City Palace, Jaipur
You cannot miss a journey into the colorful and chaotic streets of the ‘Pink City’ this holiday season! Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan has much more to offer than its rich and enthralling cultural heritage and historical monuments. Wonderfully blended into a heady mix of the old and new, this city today holds the crown of being the most flamboyant state of India.
As diversified as can be, this is a city where one can spot camels and buses gushing on the streets along with the cycle rickshaws and shiny cars! Amidst this crazy mayhem lie the serene and tranquil splendors of Jaipur’s majestic forts and palaces. What adds to one’s awe is that the heart of the city is still the home to the former royal family. One of the most famous tourist destinations of the city is the City Palace. A trip to the City Palace evokes a sense of sheer wonder and curiosity as to how the ancient India lived and evolved thereafter!
The City Palace, Jaipur includes the Mubarak Mahal and the Chandra Mahal buildings. It is a beautifully constructed palace complex. Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan used to sit here. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had created a walled enclosure around the Jaipur City Palace. This palace incorporates both Mughal and Rajput style of architecture. One section of the palace still has one of the previous royal families as its residents. The Chandra-Mahal is a seven-storeyed tower is located within the walls of the palace. Built between 1729 and 1732, the City Palace was later given an urban layout by architects Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh was a keen architectural enthusiast himself.
There are some interesting facts and trivia about the City Palace:
- Sawai Jai Singh, who constructed the City Palace also constructed the Hawa Mahal and the Jantar Mantar.
- The palace has three main gates namely, the Tripolia Gate, Virendra Pol and Udai Pol.
- There are four small gates in the courtyard which are said to represent the four seasons.
- The Mor Gate which represents the autumn season features 3D models of peacocks giving a magical view.
- The Lotus Gate represents the summer season and the Lehariya Gate symbolizes the spring season and the Rose Gate represents the winter season. The Gates are stunningly decorated and are a majestic vision to watch.
- The palace is divided into two portions currently. One portion is open for the public and houses a museum too and the other is the residence of the royal members.
- The two silver jars present in the City Palace hold the record in Guiness Book of World Records for being the largest silver vessels in the world.
- The Chandra Mahal, Bhaggi Khana and the Maharani palace have been converted into museums giving us an insight into their ornaments, clothes, chariots and coaches and royal textiles.
It is said that Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had also got the outer wall of the city’s complex built. He then shifted from Ajmer to Jaipur because of sheer water scarcity and an increase in population in the year 1727. Later, modern architects Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Jacob took over the city’s architectural designing. The entire city was designed according to Vastu Shastra.
The City Palace visit timings are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You will need around 2 to 3 hours for the visit.
Things to Do:
While here, there are many interesting things to do apart from sightseeing:
- Shopping at the museum shops and also outside the local markets
- Indulge in the interactive learning programs for children
- Elephant rides
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