Her Highness Maharani Shri Gayatri Devi Sahiba, Maharani of Jaipur
Royal Palaces of Jaipur
Rambagh Palace: This palace served as the main residence of Maharani Gayatri Devi and Maharaja Sawai Man Singh. When Maharani Gayatri Devi came to Jaipur for the first time after her wedding she was brought to this palace to be presented to the Jaipur nobility and Jaipur court.
Click on the picture above to read more about the Rambagh Palace.
The Copyright© of the photograph above is property of Peter V. Sengbusch to whom all rights are reserved.
The above pictures are of three suites in Rambagh Palace. In clockwise direction starting with the upper left picture the names of the suites are: Kamal Mahal Suite, Princess Suite, and Sheesh Mahal Suite.
The Banquet Hall at Rambagh Palace
The City Palace of Jaipur is the main palace and the seat of the government. Construction of the palace complex began in 1732, but work continued into the late 19th century as changes were made, and structures were added. One of the last structures added to the complex is the Mubarak Mahal built in 1890.
The Jaipur Darbar would be held in the City Palace as well as royal weddings, royal birthdays, religious festivals, and coronations of a new maharaja. In the foreground of this picture is the Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory. In the background the taller stucture towards the left is the Chandra Mahal, which contain the private apartments of the Maharaja of Jaipur.
On the hilltop is the Naharagarh Fort. It is said that there is a secret passage from the City Palace to the fort. It was designed as an escape route for the maharaja and the royal family of Jaipur.
City Palace has become the place of many film shootings from Hindi movies to American movies. One such mini series that was shot in the City Palace was "The Far Pavilions" based on a novel written by M. M. Kaye. Some of the Bollywood (Hindi) movies which have been filmed here are: Rajkumar, Khuda Gawa, Bade Mian Chhote Mian, Chahaat, Na Tum Jano Na Hum, Chor Machaaye Shor. It is to this day the home to the Maharaja and Maharani of Jaipur.
The Mubarak Mahal and the Chandra Mahal
Mubarak Mahal is part of the City Palace complex built in 1890 and was used as the guest house for visiting dignitaries of Maharaja. However, it now is part of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. The Textile and Costume Museum is exhibited on the first floor.
The marble elephant gate of the City Palace is known as the Rajendra Pol (gateway of Princes). After passing through the gate one comes across the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of private audiences).
The Rajendra Pol is flanked by two marble elephants on either side. Each elephant has been carved out a single piece of marble. These marble elephants were added by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II to comemorate the birth of his first son the current Maharaja of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh.
The Diwan-i-Khas (in Sanskrit known as Sarbato Bhadra is the Hall of private audiences). It was used for private audiences with the Maharaja, but now holds two huge silver urns used by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh to carry Ganga Jal (water from the Ganges) for his visit to England for the coronation of King Emperor Edward VII. In the picture above one of the silver urns can be seen on the left. Theses silver urns are the largest silver objects in the world.
The interior of the Diwan-i-Khas. The two silver urns can be seen towards the back .
This is the Sarbato Bhadra Chowk.* On the right side of the picture is the Diwan-i-Khas. On the left is the entrance which leads into the pavilion for the Chandra Mahal and the zenana.
*Sarbato Bhadra Chowk is the pavilion where the Diwan-I-Khas is.
This gate leads into the Pritam Niwas Chowk.* From here one has access to the Chandra Mahal, Anand Mahal and the women's quarters of the palace. The opposite side of this gate is know as the Peacock Gate. Along with apartments in the Rambagh Palace, Maharani Gayatri Devi also had apartments in zenana of the City Palace. Her apartments opened out to a small verandah.
*Pritam Niwas Chowk is a wide verandah which literally means "house of the beloved."
Chandra Mahal (Palace of the Moon) is part of the City Palace built between 1727 and 1734. Therefore, it is one of the earliest buildings of the palace complex. Though from the outside it appears to have seven storeys, the first and second floors are actually one high-ceilinged hall known as the Sukh Niwas (House of pleasure). Above the Sukh Niwas is the Rang Mandir (Temple of Color), and above the Rang Mandir is the Sobha Niwas (House of beauty). Lastly the two top storeys are the smallest of all. Above the Sobha Niwas is the mirror palace or the Chavi Niwas and finally crowned at the top by the small open marble pavilion the Mukut Niwas (House of the Crown). The Chandra Mahal is the private apartments of the Maharaja of Jaipur. To the left of this building is the zenana, or the women's quarters of the Palace. The Chandra Mahal continues to be the home of the current royal family of Jaipur.
