The City Palace is located in Pink City, Jaipur which is the capital of
Rajasthan. The City Palace has an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthan
and Mughal architecture. The vast palace complex occupies one seventh of
the walled city of Jaipur. The City Palace was originally built by Maharaja
Jai Singh II of the Kachhwaha clan of Rajputs. Later several additions were
made to the palace complex by many of his successors. The City Palace is
the core of the royal residences in Jaipur.
The centre of the palace, is the Chandra Mahal, or the Moon Palace, which provides a fine view of the gardens and the city. The ground and first floor of the Chandra Mahal, form the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh Museum. The museum has an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamelware and old weapons. The paintings include miniatures of Rajasthani, Persian and Mughal schools. The Mubarak Mahal, or the Auspicious Palace, contains the textile section of the museum.
The palace also houses the Diwan-i-Am, or the hall of public audience, and Diwan-i-Khas, or the hall of private audience. In the Diwan-i-Am, ornate pillars support the high ceilings. The walls, intricately painted with touches of deep red and gold, provide perfect mounts for immense medieval Afghan and Persian carpets. Miniatures from the Mughal and Jaipur schools, and Jai Singh's translations in Arabic and Sanskrit of the astronomical treatises of ancient scientists, are displayed in glass cases.
The grand seven storeyed Chandra Mahal lies to the north-west. This present day residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur; Bhavani Singh, provides stunning views of the gardens and the city. The palace is adorned with exquisite traditional style paintings, floral decorations, mirror walls and ceilings. The different floors of this splendid structure serve a variety of purposes. While the ground and the first floor form the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, the fourth floor serve as the tastefully decorated Shobha Nivas or Hall of Beauty. The fifth floor is the Chhavi Nivas or Hall of Images, the sixth floor with its mirrored ceiling and stucco floor has rows of double columns through which one can have a magnificent view of the rugged hills. The uppermost storey is called the Mukut Mahal or the Crown Building. Opposite to this splendid building lies the Badal Mahal. The Govind Devji Temple is between the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. The awesome Hawa Mahal is another integral part of the City Palace.
"Sukh Nivas" or the "Hall of Rest" holds the drawing and dining room of the Maharaja, furnished with Mughal miniatures, European silver and glass dining tables and peep holes decorated with gold leafs, for ventilation. Sukh Niwas has been painted in Wedgewood blue, ornamented with white lining. On the fourth floor of the Chandra Mahal lies the "Shobha Nivas" or "Hall of Beauty". This palace has mirror encrusted walls with exquisite blue tiled dadoes and glittering gold leaf and mica decoration. When the room was lit after dark the Maharajas could enjoy a breathtaking spectacle of the room bursting into a thousand flickering images. Through the glass panes you may view the Sri Govind Devji Temple, the first structure built by Sawai Jai Singh in Jaipur. The Shobha Nivas and the Sukh Nivas are still occupied by the present Maharaja. On the fifth floor lies the "Chhavi Nivas" or Hall of Images. This palace was the Maharajas retreat in the rainy season and still has a polished floor of eggshell stucco and blue and white painted walls.
Opposite the Chandra Mahal lies the 'Badal Mahal'. The Govind Devji Temple stands in the middle of the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. A delightful system of fountains is placed in the middle of the paved path between the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. Another integral part of the palace complex is the Hawa Mahal.
How to Reach
Jaipur is connected to Delhi (300Km), Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Calcutta and Varanasi by domestic flights.
The train service to Jaipur is available from all the major parts of the country.
Jaipur can be accessed from all the major places in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai by bus.