[ecis2016.org] The City Palace, Jaipur was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The palace reflects a classic mix of Indian, Mughal and European architectural styles
The pink city of Jaipur is home to some incredible historical structures, reflecting the rich heritage of India. The City Palace Jaipur is one such architectural wonder that once served as the administrative seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, until 1949. Today, the Palace in Jaipur has become a popular tourist attraction and an important landmark in the city.
City Palace Jaipur history
The City Palace Jaipur was constructed between 1729 and 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who belonged to the Kachwaha Rajput clan. He was the founder of Jaipur city. His earlier capital was Amer, located 11 kilometres from Jaipur. With the growth of population and scarcity of water, he decided to shift the capital to Jaipur. He approached Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a notable architect during that time, to design the city’s architecture. Within four years, major palaces in the city were constructed, including the City Palace Jaipur, situated in the central north-east part of the city. The Palace was the location for conducting various religious and cultural events.
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City Palace Jaipur, Rajasthan: Architecture
The City Palace Jaipur houses the famous Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and the residence of the royal family of Jaipur. The palace reflects a classic blend of Indian, Mughal and European architectural styles that can be seen in its grand pillars, latticework or jali work and carved marble interiors. It is an expansive complex that includes many buildings, pavilions, courtyards and beautiful gardens. The structure spans a large area, covering one-seventh of the old city of Jaipur.
Jaipur was one of the earliest planned cities in India. The city’s urban layout and its structures, including the Jaipur City Palace, were planned by two architects, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. The architects incorporated the principles of Shilpa Shastra and Vastu Shastra, with the prominent architectural styles of the world. The use of red and pink sandstone is one of the striking architectural features of this magnificent City Palace Jaipur. The Palace’s interiors are adorned with crystal chandeliers, historic gilded wall decorations and intricate carvings. There is an exclusive collection of relics and antiques owned by the royal family for centuries.
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Jaipur City Palace entrance gates
The City Palace Jaipur has three main gates – Tripolia Gate, Virendra Pol and Udai Pol. There are also smaller, artistically decorated gates in the third courtyard, which symbolises the four seasons. The peacock or the Mor gate represents the autumn season, the lotus gate represents the summer season, the rose gate represents the winter season and leheriya gate represents the spring season.
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City Palace Jaipur: Chandra Mahal
It is one of the oldest buildings in the Palace complex, comprising seven floors with each having a specific name. The first two floors are known as the Sukh Niwas, the next floor is the Shobha Niwas or Hall of Beauty that shimmers in coloured glass work and decorative tiles, followed by Chhavi Niwas adorned in a blue and white theme. The last two floors are the Shri Niwas and Mukut Mandir with a bangaldar roof. Mirror work and paintings on the walls are some attractions of this building. There is a museum on the ground floor.
City Palace Jaipur: Mubarak Mahal
The Mubarak Mahal was designed as a reception hall for receiving the guests at the City Palace Jaipur. This building now functions as a museum, comprising offices and a library on the first floor and a textile gallery on the ground floor. The royal family’s artefacts, weaponry and regal garments are also displayed in the City Palace Jaipur museum. A carved marble gate and heavy brass doors are noteworthy features of this building.
City Palace Jaipur: Shri Govind Dev Temple
The complex of the City Palace Jaipur also houses the famous Govind Dev Ji temple, which is dedicated to lord Krishna and his consort Radha. Maharaja Jai Singh II had brought the deities of the temple from Vrindavan. Thousands of devotees visit the place to witness the aartis that take place every day.
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City Palace Jaipur: Baggi Khana
The Baggi Khana is a key attraction of the City Palace Jaipur complex and includes a collection of chariots and coaches that once carried the royal family. In particular, the royal chariot and the European cab that was presented to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II by Queen Victoria in 1876, capture the attention of visitors.
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City Palace Jaipur: Maharani Palace or the Armory (Sileh khana)
The Maharani palace in the complex was built for the queens of the royal family. An eye-catching feature of this place is the frescoes on the ceiling, carved in gold. There is also a life-size structure of a horse wearing full-body armour. Today, the place has been transformed into an armoury museum with a huge collection of weapons used by the Rajputs on display. The area is also known as Anand Mahal Sileh Khana.
City Palace Jaipur: Diwan-e-Khaas or Sarvato Bhadra
Built on a platform with marble pillars, the Sarvato Bhadra or Diwan-e-Khaas is a single-storey, open hall meant to hold a private audience comprising the courtiers and nobles of the kingdom. It is also known as the Hall of Private Audience. A striking feature of the hall is the ‘Takht-e-Rawal’ or the royal throne and the ceiling painted in gold and red hues.
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City Palace Jaipur: Diwan-e-Aam or Sabha Niwas
The Diwan-e-Aam is the open hall for holding a public audience. Designed in a Mughal architectural style, the space is intricately designed with marble pillars, marble flooring and a painted plaster ceiling. There is a giant chariot wheel mounted within a glass case.
City Palace Jaipur ticket price and timings
Is photography allowed in City Palace Jaipur?
Photography is not permitted inside the City Palace Jaipur.
Who lives in City Palace Jaipur?
Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur and his family reside in the City Palace.
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