City Palace

Jaipur, India | C.1732

Photo Credit: Beth Pell

City Palace is a complex in Jaipur, the capital of the Rajasthan state, India, and was once the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The complex is made up of multiple buildings including The Chandra Mahal palace which now houses a museum, but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence.

The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects, namely Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court, and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, who achieved a fusion of the Shilpa Shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput, Mughal, and European styles of architecture.

The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber who planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers continuing up to the 20th century. The palace complex, located northeast of the centre of Jaipur city, incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings.

The Palace also contains five galleries, each celebrating local achievements in art and design. The Sabha Niwas (Hall of Audience), a large room with two thrones in the center surrounded by more seating, features large format paintings of the Maharajas of Jaipur. The Textile Gallery on the ground floor and Sileh Khana (Arms and Armour Gallery) showcase, respectively, a rare 1650 pashmina carpet and a tulwar owned by Maharaja Ram Singh Ji II.

The painting and photography gallery is one of the newest to the City Palace, featuring paintings and photographs from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Jaipur. Last but not least is the Transport Gallery, a celebration of all forms of pre-motorized transport.

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