Jaipur attracts tourists from far and wide. A visit to this appealing city, showcasing the most colourful and vibrant aspects, is always set on the priority. Ranging from forts & palaces to other structural monuments, Jaipur is incomparable. While exploring the architectural wonders in Jaipur, you will come to the legendary City Palace that is a perfect land of Mughal and Rajasthani style. City Palace is one of the hottest sites comprising several historically important structures. The grand complex takes your mind to the bygone eras housing several courtyards, gardens, structures, small palaces, a wonderful museum, stunning halls, and magnificent apartments. A visit to City Palace Jaipur is nothing but a journey of amazement, knowing about the life of rulers, queens, and paramours. This article will give you a detailed insight into the City Palace, Jaipur.
The City Palace of Jaipur happens to be one of the prime tourist attractions in the Pink city positioned within a walled city. City Palace is a repertoire of royal articles belonging to the royals who once lived here. This major landmark in Jaipur was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh covering about the one-seventh area of the entire city. The last ruling royal family still dwells in the restricted section of the palace that is confidential and is closed for the public to tour. Every facet of this compelling edifice grasps the hearts of observers. The City Palace intensifies the intricate beauty of each structure reflecting the rich culture and heritage of the ancient state.
The city palace is a masterpiece from where one can capture magnificent views of forts, gardens, palaces, and courtyards all around. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh I in 1729-1732, this palace becomes a window to peek into century-old tales of valor and the authentic culture of Jaipur. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh shifted to Amber because of growth in population and water storage problems. Later, a famous Bengali Architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya was called up to compose this palace as per the rules of Vaastu shastra. The construction of this architectural marvel was later completed by the successors of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh and new additions were made to add more charm to the palace.
The architecture of City Palace
Built with the utmost elegance, City Palace represents a beautiful blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture and outstanding art. This wonder monument in red and pink sandstone was scientifically designed in a grid style and perfectly mixed with the traditional architecture. It has four remarkable gates to enter and exit, embodying temples, palaces, lawns, corridors, and porches. This palace is adorned with magnificent latticework, etched marbles, inlaid embellishments, and frescos. Expressing the feel of real Mughal style, this palace is festooned with mirrors and distinct murals. Every nook of the palace speaks the volume of culture, art, and design.
Major Attractions of City Palace
- The Entry Gates: Decked with three grand entry gates named Virendra Pol, Udai Pol, and Tripolia Gate. Of these gates, Virendra Pol and the Udai Pol are open for visitors while the third one Tripolia Gate is reserved for the royal family.
- Mubarak Mahal: Mubarak Mahal, built in the 19th century, is the gateway of other attractions. The palace serves as a wonderful costume gallery, where one can get the opportunity to see various ancient attires and outfits of the kings & queens. Built by Maharaja Madho Singh II, Mubarak Mahal is an excellent example of European architecture. Its stunning engraved marble gate with massive brass doors and ornate interiors captivate you.
- Chandra Mahal: Overlooking the beautiful gardens, Chandra Mahal is a seven storeyed building encompassing Mukut Mahal, Shri Niwas, Rang Mandir, Sukh Niwas, and a museum. The lower two levels have the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, which showcases the rarest collection of 15th-century weapons, carpets, and rare artifacts. The “Sukh Nivas” painted blue is bedecked with white lining while the “Rang Mandir” has mirrors of all sizes embedded in its walls, pillars, and ceiling. Shobha Niwas is a spectacular structure inside the mahal which is studded with mirrors. Chhavi Niwas, also known as Hall of Images is on the fifth floor was the resting place of royals that boast of sheer beauty. The best part is the awesome blue-tiled walls with mirrors and mica embellishment over them. The other floors still retain the age-old royal grandeur of the Rajputs.
- Diwan-I-Khas: Also known as a hall for a private audience, having crystal chandeliers. This hall houses two of the world’s largest silver vessels of 1.6m in height, that can hold up to 4000 liters. These vessels are made from 14000 silver coins without any tiniest soldering and therefore, both of them weigh around 340 kgs. The reason behind the construction of these vessels is because Madho Singh II carried the Ganga Jal in these vessels when he was on his trip to England back in the 19th century and did not want to drink their water.
- Diwan-I-Aam: Also known as Sabha Niwas or a hall for a public audience, this section has been used by successive Maharajas for the local people and for important official rituals. Today, this section is converted into an art gallery with miniature Persian, Mughal, and Rajasthani paintings, embroidered rugs, ancient texts, carpets, and shawls. The hall has a prime attraction, Takt-e-Rawal. It is a golden throne that carries the palanquin bearers and the marble elephants. The painted ceilings of the hall’s ancient handwritten original manuscripts of Hindu scriptures draw the maximum crowd here. art gallery
- Maharani’s Palace: It is another ancient structure that was made for royal queens. But today it serves as a museum, showcasing weapons of the 15th century. Served as the residence of the queens, this royal palace has an intricate ceiling adorned with gems and semi-precious stones. The armoury nestled in the Palace uncovers the weapon varieties and ceremonial articles.
