The city palace is in Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan. It is the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. This palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh. He belonged to the Sisodia Rajput clan. However, many kings have played their role in making the palace as royal as it appears today. The materials used for its construction are mostly granite and marble. It is situated near the Pichola Lake.
The palace is a great monument of India. It is of great architectural importance because of it is a combination of Medieval European and Chinese architecture. There are some important buildings in this complex. They are the embodiments of beauty and grandeur. The Gardens and fountains provide the palace the real beauty. ‘Hati Pol’, or the ‘Elephant Gate’ is the main gate to the palace.
The famous Jagadish Temple of Udaipur also situated in this palace complex. It is undoubtedly the biggest and most beautiful temple of Udaipur. It was built in 1651. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. On the northern side of the palace there is another important gate. It is known as ‘Bara Pol’ or the ‘Great Gate’. The period of construction of this gate is estimated to be 1600. The third gate of the palace is known as ‘Tripolia’ or the ‘triple gate’. The construction of this gate was in 1725.
Between the second and third gates there are eight carved marble arches. They were known as ‘Toranas’. It was under these ‘Torana’ the rulers were weighed against gold and silver. The value of the material used to weigh was then distributed to the poor. It was done as part of their customs that would satisfy gods. There is also small ground where elephant fights were staged. The interior of the palace is more beautiful than one thinks. There are many enclosures with luxurious apartments. There are many beautiful balconies, hanging gardens. towers and cupolas.
The ‘Chini Chitrashala’ is another important part of the palace. It is famous for its Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles. On the Dutch tiles we see various paintings related to the Biblical stories. Some other important palaces within the complex are the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), Hawa Mahal and Bari Mahal. There is a beautiful garden near the Bari Mahal. It is built on a 90 feet high rock.
‘Raj Aangan’ or the Royal Courtyard is the oldest part of the palace. It was built in 1571. It was Maharana Udai Singh who built it. There is a Museum functioning in the Palace. Almost all the rooms of the palace have beautiful paintings, glass work, antique furniture and colourful enamel. Most of the paintings are related to royal processions, festivals and games of the Maharanas. There is a beautiful glass mosaics of peacocks.