City Palace Jaipur
Chandra Mahal, Palace Museum, Govind Dev Temple, Rajasthan.
Blend of Rajasthani and Mughal Architecture.
Built by :
This former royal residence is an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture and craftsmanship. Surrounded by walls, this piece de resistance of Jaipur's palace occupies one seventh of the walled city, comprising a string of minor palaces and imposing halls.
Of special significance is the Chandra Mahal which overlooks the breath-taking Jai Niwas Gardens and the highly revered Shri Govind Dev Temple. The museum within the palace has an array of galleries of rare painting, exquisite miniatures, scholarly manuscripts, artifacts and traditional treatises on architecture. The fine collection of guns and swords on display dates back to the 15th century and is one of the best in India.
The city palace was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh and the royal family still uses a section of the palace. The exquisite 19th century Mubarak Mahal or The Palace of Reception which used to serve as the reception area of royal guests was built by Madho Singh and is now converted into museum which show cases a bewildering array of royal costumes of the charismatic prince Sawai Madho Singh. Apart from the royal costumes, on display at the museum are some intriguing 15th century royal armory that have been very well preserved.
To the north-west is the stately and graceful seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal, the residence of ex-ruler. The seven-story Chandra Mahal is the centrepiece and commands fine views of the gardens and the Jaipur city. The complex contains an excellent museum, an armoury and several fine halls. The apartments are maintained in luxurious order and the museum of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II has an extensive collection of art, carpets, enamelware and old weapons.
The paintings include miniatures in Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools. The armoury dating back to the 15th century and many of the ingenious and tricky weapons, which the warrior Rajputs were famous for. A section of museum also contains dresses and costumes of the former Maharajas and Maharanis of Jaipur. Each storey has a distinctive name and is a place of sheer beauty and luxury. Paintings, floral decorations, mirror walls and ceilings in the traditional style adorn the palace. The uppermost storey is called the Mukut Mahal.
Opposite the Chandra Mahal lies the Badal Mahal. The Govind Devji Temple stands in the middle of the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. A delightful system of mountains is placed in the middle of the paved path between the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. The palace has extensive and sprawling gardens.
Outside the buildings, you may see a large silver vessel which a former Maharaja used to take drinking water with him to England. Being a devout Hindu, he could not drink the English water!