On a bright Thursday afternoon I decided to visit the Royal Palace of Sawantwadi is nestled amidst lush green forests, beautiful valleys, and a lake, in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra.
Situated 62 km from Panjim, the capital of Goa. I drove through lush green valleys and beautiful little springs and reached the Moti Lake which is across the Palace. I parked my car and walked to the main entry gate of the palace which had the inscription on it. Stating “Lester Gate, Opened for carriages and General use, October 10th 1895.”
I walked through the gate and proceeded to the palace and for a while was lost, as I did not know from where to start. I waited for a while until a man walked out from the gate and inquired with him about the palace. He directed me to a ticket counter.
On purchasing my ticket the lady guided me to Darbar Hall. As we walk to the Darbar hall I noticed a small inscription at the bottom of the palace wall.
After I stepped in the Hall a Lady walked to me and gave me a brief history of the Palace. She stated that it was built by Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the ruler of this region during 1755-1803. and it is a private palace run by the Royal Family themselves. The hall consisted the following:
What impressed me most in this hall is not just a piece of history preserved as a museum, but it is a living art and craft center. Painters and artists under the patronage of royal family continue to paint here and exhibit their talent.
I later was taken to the other section of the palace which was converted into a museum. It housed sculptures in stone, genealogy of the Bhonsle clan that ruled from here from 17th– mid 20th CE on the walls, There are picture galleries, The wood lacquer products like furniture, trays, coasters, boxes and board games.