A collection of private rooms at the Jaipur City Palace are one of Rajasthan’s best-kept secrets. Discover them in detail with Indian Excursions on a private, tailor-made tour of Rajasthan.
Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is a must on any tour of the region. It delightfully blends the old with the new; modernity with tradition (expect to see camels ambling past motorbikes, and youngsters in jeans rubbing shoulders with turbaned elders). This colourful corner of Rajasthan is also known as the Pink City, as its prominent buildings were washed in this colour to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria in 1876. Today, many of its towering forts and palaces remain, including the impressive Jaipur City Palace. Occupying the heart of the Pink City, the City Palace has been home to the rulers of Jaipur since the early-18th century.
The sprawling Jaipur City Palace complex is a beautiful fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture, with breezy Mughal-style open courtyards leading off into exquisite private apartments. The sheer wealth of the maharajas of yesteryear is immediately apparent in the opulence and excellent craftsmanship throughout. Today, much of the complex is open to the public as the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, aka the City Palace Museum, and this is well-trodden. What remains relatively unknown is that palace visitors may also explore several private rooms, in the stunning Chandra Mahal (‘Moon Palace’), which remains the residence of the erstwhile Maharaja.
Each floor of the seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal palace is lavishly adorned and has a specific name to reflect its function. The Sukh Niwas, or ‘Hall of Rest’, is the fully-furnished royal dining room. The third floor, the Rang Mandir, is adorned with mirror work across the walls and ceiling. Shobha Niwas, on the fourth floor, is known as the ‘Hall of Beauty’, with the walls lavishly embellished with mirrors, tiles and gold leaf detailing. The Chhavi Niwas, or ‘Hall of Images’, is on the fifth floor and was the monsoon retreat of the Maharaja. On the sixth floor is Shri Niwas, and the seventh is the Mukut Mandir (‘Crown Temple’). At the very tip of the Chandra Mahal is the flag of the Jaipur royal family, which is only unfurled when the Maharaja is in residence.
Sadly but understandably, photography is not allowed in all the private rooms of Jaipur’s City Palace (for example in the exquisite royal dining room, where the Maharaja hosted his guests). Then again, we wouldn’t want to spoil all the surprises for you!
Other highlights in the public areas of the City Palace Museum include two giant silver urns, located in the Diwan-i-Khas. They’re listed in the Guinness Book as the largest silver objects in the world. Their original purpose was to carry sacred water from the river Ganges to London for Madho Singh II to drink during his stay there in 1901.
Another particularly beautiful part of the palace complex is the Pritam Chowk, the ‘Court of the Beloved’. It boasts four stunning and delicately painted doorways representing the four different seasons.
If you’d like to explore Jaipur’s City Palace and the beautiful private rooms in the Chandra Mahal, please get in touch. As experts in tailor-made tours of Rajasthan, we’re the ideal match to assist with your arrangements and bring your ideas to life. For inspiration on more things to do in the Pink City, do check out our guide on how to best spend 72 hours in Jaipur, and Madeleine’s guide to luxury shopping in Jaipur.0