Gulab Bagh and Zoo
|Gulab Bagh and Zoo|
|Elevation||598 m (1,962 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Gulab Bagh (Sajjan Niwas Garden) is the largest garden in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. It is spread over 100 acres (40 ha) of land. The garden has innumerable varieties of roses. Gulab Bagh gets its name from the abundance of rose flowers it has.
Gulab Bagh was started by Maharana Sajjan Singh in the 1878. It is the fourth oldest zoo in the semi-continent. By Maharana's volition, a horticulturist from Madras, T.H. Story, was appointed in 1882 to stock the garden with plants with medicinal values on the 66.5 acres of land and worked there till 1920. The garden consisted of a Lotus Pond, and many prominent trees that included many species of mangoes, guava, grapes, lemon, bor, mulbury, rayan, pomegranate, bananas, sapota, tamarind, bullock’s heart (ramphal), lichi, arjun trees, wood apple, karonda, campher, citron, jamun, pummelo, meetha neem, kargi lime, ficus species, anola, jack fruit, dhanverjia, grandi flora, jasmin, dawood etc. In the year 1882, all the trees had their name-plates denoting Hindi, English, and systematic botanical names, which are not the same now. A small pond existed in the garden before it was demolished for the construction of Water works complex. In this pond a water lily, Victoria sp., was initially planted. The leaf of Victoria could withstand a child on a chair kept on it, a property common to all the water-lilies of the genus due to plant's structure.
The Garden draws it name as Gulab Bagh due to the presence of a ranch where variety roses can be found in abundance. The garden was also called Bada Bagh but the name dropped has out of popular use.
Maharana Sajjan Singh placed the foundation stone of the Victoria museum(now called Saraswati Bhawan Library) in the garden on 2 November 1890. It was inaugurated by Lord Lansdown. Mr. Gauri Shankar Ojha was the first curator of this museum appointed in the year 1890. The museum had many rare artefacts and stone manuscripts dating from 3rd Centaury B.C. to 17th Centaury A.D.
Various Flower and Vegetable shows were organized in the Garden starting from the first one in 1888 by Maharana Fateh Singh. The zoo organized fights meant for entertainment between lions or tigers and wild boars. The zoo upon the fifth decade of its commencement included plenty of rare species including animals like Black Leopards, Rhinos, Ostriches, Zebras, hoolock gibbons, etc. most of the animals were transferred to other zoos in India after Independence.
Situated quite near Pichola Lake on Lake Palace Road, Gulab Bagh is an interesting park in the southeast of City Palace complex.It is easily accessible from the city by local transport, taxis or autorickshaws.It situated in the Middle of the main city near to Udhiapole, Surajpole and the nearest colonies are Nayio ki Talai, Choti Brahmpuri, and mograwadi. Various Hotels are situated near around this place for visitors.
Places of interest within the garden
Gulab Bagh also encompasses a museum, originally known as Victoria Hall Museum. It is famous for its collection of antiques, curios, royal household items and other interesting relics from the past.
A zoo is situated within the garden, at a short walk away through rose plants and open parks. The zoo, as such, is quite small. Animals and birds of many varieties are housed in cages. But there is enough enjoyment for the kids who can be seen craning their necks to get a glimpse of the tiger or the bear. There is also a small train that meanders within the zoo.
There is also a library which was constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh. The library is known as Saraswati Bhawan Library. This library houses books related to history, archaeology, Indology and several manuscripts that date back to the early medieval period.
- "Gulab Bagh: Past, Present and…No Future?". Blog Post. UdaipurTimes.com. Retrieved 1 July 2012.