City Palace Udaipur

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2008

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We took a pedal boat from Lal Ghat and covered Pichola Lake. Clicking pictures was very difficult what with hotel co ka motorboats leaving waves every time they passed by. What you see is the City Palace complex. On extreme left is Jagdish Mandir. Rana Udai Singhji started construction from Nan Chowki Mahal in the Rajya Aangan. Foundation stone was laid in this courtyard and coronation of King was held here in 1559. Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation of this complex in the 16th century. Set on a hill overlooking the Pichola Lake is a white marble sprawling structure topped by domed pavilions and cupolas at different levels. The palace construction was in two main phases. One was from the late 16th to the early 18th centuries. Two was from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. There were some minor extensions in the 20th century too. Altogether 22 Maharanas have built and added to the City Palace.

We took a pedal boat from Lal Ghat and covered Pichola Lake. Clicking pictures was very difficult what with hotel co ka motorboats leaving waves every time they passed by. What you see is the City Palace complex. On extreme left is Jagdish Mandir. Rana Udai Singhji started construction from Nan Chowki Mahal in the Rajya Aangan. Foundation stone was laid in this courtyard and coronation of King was held here in 1559. Maharana Udai Singh laid the foundation of this complex in the 16th century. Set on a hill overlooking the Pichola Lake is a white marble sprawling structure topped by domed pavilions and cupolas at different levels. The palace construction was in two main phases. One was from the late 16th to the early 18th centuries. Two was from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. There were some minor extensions in the 20th century too. Altogether 22 Maharanas have built and added to the City Palace.

There are two entrances to the City Palace. 1 from the Jagdish mandir side, two from the Shiv Niwas hotel side. The first entrance is for those who wish to see the City Palace museum. The second one is for guests of the Lake Palace hotel or Udai Vilas palace hotel is located on the banks of the Pichola. What you see is entrance 2. If you go left and down you go to boat jetty, if up then you go to Fateh Prakash palace hotel. If you are not a guest entrance fee is Rs 25 per head.

Clicked this picture from the point where guests take boat to Lake Palace Hotel. You see the Fateh Prakash palace hotel. Esp clicked the vintage car to bring to your notice the fact that Udaipur has a great vintage car museum.

You see a Durbar Hall (built by Maharana Fateh Prakash). It is decorated with portraits of Maharana dynasty. Arms are displayed on the walls. You see an overview of the hall. See the chandeliers. See the red carpet on the ceiling. Next picture has its close up.

A close up of the red carpet that adorns the ceiling of the Durbar Hall. There is a tea lounge to the right of the Durbar Hall from where you get a great view of Pichola Lake.

A close up of the paintings that adorn the walls of the Durbar Hall. To your right you see painting of Rana Pratap. Also see the Crystal Gallery with rare collection of items made of crystal.

You see entrance to the residence of Arvind Siinghji the current Rana of Mewar. It is located just behind the Fateh Prakash hotel.

The approach from the Jagdish mandir side is through Hathi Pole (gate), Main street of the old city leading to Bari Pole leading to Tripolia gate which is what you see. It is called Tripolia gate as it consists of three adjacent gates. Maharana Sangram Singhji II constructed it in 1713 to signify his royal prerogative. The oldest part of the Palace has a temple of Dhuni Mata where the Maharana was blessed.

As you cross Tripolia Gate you enter the Manek Chowk, City Palace. In front of the structure that you see is a huge garden where tourists sit and see the Light & Sound Show ie held at 7pm. The show is a journey through the glorious history of Mewar. The two dimensional narrative articulates Mewar’s intense & extraordinary history through 15 centuries. In the center is a symbol of the Ranas of Mewar, at the far end of the structure is the Sun God whose pictures you see next.

This is the center of the Mahal. Just above the door entrance is the Maharanas of Mewar ka symbol. From here you walk into the Museum complex. Other important places are Dilkush Mahal (palace of joy), Krishna Vilas (both have mirror work), Chini Chitrashala (proclaimed painted gallery with tiles & mirror work), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace with inlaid mirror work), Bhim Vilas (prayer room), Mor Chowk (Peacock Courtyard), Suraj Gokhanda (Sun balcony built by Maharana Karan Singh ruled 1620-1628 a.d.), Manak Chowk (Ruby Palace), City Palace Museum (founder was Maharana Bhagwat Singhji ruler from 1955-1984).

Since the Rana’s are Suryavanshis you see the Sun God brass on one of the Mahal balconies.

When you enter the city palace you first see the weapons collection. Then you climb up stairs to see other Mahal’s. What you see is entrance to the Main Mahal called Ganesh Deodi built by Maharana Karan Singhji in 1620 a.d. Note the intricate mirror work. Beyond this point you can take camera on payment of Rs 250/, something we did not do, a decision we did not regret.

Rajputs are known to have big moustaches. In the city palace we met R C Tanwar who had an enviable moustache. You see a picture of Aparna with him. My moustache is big by Mumbai’s standards but still a long way to go for me. In the background you see courtyard of the Museum ka building.

Clicked this picture from Durbar Hall ka lounge. This is the sun set restaurant which is located above the boat ka jetty. Great place to enjoy an evening cup of chai (tea) & bhajiya or have a glass of Beer with tikkas.