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About City Palace
The City Palace in Jaipur was once the seat of kings as it was from here that they ruled the region. One of the best tourist spots in the city, the City Palace is a vast complex and includes several buildings, courtyards and gardens. Two of the main palaces in the complex are the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal. The architecture is a fusion of Indian, Mughal, Rajput and even European styles and you can see the grandeur of the fusion in every nook and corner of the palace. The red and pink sand stone in which it is built adds a special beauty to the palace. The decorated gateways add elegance and magnificence to the structure. The City Palace of Jaipur is a great example of how design, art and creativity can be blended to form an exquisite symbol.
The magnificent City Palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the years 1729 to 1732, the vast complex of the palace occupied one seventh of the walled city. The imposing complex of the palace used to be the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Planned with precise intricacies, the palace was divided into a series of courtyards, buildings and gardens including the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal along with various other palaces. The Chandra Mahal is now a museum but the major part of it is still the royal residence. The museum showcases various unique handcrafted products and other things that belong to the royal heritage of the City Palace. It is a structure of historical importance and a souvenir of the brave past.
The architecture of the City Palace will strike a sense of awe in you from the very beginning. The facade itself is designed with acute and detailed handiwork and showcases a gentle blend of Mughal and Rajput architecture styles. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh II, but the palace itself has been subjected to various changes over the course of time, with some of them even belonging to the early 20th century. The City Palace has three gates, out of which the Virendra Pol and Udai Pol are open to the public. The striking courtyards, lush green gardens and splendid edifices will transport you to the era of the Regals for sure.
Jaipur is the first planed city of medieval India. The city is divided into nine blocks and the royal palace is situated at the center of the city. The capital was shifted from Amer to Jaipur in the 1700s.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh was a great thinker he along with architects Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Shilpa Shastra made the walls of the city of Jaipur which is built on the principles of Indian science of architecture, Vastu.
The history of the palace is intertwined with the history of the great city of Jaipur itself. The City palace used to be the throne of the Maharaja of Jaipur, head of the Kachwaha Rajput Clan. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh was the force behind the initiation of the Palace’s construction when he began shifted the capital from Amber to Jaipur in the year 1727. He then began building the outer wall sometime during the years 1729 to 1732, such that it ran over to several acres through the city.
The Raja’s death was followed by several wars between the Rajput kings, and Maharaja Ram Singh joined forces with the British during the Revolt of 1857 and proceeded to transform the city into in a medley of pink structures so as to welcome the Prince of Wales. The adopted son of Maharaja Madho Singh II, Raja Man Singh II was the last king to rule from the Chandra Mahal Palace. Post the merging of Jaipur with the Indian Union in 1949, the City Palace continued to be the residence of the royal family.
Things to Must See in City Palace
A number of important edifices find a place in the City Palace and are illustrated below:-
Mubarak Mahal: An amalgam of Mubarak Mahal, Islamic, Rajput and European architectural styles, the City Palace was built by Maharaja Madho Singh II in the late 19th century. It mainly acted as a reception centre and has now been converted into a museum. Some of the artefacts and articles stored here include royal formal costumes, Sanganeri block prints, embroidered shawls, Kashmiri pashminas and silk saris and ornamental clothes worn by Sawai Madho Singh I.
Chandra Mahal: The Chandra Mahal is a remarkable edifice located towards the west end of the City Palace. A charming Peacock Gate welcomes you into the palace. The Mahal itself is decorated with beautiful paintings, floral embellishments and decorative mirror work. The building has seven floors with each of the floors having a unique name such as Sukh-Niwas, Ranga-Mandir, Pitam-Niwas, Chabi-Niwas, Shri-Niwas and Mukut Mahal. Most of this palace serves as the residence of the descendants of the regal family, however, the ground floor of the building serves as a museum. Some of the articles exhibited here are carpets, manuscripts and other items that belonged to the royal family.
Various sections of the City Palace are unique in their own way. The “Sukh Nivas” is painted blue in colour and is decorated with white lining. Mughal motifs, silver and glass dining tables and other ornamentations are present in the dining room here. The “Rang Mandir” has mirrors of all sizes in its walls, pillars and ceiling. “Shobha Nivas” is decorated with mirror walls and blue tiles which are further embellished with mica and gold leaf. “Chhavi Nivas” is the monsoon retreat of the Maharaja.
Pritam Niwas Chowk: It is towards the inner parts of the City Palace and has four small gates which lead to the Chandra Mahal. The gates themselves are decorated with illustrations that represent the four seasons and Hindu deities Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva-Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Devi.
Diwan – A – Aam: Diwan-i-Aam was the Hall of Public Audience and is located between the armoury and the art gallery. Laid down with scintillating marble, there are two sterling silver vessels of the capacity of 4000 litres on display here. These vessels were used by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II to carry the water of the holy Ganges to drink on his trip to England. A number of shimmering crystal chandeliers are also present here, which is unveiled only during special occasions.
Diwan – A – Khas: Diwan-E-Khas was the ‘Hall of Private Audience’, and is a vibrant example of the architecture of that time. The ceiling is painted in shades of red and gold which have a flawless appearance even to this day. This edifice is a major attraction within the palace itself. converted into an art gallery, the Diwan- i- Khas exhibits miniature paintings, ancient texts, embroidered rugs, Kashmir shawls and carpets. Handwritten original manuscripts of Hindu scriptures and the Royal throne called as ‘Takht-e-Rawal’ also find a place here.
Maharani Palace: Originally, this served as the residence of the queens, but has now been converted into a museum. Weapons used by the royalty during the war are on display here, with some of them as old as the 15th century. The ceiling is again decorated beautifully with the dust of precious and semi precious stones.
Bhaggi Khana: This is the museum which has an exquisite collection of old carriages, palanquins and European cabs. One notable collectable here is the baggi which was gifted to the royals by Prince of Wales in 1876 and is called the Victoria baggi.
Timings and Entry Fees
Entry Fees: They may charge differently for the palace premises and for the museum visits. Currently, Indians are charged Rs. 100 to view the exterior spaces and for the museum, Rs. 130 is charged. For foreigners, it is 500 and Rs. 900. You may also buy a composite ticket.
Camera Charges: are Rs. 50 and videography charges are Rs. 150
Timings – 9.30 AM to 5.00 PM
Guides are available in different languages. Avail the services of licensed guides at the City Palace. The fees for the guides depend on the number of persons.
Best Time to Visit
The morning and evening hours and cooler and less crowded. WInter months of October – March are the best months to visit this destination.
Interesting Facts about City Palace
The City Palace was built by Sawai Jai Singh who is also known as the founder of Jaipur City. The credit of Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar also goes to him.
Though the main architects behind the magnificent City Palace were Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh also contributed to the architectural design of the palace.
There are three main gates to the palace which are Tripolia Gate, Virendra Pol and Udai Pol. There are also four smaller gates in the third courtyard, which are believed to represent four seasons. The peacock or the Mor Gate represents the autumn season and there are 3D models of peacocks at the gate giving it a magical view. The Lotus Gate was to symbolise the summer season while the Leheriya Gate for the spring season. The Rose Gate is the winter gate. All these gates are decorated likewise and it is a sheer delight to just look at these gates, and entering it is a bliss.
Today, there are two parts of the palace, one which is opened for the public and also has a museum, and the other for the residence of the royal family, the descendants who live here even now.
One of the famous items in the City Palace are two silver jars which have found place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest silver vessels in the world.
Apart from Mubarak Mahal and the Chandra Mahal, there are Pritam Niwas Chowk, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Bhaggi Khana, Maharani Palace and the Govind Dev Ji Temple, an 18th century structure.
The Chandra Mahal, Maharani Palace and the Bhaggi Khana have been converted into museums.
Mubarak Mahal is a museum dedicated to royal textiles. You can see the dresses worn by queens and kings. The clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I is quite a treat to the eyes as he was believed to have weighed 250 kgs.
Baggi Khana is a place dedicated to chariots and coaches. The two prime attractions are the chariot which was used to carry the royal deity and a European Cab which was gifted to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II by Queen Victoria herself.
The Silehkhana has a great and fine collection of weapons and handguns used during the time. There are swords, knives, arrows, axes, and so on. The personal weapons of the kings are also displayed here.
It is a vast complex and you will have to walk a lot. So, dress accordingly. Good walking shoes or flat footwear are preferred.
Drinking water facility is available. So, there is no need to carry water bottles.
The trusts have undertaken care to see to it that the City Palace complex is disabled friendly.
Enquire for guides at the entrance.
Also, find more about tickets as you may have to purchase individual tickets for the palace and the museums.
How to Reach
The City Palace is easily accessible from Jaipur city. You can take a cab, bus or auto rickshaw to reach the palace. You can easily reach the City Palace from any part of Jaipur, as various modes of transportation such as auto rickshaw, taxi or public bus are quite frequently available to this destination. You can also book cabs from any point in the city.
Hotel City Palace, Hotel Royal Sheraton, Rawla Mrignayani Palace, Samode Haveli and The Raj Palace are good accommodation options near the palace.