- Baggi Khana: It is a place dedicated to chariots and coaches. The two main interests of this place are the chariot which was used to carry the royal deity and a European Cab which was gifted to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II by the Prince of Whales. This European cab is referred to as Baggis. He also gifted a Mahadol made of simple bamboo to carry the Hindu Gods and priests, especially during festivals.
- Sileh Khana: It has a great and fine collection of weapons and handguns used during the time. There are several weapons including swords, knives, arrows, and axes showcased here. You can also find the private weapons of the kings exhibited in this section.
- City Palace Museum: The museum inside the palace homes a rare collection of textiles, manuscripts, paintings, and weapons. Apart from the rich collection of royal costumes, folk embroidery, Pashmina Shawls, Sanganeri prints, and Banaras silk saris, the museum showcases the ornamental clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. The best part of the museum is the grand collection of 2000 weapons that date back to the 1580s.
- Pritam Niwas Chowk: It is the inner courtyard of the City Palace decked with brilliant motifs and bounded by four smaller gates. Each of the gates is themed around the four seasons and dedicated to a particular Hindu God.
- Peacock Gate: The peacock gate at northeastern side depicts autumn and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
- Lotus Gate: This gate is located at the southwestern side and depicts summer. It is festooned with elegant lotus petals and flower forms and has an idol of Lord Shiva.
- Rose Gate: This gate displays winter season. It is designed with repeating rose patterns and is devoted to Goddess Devi.
- Leheriya Gate: This gate is located at the northwest side of the courtyard. It is green in colour, revealing spring season and devoted to Lord Ganesha.
- Govind Dev Ji Temple: It is a model of pure dedication and delicacy. Surrounded by tranquil surroundings and powerful aura this temple has spectacular gardens, chhatris and fountains. Situated in the City Palace Complex and built in 1735 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh II dedicated to Govind Dev Ji, who is one of Lord Krishna’s forms.
Almost all the ‘Mahals’ inside thcomplexalace complex are adorned with pillars, arches, Mehrabs, grills, beautiful inlay works and delicate paintings. All these elements reflect a flamboyant heritage and a living tradition of Jaipur.
Some interesting facts you must know
Jaipur was built by Sawai Jai Singh, and he is also the founder of the City Palace. Moreover, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar are also built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh.
City Palace is partially converted into a museum, while one of its parts, Chandra Mahal is still a residential area of the erstwhile ruler of Jaipur.
Other than Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob is another architect who contributed to the design of this place along with Sawai Jai Singh, himself.
The four small gates in the Pritam Niwas Chowk.
represents different seasons of the year namely Autumn, Spring, Winter and Summer.
In Mubarak Mahal, you will find the clothes worn by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. It is a special set of 1.2-meter wide cloth that weighs around 250 kilograms.
One of the royal possessions found in Diwan-e-aam the two enormous sterling silver jars in this palace have made their world record of being the world’s largest sterling silver vessels in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Tips before you visit City Palace
This monument has many stories to tell, so if you carry a guide or an audio guide, you will get an overall view of the entire palace. The audio guides are available in regional as well as foreign languages.
It is a huge complex and you will have to walk a lot. So, dress comfortably and wear flat shoes.
Don’t forget to carry your student ID if you want to get a discount on the entrance fee.
Drinking water, Golf Cart, Washrooms, Cloakroom and First Aid facilities are available.
The City Palace complex is disable-friendly.
The entrance fees of the City Palace Jaipur ranges from INR 200 to INR 1000. They charge differently for the palace premises and you have to buy a ticket separately if you want to visit the museum.
- For Indians – INR 200
- For students – INR 100 (with IDs)
- Foreign tourists – INR 700
- Sr. Citizen fees – INR 110
- Museum visit for students – INR 500
- Museum visit for foreigners – INR 1000
- Audio Guides – INR 200
- Golf cabby – INR 150
- A chariot ride – INR 1000 (with family)
You may also buy a combined ticket which includes entry fees to many other attractions as well. This ticket is acceptable for 2 days.
Things to Do at City Palace, Jaipur
There are various activities you can do at City Palace including sight-seeing, photography, learning history, learning programs for children, shopping at old Jaipur markets. You can spend a full day here if you are a history buff.
The night show namely, Sculpture Lumiere show will allow you to learn about the history of the city and the City Palace complex along with the happenings.
Timings to visit
The palace is open from 9.30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. for the night show. For you to explore the entire place, it may take two hours to three hours so arrange the time slot accordingly
Photography is allowed in City Palace Jaipur at an extra fee of INR 50 while for Videography the charges are INR 150.
How to reach
City Palace is located at a distance of approximately 12 km from Jaipur airport and 4 km from the Railway Station. Being located in the heart of the city, the City Palace is easily accessible and you can reach here by local buses and taxis from anywhere in the city.
You shouldn’t miss Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar. You will find them near the palace as soon as you exit the palace. Other nearby places you can visit are Albert Hall, Nahargarh fort, Jaigarh fort, Amer fort.
- The Baradari Restaurant
- The Palace Cafe
- Midtown Multi-Cuisine Restaurant
- Shree Gopi Pavitra Bhojanalaya
- Snack Bar
- Agrawal Pavitra Bhojanalaya