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[Rear view of the Gopal Bhavan] Palace at Deeg near Bhurtpur.

[Rear view of the Gopal Bhavan] Palace at Deeg near Bhurtpur.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(150)

Item number: 502150

Genre: Photograph

Photograph with a view of the Gopal Bhavan Palace at Deeg, near Bharatpur in eastern Rajasthan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views.

Deeg with its pleasure palaces was the idyllic retreat of the rulers of Bharatpur 22 kms away, capital of the Jat kingdom formed of the members of an agricultural caste in the Mathura region. The greatest of the Jat rulers was Suraj Mal (ruled 1755-63) who was responsible for the garden palace complex in 1760, where drawing upon Mughal architectural traditions, elegant pavilions are set around a four-plot (charbagh) garden decorated with flowing water, ponds and fountains, all fed by two large tanks, the Gopal Sagar tank to the west and the Rup Sagar tank to the east. Gopal Bhavan is the largest and finest of the pavilions set around the garden. Flanked by two smaller pavilions (the Sawan and Bhadon Pavilions named after the monsoon months) Gopal Bhavan overlooks the Gopal Sagar reservoir.

At the height of Suraj Mal's power he took Agra in 1761, but was killed two years later while attacking Delhi. Jat power declined, they were driven out of Agra and defeated by the Mughal army in 1776, but the state survived and the royal family lived in the palace till the late 20th century.

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