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Sonali Agrawal

Gulab Bagh- A Rose Paradise of Udaipur

Immerse yourself in a fragrant paradise of roses at Gulab Bagh, Udaipur’s largest garden!

Gulab Bagh, also known as Udaipur’s Zoo or Sajjan Niwas Garden, is one of the largest gardens across the city. This sprawling garden covers about 100 acres ( 40 hectares) and is a must-visit place for all fauna lovers. This place is visually appealing in all seasons but pleasant, especially during the evenings. However, it is a go-to place for locals for a blissful morning walk. Gulab Bagh, Udaipur is a picturesque botanical wonderland, renowned for its lush greenery, vibrant floral displays, and serene ambiance, offering visitors a tranquil escape amidst the bustling cityscape.

Gulab Bagh in English translates to Rose Garden is an apt name for this place as you will find abundant rose varieties here. It is a soothing place to spend quality time amid nature away from the city’s hustle and bustle. 

Flora and Fauna of Gulab Bagh

Flora and Fauna of Gulab Bagh

Besides roses, Gulab Bagh offers you a lot of things. It houses prominent trees like mango, guava, grapes, litchi, lemon, mulberry, sapota, boar, Rayan, pomegranate, bananas, citron, tamarind, karonda, jack fruit, canola, wood apple, jasmine, Dawood, etc. But the epicenter is the Lotus Pond- the bright and beautiful lotuses and sparkling blue water draw the attention of tourists worldwide and are the best spot for taking Insta pictures. 

There is also a zoo in the Gulab Bagh premises, which is usually crowded on Sundays as locals come here to spend quality time with children. It is home to species like Black leopards, Ostriches, zebras, deer, rhinos, Hoolock Gibbons, and many more. 

Also Read: Neemach Mata Temple, Udaipur: History, Timings, Ropeway, Entry Fee and More

Library, Temple, and Play Area of Gulab Bagh

Library of Gulab Bagh

Do you know there is a library inside the Gulab Bagh premises? Yes, the Saraswati Library was originally a museum. It houses hundreds of books for readers to relax and enjoy book-reading sessions in a peaceful setting. Several temples inside Gulab Bagh add to your spiritual journey. The Navlakha Hanuman Ji Temple and Shri Gulabeshwar Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva, are popular among devotees. 

With saws, swings, and slides, it provides a play area for kids to leave your children and spend some leisurely afternoons in nature.

Toy Train of Gulab Bagh

Toy train in gulab bagh

The toy train of Gulab Bagh, also known as Maharana Pratap Express, is named after the great warrior king Maharana Pratap. It is a fun ride for visitors, especially children who enjoy coming here to explore the garden via a toy train.

The route of this train covers all the scenic rides of flowers, temples, and monuments of Gulab Bagh. The train timings are 8.00 AM to 6.00 PM, and you will get the tickets here but confirm the timings as they may change during off-seasons.

Also Read: Under The Sun Aquarium: The largest Public Aquarium Gallery in India

Architecture of Gulab Bagh

Architecture of Gulab Bagh Garden

As mentioned, Gulab Bagh was an ancient city center park with the latest amenities like ponds, a library, a zoo, temples, and many government offices. It has four entrances, but only two are accessible to the public. It has a parking capacity of 350 two-wheelers and 50 four-wheelers. This park is surrounded by huge cemented boundary walls that give you a sense of timelessness, but the government keeps it clean so well. 

History of Gulab Bagh

Gulab Bagh Udaipur

Gulab Bagh boasts a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Built by Maharana Sajjan Singh of Mewar in 1878, so known as Sajjan Niwas Garden. He envisioned a garden encompassing 66.5 acres with many medicinal plants and salient trees. In 1882, he hired horticulturist T.H Story from Madras to bring his vision to life. 

T. H Story played an eminent role in shaping the whole garden the way Maharaja wanted it to be. It took him four decades, and his hard work is witnessed. He was hired to grow medicinal plants and you will see nameplates of these Ayurvedic plants beside the plantations for better understanding. 

