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Samode City Guide

Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer of 1879 was a large and flourishing town. The Zamidars (landlords) of Samode the principal thakurs of the state of Amber were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, a branch of the house of Amber, tracing their relation to the Jaipur Maharaja the fabled Prithviraj Singhji the 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs. Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amber & Jaipur principality. It was among the wealthiest territories in the Amber kingdom. The Zamidari eventually passed within the clan to the hands of Behari Das, a Rajput warrior in Mughal Service. After 6 generations in the hands of his descendants Samode was relinquished to the Raj.

In 1757 the territory was returned to the Nathawats (the hereditary title of 'Rawal Saheb' still rests with the present family).

For the 1st half of it's existence Samode Palace was a little more than a fortified stronghold in the rugged Rajput tradition. Only in the early 19th century under Rawal Berisal did the castle begin to take on the lavish aspects it is now known for. He was an eminent statesman who reached distinction as the principal signatory (on behalf of the Jaipur Maharaja) of the historic 1818 treaty making Jaipur a protectorate of British East India Company. He later became Chief Minister of Jaipur and weilded absolute power.

Samode Palace quite clearly began expanding at the time of his reign and continued under his descendant Rawal Sheo Singh who was the Prime Minister of Jaipur state for several years during the middle of the 19th century. He is credited with the Palace's most fabulous addition - the extravagantly florid had painted Darbar Hall and the overlooking gallery which forms the breathtaking Sheesh Mahal or the hall of mirrors.

Samode Palace was transformed into one the country's premium palace hotels in 1987, and Book Your Tour is a perfect example of Rajput-Moghul architecture. The palace is built on a small hillock and planned in a progression of courtyards of increasing height.