The city palace complex still has some areas reserved as royal residence, but several buildings are opened to public as a museum.
Different buildings and yards, arches and rooms, provide a very interesting visit.
Be prepared to pay the same than 5 Indian citizens to enter, doubling the price if carrying a camera, however, for occidental uses, it is not expensive - about 2€ to enter
There are two silver urns placed prominently in the City Palace, in jaipur. Visitors often express themselves puzzled by their presence...
Yes, we did to! But let me continue to reproduce what I read in Pinkcity:
... particularly since the attendants are quick to point out that these are the largest silver objects in the world, as recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. But more interesting is the reason these urns — there were three altogether, but one has since been lost — came to be made. According to Hindu belief, crossing the seas to journey to distant lands inhabited by heathen races was an act so unholy, it brought upon the perpetrator untold calamities. Not content with that, it was deemed that the contaminated person would also lose his caste in the Indian social context.
Till such time as travel remained in the realm of the impossible, this suited everybody just fine, but with increased interaction with the British in India, and the regular plying of the P&O liners to Mumbai, the temptation to travel to England and other pockets of Europe became too strong to resist. Sometimes, of course, travel was necessitated by the demands of the office: a war had to be fought in distant Haifa, or a treaty signed in Versailles.
When the Maharaja of Jaipur expressed his desire to travel to London, the consternation in his court was managed somewhat with the thought that he would bathe with water carried from the river Ganga, and dine on food cooked by his accompanying chefs who would use the same 'Indian' water for their culinary preparations.
The large silver urns served their maharaja well, but left no one in doubt about the seriousness with which the people of Rajasthan took their rituals. A martial race, they went to the battlefields with their gold amulets and damascened swords to kill and be killed: but equally obligatory was their visit to their temples where they damascened swords to kill and be killed: but equally obligatory was their visit to their temples where they paid obeisance before their gods and goddesses. If they were killed, their wives committed jauhar, the mass leap into funeral pyres which, we are informed by the state's bards who still sing of such trials, was conducted with dignity, and in the nature of a celebration. Difficult to believe? Perhaps, but the voluntary imprints left behind by their tiny hands at the entrance walls of forts before they came to their fiery end, tell a somewhat different tale. The honour of a fort, we are again informed by the same minstrels, lay not in remaining unconquered, but in the number of such handprints collected at its entrance gate.
Built in 1729, this large building complex was for the local leader, the Maharaja of Jaipur and administration. Also known as the Chandra Mahal palace, it is both a museum and is still used as a royal residence by the descendant of the Maharaja.
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 400 for foreigners (includes camera fee and entry to Jaigarh Fort). Rs 100 for Indians
Guide Rs 300, Audio Guide free
Rs 200 for a video camera.
The City Palace is a large palace complex located in the historical center of Jaipur. The palace was built in 1729 - 1732 during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II with additions coming from future Majas.
Besides the palace, there are also museums, courtyards and an iconic clock tower. Quite interesting and quite impressive.
An item that I found interesting was the placing of the two 900 gal silver pots or Gangajali. They were and maybe still are, the largest silver vessels in existence. They were originally used to take water from the Ganges River when the Maharaja travelled so he could bathe and cook with the sacred water.
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.
The huge complex of the City Palace is still inhabited by the Royal family and was constructed by Jai Singh II around 1730, but various buildings have been added over the centuries. One can either pass through entry 1 or 2 that take you into different courtyards but the places you can visit are the same. One can visit most of the outside areas including the Mubarak Mahal and Diwan-i-kas that has two immense silver jars on permanent exhibition. We were lucky enough to see a traditionnal dance here with musiciens, and even the public taking part. The Maharaja's apartments in the Chandra Mahal can only be visited by booking a separate tour although the lower floor houses the museum.
Entrance fee is 300 INR for foreigners and is not included in the composite ticket.
Diwan-I-Khas is a very harmonious hall, with beautiful floor and chandeliers, but where the top attraction is a pair of huge silver vessels, the biggest in the world, according to Guinness Book of Records.
A very beautiful gate to City Palace is made of white marble, flanked by two elephants also in marble, carved in a single block,and added later to celebrate the birth of Maharaja's son is called Rajendra Pol, which means gatweway of princess.
Northeast of the centre of Jaipur lies the City Palace. The complex includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings. Construction of the palace took place between 1729 and 1732. Sawai Jai Singh II built the initial palaces and outer walls and the complex was enlarged by later rulers up to the 20th century. The result is an impressive complex of gardens, courtyards anda buildings.
The Chandra Mahal is now an excellent museum but the most part is still a royal residence.
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.