Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Founded By: Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh
City Palace of Jaipur is one of the major landmarks of the state of
Rajasthan. A magnificent structure, the palace was built under the
patronage of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It still houses the royal family
of Jaipur, which stays in the Chandra Mahal Palace situated inside the
complex. Only the ground floor of the City Palace is open for public
viewing. The entire palace complex comprises of a number of gardens,
courtyards and buildings. Raja Jai Singh was the one who initially built
the outer wall of the palace.
Succeeding rulers of Jaipur made further additions to the City Palace,
in the form of new buildings. There are a number of structures inside
the palace complex, namely Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal,
Maharani's Palace, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
The moment you enter the first square of the palace, you will come
across the Mubarak Mahal, which was built by Sawai Madho Singh. It dates
back to the 19th century and was meant to entertain the visiting guests.
Mubarak Mahal has now been converted into a costume gallery, in which
royal attires of the royals have been displayed. It showcases royal
costumes, folk embroidery, rare and precious Pashmina (Kashmiri) Shawls,
Sanganeri prints and Benaras silk saris. After the first square is
crossed, the next structure that comes in view is the Diwan-I-Khas. It
is the hall where the king used to have private meetings and is reached
through a beautiful gateway. Two sterling silver vessels, said to be the
world's largest silver vessel, are on display inside the hall.
Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II used these vessels to carry the holy
water of River Ganges, on his trip to England. Another major attraction
of the square is Diwan-I-Aam, the hall of public audience. Presently, it
has been converted into an art gallery, which displays exquisitely
painted ceilings and rare handwritten manuscripts of Hindu scriptures
(original). Here, one can see miniature copies of the sacred Bhagwat
Gita, along with miniature paintings belonging to the Rajasthani, Mughal
and Persian Schools.
The next in the series of building is the Maharani's Palace, which used
to serve as the residence of the queens. It has also been converted into
a museum and showcases arms and weaponry dating back to the 15th
century. The weapons displayed in the museum comprise of pistols,
jeweled swords, guns and gun powder pouches, belt swords, chain armors,
small cannons, poison tipped blades, a scissor-action dagger, etc.
Thereafter, comes the most popular building of the City Palace, Chandra
Chandra Mahal is a seven-storied monument, with each of the stories
bearing a different name. The ground floor of the Chandra Mahal houses
some rare exhibits. Even the courtyard outside the palace is adorned
with a beautiful peacock. The top most floor of the palace is known as
the Mukut Mahal. An architectural beauty, the palace is adorned with
delicate paintings, mirror work on walls and floral decorations. Badal
Mahal is situated opposite Chandra Mahal. The pathway between these two
palaces leads to the Govind Dev Ji Temple.