Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum (City Palace)
The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, where one can breathe the fragrance of history was established in 1959 in the premises of the City Palace, Jaipur as the Maharaja of Jaipur Museum.
The Jaipur state occupies a glorious past in Indian History as well as its Maharajas. The success & achievements of the Kachhwaha rulers are still the source of inspiration for common people. The nature of collections of the museum includes decorative art objects of historical importance that were in the proud possession the victory & achievements of those Kachhwaha rulers as well. While entering the museum from Virendra pol, the huge building in front is the Mubarak Mahal. This unique building was completed during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II. Islamic, Rajput & European elements of architecture & ornamentation have been assimilated in this building.
The Textile & Costumes Gallery is housed in the first floor of Mubarak Mahal. Royal costumes are displayed here. One of the most attractive objects is the enormous quilted Banaras brocade Atamsukh of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I, a tall & heavily built person. Besides, finest example of Sanganeri print, tie & dye lehariya, Pashmina shawls, mishru, Dacca muslin cloth, Maharanis Diwali dress etc. are also on display.
Through Rajendra pol, one can enter into the interior courtyard of the Palace. In front of this beautifully carved marble gate, there are two carved monolith elephants, erected at the birth of present Maharaja of Jaipur in 1931.
The Silehkhana (Arms & Weapons Section): One of the richest collections of Indian weapons is displayed here in an artistic & symbolic manner. The collection includes edged weapons like swords, weapons like swords, Mughal Shamshirs, daggers of various kinds, bows & arrows, axes etc; matchlock, flintlock & percussion cap guns; carved decorated shield; beautiful gunpowder flask etc. The mural on the ceiling of this gallery is another fine attraction.
In the Pitam Niwas Chowk of the Palace, there arte four gates. The murals of these gates represent four seasons.
The seven – storied building beyond Pitam Niwas Chowk is the Chandra Mahal. This is the private residence of the Royal Family of Jaipur. Entry is restricted here. At the top of the building, there shines the pachranga- the glorious flag of the Kachhwaha dynasty to which the Jaipur Royal Family belong.
In the Sarvatabhadra or Diwan – e - khas of the City Palace, world two largest silver jars are on display.
The Art gallery of the Museum is housed in the Diwan – e - am or the hall of public audience of the Palace. Beautiful miniature paintings, splendid carpets, are manuscripts are the attractions of this gallery.
In the Baggi Khana, chariots and caches (carriages) are on display. The most interesting amongst these are the 19th century European Cab adapted to Indian conditions & ways; silver jubilee four – in hand Victoria Baggi & the Thakuriji ka Rath (chariot used for carrying the state religious icon).
Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh Gallery
This gallery was initiated by Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji, the present Maharaja of Jaipur. In the
“Friends of Museum” of this gallery dozen of national & state award winning artists are given space to demonstrate their skills & sell their products.
Jantar Mantar is one of Jai Singh’s five remarkable observatories. Complex instruments whose setting and shapes are precisely and scientifically designed represent the high point of astronomy. The two Ram Yantras used for gauging altitudes are unique in their isolation. This is the largest of five observatories founded by Sawai Jai Singh In various parts of the Country.
Poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is the most easily recalled landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. Located in the city Palace it is best viewed from the outside for the palace is really a facade. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a stunning example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its pink delicately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows known as 'jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.
Most people come here to get a view of the facade but they can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum there.
Swarga Shuli (Isar Lat)
The tower dominating the skyline on the western side of Tripolia Bazaar is the highest structure in Jaipur. It was built by Raja Ishwari Singh in 1749 AD to commemorate an important victory.
Ram Niwas Bagh (Albert hall)
To provide open space and greenery to the citizens this large garden with a zoo, an aviary, a green house, a herbarium, a museum and several sports ground was built during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868 AD as a famine relief project. The beautiful Indo Saracen structure of the Albert Hall designed by Sir Swanton Jacob was opened later with sculptures, paintings, decorative art object, natural history specimens, an Egyptian mummy and the celebrated Persian garden carpet. Recently the Rabindra Munch with an auditorium, a modern art gallery and on open air theatre has been added to promote cultural activities.
Attractive dolls from various countries are housed in the compound of the school for deaf and mute children, near the Police Memorial.
BM Birla Planetarium
Equipped with modern computerized projection system, the planetarium offers unique audio visual educational entertainment. School group concession available. Closed on every last Wednesday of the month.
In the middle of Jaipur rises a small hill Moti Doongri meaning pearl hill, because it looks hill a drop of pearl. An exotic palace is parched which is a replica of Scottish castle once occupied by Maharaja Madho Singh's son. From There on remained as a private property of the ruling family. In the recent past it served as a home for Rajmata Gaytri Devi and her estranged son Jagat Singh. The mere view of this castle is exotic enough. The highlight of this place is the famous and auspicious temple of Lord Ganesh, which is frequently visited by almost whole of Jaipur and people from outside.
