The City Palace complex has a number of structures that boast of splendid architecture, making it a must visit tourist destination for history lovers.
The structures within the complex are:
Also called as Pols, Gateways are the entry points to the palace complex. There are three major gateways to the complex. 'Badi Pol' (Great Gate) is the main entry point to the complex that leads to the first courtyard. After crossing the ‘Badi Pol’, one encounters a triple arched gate called as ‘Tripola’, the northern entry to the complex.
The two gates - 'Badi Pol' and ‘Tripola’ are aligned beautifully with eight marble arches or Toranas. According to the legends, the Maharanas used to weigh themselves against gold and silver here, which was later distributed among the local people.
Once through the ‘Tripolia’ gate, an arena near the Toran Pol is encountered where elephant fights were held in the past. These elephants were later chosen for war campaigns according to their prowess. Across Tripolia gate there is another gate known as ‘Elephant gate’ or the ‘Hathi Pol’.
2. Amar Vilas
Located at the highest point of the City Palace, Amar Vilas is an elevated garden that serves as the topmost court within the complex. Built in Mughal style architecture, Amar Vilas is the entry point to Badi Mahal, another alluring structure within the complex.
Adorned with beautiful hanging gardens, fountains, towers and terraces, Amar Vilas served as a leisure home for the Maharanas.
3. Badi Mahal
Also known as Great Palace/Garden Palace, Badi Mahal is the main palace in the complex that sits magnificently on a 89 ft high rock formation. Badi Mahal houses a swimming pool which was used for Holi celebrations in the past, and a hall that exhibits miniature paintings of 18th and 19th centuries.
The beautiful wall paintings of Jag Mandir, Lord Vishnu of Jagdish temple, and elephant fight scenes are some of the other attractions here.
4. Bhim Vilas
Bhim Vilas is another place worth visiting for art lovers. With a gallery consisting of miniature paintings of Lord Krishna and Radha illustrating their real life stories, Bhim Vilas is sure to mesmerise one and all with its skilled artwork.
5. Chini Chitrashala
The Chini Chitrashala is another place worth visiting for the vast collection of Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles that are pretty attractive.
6. Choti Chitrashala
As the name suggests, the 'Residence of Little Pictures' built in the early 19th century is home to a small gallery consisting of pictures of peacocks.
7. Dilkusha Mahal
Meaning the Palace of Joy’, Dilkusha Mahal was constructed in the year 1620. The beautiful murals and wall paintings in the complex are worth admiring for its artistic skills.
8. Durbar hall
Serving as a venue for official functions, Durbar Hall was newer addition to the palace complex. Built in the year of 1909 during the rule of Maharana Fateh Singh, the hall is adorned with large chandeliers that add to the grandeur of this place.
Durbar hall is a part of Fateh Prakash Palace and displays weapons and portraits of the Maharanas. Durbar Hall was earlier called as Minto hall, named after the Viceroy of India, Lord Minto who laid the foundation stone for this hall.
9. Fateh Prakash Palace
Now a luxury hotel, Fateh Prakash Palace has an interesting collection of crystal chairs, dressing tables, sofas, tables, chairs, beds, crockery, table fountains along with a jewel studded carpet. These items were ordered by Maharana Sajjan Singh in the year 1877. However, he died before its arrival and the package remained unopened for nearly 110 years.