City Palace Udaipur - Tourist Attraction Place Rajasthan

City Palace Udaipur: History

City Palace, Udaipur is a palace complex situated in the city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Its built started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittor Fort Chittorgarh to the new found city of Udaipur. The palace is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex. The earliest royal structure he built here was the Royal courtyard or 'Rai Angan', which was the beginning of the building of the City Palace complex.

City Palace Udaipur: Structure

The series of palaces in the city palace complex, behind an exquisite facade of 244 metres (801 ft) length and 30.4 metres (100 ft) height, were built on a ridge on the east of lake Pichola, which is set with an average elevation of 598 metres (1,962 ft). The unique aspect of this palace is that the architectural design is distinctly homogeneous. The palace complex has been built entirely in granite and marble. The interiors of the palace complex with its balconies, towers and cupolas exhibit delicate mirror-work, marble-work, murals, wall paintings, silver-work, inlay-work and leftover of colored glass. The complex provides a view of the lake and the Udaipur city from its upper terraces.

City Palace Udaipur: Attractions at the Palace

The palaces within the complex are interlinked through a number of chowks or quadrangles with zigzag corridors, planned in this fashion to avoid surprise attacks by enemies. Erected in the complex, after entering through the main Tripolia (triple) gate, are the Suraj Gokhda (public address facade), the Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), the Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), the Surya Chopar, the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Krishna Vilas (named after Lord Krishna), Shambu Niwas (royal residence now), the Bhim Vilas, the Amar Vilas (with a raised garden) that faces the Badi Mahal (the big palace), the Fateprakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace; the last two have been converted into heritage hotels.

City Palace Udaipur: Gates

The main entry from the city is through the 'Badi Pol' (Great Gate), which leads to the first courtyard. Badi Pol (built in 1600) leads to the ‘Tripolia Pol', a triple-arched gate built in 1725, which provides the northern entry. The road between this gate and the palace is lined with shops and kiosks owned by craftsmen, book-binders, miniature painters and textile dealers. Between these two gates, eight marble arches or Toranas are erected. It is said that the Maharanas used to be weighed here with gold and silver, which was then distributed among the local people. Following the Tripolia gate is an arena in front of the Toran Pol and the facade palace, the Manak Chowk, where elephant fights were staged in the past to test their prowess before starting on war campaigns.

City Palace Udaipur: Amar Vilas

Amar Vilas is the uppermost court inside the complex, which is an elevated garden. It provides entry to the Badi Mahal. It was built in Mughal style as a pleasure pavilion. It has cusped arcades enclosing a square marble tub. Amar Vilas is the highest point of the City Palace and has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers, and terraces.

City Palace Udaipur: Badi Mahal

Badi Mahal (Great Palace) also known as Garden Palace is the central palace situated on a 27 metres (89 ft) high natural rock formation bis-a-bis the rest of the palace. The rooms on the ground floor appear to be at the level of the fourth floor in view of the height difference to its surrounding buildings. There is a swimming pool here, which was then used for Holi festival (festival of colors) celebration. In an adjoining hall, miniature paintings of 18th and 19th centuries are displayed. In addition, wall paintings of Jag Mandir (as it appeared in the 18th century), Vishnu of Jagdish temple, the very courtyard and an elephant fight scene are depicted.

City Palace Udaipur: Bhim Vilas

Bhim Vilas has a gallery of a collection of miniature paintings that depict the real-life stories of Radha-Krishna.

City Palace Udaipur: Rang Bhawan

Rang Bhawan is the palace that used to hold the royal treasure. There are temples of Lord Krishna, Meera Bai and Shiva located here.

City Palace Udaipur: Sheesh Mahal

Sheess Mahal or Palace of Mirrors and glasses was built in 1716 by Maharana Pratap for his wife Maharani Ajabde.

City Palace Udaipur: Chini Chitrashala

Chini Chitrashala (Chinese art place) depicts Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles.

City Palace Udaipur: Choti Chitrashali

Choti Chitrashali or 'Residence of Little Pictures', built in the early 19th century, has pictures of peacocks.

City Palace Udaipur: Dilkhusha Mahal

Dilkhusha Mahal or ‘Palace of Joy’ was built in 1620.

City Palace Udaipur: Krishna Vilas

Krishna Vilas is another chamber, which has a rich collection of miniature paintings that portray royal processions, festivals and games of the Maharanas.

City Palace Udaipur: Laxmi Vilas chowk

Laxmi Vilas Chowk is an art gallery with a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings.

City Palace Udaipur: Manak Mahal

The Manak Mahal approached from the Manak Chowk is an enclosure for formal audience for the Mewar rulers. It has a raised alcove inlaid completely in mirror glass. Sun-face emblems, in gleaming brass, religious insignia of the Sisodia dynasty are a recurring display at several locations in the City Palace with one being depicted on the fa├žade of the Manak Chowk. The largest of such an emblem is also seen on the wall of the Surya Chopar, a reception centre at the lower level. Surya or Sun emblem of the Mewar dynasty depicts a Bhil, the Sun, Chittor Fort and a Rajput with an inscription in Sanskrit of a quotation from the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu holy scripture), which means "God Helps those who do their duty". It was customary for the Maharanas to offer obeisance to the Sun facing east, every morning before taking breakfast.

City Palace Udaipur: Mor Chowk

Mor Chowk or Peacock square is integral to the inner courts of the palace. The elaborate design of this chamber consists of three peacocks (representing the three seasons of summer, winter, and monsoon) modeled in high relief and faced with coloured glass mosaic, built into successive niches in the wall area or jharoka, These were built during Maharana Sajjan Singh’s reign, 200 years after the palace was established. The peacocks have been crafted with 5000 pieces of glass, which shine in green, gold, and blue colours. The apartments in front of the Chowk are depicted with scenes of Hindu god Lord Krishna’s legends.

City Palace Udaipur: Museum

In 1974, a part of the city palace and the 'Zenana Mahal' (Ladies Chamber) were converted into a museum. The museum is open for public.


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