There are a quite a few palaces in Udaipur (in Rajasthan) – the Lake Palace, the JagMandir, The City Palace (which now has three sections – the Maharaja’s personal residence, a small palace and the City Museum) , and the Monsoon Palace. Of these the Monsoon Palace was given to the government of India apparently in lieu of taxes in the 1950s. This particular palace is now managed by the archaeological survey of India and poorly so.
Octopussy & James Bond
For those not in the know the movie Octopussy was extensively based in Udaipur and in these Palaces. With scenes having been shot at all of the palaces mentioned above. The famous Casino scene , where Roger Moore rolls a perfect pair of sixes is in fact shot at the monsoon palace.
Maintenance is Poor
It is quite interesting to contrast the maintenance of the Palace at Lake Pichola managed by Taj and this particular palace managed by the government of India. Some how the government has even managed to mess up the management of a small palace. Our guide made the comment that he wished the Taj group would also take over this property. Dirty wires and nails have been added to the walls, and to top it a cheap bulb has been attached on a work of wall art ? Is this work done by the Archaeological Survey Of India , or some illiterate with no clue about conservation ?
A Palace is Now a Police Station
This is the kind of stuff that makes one very angry especially after having been to the Lake Palace and realizing that the provenance, the workmanship, and the period is the same between the two palaces. To make matters worse the police department has taken over the top floor for use as a wireless station – Using an erstwhile palace as a wireless station seems to be too much luxury for police uses in my opinion !
Other Images From Udaipur