Copyright© of the photograph of above of The Chandra Mahal is property of THE SHUNYA
. All rights reserved.
The pavilion in front of the Chandra Mahal. The Peacock Gate can be seen to the right in the picture.
These are the Jai Niwas Gardens behind the Chandra Mahal. The temple of Govindji is located in the Jai Niwas Gardens. Also found here is the Royal Chhatri of Maharaja Sawai Ishwari Singh. Maharaja Sawai Ishwari Singh was the one and only maharaja to be cremated here and also have his chhatri built here. All other Maharajas of Jaipur were cremated at Gaitore and their chhatris were also built there.
The Peacock Gate leads from the Pritam Niwas Chowk to the Sarbato Bhadra Chowk.*
*Sarbato Bhadra Chowk is the pavilion where the Diwan-i-Khas is located.
The Peacock Gate of the City Palace of Jaipur.
The peacock detail of the Peacock Gate.
One of the silver urns used by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh to carry water from the Ganges to England.
These silver urns are the largest silver objects in the world.
The Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory also part of the Jaipur City Palace complex. It was built by the astronomer/Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. He is also responsible for building the city of Jaipur.
The Jaipur Collection is in the City Palace museum. The Maharani Gayatri Devi was instrumental in saving these Jaipur artifacts after the merger of Jaipur into the Indian Union.
The Temple of Govind Devji in the City Palace.
The Temple of Govindji is set in the Jai Niwas Gardens behind the Chandra Mahal.
Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) is part of the City Palace complex and was used for the ladies of the Royal Family to maintain the tradition of purdah (veil) while still observing the activities in the streets below without being seen themselves.
Jal Mahal (Lake Palace) in Jaipur is merely a facade and was used for hunting birds by the Maharajas of Jaipur.
Moti Doongri (Pearl Hill) is a small palace located on top of a hill, and was built in the style of a Scottish Castle. After they were wed Maharaja Sawai Man Singh brought his new bride, Maharani Gayatri Devi, on a tour of the palace. She liked the palace so much that Maharaja gifted it to her. A small temple is also part of the palace complex. During the Emergency declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi the Maharani Gayatri Devi was living in Moti Doongri, and was later arrested. She was imprisoned in Tihar Jail for a few months along with the Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia of Gwalior. Shrimati Indira Gandhi also called for excavations in the palace thinking that the Maharani may be hiding treasures inside the palace.
Raj Mahal Gateway
Raj Mahal (Palace of the King)
In 1729 Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, builder of the city of Jaipur, also built the spacious garden Ranawatji Ka Bagh (The of Garden of Ranawatji). Along with the garden he built a small palace for his favorite and chief Maharani, the Maharani Chandra Kumar Ranawatji, a princess of Udaipur.
After giving birth to a son (Madho Singh) the Maharani Chandra Kumar moved back to Udaipur to keep her son safe from the seven year internal struggle in Jaipur. The struggle ended with the death of Madho Singh's half brother, Maharaja Sawai Ishwari Singh. Since Maharaja Sawai Ishwari Singh did not have any male heirs, Madho Singh ascended to the Jaipur gadi. The Maharani Chandra Kumar Ranawatji lived the remaining years of her life in her palace at Ranawatji Ka Bagh. The palace came be known as Maji Ka Bagh (Mother's Garden).
In 1821 Maji Ka Bagh became the official residence of the Resident Political Officer of the Agent General of Rajputana.
In 1958 Maji Ka Bagh became the official residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and Maharani Gayatri Devi when Rambagh Palace was converted into a hotel. Maji Ka Bagh was renamed Raj Mahal.
In 1970, after the death of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh, the Rajmata Gayatri Devi shifted her residence to Lilypool on the grounds of Rambagh Palace, and it became the official home of the Rajmata of Jaipur.
Today the Raj Mahal has been converted into a hotel by Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh.