Jaipur #2 : The City Palace & Hawa Mahal

City Palace, Jaipur

The City Palace of Jaipur is located in the heart of Jaipur City along with the Jantar Mantar and the Hawa Mahal. The palace was constructed during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who ruled Amber from 1699 to 1744. The palace was constructed during 1729-32 after Sawai Jai Singh moved his capital from Amber to Jaipur in 1927. However, there has been further additions by the subsequent rulers.

After visiting Amer Fort and the Jaigarh Fort, we stopped near the Jal Mahal for a while and had our lunch in a nearby restaurant. We reached City Palace around 3 PM. Read about Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort here:

Jaipur # 1 : Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort

The City Palace is a beautiful complex comprising of brilliant edifices and large open courtyards. Like the Amer Fort, you can see a fusion of Islamic and Rajput architecture in this palace. The Chandra Mahal, the Mubarak Mahal, Sarvato Bhadra and the Baggi Khana are some significant sections within the palace complex.

There are three entrance gates to the palace – Virendra Pol, Udai Pol and the Tripolia Gate. The visitors enter through the Virendra Pol and the Udai Pol while the Tripolia gate is only used by the royal family. We entered into the palace through a beautiful arch gate with excellent stone inlay work.

The first thing that we came across was the Baggi Khana. It has an exquisite collection of the royal carriages used by the royal family along with a few palanquins and European cabs. There is cab called the Victoria baggi which was gifted by the prince of Wales.

After crossing the Baggi Khana we reached the Sarvato Bhadra. OK.. Now before we go to the details of Sarvato Bhadra, I would love to share a pic from our brief photo session in front of the Sarvato Bhadra. Remember the DDLJ pose. It’s the Rajasthani version of that 😛


Back to the topic.. Sarvato Bhadra earlier served as the Diwan i Khas (the hall of private audience). It is an open courtyard with beautiful arches and crystal chandeliers. It has typical pink colour walls in line with the Pink City sobriquet of Jaipur.

Artistic arches of Sarvato Bhadra

Inside Sarvato Bhadra, there are two ostensibly placed, large silver urns. These urns are known as Gangajalis and have earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest silver objects in the world. Each urn weighs around 345 KG and was cast by melting 14000 silver Jhar Shahi coins. Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II constructed these Gangajalis to carry Gangajal (water of the holy Ganga river) on his voyage to England for attending the coronation ceremony of Edward VII. The Gangajalis are a testament to the opulent lifestyle and royalty of the erstwhile kings of Jaipur.

Gangajali: The largest silver object in the world

The Sarvato Bhadra also has a collection of old rifles and guns. After Sarvato Bhadra, we reached at the Virendra Pol. It is another beautiful arch gate having intricate stone sculpture work.

Virendra Pol

The Virendra Pol opens leads to the Mubarak Mahal. Mubarak Mahal which translates to the Auspicious palace is a textile museum; on display are the regal costumes worn by the erstwhile kings and queens. The most remarkable of all is the voluminous costumes of  Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I who was 3.9 feet wide and weighed 250 kilograms. Just to add 1 more detail, he had 108 wives..!!!!!!!!!

Mubarak Mahal

At one corner from the Mubarak Mahal is the Ridhi Sidhi Pol which is a four-storied grand gateway that leads to the Pritam Niwas Chowk.

Ridhi Sidhi Pol

Pritam Niwas Chowk is an open courtyard in front of the Chandra Mahal. It has four gateways decorated in a pattern representing four seasons. There is a Lotus Gate representing summer, a Green gate representing spring, a Peacock Gate representing autumn, and a Rose Gate representing the winter season. Each gate has a balcony on top of it where there used to be musical renditions in the past. Below is a photo of the Lotus gate:

Lotus Gate, City Palace

Overlooking the Pritam Niwas Chowk is a magnificent 7 storied edifice, the Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) which is the current residence of the royal family of Jaipur. The architecture of the palace is in accordance with the Vastu Shastra and is an elegant fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Each floor of this palace has a museum and has a different name like Sukh Niwas, Chabbi Niwas, Sri Niwas, Sobha Niwas,etc. A flag is hoisted atop the palace only when the Maharaja is present inside the palace.

Chandra Mahal

After clicking some photographs in the Pritam Niwas Chowk with the Chandra Mahal, we came out of the City Palace. Next, we went to the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) which is adjacent to the City Palace. Hawa Mahal is an iconic monument and has always been a symbol representing the pink city. It was built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh using pink sandstone. Its architecture resembles a honeycomb and was constructed so that the royal ladies can stay hidden behind its lattice walls and still have a perfect view of the ceremonies taking place in the street below. It has lattice windows of various sizes, each having fluted pillars; topped with a domed canopy. Hawa Mahal is a perfect fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture.

After visiting the Hawa Mahal, we headed for Choki Dhani which literally offers a miniature trip of entire Rajasthan. Here you can find Rajasthani food, costumes, handicrafts, folk dance, folk music, rural life, camel rides and many more within a small perimeter. Read about it here:

Chokhi Dhani at Jaipur: A kaleidoscope of the cultural extravaganza of Rajasthan

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you too have been to Jaipur and want to share your experiences/ feedback about this post, please comment below. Keep Travelling & Spread Love.

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Scott Olgard
Scott Olgard
December 15, 2016 3:45 pm

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