Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jaipur City Palace

The following morning our other traveling companion was feeling better and eager to see a few things she had missed. We then went to the City Palace, located in the heart of the old city. Built in the first half of the 18th century, the palace is a superb blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture. Parts of the complex were closed to the public as it was still occupied by the royal family. The palace complex is an eclectic mixture of buildings, but it all seems to fit. Standing at attention in front of the Rajendra Pol gateway were two large elephants, each carved from a single block of marble. Inside some of the buildings we saw displays of weapons, miniature paintings, carpets, musical instruments, a silver throne, and a beautiful collection of exquisite royal costumes. I especially liked the silk brocade clothing woven with gold embroidery. Two giant silver urns, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest silver objects (holding over 9,000L), was a definite curiosity. To think that 14,000 melted silver coins were used for these containers, just so the maharaja could have holy water from the Ganges when he visited England! My favorite place was the Pritam Chowk, nicknamed the “Court of the Beloved.” On each side of this courtyard was an elaborately painted doorway, each representing a season. One was scaffolded to undergo restoration.

See more photos of the City Palace on Flickr

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