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Forest dept cannot charge entrance fees at Sajjangarh, says Archeology

Udaipur : Coming strict on commercial activities at protected sites, the Archaeology department has registered its objection against the forest department for running cafeteria at Sajjangarh Palace, a protected monument and famous tourist spot here. Objection has also been raised against the latter for revenue collection by means of entrance fees being charged by the visitors here. However, forest department refute all charges claiming that the fees taken is for the wild life sanctuary here and not for the palace.

Monsoon Palace or Sajjangarh Palace is a hilltop palace built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1883 for using it as summer retreat for Mewar Kings. Another big purpose for its construction had been to watch the progress of Monsoon clouds. Thousands of visitors throng around the place to enjoy the magnificent view of Lake Pichola, Aravalli mountains and surrounding countryside. Tourists also love the sunset view. Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary which encircles the palace is another hot destination.

“ Sajjangarh is a protected site under our department and we spend for the maintenance and repairing works. But the place is under possession of the forest department which charge entrance fee from visitors coming here. They are not entitled for revenue collection and hence a letter has been sent to the Director recommending necessary action” Mubarik Hussain, the Superintendent, Archaeology and Museums said. However, forest authorities refute the charges.

“ The visitors are only charged for entering the wild life sanctuary while the Palace entry is free. Also there is no cafeteria operational at the premises but only a junction for the facilities of the tourists where just beverages and water is served” said Rahul Bhatnagar, the chief conservator of forest (wild life). The department has nothing to do with the junction as it is managed by a local committee, he added further.

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