Status Circle and Planetarium
This is a traffic roundabout In Jaipur. The Statue Circle is not only the most famed circle but the most swarmly situated too. Almost half the Jaipur passes by it. It is the favorites lounge of Jaipur and a place for evening out, with ‘Meals on Wheels' standing by. Strangely it acquires its name of statue circle after its figurine rather than the grand Sawai Jai Singh the founder of modern day Jaipur. His statue stands in full imperial symbols of staff and Jai Singh is made out to be holding out astrological diagrams to exemplify his proclivity for astrology. The memorial is be fitting to the great sovereign, builder and futurist. The lighting and the colorful fountains cheer up the roundabout and its surrounds.
On the road to Amer there are memorials to the queens in the Maharani Ki Chhatri complex near the Ramgarh road crossing the island Palace, Gaitore built by Sawai Madho Singh I as a Pleasure spot at the center of the Man Sagar Lake; and the Kanak Vrindavan complex of temples and gardens recently renovated to its pristine glory. To the west of this road, in a narrow valley, is the royal cremation ground at Gaitore. The cenotaphs of all Jaipur rulers with the exception of Sawai Ishwari Singh, who was cremated outside the Jai Niwas Garden, were built at this place. The imposing cenotaph of Sawai Jai Singh II stands out for its delicate carvings and beautiful shape.
Sisodia Rani Garden
Along the road to Agra through a narrow gorge in the southeastern corner of the walled city the kings and important courtiers constructed several landscaped gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries. The largest and the most famous amongst these is a garden built by Swai Jai Singh II for his Sisodia queen- the Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh. It consists of tiered multilevel gardens with fountains, watercourses and painted pavilions. Amongst others the best preserved one is Vidyadhar ka Bagh constructed by the pioneer of the city Vidyadhar, with shady trees, flowing water, and open pavilion and suites of living room.
The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort's museum. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon in the world. Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory. The display includes a collection of canons, many of which are exquisitely decorated and were used in the Mughal campaigns led by the Rajput King, Raja Man Singh.
Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravalli Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber. The legend also has it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the king himself. The rooms are linked by corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family for excursion in summers and is now even a favored picnic spot. Durg Cafeteria just above the entrance sells meals and refreshments, while Padao Restaurant on the west sells drinks around sunset.
Not so old but definitely an exquisitely land scaped gardens with beautifully carved temple in beige stone, which is a vast complex with terrace sites all around and intricately carved marble columns and lattices. Located in the foothills of Nahargarh hills on the way towards Amer, this complex is a popular spot for picnic and film shoots. It should be definitely visited on the way to the three garland forts of Jaipur- Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Amber. The greenery after the monsoons gives this whole place a feel of heavenly sensation, with JAL MAHAL in the back ground.
On the way to Amber, this small palace is set in the middle of Maan Sagar Lake. A paved causeway leads up to the beautiful palace.
Amer Fort & Palace
Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometers from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur.
The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
All the means of survival & luxuries for the royal families and the people who were concerned with the functioning of this small kingdom of the Kachhawas were well provided. The Rajputs who had apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes, later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a history so old as 7 centuries, this place vibrates with its legendry past, in the archaeological history. Although many of the early structures have been literally ruined but at the same time, those dating from the 16th century on are remarkably preserved by sincere efforts.
The fort has 4 sections; each with the premises and one have to climb up through the imposing stairway or else the broad aisle, where one can ride on the elephant back for royal feel. The main gate Suraj Pol that leads to the Jaleb Chowk, which is the main courtyard from where one can walk up the stairway that leads to the palace. Jaleb Chowk was also the area where returning armies were welcome and they would display their war earnings to the population at large.
Diwan-I-Aam, the hall of public audiences where the Maharaja received the populace and their petitions. This is a pavilion of double row of columns each capped by an elephant shape. There is a lattice gallery also.
Behind the exquisite and fabulous Ganesh Pol, "pol" meaning gate are located in the residential apartments of the Maharaja. The Jai Mandir, the Hall of Victory is famous for its inlaid panel and dazzling mirror ceiling. Much of it had deteriorated with neglect and is under restoration.
On the other side is Sukh Niwas, the residence of pleasure or pleasurable residence. The palace has an ivory inlaid sandalwood door. A channeled laid for flow of water is an inventive system of cooling. The water flowing from the channel wasn't wasted as it was allowed to flow in the garden. From there you can also take pleasure in viewing of the fort rampart and its reflection in the Moata Lake. The Zenana or the palace of the women are in the forth courtyard. The rooms are though connected through a common corridor are cleverly designed to give each room privacy.