City Palace

City Palace, Jaipur, which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur city, the capital of the Rajasthan state, India. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence. The palace complex, which is located northeast of the centre of the grid patterned Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings.

The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers right up to the 20th century. The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects namely, Vidyadar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, apart from the Sawai himself who was a keen architectural enthusiast. The architects achieved a fusion of the Shilpa shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture.

As one enters the first courtyard, one comes across the Mubarak Mahal, which was built in the 19th century by Maharaja Madho Singh II. Here is a splendid gateway, which leads to the Diwan-I-Khas (Hall of Private audience). It is an open hall, where there are two silver vessels on display, which are in the Guinness book of World Records! One can also check out the Diwan-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience).

As one moves on, one sees the Chandra Mahal, which many consider being the highlight of the whole tour of City Palace. It has a lot of paintings, mirror work on walls, and floral decorations that make the Moon Palace truly magnificent.

It is a seven-storied Palace, where each level has a distinct name. The lower two levels have the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, which has a large collection of 15th century weapons, carpets and rarities. There is also the Sukh Nivas or the ‘Hall of Rest’, which has the drawing and the dining area. On the fourth floor is the ‘Shobha Nivas’ or ‘Hall of Beauty’ which is decorated with mirrors all over and has gold leaf and mica decorations.

The fifth floor is the ‘Chavi Nivas’ or the ‘Hall of Images’ and the sixth floor is known for the beautiful view it offers of the surrounding area. The uppermost floor is called the ‘Mukut Mahal’ or the ‘Crown building’. When one moves forward to Badal Mahal from the Chandra Mahal, one comes to the Govind devji temple, which is also quite like the others, a must-see.

The City Palace does not only have a lot of historical significance but is also a reminder of the royal past. It stands as a symbol of the royal elegance and courtly splendor that is no longer visible. Perhaps, this is why people love coming to the City Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

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