Tuesday 22 January 2013

Story of a Circuit House: Sambhar

While on a vacation to Sambhar Salt Lake I had stayed at the Circuit House managed by the Sambhar Salts Ltd., a joint venture of the Hindustan Salts Ltd. and the government of Rajasthan. Sambhar is about 350 kms from Delhi.

Circuit House at Sambhar

The Circuit House has been built by the Britishers way back in 1880 and even after 133 years it stands majestic as ever despite the neglect by the agencies. It has the old system of very thick walls providing insulation from heat and cold.

Front View of the Circuit House

The Circuit House even has a mechanical dumbwaiter installed by the Britishers as they did not want the servants to come up to the first floor where the 'Sahibs' and 'Memsahibs' resided. Dumbwaiters are lift contraptions to carry stuff instead of people and are very common in hotels and other large buildings.

Mechanical Dumbwaiter

Mechanical dumbwaiters are however not very common now as they preceded the electric ones. In the mechanical dumbwaiters the ropes on pulleys are controlled by hand by rotating the handle (see the above photo).

View of the Living Room

The Circuit House has couple of rooms on the ground floor and the same number on the first floor with additional space for dining area and living room.There is no online booking system and one can only call and book a room but there is no guarantee that you will get it based on the verbal communication. The caretaker makes food for you which is a simple yet palatable fare of Dal (lentil), Roti (Indian bread), vegetable, rice and yogurt.

View of Sambhar Town from Circuit House

The Circuit House has a strategic advantage if you stay there. As it is located at the highest point one can see from here the town itself as well as large parts of the lake. The Sambhar Salts Ltd., however, should pay more attention toward the upkeep of the place as the linen etc. are not too clean.

Sambhar Salt Museum as seen from the Circuit House

Just in front of the Circuit House is located a very old building housing the Salt Museum. Of course, the building remains closed and one can only see either the exterior of the building or the model of the Salt Lake Works.

It is essential that one carries a good quality of binocular and big zoom camera to Sambhar if one is interested to see the bird life in and around Sambhar lake. Sambhar Lake is also a Ramsar site.

If you are interested in bird-watching then do read my earlier post on Sambhar Lake.

And if you are also interested in Salt tourism then do read my post on Sambhar Salt.


Thaovei said...

it will be really great if you write the details of the contact number of the Circuit house too.

Unknown said...

In 2010 I had opportunity to have lunch for three days in a row. Building is quite old. Photographs of one Mrs & Mr Bunting, an English Couple was hanging on first floor dining room.. perhaps it was clicked in pre independence era.... Overall atmosphere was haunting..

Unknown said...

I had happened to visit this circuit house in the year 2010. For three days in a row to have my lunch together with my office colleagues. Lunch was relishing. But atmosphere was haunted in the day light even. On 1st floor pics of an English officer pertaining to pre independence time were hanging in Dining Room. They were Mrs & Mr Bunting. Very aloof place .... one should have adventurous nature to stay there in the night..