Mubarak Mahal, City Palace. This was built by the Maharaja Madho Singh in the late 19th century in an eclectic style that fused Mughal, Rajput and European.
In 1727, the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Amber moved his capital city and residence from the Amber Fort to a new city he would call Jaipur (Jai’s City). In that city, he built a palace that would come to be known as the City Palace, and is one of the key sights of the city of Jaipur today.
The palace, completed in 1732, continued as the residence of the Maharajas of Jaipur, and is still partly a residence today. Besides the public areas, I had the privilege of touring some of the private quarters – unfortunately, almost all of these cannot be photographed. And so what I can present of the palace here is limited.
Just outside the City Palace, Sawai Jai Singh II built another monument – the Jantar Mantar, or collection of astrological instruments, in 1734. This was one of 5 Jantar Mantars in India, including those in Delhi, Benares (Varanasi), Ujjain and Mathura.
This Jantar Mantar consists of 19 large astrological instruments with the most astonishing of all being the vrihat samrat yantra, which is the biggest sundial in the world. It is the perfect spot at which to spend an afternoon of contemplation.
The City Palace
Rajendra Pol Gateway.
The Diwan-I-Khas, or Hall of Public Audience.
Diwan-I-Khas, in a Mughal, Rajput and European style.
Chandra Mahal – this is the most imposing structure in the palace complex. Unfortunately, there was an event being held that evening in the courtyard and much of this structure was blocked off. I managed to have a tour of its interior.
Peacock Gate, Pritam Chowk courtyard.
Close-up, Chandra Mahal. You can see the Sukh Niwas in blue.
Up in the Chandra Mahal.
View of the City Palace Complex and Jantar Mantar, from the Chandra Mahal.
View of the private residential gardens of the City Palace.
Exiting the Pritam Chowk.
The Clock Tower, City Palace.
The City Palace Museum.
Outside the Jantar Mantar.
Laghu Samrat Yantra. This sundial is used to measure time.
Jai Prakash Yantra measures altitudes and azimuths.
Rashivalaya Yantra – there are 12 of these – measure the alignment of stars and planets of 12 constellation systems.
View towards city palace with the Yarivalaya Yantra.
And finally, the Vrihat Samrat Yantra, the largest sundial in the world.