The City Palace of Alwar by @ Kurt
The gateway of Rajasthan, the city Alwar, resides right at the roots of the Aravalli hills. Just as many major cities of Rajasthan, Alwar is also known for royal forts and palaces.
Surrounded by Aravalli hills, Alwar is famously known for Bala quilla also preserving Sarika Tiger reservation, and many heritage havelies and selisar lake.
Right below Bala quilla is the city palace. Build in the late years of the 17th century by Raja Bakhtawar Singh, the palace is also known as Vinay Vilas Mahal.
Alwar's narrow streets and roads with old havelis on its sides lead one straight to a huge gate with doors studded with heavy brass work which is the entrance gate of the city palace.
On arrival to the palace, you might not find the city palace of Alwar as the other palaces of Rajasthan that hold its proud in its glory. The palace was once lived by the Raja and the city people is now an administrative office and a district court.
To enter the main courtyard of the Alwar palace one has to pass through another huge gate. On entering this gate one will foresee the most beautiful courtyard of the palace. With projecting balconies with beautifully carved jharokhas on either side and a fountain which built right in the middle of it makes this courtyard a bliss to someone's eyes.
The courtyard also has two beautifully sculpted marble pavilions each of them stands on lotus-shaped bases built with white marble blocks. Right between these two marble pavilions, one will see the most intricately and beautifully marble carved pavilion of the palace. The local says that the king of Alwar used to sit under this pavilion when he used to meet the common public. The walls around this area of the courtyard are studded with beautiful carvings done on white marble and right behind this pavilion is the hall which is studded with marble and glass work, but unfortunately, this hall is closed for common public. You can still peek inside this hall from its windows.
The palace is a mix of Rajputana and Mughal architectural structure. It has two wings, where the left is now given to the government and the right wing remains closed. The first floors of both the wings are turned into a museum.
The museum clearly shows the history of not just of the palace but the history of Alwar as well. while visiting the museum you can clearly find the evidence of "The First Treaty of offensive and defensive alliance between Alwar state and east India company". The British paintings on the wall and the collections from swords, daggers, to early huge barood guns are proudly hung on the walls. Not just that the museum has a good collection of porcelain, and other leftovers of foreign trade. The museum also holds a section that displays the remains of the carved stone inscription from early maharajas.
Other than the museum and the beautiful open front of the palace there is nothing else to visit or admire. But one can certainly enjoy the glory of its rich architecture.
After city palace, next attractions are Chhatri of moosi maharani and the artificial lake build by Vinay Singh for his queen moosi which is right behind the main palace building, and the sarika tiger reserve on the route to Bala quilla.
Other than these, the markets of Alwar are also popular. One of such historic markets is the silver market, known for the making of silver ornaments.