City Palace Jaipur Architecture : 30 Photos to get you started on Responsible Tourism


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The City Palace Jaipur has eluded me for more than a decade until our recent trip in April, this year.

Jaipur, the capital city of Majestic Rajasthan, has been one of the most frequented places on my Travel list after Agra and Hyderabad. Yet, I could never spend ample time exploring the City Palace, before. I am fascinated by palaces and structures with traditional architecture as they give a glimpse into the thought process, craftsmanship and nuances of a bygone era that cannot be replicated without adulteration in today’s times.

Protect – Preserve – Practice

During a recent visit, I tried to capture the essence of the City Palace in all its glory- architecture, arcades, doorways, windows and vibrancy.

However, on the trip, I observed the apathy of the tourists towards the upkeep of our traditional architectural structures and a lack of reverence to our past glory.This indeed was quite appalling.

Let us remember, we no longer have craftsmen and architects in large numbers who can build architectural wonders like the Temples of South India or the Taj Mahal or the City Palaces of yesteryears.The world is tilting more and more towards structures based on so-called ‘Modern architecture’ that lack finesse (according to me) in relation to the intricate, elaborate, vibrant yet sustainable, eco-friendly structures of our glorious past! Hence, it is every individual’s duty to protect and preserve these structures of the bygone era and practice Responsible Tourism!

The photo blog is my humble attempt to re-emphasize the beauty of Indian architectural wonders.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture – A brief history

The palace complex is located to the northeast of the centrally located walled city of Jaipur.The Royals, still, live on the premises in the Chandra Mahal complex.

The City Palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls and subsequently it was expanded by the later rulers. Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, apart from the Sawai himself ought to be given credits for conceiving an architectural marvel and executing it with finesse.The City Palace Jaipur Architecture is based on Shilpa Shastra of Indian architecture and the Vaasthu Shastra. Apart from this, the structures inside the City Palace reflect a fusion of Rajput, European and Mughal architectures.

Let me take you on a virtual tour of the City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Entrance Gates

The City Palace Jaipur Architecture renders three entry gates to the complex – Virendra Pol, Udai Pol or Atish Pol and the Tripolia Gate.  Tourists and visitors enter the place complex only through the Virendra Pol and the Udai Pol. The Tripolia Gate is used only by the Royals.The entry from Virendra Pol leads to the Mubarak Mahal. There are ticket counters and Audio-Guides could be collected from these counters, adjacent to the Virendra Pol. We used the Virendra Pol for entry into the City Palace.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Virendra Pol through which the Mubarak Mahal can be seen

Mubarak Mahal

Mubarak Mahal, meaning the ‘Welcome Palace’ served as a reception centre and was built in the late 19th century. The ground floor of it has now been converted into a Textile museum. It is a confluence of Rajput, Islamic and European architectures that make the City Palace Jaipur Architecture one-of-its-kind.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Mubarak Mahal

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Confluence of three architectures

Rajendra Pol

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Rajendra Pol just beside the Armoury museum

Just to the right of the Mubarak Mahal, is the beautifully ornated marble gateway- Rajendra Pol, that leads to the Hall of Public Audience and inner sections of the palace complex.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Rajendra Pol

This gate is flanked on either side by huge white elephants that have been sculptured out of a single marble stone.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 

The intricately chiselled Mahout sitting in front of the wonderfully sculpted howdah and the natural looking flairs and folds of the Caparison is indeed commendable and brings into limelight the experience and quality of the artisans involved.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

The intricately chiselled and carved Marble elephant

Sarvotra Bhadra

Sarvotra Bhadra or Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of the Commons/Public audience) is an open pink-pavilion with stout columns and surrounded by wide pathways. One enters this courtyard through the Rajendra Pol.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

You can catch a glimpse of the two massive-silver urns here, that have their names etched in the Guinness Book of world records.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 The pavilion is flanked on four sides by beautiful lamp-posts chiselled out of red-sandstone.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

A glimpse of the European styled clock tower from a lamp-post made of Red-sand stone

Chandra Mahal

At the fag-end of the Diwan-i-Aam courtyard is a gate that leads to the seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal, the primary residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur within the City Palace.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

The Doors that open into the private complex of the Chandra Mahal

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

A panoramic view from the side of the Chandra Mahal

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

A glimpse of the walled side of Pritam Chowk from Diwan-i-Khas

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

A glimpse of the Seven Storied Chandra Mahal with the Indian flag and Jaipur state flag fluttering above the Mukut Mandir

Pritam Chowk

The Riddhi-Siddhi pol marks the gateway and passage to the inner courtyards of Pritam Chowk which indeed is the cherry on the cake of the City Palace Jaipur Architecture. The gateway is flanked by beautifully carved doors on either side. The mirror near the entrance interestingly depicts Buddha figurines.This is the only Buddhist influence that I could observe inside the City Palace. Maybe, this was gifted to the Maharaja!

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

The colourful and intriguing aspect of this section is the four differently themed and well-designed gates through which the Maharaja of Jaipur used to enter Chandra Mahal. Each gate is dedicated to a particular Hindu God. A guide informed us that the Maharaja used to enter ChandraMahal through each of these doors as per the season prevailing!

