Tuesday, March 3, 2009

City Palace - Jaipur, India

The City Palace of Jaipur is a fine interplay of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The stupendous palace complex occupies one seventh of the walled city of Jaipur. The palace was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of the Kachhwaha clan of Rajputs, and the later additions were made by his successors. The complex has well defined courtyards, flourishing gardens and buildings. It houses several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.

The Palace Premises:-In the first courtyard is the Mubarak Mahal, built by Maharaja Madho Singh II in the late 19th century. It is home to the textile section of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. An awesome gateway with a grand door in brass opens to a stately courtyard, where lies the Diwan-I-Khas or 'Hall of Private Audience'. It is an open hall with a double row of columns with scalloped arches. Here is a display of the two largest silver vessels in the world figured in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Diwan-E-Aam or the 'Hall of Public Audience' lies across the paved square.
City Palace of Jaipur

The grand seven storied 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 story 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.

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