Journey through India – Day 22 – Jaipur – City Palace and Hawa Mahal

 

CITY PALACE

The City Palace in Jaipur was established around 1727. It continues today to be the home of the Jaipur Royal family. The complex has several buildings, pavilions, gardens, courtyards, and a museum.

Entering through the main gate will set you on a journey of such beauty and colour. Now where to start taking photos.

The Mubarak Mahal was built around 1900 for receiving foreign guests.

The facade of the building has a hanging balcony and is identical on all four sides, the intricate carving in white marble and beige stone giving it the illusion of delicate lacework.

It now houses a museum. We visited this museum but unfortunately no photography was allowed. Had to be suffice with some up-close photos of the exterior.

The Sarvato Bhadra, a single-storeyed, open hall with enclosed rooms at the four corners was used as the Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience).

It was also traditionally used for important private functions like the coronation rituals of the Maharajas of Jaipur. It is now used for modern celebrations.

Outside you will see two huge sterling silver vessels of 1.6 metres height and each weighing 340 kilograms. They were made from 14,000 melted silver coins without soldering and are regarded as the world’s largest sterling silver vessels. They are call Gangajalis (Ganges water urns).

Chandra Mahal is one of the oldest buildings in the City Palace complex.

Inside the courtyard are some of the most stunning entrances I have ever seen. Such intricate designs and colour.

The peacock one seemed to be everyone’s favourite.

Of course, each of the doors were so ornate.

 

HAWA MAHAL (PALACE OF THE WINDS)

Part of the City Palace is an amazing building called Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). We had photographed the façade earlier in the day and now we were going to walk up the many ramps to reach the top of this unique place.

Built in 1799, this palace is made with red and pink sandstone. It’s five floors have an exterior that could be likened to a beehive.

It has over 900 very small windows called jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework.

The original intent of the lattice design and the windows was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen.

What looks like a normal building from the front, is actually quite narrow. The photo below gives a good indication of this.

As mentioned before, there are ramps to reach the top instead on steps. This is the view you will see from behind the facade.

This place is a popular tourist destination in India and I can see why – it is just so beautiful. So many vantage points to see out across the city, back towards the Palace and Jantar, and of course to get clicking at all those little doors. Zoom in on all those amazing spires, and take photos from different angles.

Before returning to our hotel, we visited some clothes shops near the palace. I did the tourist thing and got dressed in traditional outfit for a photo or two.

We saw many other buildings, mosques and colourful shops.

Then there are those photos that are “just because”.

There simply was not enough time to see all the beauty and culture of Jaipur. Will definitely have to return one day. Definitely put Jaipur on your travel itinerary to India and allow several days to really see the place. Loved it.

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