sprawling city palace of Jaipur sits right in the centre of the old
city. Once home to the erstwhile royal family, the Chandra Mahal still
retained by them. This complex is said to cover a large area almost a
seventh of the entire city of Jaipur.
complex includes amongst many other things the Mubark Mahal, the
Diwan-I-Am or hall of public audiences, the Diwan-I-Khas or hall of
private audiences and of course the beautiful seven-storied Chandra
Mahal. This complex also house the City Palace Museum, where you can see
an exquisite collection of textiles, old ceremonial dresses worn by the
royal family at different occasions, a collection of knick-knacks, a
rare collection of arms and a air of giant silver urns, the largest
known silver objects in the world. Do not miss the beautiful and
intricately carved Peacock Gate here the most famous portal in
Across a paved square lies the Diwan-e-Aam, or the "Hall
of Public Audience". To the north-west is the stately and graceful
seven storeyed Chandra Mahal, the residence of the ex-ruler. 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 Baldal Mahal. The
Govind Devji temple stands inthe middle of the Chandra Mahal and Badal
Mahal. A delightful system of fountains is placed in the middle of the
paved path between the Chandra Mahal and the Badal Mahal. The palace has
extensive and sprawling gardens.
At the heart of the complex is
the seven - tiered Chandra Mahal where erstwhile royal family is still
in residence, though only a small part of the apartments are occupied.
However, it is only the buildings around Chandra Mahal that are open to
the public, and these also form a part of the museum. Through Singh Pol
(Lion Gate), visitors can approach the Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Am,
where the maharaja's private and public courts would be held. The
architecture seems to consist of a number of arched, pillared halls,
while the courtyards with painted doorways are a prominent feature.