CITY PALACE UDAIPUR – UDAIPUR PALACE – CITY PALACE
A Must Visit Palace in Udaipur !!
One of the architectural wonders of Rajasthan, City Palace in Udaipur is the largest palace complex of the state. The most popular sightseeing place in Udaipur, City Palace stands magnificently on the eastern banks of Lake Pichola. Flanked by the Aravali mountain range, City Palace is worth admiring for its natural settings that offer a breathtaking view of the surroundings.
City Palace, Udaipur is a palace complex situated in the city of Udaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built over nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty. Its construction began in 1553, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittor to the newfound city of Udaipur. The palace is located on the east bank of Lake Pichola and has several palaces built within its complex.
The City Palace in Udaipur was built in a flamboyant style and is considered the largest of its type in the state of Rajasthan. It was built atop a hill, in a fusion of the Rajasthani and Mughal architectural styles, providing a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Overlooking Lake Pichola, several historic monuments like the Lake Palace, Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata temple, are all in the vicinity of the palace complex. Nestled within the Aravali mountain range, these landmarks are associated in popular culture with the filming of the 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy.
- City Palace Udaipur Location: On the Banks of Lake Pichola
- City Palace Udaipur Built By: Started by Maharana Udai Singh
- City Palace Udaipur Built-in: Started in 1559
- City Palace Udaipur Phone Number: 02942 419021, 02942 415641
CITY PALACE UDAIPUR ENTRY FEE
- ₹30 Per Person for Adults
- ₹15 Per Person for Children
- ₹200 for Camera Fee
CITY PALACE UDAIPUR TIMINGS
|Monday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Tuesday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Wednesday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Thursday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Friday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Saturday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
|Sunday||9:30 AM – 5:30 PM|
LOCATION MAP FOR CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
HISTORY OF CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
The History of City Palace is related to the kingdom of Mewar that has gone through several capital changes during the reign of its many rulers. The capital was first established in Nagda in 568 AD by Guhil, the first Maharana of Mewar. It was later moved to Chittor in the 8th century under the rule of Sisodias. During 1537, the Mewar kingdom came under the rule of Maharana Udai Singh II. Due to war with the Mughals, there was a risk of losing the Chittor fort. Hence, Maharana Udai Singh II chose a new capital for his kingdom near Lake Pichola that shielded the territory from its enemies, well surrounded by forests, lakes, and the imposing Aravalli hills.
The construction of City Palace started under the reign of Maharana Udai Singh II and was enhanced subsequently by his successors over 400 years. This palace is of great historical importance as it served as the administrative complex of the Maharanas. The first royal structure that was built in the City palace complex was ‘Rai Angan’, the royal courtyard. After the death of Maharana Udai Singh II, his son Maharana Pratap took over Udaipur. During the Battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap lost the war to the Mughal emperor Akbar, and Udaipur came under the rule of the Mughals.
After Akbar’s death, Mewar was handed over to Maharana Pratap’s son and successor Amar Singh I by the Mughal ruler Jahangir. Udaipur once again fell into the attacks of Marathas in the year 1761. To protect Mewar from further attacks, Maharana Bhim Singh signed a treaty with the British in 1818 asking for their protection. After India’s independence, Mewar became a part of democratic India, and kings of Mewar retained the ownership of the palaces in Udaipur.
The City Palace was built concurrently with the establishment of the Udaipur city by Maharana Udai Singh II and his successor Maharanas over the next 400 years. The Maharanas lived and administered their kingdom from this palace, thereby making the palace complex an important historic landmark. The earliest royal structure he built here was the Royal courtyard or ‘Rai Angan’, which was the beginning of the building of the City Palace complex. The court was built at the location where the hermit had advised Maharana to build his new capital.
The Mewar kingdom was flourished initially in Nagda (30 kilometers (19 mi) to the north of Udaipur), established in 568 AD by Guhil, the first Maharana of Mewar. In the 8th century, the capital was moved to Chittor, a hilltop fort from where the Sisodias and Choudhary ruled for 800 years. Maharana Uday Singh II inherited the Mewar kingdom at Chittor in 1537 but by that time there were signs of losing control of the fort in wars with the Mughals. Udai Singh II, therefore, chose the site near Lake Pichola for his new kingdom as the location was well protected on all sides by forests, lakes, and the Aravalli hills. He had chosen this site for his new capital, much before the sacking of Chittor by Emperor Akbar, on the advice of a hermit he had met during one of his hunting expeditions.
After Udai Singh died in 1572, his son Maharana Pratap took the reins of power at Udaipur. However, he was defeated by the Mughal emperor Akbar at the Battle of Haldighati in 1576 and Udaipur fell under the Mughal rule. After the death of Akbar, Mewar was given back to Maharana Pratap’s son and successor Amar Singh I by Jahangir. However, the Mughal army sent many expeditions against the Mewar empire, culminating in a peace treaty between both rulers.
