During the visit to the city of Jaipur, which is also the state capital of Rajasthan, it is very difficult to miss out on the visit to the City Palace Museum. Built with architectural style of the Rajputs predominantly, there are plenty of monuments, palaces, havelis and other structures inside the City Palace. These structures have been so designed to keep the personal rooms of the kings and queens in the closed network deep inside the palace. The total palace has been built with traditions of vastushashtra and these are visibly appreciable till today. Chandra Mahal located inside the palace is the place where City Palace Museum has been housed, a major section of the Chandra Mahal being used by the royal residence presently. Architecture of the City Palace is done in an asymmetrical manner with greater compactness of masses, which was the style prevalent in the era when City Palace was constructed. It was during the rule of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, when the City Palace was built with all its incumbent palaces and architectural structures.
About the City Palace Museum in Jaipur
To promote tourism in the City Palace Museum, a trust was formed which looks after the management of the museum. The objectives of this trust were to protect the artefacts in its originality, promote research in the field of architecture, arts, literatures and history and to patronize the art and crafts of Jaipur and the past rulers. During the trip to City Palace Museum, tourists can also have a visit to the inner quarters of Chandra Mahal, where they would be taken through the structures of Sukh Niwas, Chhavi Niwas, Shobha Niwas, Sri Niwas and Mukut Mandir.
The museum is located in the ground floor of City Palace, where Mubarak Mahal is the first place to be visited. This was the place built during the late 19th century, which served as the place to welcome the guests. It was constructed on a raised platform with various rooms spread out around the double storied central hall. Pillars, balconies, railings, arches and floral designs mark this particular structure. In this part of the City Palace Museum, a large collection of carpets can be seen, which were laid down along with an assortment of antiquities. Well known guests have arrived here in their visits to Jaipur and welcomed over these carpets and in the presence of so many antique collections. When in 1959, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II decided to covert the City Palace into a museum, the upper floor of this building was converted into the textile section.
One small section of the City Palace Museum has been termed as the Baggi Khana, where chariots and coaches have been displayed. Some of the important ones are the 19th century European Cab or the Victoria Baggi which was gifted by Queen Victoria to Sawai Ram Singh II in 1876 and the Thakurji ka Rath, which was the royal chariot for carrying the royal religious idols.
In another section of the museum, there is the Sarvatobhadra which was earlier used as Diwan-i-khas, an advisory chamber for the maharajas. Presently, it is a part of the City Palace Museum, where two Silver Vessels have been displayed, which is supposedly the two largest in the world.
Pritam Niwas Chowk is a courtyard located inside the palace. In this courtyard, there are certain things to be marked such as the four gate points, which mark each of the four seasons. Decorations of this courtyard are done with plenty of murals, where dancing peacocks are shown with blooming lotus and other pictures.
Sabha Niwas is part of the City Palace Museum, which is a big assembly hall built on a high platform. In its original architectural style, it was open from three sides, while the fourth side had a double storied gallery covered in the front by stone screens. This was the place, which was constructed by Sawai Pratap Singh in 18th century and was used for organising public meetings and darbars. In this very hall, the last maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Man Singh II was declared as the Rajpramukh. Besides, there are two large paintings of Lord Krishna playing holi. There are other paintings and portraits of the previous maharajas of Jaipur, designed by the master painter Sahib Ram and was used as a studio by him. These life size portraits detailed in relief work are unique in the Indian art history.
Without a visit to the Sileh Khana or the armoury of City Palace Museum, the trip is incomplete. This was also the manufacturing place for various weapons used by the Rajput kings and their army. Presently, it is one of the finest collection centres in India with various handguns, besides the innumerable swords, matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap types of guns and knives, axes and arrows. Some of these weapons have significance in their use by the kings during wars, while a few of them have inscriptions from Mughal emperors. Mughal swords were gifted to the rulers of Amber and Jaipur. Some of the swords manufactured in the Sileh khana have beautifully designed hilts, carved with ivory, crystal and silver and embedded with semiprecious stones. Enamelling work is seen in some of the guns and swords which was a specialty of the artisans of Jaipur kingdom. Koftgari work is also found in many of the weapons. Beautifully designed gunpowder flasks are also found. Variety of shields made from rough and tough rhinoceros, tortoise and buffalo skins and covered by lacquer are also found in the City Palace Museum. A visit to the Sileh Khana also reveals the beautiful designs on the ceiling and the detailed artwork, apart from the collection of various weapons.
Textile Gallery in City Palace Museum is a newer addition, towards the middle part of the 20th century. Plenty of royal costumes are found in this region, with one of the areas being used as library and office room.
Not only does the grandeur of the City Palace amaze the tourists, but the City Palace Museum showcases the culture and tradition of the erstwhile maharajas of the state of Jaipur. Varied collections in each section mark the beauty of the place and are equally informative for the tourists.
Also Browse Following Under This Section
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