While Jaipur has numerous forts and mahals, the City Palace is the crown (jewel). The 18th century palace is an imposing structure on the Jaipur landscape. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the palace is designed according to the principles of Vastushastra and shows a mix of the Mughal and Rajput style, with some European details from the nineteenth century.
The complex houses several courtyards, buildings, pavilions, gardens, and temples but the inner courtyard of the Palace is perhaps its most fascinating part.
The 4 ornate gates and doorways of Pritam Niwas Chowk (courtyard of the ‘beloved’) add to the charm of the City Palace.
The Pritam Niwas Chowk is the inner courtyard which provides access to the Chandra Mahal. While you have an imposing view of the Chandra Mahal from here, it is the gates of the Chowk that are the main attraction. From peacock designs to floral patterns, these profusely decorated stucco and painted doors are breathtaking.
Contrary to popular belief, these gates do not signify seasons! Each doorway is dedicated to a certain deity. The northeastern gate is adorned by bejewelled peacocks and features a small Vishnu idol on its lintel. The southwest gate with its lotus pattern, is dedicated to Lord Shiva while the green northwest gate is in honour of Lord Ganesha. (You may recognise this gate from the cover of Chitra Divakaruni’s book ‘The Palace of Illusions’!) The last gate is adorned with beautiful pink roses and is dedicated to the Goddess Devi.
Can you slide the pieces to reveal our favourite doorway?
- Push the pieces over the board till the painting is complete.
- You can only move one piece at a time, you can do so by clicking on it. You can only move the pieces near the free area (grey).
Hint: Start with placing the first row in order
Share a screenshot with us at @theheritagelab and @msmsmuseum on Instagram !
The City Palace compound houses several courtyards, buildings, pavilions, gardens, and temples. Do not miss:
1) The rooms of Chandra Mahal
The Chandra Mahal (moon palace) or the royal Jaipur residence, is seven storeys high. Each floor has a distinct theme. Our favourites are the Rang Mahal and Shobha Niwas (3rd and 4th floor) that give serious competition to Louis XIV’s Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles!
2) The Diwan-e-khas [Sarvato Bhadra]
The Sarvato Bhadra or the Diwan-e-khas is a square pavillion, with a room at each corner. A private hall of audience, it is still used for royal festivals and celebrations.
Don’t forget to check out two of these giant silver urns. They’ve earned themselves a spot on the Guinness Book of World Records as well for being the largest silver objects in the world! Wondering what these are for? Read the Instagram post to find out what their purpose was!
Thinking of visiting the City Palace at Jaipur? Check if the Maharaja is home!
You can spend an entire day at the City Palace admiring (and photographing) it’s many delightful nooks and corners.
Speaking of photography – did you know, Maharaja Ram Singh II was known as the ‘Photographer Prince’. Around 2000 negatives were found in the Tasveerkhana which offer a rare glimpse into 19th century Jaipur. The Painting & Photography Gallery is a must-visit – where besides some of these photographs (and flattering self-portraits), you get to see how art flourished in the Court. You can also check out all the textiles purchased for / collected by the Royal family in the Mubarak Mahal.
In the evening, catch the Sculpure Lumière Show!
This is NOT an ordinary light and sound show! Take our word for it and enjoy this aesthetic telling of Jaipur’s rich history.
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