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Jaipur Tourism

The City Palace : One of the most magnificent marvels or Jaipur is the City Palace Complex which has a rare combination of the finest blends of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. In the heart of the old city, it has vast area. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh and additions made up to the 20th century. Many buildings, well-planned gardens and huge courtyards are a part of the complex. For visiting dignitaries, Sawai Madho Singh II, constructed Mubarak Mahal (welcome palace) as a reception centre. The mahal comes before the main complex, though it now forms a part of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum. The museum has an array of royal costumes, shawls, embroideries, Benares silk sarees, the maharajas pyjamas, chogas and pyjamas of other rulers, jamawars, kamarbands, musical instruments like the giant sized tanpura and sarangis and a set of the clothes of Sawai Madho Singh I who was just over seven feet tall, over four feet wide and supported a Goliathic weight of 250 kilograms.

A delight is the Maharanis Palace, now the armory with arms to the 15th century which include the deadly Rajput scissor-action daggers which have a unique working action (after the dagger entered the body, the handles were released and the blades spread. during withdrawal, killing the victim). The guns include the ones that also served as walking sticks, one of the size of a small canon fired from a camels back, double-barrel guns, early handguns, matchlocks and percussion cap guns, swords with pistols attached to the blades, daggers with handles of crystal and invory, katars, chhuris, peak-kubz jambhiya, Persian and Rajput swords. Deccan hand, bows and arrows, battle axes, shields, maces, breast and shoulder plate gutzis and the ruby and emerald encrusted sword presented by Queen Vicoria to Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh (1835-1880). On display are a big range of shields of rhino, crocodile and turtle skin, the shield of Sawai Pratap Singh and Raja Man Singh sword weighing about 5 kilograms.

Diwan-e-Khas (hall of private audience) is housed between the art gallery (once the diwan-e-aam-hall of public audience) and the armoury. The most attractive feature are the two sterling silver vessels (in the marble-paved gallery) in which Maharaja Madho Singh II, a devout Hindu, took holy Ganga water during a visit to Europe. The two vessels are massive standing 160 cm and have a capacity of 9000 litres each. They are listed in the Guinness book of Records as the biggest silver vessels in the world. From the ceiling of the hall hang a number of chandeliers which are covered with plastic to prevent dust and bird droppings falling on them.

The art gallery in the erstwhile Diwan-e-aam has a well preserved painted ceiling on which the original semi-precious stones still retain their lustre. Suspended from the ceiling is a massive chandelier made of crystal. The art gallery also has miniature paintings of the Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools featuring religious them mainly scenes from the Ramayana. The other exhibits include an unbraided, handwritten version of the Bhagaved Gita, miniature copies of other holy Hindu scriptures, handwritten books in Persian and Sanskrit and early manuscripts on palmleaes There are among the 20,000 manuscripts that the museum boasts of. Howdahs (elephant saddles), palanquins, the swing of Lord Krishna and paper cuttings cut with the thumbnails are among the several other exhibits in the gallery. One can also see the finest carpets from Herat in Afghanistan and Lahore.Chandra Mahal is the only part of the complex that is inhabited and is occupied by the royal family. The ground floor of the palace, open to visitors, has some exhibits. In the courtyard outside is the elegantly designed Peacock Gate.

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