The City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh and is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. It is surrounded by spacious courtyards, gardens, and temples.
There are several buildings in the complex including a very interesting arms & weapons museum located in the Maharani's Palace (which was once the queen's apartments). The Maharaja Sawai Mansingh II Museum has a fabulous collection of royal costumes, block printed materials, pashminas, embroderies, and fine silks.
The Diwan-i-Khas is the Hall of Private Audience done in marble. In the gallery are two huge silver vessels filled with holy Ganges water. The vessels hold 9000L, stand 160cm tall and are the largest sterling silver objects in the world.
The art gallery is housed in the former Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience). A few highlights there included a beautiful painted ceiling with semi-precious stone colours, a huge crystal chandelier, and a copy of the entire Bhagavad Gita handwritten in tiny script (as well as miniature copies of other holy Hindu scriptures).
With all of the exquisite things to see in the City Palace it is hard to pick a favorite, although I loved the archways and doors, and the Peacock Gate.
The City Palace is another must see in Jaipur. Allow at least a couple of hours depending on how much time you spend in the museums.
Open daily 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: Rs 300 for foreigners (includes camera fee and entry to Jaigarh Fort). Rs 75 for Indians, plus Rs 75 for a still camera.
Diwan-I-Khas or 'Hall of Private Audience' is an open marble paved pavilion with a double row of columns with scalloped arches. It was originally the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience) until the present building of that name was constructed in the late 18th century. It is now often called by its Sanskrit name Sarbato Bhadra
The two giant urns on display here are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest silver objects in the world. These vessels were created from melted silver coins for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, a highly pious Hindu, to carry the water of the Ganges to drink on his trip to England in 1901 (for Edward VII's coronation) as he was concerned about committing religious sin by consuming the English water.
Next to the museum stands the Rajendra Pol, a gateway flanked by two elephants, each of them carved from a single block of white marble. It leads into the inner courtyard the Sarbato Bhadra Chowk and its central building the Diwan-i-Khas.
This small inner courtyard giving access to the Chandra Mahal is famous for four small doorways decorated with motifs depicting the four seasons and Hindu gods, known as Ridhi Sidhi Pol. The gates are the Northeast Peacock Gate (with motifs of peacocks on the doorway) representing autumn and dedicated to Lord Vishnu; the Southwest Lotus Gate (with flower and petal patterns) suggestive of summer and dedicated to Lord Shiva-Parvati (being restored at the time of my visit, hence the scaffolding in the 2nd photo); the Northwest Green Gate, also called the Leheriya (meaning: "waves") gate, suggestive of spring and dedicated to Lord Ganesha, and lastly, the Rose Gate with a repeated flower pattern representing season of winter and dedicated to the Goddess Devi.
The Chandra Mahal, (“Moon Palace”) is a 7 storey building. Unfortunately, this building is closed to the public as it is the home to the present Maharaja of Jaipur, however it is possible to visit the ground floor where some exhibits are on display.
Built in the nineteenth century, Mubarak Mahal (“Auspicious Palace”) was used by Maharaja Madho Singh II as a reception centre for visiting personages. This sandstone building is now part the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and houses an rich collection of costumes and textiles. Included on display here are a wide array of royal formal costumes, some very exquisite and precious Benaras silk sarees, Kashmiri pashminas, embroidered shawls, and Sanganeri block prints. Also on display is the voluminous clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I (ruled 1750-68).
The City Palace of Jaipur, in common with many palaces and forts in Rajasthan and India as a whole, is actually a palace complex, containing an array of many individual buildings, courtyards and gardens. On a vast scale, it occupies about one seventh of the old city area. It was begun between 1729 and 1732, by the ruler of Amber, Sawai Jai Singh II after he moved his capital from there to Jaipur. He planned and built the outer walls, with later additions being made by successive rulers.
The entry fee is 180rupees which also includes entrance to Jaigarh Fort.
Pitam Niwas Chowk is the inner courtyard, accessing the main palace, Chandra Mahal. It has four gates representing the four seasons and Hindu gods.
In the Northeast is Peacock Gate representing autumn and dedicated to Vishnu, in the Southwest is Lotus Gate (summer and Shiva-Parvati), in the Northwest Green Gate, (spring and Ganesha), and the Rose Gate representing winter and dedicated to Devi.
The complex of city palace is composed by a few specific and distinct areas. The Maharani's palace impresses for its delicacy, with wonderful stone carvings and frescoes painted with dust of precious stones. Today it is a museum of the weapons of the Maharajah's family.
This is the main Royal Palace where the Royal family of Jaipur still stays and runs the palace. If you are interested to see inside of this area, they will allow you to see some parts where they stay for an individual fee of Rs.2000/- or US$ 20. you are not allowed to take pictures also.
Chandra Mahal or Chandra Niwas is the most commanding building in the City Palace complex, on its west end. It is a seven-storeyed building and each floor has been given a specific name such as the Sukh-Niwas, Ranga-Mandir, Pitam-Niwas, Chabi-Niwas, Shri-Niwas and Mukut-Mandir or Mukut Mahal. It contains many unique paintings, mirror work on walls and floral decorations. At present, most of this palace is the residence of the descendents of the former rulers of Jaipur. Only the ground floor is allowed for visitors where a museum is located that displays carpets, manuscripts and other items that belonged to the royal family. There is beautiful peacock gate at the entry to the Mahal. It has screened balconies and a pavilion at the roof from where a panoramic view of the city can been seen. It is set amidst well laid out gardens and a decorative lake in the foreground.
Also seen at the top of the Chandra Mahal is the flag of the royal family, which is seen unfurled when the Maharaja is in the palace. It is a one and quarter sized flag. However, when the king is away, the queen's flag is hoisted on the building.
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