A Walk inside the City Palace of Udaipur
The Royal Tour
India treasures a rich heritage of forts and palaces and the City Place is a jewel in the crown of Udaipur. One of the most beautiful edifices on the banks of Lake Pichola, City Place is a major tourist attraction throughout the year due to its historical and architectural significance. It is lined amongst the greatest architectural marvels ever constructed in history.
The imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace with a facade 244m long and 30.4m high, surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas towering over the lake.
Rana Udai Singh II the father of Rana Pratap, laid the foundation of the City Palace after the birth of his grandson Amar Singh I more than four centuries ago in 1559 A.D.
It has been added to and extended by the successive generations of ‘Maharanas’, notably by ‘Rana Karan Singh’, and ‘Rana Sangram Singh II’. ‘Maharana Sajjan Singh’ and ‘Maharana Fateh Singh’ further expanded the palace in the 19th century.
In order to preserve the heritage of Mewar and the royal family, The City Palace Museum, was set up in 1969 by ‘Maharana Bhagwat Singh ji’.
To give you a glimpse of what lies inside the palace, lets take you through a photo tour of this royal beauty.
City Palace has several gates that are known as “Pols”. You can enter the complex through ‘Badi Pol’ at the northern end and then pass through the three-arched ‘Tripolia’ Gate into a large courtyard, Manek Chowk.
A modest door leads you to the main block of the city palace from the Ganesha Deodhi terrace. The door is flanked by whitewashed walls vibrantly painted with martial animals in the traditional Rajput style.
The core structure of the palace was built for ‘Maharana Pratap’ to come and rule. But he never visited the palace as his quest to defeat the ‘Mughals’ made him spend his life in jungles. The palace’s museum showcases the range of his artillery, including a display of his mammoth, formidable armor of 25 kilograms.
This museum also pays tribute to the bravery of his beloved horse ‘Chetak’ in form of detailed illustrations, who despite being gravely injured in the battle of Haldighati rode Maharana Pratap to safety.
City Palace is a marvelous assortment of palaces, courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. This imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble and is encircled by fortifications.
Let us visit some of these beautiful structures..
‘Badi Mahal’ also known as the Garden Palace, is the highest point in the Udaipur City Palace Museum. Despite being the highest point in the palace, it is actually at ground level. Back in time, Badi Mahal was used for royal banquets on special occasions such as Holi, Diwali, Dussehra and birthdays of royal family members, and in honor of visiting dignitaries.
‘Badi Chitrashali Chowk’ is a memorable part of the Udaipur City Palace because of its mesmerizing views from the balcony. The blue Chinese tiles, colored glass, and wall murals make Badi Chitrashali Chowk a bright and cheery place to be.
‘The Chowmukha’ is an open pavilion and an impressive part of the Zenana Mahal (Queen’s Palace). The Queen used to hold audiences here, with other royal ladies and ladies-in-waiting of the royal court, during special occasions and festivals.
‘Zenana Mahal’ Interiors: It is possible to walk through the queen’s chambers inside the Zanana Mahal. The rooms have been beautifully restored and feature arts and crafts, frescoes, balconies, and alcoves. There’s even a swing!
‘Kanch ki Burj’ is one of the most ornate and opulent part of the City Palace Museum added by ‘Maharana Karan Singhji’, during his brief reign from 1620 to 1628. The exquisite dome ceiling of this small chamber is covered in glass and mirrors.
‘Moti Mahal’ can be accessed through the antique ivory doors and you’ll find yourself surrounded by mirrored walls and stained glass windows which creates an astonishing array of reflections.
City Palace Galleries house a remarkable collection of ancient sculptures, antiques and inscriptions of the bygone era and two of the most important ones are the Silver Gallery and Music Gallery. The Silver Gallery contains numerous precious pieces of silverware used by the royal household including a crib for newborn babies and chariot to carry religious idols when taken out in procession.
India’s cultural heritage is a unique kaleidoscope and the City Palace is one of its intricate and vibrant piece which reflects countless colors of Indian history. Don’t miss out on this royal experience and plan your visit soon!