The City Palace Udaipur is situated in the heart of Udaipur City as back then Maharanas (Kings) of Mewar used to handle all the administrative jobs from this palace. It was built over 400 years ago, hence is considered as one of the most important historical place in Udaipur.
City Palace Udaipur
- The Mewar Dynasty initially in 568 A.D. declared Nagda as the supreme capital of Mewar.
- Later in the 8th Century, the Mewar Capital was shifted to Chittorgarh, the Maharanas ruled from Chittorgarh for 80 years.
- Because of their war with the Mughals, Maharana Udai Singh II decided to shift the Mewar Capital to Udaipur; according to him Udaipur was a safer place than Chittorgarh.
- Maharana Udai Singh II then chose this particular site surrounded by forests, lakes and Aravali Hills for the placement of City Palace.
- The idea of shifting the Mewar Capital was given by a hermit to Maharana Udai Singh II on a hunting expedition.
- As the complex of City Palace contains several structures, the first ever structure built was the ‘Rai Angan’, which was treated as the Royal Courtyard.
- In 1572, Maharana Pratap was handed the Mewar Kingdom after the death of Maharana Udai Singh II.
- But in 1576, City Palace Udaipur came into the hands of Mughal dynasty because they defeated the Mewar dynasty in the Battle of Haldi Ghati.
- Maharana Pratap bravely fought the battle of Haldi Ghati against the Mughal Emperor Akbar, but the Mughal soldiers outnumbered Mewar soldiers.
- After the demise of Mughal ruler Akbar, Mewar was handed back to the son of Maharana Pratap: Amar Singh I by Akbar’s son Jahangir.
- Whereas, despite of Jahangir’s decision of handing back Mewar Dynasty to Amar Singh I, the Mughal army sent many expeditions to Mewar.
- In 1761, the Mewar Dynasty was again in trouble with the attacks of Marathas.
- In 1818, the Maharana of the Mewar dynasty: Maharana Bhim Singh asked British to provide protection and signed a treaty for the same.
- After the Independence of India in 1947, the Mewar kingdom and all the other kingdoms were dissolved and created as one democratic country, hence the Maharanas lost all their powers and the sites as well.
- Later the successors of Maharanas retained the palaces and properties and transformed them into hotels.
- Present Mewar Custodian: Arvind Singh Ji Mewar.
Framework of City Palace
- The architecture of the Palace comprise of a combination of Chinese, Medieval and European structure also a touch of typical Mughal and Rajasthani architecture can be spotted in the Palace.
- The construction of Udaipur City Palace is done with granite and marble.
- There are various courtyards, terraces, pavilions, rooms, hanging gardens and corridors present in the campus of the palace.
- The Palace is equipped with various gates, the very first entrance gate is known as ‘Bara Pol’ as we head towards the courtyard a gate a triple arched gate arrives that is known as ‘Tripolia’; After crossing Tripola you’ll come across the Elephant Gate, where the royal elephants were kept, also known as ‘Hathi Pol’.
- In the palace you can spot delicate marble-work, mirror-work, murals, wall paintings, inlay-work, leftover of colored glass and silver-work.
- The City Palace comprises of 11 Palaces and several other properties in the Palace boundaries.
The Properties Present in The City Palace Premises
As described before, there are several gates in the Palace premises namely ‘Bara Pol’, ‘Tripolia Pol’ and ‘Hathi Pol’. Another door arrives when we reach the main block of the palace that is a perfect example of the traditional Rajputana style carved and painted with martial animals.
2. Bada Mahal
Bada Mahal is a Garden Palace, placed on a height of 90 feet; because of its high height if you look out of a window from a ground-floor room of the Bada Mahal, you’ll feel that you’re looking out of a fourth-floor room.
3. Amar Vilas
It is the peak point of the Palace with towers, terraces, hanging gardens and fountains.
4. Chini Chitrashala
This is an art place that displaces various paintings of Chinese art.
5. Bhim Vilas
This is basically an art gallery that displays the life stories of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha.
6. Dilkhusha Mahal
This Palace is considered as the Palace of Joy and displays various wall-paintings and murals.
7. Choti Chitrashali
This is another art gallery that displays little pictures.
8. Fateh Prakash Palace
It has now been converted into a hotel and contains various artifacts of crystal like sofas, chairs, crockeries, table fountains etc.
9. The Durbar Hall
The Durbar Hall was used as a venue for all the functions and meetings back then, it was also used as a banquet hall.
10. Krishna Vilas
This is another art gallery that displays the festivals, games and processions of the Maharanas.
11. Manak Mahal
It is also called as ‘Ruby Palace’ that contains several porcelain and crystal figures.
12. Laxmi Vilas Chowk
This is another art display that contains various Mewar paintings.
13. Mor Chowk
This place displays various Peacock mosaics in the wall depicting the seasons- summer, winter and monsoon.
14. Sheesh Mahal
It is a palace of mirrors built for Maharani Ajabde by his husband Maharana Pratap.
The City Palace Museum was initially a ‘Zenana Mahal’ (Ladies Chamber) and was transformed into a public museum.
16. Rang Mahal
This was the area where the royal treasure was stored.
Some Fascinating Facts About City Palace Udaipur
- On heading towards Tripolia you’ll encounter 8 marble arches; this is the place where the kings used to be weighed with silver and gold. The total quantity of silver and gold were then distributed to needy.
- There were various Elephant fights organized in the Palace Complex back then; you can easily spot few images of the event in the paintings present in the Palace.
- City Palace
- Adult: Rs50
- Child: Rs30
- Camera: Rs200
- Crystal Gallery
- Adult: Rs500
- Child: Rs300
- Mewar Light and Sound Show (The Legacy of Honour)
- Timing: 7pm- 8pm
- Adult: Rs150
- Child: Rs75
- Mewar Sound and Light Show (Yash ki Dharohar)
- Timing: 8pm-9pm
- Adult: Rs100
- Child: Rs50
Opening Time: 9:00 am
Closing Time: 4:30 pm
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