If you are visiting Rajasthan for the first time, you have a lot to explore on your plate. You have to cast your die of exploring the state in advance, otherwise you will be left with some or the other thing.
One of the most extravagant and romantic cities of Rajasthan is Udaipur, which is an epitome of royalty, and is also called as “Venice of the North”. If it’s your first chance to explore the city, just google it and you will get the idea of how beautiful it is.
It was my first visit to Udaipur, and I tell you, the sights are literally captivating. The whole city looks like a space owned by some Raja, Maharaja and indeed it was one. You will be absolutely spell bounded by the aristocratic architecture of the city.
As I am a lover of history, art and culture, I immediately wanted to rush towards some historical monument, where I can actually observe, understand and appreciate the royal era.
So, I along with my friends ended up making our mind on exploring City Palace, one of the majestically gorgeous architectures of Udaipur.
The City Palace is like the most precious jewel in the crown of the city. It is the place, where you can actually get into the royal history of Mewar Maharajas. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, and the credit of building this spectacular monument goes to Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.
The palace is now a museum, which is open to the general public and entry tickets have to be purchased to see it. The palace subsumes of courtyards, temples, gardens, beautiful gateways and a lot more.
Let us discuss some of the most famous parts of City Palace, which amazed us by its fascinating aesthetics:
Seamless amalgamation of designs from three different cultures- British, Mughal and Rajput, this royal guest house has a name of Mubarak Mahal. It’s a two- floored architecture, which serves the purpose of a reception area.
It has been transformed into a museum, which houses a superb collection of royal costumes. I was completely stunned to see the heavy costumes of the Queens and Princess and even the kings. The costumes of the queens were too heavy to be carried alone! Yes, you heard that right. Queens needed one or two maids along with them to carry their costumes.
I was even more enthralled to see the voluminous costumes of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I. Immensely tailored, these costumes were 4ft wide. I started imagining that, how did Maharaja manage to fit in these clothes.
Pritam Niwas Chowk
Once you are done with Mubarak Mahal, you need to move forward through the passage called Virendra Pol. At the entrance of this passage, you will get the privilege of watching two marble elephants, which makes a fabulous gate décor.
The carvings on these elephants are intricate and reflect the talent and hard work of a true craftsman. The main palace here is Moon Palace or the Chandra Mahal on the top of which flutters a flag, bigger than the usual size.
Though, you will be allowed to explore only the ground floor in general tour and not the whole building, you will be mesmerized by its interiors. This royal courtyard used to be most loved place for festive celebrations during the olden times.
The most striking feature of this place is its four gates, which are inspired by four seasons of India. It was so pleasurable to witness, the intellectuality used behind the creation of these gates. Let me tell you about these gates. The first one was the 3D modelled peacock gate, which is a representation of Autumn season. The next comes the Lotus gate, which is a representation of Summer Season. The green or the Lehriya Gate manifested the Spring Season, whereas the soft pastel shades of blue showed the essence of Winter season.
Diwan- I Khas
The interesting thing about this place were its magnificent chandeliers. In the olden times, this place was for special people of Maharaja, where he used to have an important meeting or discussion with them. Now I will tell you an interesting story about this place. Here you will find two huge sterling silver water containers, which were called Gangajelies.
You will be flabbergasted to know that, these are the biggest water pots in the world, and holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The guide told us that these were made for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II, when he was to visit London. He used to drink Gangajal, and nothing else than this, that was the reason these pots were sent along him.
Diwan – I- Am
Diwan – I Am used to be the place for general public during Raja’s time, and now it has been transformed into an art gallery. It promulgates you with the entire Bhagwat Gita, written in tiny scriptures. It was hard for me to believe that, how it is possible to write that lengthy scripture in such a tiny script.
By this time, we were really exhausted and we planned to move out. It was really satiating visiting City Palace, which introduced us to the glorious past of Indian history and the most important thing that how talented the craftsmen of those days were, who have created such a masterpiece.
I would love to visit this place again and explore it with a different perspective.