The fort area is overgrown with vegetation but stone paved paths have been built to reach the fort heights. Samode fort was the former residence of the Maharaja. It is said that an underground passage links it to the palace that provided access at times of emergency. It is now approached by a well laid out stone paved path (300 steps). There is also an entry gate to the ruined fort. Two other forts close by complete the circuit of a circular walk from and back to the palace.

Source: www.samode.com

This footage is part of the professionally-shot broadcast stock footage archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., the largest collection of HD imagery from South Asia. The Wilderness Films India collection comprises of tens of thousands of hours of high quality broadcast imagery, mostly shot on HDCAM 1080i High Definition, HDV and XDCAM. Write to us for licensing this footage on a broadcast format, for use in your production! We are happy to be commissioned to film for you or else provide you with broadcast crewing and production solutions across South Asia. We pride ourselves in bringing the best of India and South Asia to the world... Reach us at wfi @ vsnl.com and admin@wildfilmsindia.com.

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