Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.
City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.
Surmounted by balconies, towers and cupolas towering over the lake, the imposing City Palace is Rajasthan’s largest palace, with a facade 244m long and 30.4m high. Construction was begun in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder, and it later became a conglomeration of structures (including 11 separate smaller palaces) built and extended by various maharanas, though it still manages to retain a surprising uniformity of design.
In 1969, the City Palace was opened to the public as the City Palace Museum. This was done out of necessity, in order to generate income and maintain the building after India became a democracy, and royal rulers had to give up their states and fend for themselves. The Museum is now overseen by the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation. The current custodian of the House of Mewar, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, hasn’t merely been content with restoring the City Palace to its former glory. Around 20 projects are underway to develop it into a world class museum.
Once such project is the exhibition of priceless royal family photographs. The interior of the Museum is also adorned with priceless artwork, which documents royal history before Udaipur got its first camera in 1857. A collection of personal portraits of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar is on display as well. Recently, the world’s first silver museum and gallery of royal musical instruments were added.
Being the largest part of the Udaipur City Palace Complex, the City Palace Museum stretches 33 meters high, 333 meters long, and 90 meters wide. Exploring the Museum is like negotiating your way through a maze. There’s a good reason for this. It was designed to hinder enemy attack.
Interesting Facts :-
- The rulers of the Mewar dynasty in Udaipur, over the course of 400 years, built the sprawling and beautiful attraction that is the City Palace, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family.
- Maharana Udai Singh shifted his seat of power from Chittorgarh to the City Palace in Udaipur due to various subsequent wars with the Mughals
- Parts of the palace complex have been converted into luxury hotels, which make the City Palace even more famous.
- The Fateprakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace have now been converted into heritage hotels, which retain the previous royal architecture.
- The Amar Vilas consists of an elevated garden, and it is the highest point of the City Palace, adorned with hanging gardens, terraces and fountains.
There is an art gallery known as the Chini Chitrashala that display the Chinese and Dutch tiles and arts.
Things To Do :-
- After one enters the Tripolia Gate, there are several other beautifully carved edifices within the palace complex to explore, like Suraj Gokhda, the Dilkhush Mahal, the Bhim Vilas, the Krishna Vilas, the Sheesh Mahal, the Mor-chowk, the Surya Chopar, the Moti Mahal, Shambu Niwas, and the Amar Vilas opposite to the Badi Mahal.
- Badi Mahal houses a swimming pool and a hall, that which has some of the best miniature paintings from the 18th and 19th Bhim Vilas consists of great miniature paintings as well.
- The Zenana Mahal as known as the women’s quarters is beautifully designed with attractions like coloured windows, balconies, tiled walls and floors, and It has been converted into a museum and is open for public access.
- The Mewar sound and light show, ‘The Legacy of Honour’ takes place at Manek Chowkbetween 7pm to 8pm. It is an experience one shouldn’t miss since it is a great way of witnessing the great history of the Rajasthan history.
The City Palace Museum is one of the most attractive features displaying the culture and history of the Mewar dynasty.
Things To Carry :-
- Carrying a camera is recommended but it does incur special charges.
- Ample water and food should be taken since it takes a minimum of two hours to go through the entire complex.
Carry student IDs and citizen IDs to avail any discounts.
Availability of Guides :-
- A Hindi-speaking guide will charge Rs.300 at the City Palace complex
- Guides at the museum charge Rs.200, and audio guides are also available.
City Palace Timings :-
7am to 11pm
Ticket Prices :-
Adult (Age above 18 Years)- Rs.250
Child (Age 5 to 18 Years)- Rs.100
Child (Age below 5 Years)- Free
All Types of Camera- Rs.250
Students in Group- Rs.100
Getting There :-
It is located at 23.8kms from the Udaipur airport. Buses, taxis and other means of public transport are easily available.
Nearby Places of Interest :-
- Lake Pichola is the main attraction of Udaipur.
- The closest and most attractive restaurants are Amrit Sagar, Sunset Terrace, The Whistling Teal, Lake View Rooftop restaurant.
- Saheliyon Ki Bari, a popular garden, is located at 3.5kms from City Palace.
- The Gulab Bagh and Zoo is the largest garden in Udaipur, and is a five-minute walk from the City Palace.
- At about 7 kms is the Sajjan Garh Palace or the Monsoon Palace, a hilltop residence that overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake.
- The Heritage Walk in Udaipur is also a popular tourist attraction as it takes visitors through the many historic locations of the city, providing with plenty knowledge of the culture and tradition of the Mewar royal dynasty.
Based on the splendid architecture of the City Palace in Udaipur, it is a must visit for every tourist and history enthusiast. Given the fact that it is the most attractive feature of the city of lakes, the grand palatial complex has been credited for its charm that has appealed to visitors for years now. The history and culture of Mewar can be easily understood by paying one visit to the City Palace, and it is sure to leave a mark upon a tourist’s mind.