Chandra Mahal

Chandra Mahal
Chandra Mahal viewed from the courtyard of the Sarvato Bhadra.

The Jaipur City Palace is located in the heart of the walled Old City, in a district known as the Sarahad. In the princely state period, City Palace was the primary residence of the Maharaja and the seat of state power, as this was where the Maharaja held court with his nobles. After accession to the Indian Union, the erstwhile Jaipur State turned over most of its property to the government of the new state of Rajasthan, but a few properties remained the possession of the Jaipur royal family. City Palace was one of those sites that did not become public property. Today, the palace is operated by the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum Trust, which also maintains Jaigarh Fort and the cenotaphs of the maharajas and maharanis.

City Palace consists of a series of courtyards and monumental buildings, partly accessible to tourists. Highlights of a visit to City Palace include the richly ornamented Mubarak Mahal and the elaborately decorated gates of the Pritam Niwas.

The building illustrated in this post is the imposing, seven-storeyed Chandra Mahal, which rises just to the north of Pritam Niwas. Constructed in 1734, Chandra Mahal is still used as an official private residence of the royal family, and the Jaipur State flag flies from the roof. Parts of the palace have been opened up for more expensive tours beyond the regular ticket price for City Palace (although your blogger never sprung for that extravagance when he was living in Jaipur).