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Autumn Season

The northeastern peacock gate represents autumn.It is decorated elaborately with colourful and intricate frescoes with peacock images and has a small marble idol of Lord Vishnu on its lintel.

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Summer Season

The Lotus Gate in the southwest is adorned with colourful lotus petals and flower patterns. It represents the summer and has a marble idol of Goddess Devi on its lintel.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Spring Season

The third gate is on the northwest side of the courtyard. It is also called the Lehariya (waves) gate as it has waves patterned around it. It is in green-colour indicating spring and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha who sits as marble idol on the lintel.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Winter Season

The fourth gate is dedicated to Lord Shiva and represents the Winter Season. It has dramatic roses painted on the frescoes.

I could not capture the beautiful door as it was too crowded with visitors trying to snap selfies beside it. There were also many tourists who were trying to touch the frescoes not realizing that constant touch can actually chip-away the paints! Please, be a responsible tourist…

Here are glimpses of the inner courtyard and the view from there of the seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal- the floors of which are accessible through the Royal Grandeur Tour ticket that costs Rs2,500/- per ticket.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Sabha Niwas

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

This hall is also known as Diwan-i-Aam. It has witnessed the welcoming of Viceroy Mountbatten and the likes. The period room encompassing the Art-Gallery- showcases original furniture, artworks, lights and a special display of ceremonial garments and medals. Photography is not allowed inside the hall. I was able to capture the two different beautiful golden doors that lead to the hall, though, from outside.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Baggi Khana

The Sabha Niwas opens to the Baggi Khana just outside- housing the handicraft shops and the transport gallery that showcases some of the transport collections of the bygone era.It has been built in true Mughlai style.

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

Some more interesting captures before I wrap this tour

 

Perfect mix of Sandstone and Marble

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 

An intricately carved wooden cabinet in one of the corridors

Do look up towards the ceiling of the Maharani Palace that houses the museum with collections of weapons, guns, gunpowder etc., The ceiling of this chamber has unique frescoes, which are said to be preserved using jewel dust of semiprecious stones.Photography is not allowed inside this museum and the below snap was taken by my husband many years back when it was allowed.

Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of the City Palace Jaipur Architecture in the series on Royal Rajasthan 

Thank you for reading and do let me know your thoughts on this post in the comments section!

Remember the 3 Ps of  Responsible Tourism

Protect-Preserve-Practice

City Palace Jaipur Architecture

 

 


The 3 Ps of  Responsible Tourism Protect-Preserve-Practice has been conceived by me. Please refrain from copying or reproducing it.

Image Source: All the photographs in this blog-post has been clicked by me on my iPad Mini 2

photo edits:: Canva

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15 Responses

  1. Simi says:

    That was indeed a good piece information. I’m sure this will be useful for my daughter who’s an architecture student

  2. Shilpa Garg says:

    Aha! You have captured the architecture of my city do beautifully, Meenakshi. All your photographs are so picturesque!

  3. Yogi Saraswat says:

    Very beautiful !!

  4. Rajlakshmi says:

    The engravings on the door and gate is so incredibly beautiful. Wow I am amazed by the color and grandeur. It’s sad that tourists are callous and destroying these places. This is a beautiful tribute to Jaipur.

  5. Holly says:

    There have always been callous, careless people in the world. You have only to visit some of the places in Egypt and see centuries old graffiti in some of the tombs and temples to realize it’s nothing new. When we decry the destruction of precious historical landmarks today, we have only to look at the way ancient dynasties obliterated the writing on their predecessors’ obelisks and monuments. We like to think we’re “evolved” and advanced, but not everyone evolves and advances at the same rate. I do wish that the pride in craftsmanship so evident in old architecture and furnishings, existed – or were more prevalent – today. Today, it’s all about mass production, time to market, and cost. Those of us who really appreciate the uniqueness, skill, and artistry shown here often can’t afford it.

    • Meenakshi J says:

      True..destroying our past has become the order of the day.
      I agree with you, when you say that it is not practically possible to splurge on architecture as in olden times, but what is appalling is complete lack of discard to protect and preserve something which is so priceless!

  6. Balaka Basu says:

    I have been to Jaipur couple of times and visited this place but never knew about its history. Thank you for this detailed description. Loved it.

  7. Ishita says:

    What an amazing detailed post! Amazing Meenakshi. And yes I noticed it too. We must feel and understand the need to travel responsibly. I visit Jaipur almost every year and this February in the City palace, I was shocked too. You know when though it is so clearly written about photography, I saw people clicking in there!

  8. Saumy says:

    Spectacular pictures! Rajasthan is extremely rich in colors and the architectural heritage it holds in form of exquisite doors, palaces, forts showcases the real wealth of India. 🙂

  9. Anagha Yatin says:

    Thank you for a in depth, detailed information about the City Palace, Jaipur. Well appointed photos add to the glory of the post!
    As you said, heart aches when we notice miscreants dishonouring the beauty of any historically important place…

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