Gulab Bagh is also known as Sajjan Niwas Garden and Bada Bagh. The garden is named as “Gulab Bagh” as it is famous for abundance of beautiful roses in it. Gulab Bagh is the largest garden in Udaipur spread over 100 acres of land. It is the fourth oldest zoo in semi- continent. The beautiful flowers, roses, shrubs, trees, garden, pond, library and zoo attracts many tourists. Gulab Bagh is a peaceful garden, a virtual forest of flowers, on the rim of the city area. The best place for fauna lovers and people can observe nature’s elegance more closely. Residents of Udaipur usually visit this place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of this beautiful garden.
Gulab Bagh or Rose Garden is located at the heart of the city Udaipur. It has 4 entry gates but only 2 gates are open for the general public. Proper parking facility is available at 2 operational entry gates and currently can accommodate 350 two-wheelers and 50 car parking inside the park. The park is surrounded by 3-5 m height of boundary wall made up of a mixture of concrete, stone and brick. Outside the park, delicious food stalls are there which are famous for yummy aloo parathas. Several places of attraction including ponds, library, zoological park, temples and several government offices. These attractions inside the park are:-
Saraswati Library It was originally a museum known as Victoria Hall Museum constructed by the former government of Mewar, which was opened for visitors on 1 November 1890. This was the first museum in whole Rajasthan. Then in 1968, it was shifted to City Palace and was renamed to Pratap Museum. The library contains books related to history, archaeology, Indology and several manuscripts that date back to the early medieval period. It also contains a large-sized idol of Queen Victoria, carved in white marble. This idol was originally placed in the huge garden just outside the library. But after independence, in around 1948, this statue was removed and replaced with one of Mahatma Gandhi to cherish the victory of nationalism.
Navlakha Mahal or Navlakha Palace It is situated at the centre of Rose Garden. It is the religious place for Arya Samaj. It is believed that here, the Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj had spent his spiritual life.
Toy Train It is a small train for children that can be fun to go around in. It is also for those looking to check out the entire park without having to walk around. There is a nominal fee for the ride. The train station is named as Luv Kush Railway Station. This train is useful for those people who are travelling with kids.
Gulab Bagh Zoo It is situated inside the garden. It is a small zoo where animals and birds of many varieties are housed in cages. The bird section of the zoo showcases some very unique parakeets and huge owls. The chinkaras, the female leopard and the tigers are a must-see. 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.
Kamal Talai It is a huge artificial water body of an oval-like structure, consisting of four bridges connecting with each other at the central junction.
Miraj Jyotish Upvan It is an acupressure park constructed and maintained by Miraj Products corporate group. It has tethered tiles for increasing blood circulation in the human body. This is crowded in mornings and evenings where people of every age come for a walk It also showcases numerous Ayurvedic and non-ayurvedic plants across the acupressure pathways.
Gulab Bagh was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1881. 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. 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. British Prince Albert Victor unveiled a stone statue of Queen Victoria on 19 February 1890, in front of Victoria Museum which has now been replaced with a statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Various Flower and Vegetable shows were organized in the Garden starting from the first one in 1888 by Maharana Fateh Singh. Earlier the zoo organized fights between lions or tigers and wild boars for the entertainment of royal families. The garden was also called Bada Bagh but the name-dropped has out of popular use.
People who love nature’s beauty and its elegance must visit this place. Kids can learn botanical names of flora and fauna here. So it is worth place to visit for kids as well as adults.