City Palace, Udaipur: Introduction of City Palace, Architecture of the City Palace

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City Palace, Udaipur

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Introduction of City Palace

The City Palace is built over the Pichola Lake in Udaipur. The City Palace was originally built by Maharana Udai Singh of the Sisodia Rajput clan but later the succeeding Maharanas added several palaces and structures and developed the palace. This gorgeous palace stands white and is set on a majestic hill. This palace is a blend of medieval European and Chinese architecture and has a number of remarkable buildings, gardens and fountains of immense beauty.

City Palace, City Palace in Udaipur
Architecture of the City Palace

The palace is overwhelmed with balconies, towers and cupolas and there are fine views over the lake and the city from the upper terraces. The interiors of City Palace presents a graceful beauty due to lavish use of marble, mirror work, frescoes, wall paintings, colored glass, fluted columns, inlay work and silver doors. There are many relics and decorative items in the City Palace. There are beautiful examples of old porcelain, glass and tiles as well as the wonderful mosaic of silver leaves and precious stones that reflect images of the lake when looked at from the right angle.

The City Palace is surrounded by walls for battlements. The City Palace can be reached through three gateways. The entry to the palace is from the Hathi Pol or the Elephant gate.
At the entrance to the place museum, there is a genealogical chart whose floor-to-ceiling immensity traces the rule of the 76 Maharanas of Mewar, from 734 AD. The Bari Pol or the Big gate brings you to the Tripolia, the Triple gate. It is a triple arched gate which was built in 1725. It was once a custom that the Maharana would weigh under this gate in gold and silver, which was distributed to the populace. Balconies, cupolas and towers surmount the palace which give a wonderful view of the Pichola lake. Suraj Gokhada or the balcony of the sun is the place where the Maharana would grant public audiences mainly to boost the morale of the people in difficult times. The Mor Chowk is the peacock square and gains its name from the vivid blue mosaic in glass of a peacock that decorates its walls. The rooms of the palace are superbly decorated with mirror tiles and paintings.

The main part of the palace is now preserved as a museum which displays a large and diverse array of artifacts like the
miniature paintings embellished with gold and silver leaf, armoury, lithographs, Danish porcelain, crystalware, palanquins, howdahs and carry chairs. The City Palace museum is entered through the Ganesh Deori meaning the door of Lord Ganesh. The Ganesh Deori leads to the Rajya Angan, the royal courtyard. Nav Chowki Mahal, is the oldest section in the palace. This is the place where Maharana Udai Singh met the saint in 1559 who told him to found a city and laid the foundation of the palace. The armoury museum exhibits a huge collection of protective gear, weapons including the lethal two-pronged sword. The City Palace consists of four main and several minor palaces. Part of the complex is a Hawa Mahal. The Palace of Joy or Dilkhusha Mahal is decorated with frescoes and wall paintings. Manak Mahal or the Ruby Palace has a lovely collection of glass and mirror work while Krishna Vilas display a rich collection of miniature paintings. The Sheesh Mahal, or the palace of mirrors and glass has beautiful mirror work. The Krishna Vilas is the most beautiful enclosure with four rows of painted scenes in miniature. It was here that the beautiful princess, Krishna Kumari, drank poison and saved the kingdom from the two kings. The Chini Mahal houses a rich collection of Chinese porcelain and its niches and jharokas are covered in blue-and-white Chinese tiles. The Surya Chopar or the Sun Square depicts a huge ornamental Sun which symbolises the Sun dynasty. The Bari Mahal is a central garden with view of the city. Some more beautiful paintings can be seen in the Zenana Mahal or the ladies chamber, which leads to Laxmi Vilas Chowk a beautiful white pavilion. Laxmi Vilas Chowk is an art gallery, which houses a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings. The Amar Vilas, the highest point with its hanging gardens, towers and terraces, presents a majestic and panoramic view of the town and Lake Pichola.

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