Elephant and camel safaris, Rajasthani women performing the traditional dance and singing the Rajasthani folklore, local men in colourful turbans, and kids performing in the alleys outside the City Palace, were enough to excite us for the palace tour.
As we entered the City Palace from the east gate (it’s the only side open for visitors), we witnessed a huge pink-reddish courtyard and standing in its centre was Mubarak Mahal (palace).
Upon setting foot in the courtyard, we first saw the Mubarak Mahal that is one of the major attractions of City Palace. To me, the most captivating feature of Mubarak Mahal is, that it is symmetrical from all four directions. The mahal is carved out of white marble and beige-ish stone, which makes the wall more detailed altogether. The mahal originally had a seating arrangement for foreign visitors, but now there’s a museum office and a library (that mostly consists of Rajput history) on the first floor. On the ground floor, a textile gallery hails of amazing embroidery work that belongs to the royal wardrobe.
Before we could get over the amazing aesthetics of Mubarak Mahal, another marvel in the City Palace got us awestruck; the Sabha Niwas (Hall of audience).
White-golden chandeliers on the roof, murals depicting history on the walls, and two thrones in the centre with chairs around it, made us feel like we entered the ancient era. Also known as ‘Hall of Audience’, Sabha Niwas is where the King used to meet his people and listen to their queries.
The next thing that awaited us was the Sileh Khana (Arms and Armour Gallery).
The gallery displayed all arms used by the warriors of Jaipur. From guns to powder flasks and from swords to shields, everything was lined perfectly. The one thing that I couldn’t stop gawking at were the collection of swords. The marking and impressions on the steel and handle of the blades are magnificent. We also saw the blades of Maharaja Ram Singh Ji II and Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, which were built as per their unique requirements.
The next in line was Sarvato Bhadra or the Diwan-e-Khas. It is a must-visit edifice as per the locals.
The structure is as special as its name. This hall was used by the ruler to hold private meetings with the administration or people at high table. Just outside the Diwan-e-Khas or the Sarvato Bhadra, two huge vessels at the corners caught our attention. One of the locals told us that the vessels are made up of 15,000 silver melted coins and they were used to carry the water of Ganges. These interesting facts excited us furthermore to explore the City Palace.
When we moved on to see the primary attraction of the City Palace - Chandra Mahal, our guide informed us that we had just covered one-fourth of the palace at the moment.
As soon as we stepped into the courtyard in front of the Chandra Mahal, we knew we were bound to see something amazing. It was hard to believe that something as big as Chandra Mahal was only a very small part of City Palace. The mahal was seven floors-high and each floor served a unique purpose; which is an interesting story to find when you visit the place. The building is painted in bright yellow and looks even more enthralling when the sun rays fall on it.
That’s not all about the palace; there are many other attractions in the palace that makes it a must-visit place in Jaipur. For instance, the Clock Tower, Pritam Niwas Chowk and Transport Gallery, etc. A walk through the history of City Palace was an experience worth remembering.
Best time to visit City Palace: October to March
Visiting time of City Palace: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Entrance Fee: Foreigners- INR 500 & Indians – INR 200