Next day we went to see The City Palace in the heart of the Jaipur city. Many buildings, well planned gardens, temples and huge courtyards are the part of the complex. There are four gates to enter into the City Palcae. One gate is reserved for entry into the palace by the royal family only. There was a snake charmer sitting right outside the gate, but it is better if you don’t stop there to have a look at his snakes as they start asking for money afterwards. Just before the main complex of the palace is a place called Mubarak Mahal or Welcome palace. This was constructed with the purpose to welcome the dignitaries. Though now it is turned into a museum. One could see the royal costumes, shawls, silk sarees, royal cloths, jewelry and many types of musical instruments. The most amusing part was the pajamas of King Madho Singh. He was over seven feet tall and weighed 250 Kilograms. Interestingly he had 108 wives….my goodness!
On the west end of the city palace is the Chandra Mahal. It is a seven storied building. Only the ground floor which is turned into a museum is open for the public and rest of the floors are the residence of the descendants of the royal family. At the entry of the palace is a beautiful peacock gate. Many beautiful paintings, mirror work and floral decorations could be seen in the palace, but there were signs everywhere that photography is restricted. In the inner courtyard of the Chandra Mahal there are four small gates that are designed in such a way that they depict the four seasons.
The most attractive feature in the hall of private audience are the two giant silver urns, who have also made a place in the Guinness book of world record for having the largest capacity. These were made by the King to carry the Ganges water when he made his trip to England as he did not wanted to drink water in the foreign soil. The red turbaned men who stand there as guard just get into the frame while taking its picture and then demand money for being photographed. So beware of them if you plan to visit this place. One could see so many parrots flying. The queen’s palace is turned into an armory museum with all kinds of weapons. It was good, but between Amer Fort and City Palace I would definitely rate Amer fort a better bet.
Very near to the City Palace was Jantar Mantar. It’s an observatory that has many devices to measure time and make scientific and astronomical calculations. Built from stone and marble each instrument carries an astronomical scale. Our guide tried to explain to us how the instruments worked. I liked the Sundial.
We were pretty hungry after going through the palace and the Jantar Mantar. Our guide had some specific place in his mind for taking us for lunch. After lunch we planned to just scan the marker area, in case we find something interesting. The water bottle which I was carrying was really handy as one gets really thirsty wandering in the hot sun. A tip of advice is to carry loads of water; well we can’t carry the silver urns like the King… and also to apply good sun block cream, otherwise the chances of skin burn are immense.
Shall get back to you tomorrow…..