City Palace in Jaipur has been the home of Jaipur Darbar (royal family of Jaipur) since 1732 AD. The royal family still lives in this complex, but the sole difference between 1732 and 2016 is that Democracy happened. The owners are not the monarchs of Jaipur anymore but still are great people.
This was my 2nd trip to City Palace, and last time I realized that most of the tourists who visit this place only see the outer areas of the compound. The main palace area isn’t opened for all, and if you want to visit that, then you need to buy a ticket of INR 2,500.
So as this time, I was here with my family, so we bought four tickets for 10k (worth buying) and entered this Real City Palace which you won’t even find anywhere on the net.
Entry at City Palace, Jaipur
The above images are from Udai Pol which is one of three entry gate of Central City Palace area. The gate is also an excellent example of Rajputana architecture and the two objects which caught my eyes were the white marble elephant statue and the massive wooden gate.
Upon entering from Udai Pol, there is an open hall where there are two large gold vessels which my guide told that these were filled with water from river Ganges and the Maharaja of Jaipur use to bring them on his trips, more like carrying 4000 liters of mineral water vessels.
This open hall also has a lovely chandelier, and wall hangings of real rifles, swords, and spears, which are presented in quite a unique way. Have a look at this Diwan-i-Aam.
And with this, the common sites of City Palace are finished. I mean, from here I entered the restricted part of the palace which makes Jaipur’s City Palace the best in Rajasthan. There is also a museum next to Diwan-I-Aam which I skipped to see the Chandra Mahal.
Entrance for the Chandra Mahal is from Diwan-I-Aam. There is a big wooden gate, which also has a permanent security guard (FYI – all safety and maintenance of the City Palace complex is under the Jaipur royal family, not the Indian government). Here is the pic of entry gate for Chandra Mahal.
From this gate, I had to walked like 100 meters from a lobby which has this fantastic garden on the right (was not allowed to take pictures from here) and the lobby itself is amazing. It has amazing paintings of Jaipur monarchs. I was able to get this picture from the net (a screenshot from a youtube video)
And from here I came at Chandra Mahal, a seven stoery palace or the original City Palace of Jaipur.
At ground floor, the entry gate is for Sabha Niwas. This complex is the dining area if the Maharaja and his special guests. Sadly, this is the second (& last) compound where I wasn’t allowed pictures, so here is an image I got from Wikipedia.
Even the lobby of Chandra Mahal has some interesting things like:
Sukh Niwas at 2nd floor
From here I reached the second floor which is called as Sukh Niwas, an open blue color room, with white lines, offering a beautiful view to anyone who sees this hall. So I grabbed these pictures of Sukh Niwas and also a few of the view which one can get from this floor
Rang Mandir and Shobha Nivas
The next two floors which my guide took are known as Rang Mandir and Shobha Nivas. Both these rooms have amazing mirror work on their walls, pillars, and ceiling, especially Shobha Nivas. Shobha Nivas has gold planned ornaments on its walls, and by far this is the best part of the palace as per me.
On the top floor, there is the flag of Rajputana which still flies high on Chandra Mahal and the view from the top floor is also a delight. Have a look at these pics of Rang Mandir, Shobha Nivas & the seventh floor of Chandra Mahal.
And with this, my tour of the secret rooms of Jaipur City Palace is finished. From here I went out of Chandra Mahal and walked towards a hall with four season gates, known as Pritam Niwas Chowk.
Pritam Niwas Chowk
Pritam Niwas Chowk is just next to Chandra Mahal. This complex is open to the regular public. An interesting part of this section is the four different and well-designed gates via which the Maharaja of Jaipur use to enter Chandra Mahal as per seasons.
So in the summer months, Lotus Gate (Summer Gate) was used to get into the palace and in spring, Peacock Gate. Well, there must be some astrological theory behind these gates, but for me, this was a great piece of the collection of images I’ve of City Palace.
And with this, my trip to entire City Palace is finished. There is a nice multi-cuisine restaurant here where anyone can dine, and there is also an evening light and sound show at the Palace which has received some great reviews.
So these are two more activities one can enjoy at the Palace.
And my final piece of advice will be to visit Jaipur in winters as the weather here isn’t much different than any other major city of North India, like Delhi, Agra, etc.