Anand Bagh Palace Darbhanga - an eye catching roryal residence!

Darbhanga. Ananad Bagh palace.

Ruler of Darbhanga. Sir Lakshmishwar
The town of Darbhanga in the State of Bihar, India has many interesting monuments that are steeped in history of this region. One among them being the Anand Bagh Palace (also known as Lakshmivilas Palace) built during the reign of Maharajah Lakshmeshwar Singh in the 1880s. Interestingly, it is also called  a royal Brahmin palace  and apparently, the rulers of this region belonged a Brhmin clan, a rare thing among the Hindu ruling class. Basically,  Kshatriya were the ones who ruled the kingdoms in many Indian States. The exception being Kerala. Only very few ruling classes  had a marriage alliance with the Brahmins. For example, the rulers of Travancore  were allowed to seek alliance with Namboodri families of repute. The practice of hypergamy was prevalent in the last centuries. 

This beautiful palace was rebuilt in the wake of a powerful earthquake of the 1934 in Nepal-Bihar  regions that damaged the building badly. Maharajah  Kameshwar Singh donated Ananad Bagh  palace to the Bihar Government for starting a University for promotion of India's one of the ancient languages Sanskrit language and presently it is serving as   the head office of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University.

Once famous for its beautiful gardens which are now not there, mainly due to utter carelessness and apathy on the part of the government Anand palace's grandeur was quite known in England.  The palace   with its "immense stables, its botanical and zoological gardens, and its many beautiful surroundings, is well known in England by the sketches that have appeared in the London illustrated papers." according to Roper Lethridge.  The 132 year old palace was built over 2 acres of land with surroundings of over 30 hectares. The huge garden surrounding the palace had several rare species of plants such as Branched palm having over 8 branches, Rudraksha, Sandalwood, Mahogany, etc.  Anand Bagh Palace has well- embellished interiors, in particular, its Darbar hall that is characteristic of classy Venetian mosaic flooring, beautiful,  resplendent chandeliers and richly decorated walls.

One Charles Maries was in charge of the gardens of Darbhanga and the ruler gave him the responsibility of maintaining and laying out gardens on recommendation from his friend  Sir Joseph Hooker.