Jaipur is the royal city that captivates the tourists from different parts of the world and is well-known for its rich culture and tradition, magnificent art, artefacts and a wonderful past.
It is interesting to know the history of the place you live in. Offcourse, one knows about it but reading about historical facts in books or online is all together different from witnessing the same in a colourful and captivating way. Sounds tempting, isn’t it? So did it to us on getting the invite to be the part of royal ceremony.
Excited I reached at the venue – The City Palace, Jaipur one of the most beautiful places in Jaipur.
Do you know our entry to City Palace was from Tripolia Gate which is only used by Royal Family of Jaipur!
We got a warm welcome at the time of registration with the ‘Dummy Horse Dance’ which was truly spectacular that gave the clear idea about what’s there in store for us.
Our City Palace Tour
Once registration process was done, it was time to do the real thing : Explore City Palace in night. Yes, in night, because City Palace of Jaipur become more beautiful under the stars.
Sania from RoyalJaipur escorted us to show the various exclusive places of City Palace.
1. Painting & Photography at the Jaipur Court
First, we went to the Museum that began during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II in 1952, when the Silehkhana and an Art Gallery were opened to the public. Here, we enjoyed various paintings and Sawai Mansingh’s photography samples that were put on display. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed under the premises so we soaked all the tradition through paintings exhibited in the hall.
We were quite amazed to see the photography of that time when there was no technology or DSLR cameras still the images are so sharp and beautiful. It was all together a good experience.
2. The Textile Gallery
Next in the list was Mubarak Mahal which was constructed at the rule of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II. Around 1900, Mubarak Mahal was used as a guesthouse for foreign visitors.
We proceeded to the Mubarak Mahal. In 1959, a Textile and Costume gallery was added in the Mubarak Mahal. Photography was not allowed but we were amazed to see all the textiles used by men and women of the Royal Family.
We also came to know that the City Palace has the largest collection of historic royal textiles surviving in India today.
3. Museum at Night with Sculpture Lumiére Show
Thereafter, we witnessed a wonderful light and sound show. The voice-over was given by the legendary actor, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. His incredible voice added to the charm of the place and the show.
The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, under the patronage of the Royal Family of Jaipur introduced a Sculpture Lumière Show for the first time in India. The buildings are specially lit and magically transformed thereby offering an exclusive experience of the City Palace in night.
Its a spectacle of light and music (the state anthem which has been revived by the royal family of Jaipur and re-recorded by Rajasthan Roots). The show is both an art experience and informative.
We enjoyed watching the history of Jaipur and its rulers that is made using images from the Museum collection, video and graphics, all projected onto the walls of the Sarvato Bhadra Chowk and the Chandra Mahal.
Guess! What Happened?
Got a chance to meet Her Highness Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur. Oh, what an honour! It was cherry on the cake and added to the overall experience of the event!.
4. Royal Grandeur Tour to Chandra Mahal
Then we went for the Royal Grandeur Tour to Chandra Mahal or moon palace which was the main residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It is seven storeys high building that was built in seven years. At the top of the Mahal flutters the state flag of Jaipur which is also known as Panchranga.
The verandah of Chandra Mahal faces Royal Jai Niwas gardens, Govind Devji temple and the scenic view of the tiger fort on the Aravali Mountains.
The second storey of Chandra Mahal is Sukh Niwas. We were awestruck seeing the work on the walls which is decorated with gold work. One thing that you will notice that Sukh Niwas is full of royal memorabilia, one of what is famous Lalique Peacock table made by renowned artist Marc Lalique for the Royal Family of Jaipur.
Chandra Mahal’s third storey, called Rang Mandir. It has mirrors on the walls, pillars and ceilings.
The fourth storey is called Shobha Niwas that was created back in 18th century with decorations in gold and colour. This room gives you a royal feeling where you can sit and click photographs.
The fifth storey is called Chhavi Niwas and painted with floral pattern in blue and white to depict the reflection of clouds in the sky. Even, in night, Chhavi Niwas was looking so beautiful with blue and white floral painting all over the roofs.
The Sixth storey of the palace is Sri Niwas and it is all decorated with mirror and gold. We wish someone has bought candle that night to see the reflection of artistic glass work but we were out of the luck.
The top of Chandra Mahal or seventh storey is known as Mukut Mandir from where panaormic view of the walled city can be enjoyed.
5. Baradari Restaurant
Lastly, we went to the Baradari restaurant – one of the most beautiful and royal dining restaurant to have our dinner which was as expected superb. Recently renovated by Studio Lotus, the restaurant has cooling water cascades and an elegant bar.
They started serving ice-cooled mocktails with finger-licking starters. Mozzarella Kachori, Wood-fired Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil Pesto for Vegetarians while Chicken Tikka and Wood-fired Pizza with Roast Chicken were for non-vegetarians.
Personally, I was bowled over the moment I tasted Royal Lal Maans served with Baati, Pearl Millet, Bajra Khichdi and Mixed Rajasthani Chards. I still have that taste in my mouth