City Palace is a complex in Jaipur that includes many palaces and buildings. It was the official seat of the king of Jaipur when Kachwaha clan ruled parts of Rajasthan. Today, the current heir of the royal family lives in the complex and a small region of the palace is open for tourists.
The City Palace is located right in the heart of the city. The complex is located in Jaleb Chowk in Tripolia Bazar. The complex is located very close of Jantar Mantar. You can find a lot of taxis, buses and autos from any part of Jaipur to reach City Palace.
The palace is at prime beauty throughout the year. The complex stretches for many acres and you have to do a lot of walking. Thus, it is better to choose winter for sightseeing. The complex is open from 9:30 am until 5 pm.
There are no physical guides in the complex. Audio guides are available free of cost in the ticket counter.
The City Palace is a large complex with large avenues, gardens, temples, palaces, pavilions and others. Here are the top attractions inside the complex.Entrance Gate :
There are three entrance gates to the palace. Only the royal family uses Tripolia Gate which is present on the side of royal residence. Common people and tourists should enter through the Virendra gate or Udai gate or Stable gate. The gates are richly carved and decorated.Mubarak Mahal :
This is the auspicious palace, which is a combination of Islamic, European and Rajput style of architecture. It was built in late 19th century and is now a museum. You can find collection of ancient textile, royal costumes, block prints, silk saris and cloth worn by King Madho Singh I. He used to weigh 250 kg and had 108 wives according to literature.
This is the most important part of the complex. This was where the king sat and ruled. The palace has seven floors and it contains unique paintings, mirror works, floral decoration and others. The ground floor is alone open to tourists. The other floors are reserved for royal family. The main feature of this palace is the peacock gate of the building. There is a small museum in the ground floor. It has collection of carpets and manuscripts that belongs to the royal family. The palace has a beautiful garden and a decorated lake. Hall of rest is a large room, which has Mughal miniatures, silver dining table and ancient upholstery. This structure used to be the dining area of the kings. The third floor is decorated with mirror walls and is under the control of the current king of Jaipur. The fifth floor is called the hall of images. This is where the king stays and enjoys the rain. The seventh floor has a temple. The king’s flag is hoisted on top of the palace. When the king is away, the queen’s flag is hoisted. Tourists with Royal Grandeur tickets are only allowed to the floors above the ground floor.
This is the inner courtyard of the palace. It has four gates and each gate is themed with Hindu Gods. The gates are northeast peacock gate which represent autumn and Lord Vishnu, southeast lotus gate which represents summer and Shiva Parvathi, northwest green gate that represents spring and Lord Ganesh and, the rose gate which represents winter and Goddess Devi.
This is the hall of audience. It is a large chamber floored with marble. There are two large silvervessels, which can store 4000 liter of liquid. It is made by melting 14,000 silver coins and has the Guinness record of being the largest sterling silver object. This vessel was used to carry the water of Ganges when Madho Singh went to England for coronation of Edward VII. He did not want to commit a religious sin by drinking water of England. The chamber has many chandeliers.
This is the hall of private audience. It is a large chamber, which is now an art gallery. The gallery has a large collection of ancient texts, miniature painting of Persia, Mughals and Rajasthan, shawls and ancient carpets. A royal throne is also placed in this hall. At the entrance, there are two large elephant statues made with a single rock of marble.
This is the residence of royal queens and princess. It is a museum now, which displays collection of weapons used during 15th century. Top items to spot are scissor action dagger, sword presented by Queen Victoria, guns that look like walking stick, small canon, swords attached with pistols and so on.
This is a museum, which has large collections of cabs, carriages and palanquins. A baggi that was presented by Prince of Wales can be found here. There are a few chariots used for carrying idols during special occasions.
This is a Krishna temple located inside the palace complex. It was built in 18th century with European chandeliers and garden. The ceiling of the temple is made with gold. Rituals take place seven times per day in this temple. You can find Indian art and paintings in this temple.
The palace site used to be a hunting lodge for the royals with rocky hill region around it. It was a little away from the ancient capital of the region, Amber. In 18th century, Jai Singh II initiated this complex construction. The construction continued even after he shifted his capital to Jaipur. When he died in 1957, the outer wall of the palace complex and small building were completed. Later, King Ram Singh came to throne. He completed many building of Jaipur including the City Palace. He was an ally of British rule and when Prince of Wales came to visit Jaipur, he ordered all the buildings to be painted pink, including the City Palace.
Man Singh II was the last king to rule Jaipur from the City Palace. Later in 1949, when the kingdom rule was abolished, Jaipur came under the control of government. Man Singh II was appointed as the governor of the state. He stayed in the palace with his family. Today, his descendants live in the palace.