It was initially known as Bada Bagh ( Large Garden) due to its vast expanse. But it became more popular as Gulab Bagh due to the abundance of roses, especially beside Navlakha Mahal. 

Another famous spot is the Water Works complex found in the garden. It was initially a water lily pond, Victoria special. There is an interesting fact about water lily leaves: they are extremely strong and can support the child’s weight on a chair.

Later, the garden went for significant development in 1885-86 for boundary construction. It was divided into 45 sections, as per areas like zoo, flowers, trees, temples, etc. Maharana Sajjan Singh laid the foundation of the Victoria Museum in 1890, now known as Saraswati Bhawan Library. Lord Lansdowne inaugurated this library, which contains manuscripts and books dating back to the third century. It used to have a statue of Queen Victoria, but after independence, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi replaced it. 

Also Refer to: From Palaces to Lakes: How to Explore Udaipur in 2 Days

How to Reach Gulab Bagh?

Gulab Bagh 1

Getting from the Airport to Gulab Bagh is a 35-minute ride from a cab or private vehicle. It is in the heart of the city near Bapu Bazaar, so either take a 10-minute walk or reach here by auto or any local bus that will drop you here from the railway station or any hotel nearby. Here are the details that you were scrolling for:

  • Location: Gulab Bagh, Bapu Bazaar Road, Khanjipeer, Udaipur, Rajasthan.
  • Timings: Monday to Sunday, 8.00 AM to 6.00 PM
  • Ticket: 25 INR per person entry fee, 5 INR Zoo fee, 15 INR Camera Fee 

Best time to visit: September to March (Winter is the best time) but summertime is also great to spend afternoons under trees and lush greenery.

Places to visit nearby Gulab Bagh

Gulab Bagh is on the Bapu Bazaar Road, so every famous tourist destination is nearby, like Lake Pichola, Bagore ki Haveli, Vintage Classic Car Museum, Pala Ganesh Temple, etc. 

Things to do at Gulab Bagh-

  • Do visit Navlakha Mahal, a religious place of Arya Samaj, as it is the centremost area. 
  • The Saraswati Library houses more than 32000 books on archaeology, history, Indology, and other manuscripts, that you may not find anywhere else. You can take a book for 14 days to read. 
  • A small toy train for a jolly ride is a must. It departs and arrives at the station named Luv Kush station. Also, the zoo cages a variety of animals.
  • How can we forget- Kamal Talai or Louts Pond? An oval-shaped pond towards the northeast, and the Miraj Jyortish Upwan, which is an acupuncture park by the Miraj group.

What to Carry at Gulab Bagh:

Here is the list of essentials you can take while visiting Gulab Bagh:

  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Wear Comfy shoes
  • Camera or phone photos allowed
  • Cash

What not to do?

Avoid littering, heavy luggage, and plastic bags, and do not play loud music- it may disturb the crowd. If you are visiting the temple, maintain dignity, and wear proper clothes, remove your shoes while entering the temple.

Hidden things about Gulab Bagh:

  • While the roses steal the show today, Gulab Bagh was initially envisioned as a garden featuring a diverse collection of medicinal plants. Maharana Sajjan Singh, who commissioned the garden, specifically requested a horticulturist to stock the area with plants with medicinal value.
  • Back in the day, the zoo at Gulab Bagh hosted fights between wild animals like lions, tigers, and even wild boars, for the entertainment of the royal families. Thankfully, this practice is a relic of the past, and animal welfare is a top priority in zoos today.
  • Historical records indicate that flower and vegetable shows were a regular feature at Gulab Bagh. The first such show was held in 1888 by Maharana Fateh Singh, showcasing the horticultural prowess of the region.

Also Read: Udaipur And Its Neighbouring Gem.

Is Gulab Bagh Haunted? Among locals, a lot of stories are shrouded in mystery. Some say that in the past, exorcisms had taken place in Gulab Bagh, others have heard strange sounds or experienced unseen forces during late nights, and some believe that when the lights are turned off at night, it gives the impression of being haunted. So, it is a personal decision. 

If you have experienced any such thing here, do let us know. 

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