Jaipur is one city that transports you back to the Rajput era the moment you set foot there. It is dotted with architectural wonders and that is the reason why the city sees a good tourist footfall all year round. One such architectural delight right at the center of Jaipur is the City Palace; a symbol of the regal and royal days of the city.
City Palace is a building that has preserved the history of the city and is an icon of grandeur. Once you enter the palace all you can do is stand transfixed by its beauty while you soak in the marvelous architecture and the artifacts inside the palace. City Palace used to be the home for the royal family of Jaipur but later it was divided into two parts; one which contains few courtyards and museums and the other where the royal family still resides.
History of City Palace
City Palace was built by Sawai Jai Singh who headed the Kachwaha Rajput Clan and holds the credit of being the founder of Jaipur. The palace served as his residing throne and he started the construction of the palace way in the 17th century as he wanted to shift the capital of the state from Amber to Jaipur.
Raja Man Singh II was the last ruler of this dynasty to hold the throne in this palace. The beautiful structure was designed by architects Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and Samuel Swinton Jacob who brought a European influence to the design.
Architecture of City Palace
The original structure of City Palace was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II who started with the outer wall. Over the decades since then, buildings and courtyards were added to the premises and so all the structures inside the palace date bear a different timestamp.
The architectural style of City Place is a beautiful mélange of Rajput, European and Mughal style. Built out of red and pink sandstone, this palace has vast courtyards surrounded by several arched smaller palaces. These small palaces have now been converted into museums and tourists can move around the palace either on their own or take a guided tour.
At several places inside City Palace, especially as you move from one courtyard to the other, you will see relics of the past like cannons and tall sculptures that catch your eye and make you stop to capture the image. Do not forget to admire the breathtaking structure of the palace as soon as you enter the main gate.
How to Reach City Palace
The City Palace is located in the middle of the old city wall of Jaipur. There is ample transport to the palace. You can either take a cab for local site-seeing or take rickshaws if you want to experience the Indian way of travel.
City Palace Entry and Timings
The City Palace is open from 9 30 in the morning. The entire palace will take around one and half to two hours to visit. They provide a composite ticket which gives you entry to the museum and the Jaigarh Fort.
The city palace reserves the most beautiful section for only a select few. The Chandra Mahal is a four story building behind the area accessible to general public. The entrance fee to this area is INR 2500 but definitely worth a visit.
It is advisable to take either a guide or an audio guide as the palace is very rich in its history. The audio guides are available for INR 200 and can be taken from the main gate.