The foundation of City Palace was laid at the time when the city of Jaipur itself came into existence. Sawai Maharaja Jai Singh, who founded Jaipur and also laid the foundation of the City Palace, set apart two out of nine segments in which the city was divided, for the purpose of constructing this beautiful palace. The area covered by the City Palace is around one seventh of total area of the Jaipur. Though the foundation was laid in the 18th century itself, further additions and modification in the palace complex continued for the next two centuries.
The palace, which was originally used for official purpose, today serves as a museum. The museum was established in the year 1959 by Sawai Man Singh II who wished to safeguard the cultural property he had acquired from his ancestors. Initially, the museum was known as the Maharaja of Jaipur Museum, and it was only in 1970 that it was renamed as Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. The museum, today attracts a whole lot of tourists from all over the world.
Inside the City Palace
The City Palace is a splendid blend of the Rajasthani and the Mughal style of architecture. The entire complex is divided into numerous courtyards, gardens and buildings. There are two main entrances from to the palace, the first one is from Jaleb Chowk and the other one from Tripolia Gate.
The first courtyard, while entering from the Tripolia side, houses the Mubarak Mahal which was built by Maharaja Madho Singh II late in the 19th century. The Mubarak Mahal or the Auspicious Palace was earlier the reception hall of the Maharaja of Jaipur. This, probably is the reason which explains why this palace was named Mubarak Mahal. The ground floor of this Mahal is today used as an office and a library while the first floor houses the Textile Museum.
A grand brass door from the Mubarak Mahal leads to the Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience. The hall with two rows of columns is at the centre of attraction for tourists since it displays two silver urns that are considered largest in the world. The history of these silver urns say that Sawai Man Singh carried the water of holy Ganges in them when he set out on a journey to England.
Another gate from here leads to the Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audience. This area of the palace complex is the Art Gallery which preserves the manuscripts in Persian and Sanskrit Languages.
The Chandra Mahal or the Moon Palace is situated in the northwest part of the palace complex. The Mahal is a seven storeyed structures with individual name for each of the storey. The ground and the first floor of the Chandra Mahal are a part of the Sawai Man Singh II Museum and houses weapons, carpets and rarities. The third floor is the Sukh Niwas, the drawing and dining area of Chandra Mahal. As per its name, the Sukh Niwas was meant for providing relaxation and rest. Shobha Niwas occupies the fourth floor and exudes an extraordinary beauty because of its remarkable decorations of mirrors, gold leaf and mica all over. This place is also known by the name of Hall of Beauty. The fifth floor is the Chavi Niwas while the top most floor, true to its position is known as the Mukut Mahalor the Crown Palace.
Very near to the Chandra Mahal are the Bada Mahal and the Jai Niwas Garden. In the Jai Niwas Garden stands the famous Shri Govindji temple, an immensely revered temple by the Rajput rulers. The lane connecting the Bada Mahal with the Govindji temple is lined up with numerous fountains that contribute to enhance the overall beauty.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.