(Last Updated on : 04/07/2014)
Gopal Bhawan is the largest and most admirable of all buildings in the Deeg palace. The name Gopal depicts the respect and devotion of the Jat rulers for Lord Krishna
, the mythological hero of Braj. Gopal Bhawan is note worthy because of its creative setting and admirable architecture. It is one of the world's most luxurious palace complexes.
Suraj Mai, the ruler of Bharatpur, at the zenith of his glory had built the fountain palace of Deeg which is known as the Bhawans. Of all the buildings in the palace, Gopal Bhawan is the most estimable one. This principal palace of Deeg
was finished by the year 1745. In terms of grandeur of conception and beauty of details it has few equals and could compete well with other palaces of its contemporary Rajput princes. Stepping into the palace complex, one is bound to be overwhelmed by its sheer splendour.
In architecture, Gopal Bhawan combines the elegance of Shah Jahans palaces with the vigorous structural design of the Rajputs. Gopal Bhawans reflected view in the Gopal Sagar Lake is stunning and ensures a visitor a wonderful image of a lifetime. Its structural beauties reflecting themselves into adjacent sheets of water create a unique charm in the surroundings. The interior set up of Gopal Bhawan is praise worthy too. It is relatively a modern set up with well lighted spacious rooms much in contrast to the royal residences of the middle ages. Though the palace is built in two storeys but in certain parts, it has three and even four storey. Gopal Bhawan is built in red sandstone and the foliated Hindu arches are evidence that Suraj Mai gave employment to the craftsmen who since the time of Aurangzeb
had ceased to work at the Mughal court.
The exceptional feature of the eastern doorway of Gopal Bhawan is the central projection covered with grand arches and well sculptured impressive pillars. Another attractive feature is the hall with arcaded balcony. The private apartments of the Gopal Bhawan occupy the north, east and west side of the building. The side-wings of the palace seem to have been planned as purely residential suites. In the main façade of the Gopal Bhawan there is a tank which has as many as fifteen fountains and flanked by two canals with jets planned along the angles of the facade. The most impressive component of the whole exterior is the western face of the building rising above the waters of the Gopal-Sagar and adorned with rows of overhanging kiosks and balconies in the sides. Once, the roof terrace of the building was surmounted by a chhatri with hipped roof flattened at the ridge. The absence of the chhatri has somewhat lessened the grace of this noble work of art.