But with the increasing Marathas attacks by 1761, Udaipur and the Mewar state were in dire straits and ruins. By 1818, Maharana Bhim Singh signed a treaty with the British accepting their protection against the other empires. After the Indian independence in 1947, the Mewar Kingdom, along with other princely states of Rajasthan, merged with democratic India, in 1949. The Mewar Kings subsequently also lost their special royal privileges and titles. The successive Maharanas, however, retained their ownership of the palaces in Udaipur and converted parts of the palace complex into heritage hotels.
ARCHITECTURE OF CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
Built-in granite and marble, City Palace complex is worth admiring for its perfect blend of Medieval, European, and Chinese architecture. The several palaces in the complex stand magnificently behind the 100ft high and 801 ft long facade built exquisitely on the ridge of Lake Pichola. Located at an elevation of 1,962 ft, the City Palace complex was built by the 22 generations of Sisodia Rajputs over an extensive period starting from the year of 1559. Udai Singh II and several other Maharanas have contributed significantly to the construction of this impressive complex. The complex comprises of 11 small palaces and other structures built homogeneously in its design.
The interiors of the palace complex are as commendable as its exteriors. The intricate mirror-work, marble-work, murals, wall paintings, silver-work, inlay-work, and colored glass that adorn the balconies, towers, and cupolas of the complex are worth admiring. The terraces in the upper part of the complex offer a breathtaking view of the lake and the surrounding Udaipur city. The palaces in the complex are connected by chowks and the corridors in the palace are built-in zigzag manner to evade any surprise attacks from enemies.
The City Palace complex is enriched with many structures that can be reached through the main Tripolia (triple) gate which acts as the entry point to the complex. Other structures within the complex are the Suraj Gokhda (public address facade), Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), Surya Chopar, Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), Krishna Vilas, Shambhu Niwas, Bhim Vilas, Amar Vilas (with a raised garden), Badi Mahal (the big palace), Fateh Prakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace.
The complex also has facilities of a post office, bank, and travel agency. There are several craft shops and an Indian boutique supported by World Wildlife Fund(WWF) that the tourists can visit on their trip to the palace complex. The Mewar royal family owns the entire Palace complex and the structures in the complex are maintained by various trusts. The Fateh Prakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace are now transformed into heritage hotels.
The series of palaces in the city palace complex, behind an exquisite facade of 244 meters (801 ft) length and 30.4 meters (100 ft) height, was built on a ridge on the east of Lake Pichola. The complex is located in Udaipur city at 24.576°N 73.68°E, which is set with an average elevation of 598 meters (1,962 ft). They were built over a long period, from 1559 onwards, by 22 generations of Sisodia Rajputs. Several Maharanas starting with Udai Singh II, have contributed to this edifice, which comprises an agglomeration of structures, including 11 small separate palaces. The unique aspect of this conglomeration is that the architectural design is distinctly homogeneous. The palace complex has been built entirely in granite and marble. The interiors of the palace complex with its balconies, towers, and cupolas exhibit delicate mirror-work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silver-work, inlay-work, and leftover of colored glass. The complex provides a view of the lake and the Udaipur city from its upper terraces.
The palaces within the complex are interlinked through several chowks or quadrangles with zigzag corridors, planned in this fashion to avoid surprise attacks by enemies. Erected in the complex, after entering through the main Tripolia (triple) gate, are the Suraj Gokhda (public address facade), the Mor-chowk (Peacock courtyard), the Dilkhush Mahal (heart’s delight), the Surya Chopar, the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of glass and mirrors), the Moti Mahal (Palace of Pearls), the Krishna Vilas (named after Lord Krishna), Shambu Niwas (royal residence now), the Bhim Vilas, the Amar Vilas (with a raised garden) that faces the Badi Mahal (the big palace), the Fateprakash Palace and the Shiv Niwas Palace, the last two have been converted into heritage hotels. The complex is set with facilities of a post office, bank, travel agency, numerous craft shops, and also an Indian boutique belonging to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The entire complex is the property of the Mewar royal family with various trusts maintaining the structures.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
To avoid the crowds and the scorching heat, it is advisable to visit the City Palace during the morning and evening hours. The winter season from October to March is considered as the best time to visit City Palace as the weather is quite enjoyable during this time. Check our custom-designed all-inclusive Udaipur tour packages here.
HOW TO REACH CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
Being a popular tourist attraction, several Autos, taxis, tongas, and city buses ply from various parts of the city to the palace complex. Ferry rides from City Palace to Jagmandir can also be availed for Rs. 400 per person.
ENTRY FEES AND TIMINGS OF CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
The entry fee to the City Palace is Rs. 30 for Adults and Rs. 15 for children. Rs. 200 is charged for Still Camera and Rs. 500 is charged for Video Camera. City Palace Timings are from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. It is open on all days of the week.
ENTRY FEES AND TIMINGS OF CITY PALACE MUSEUM UDAIPUR
The entry fee to the City Palace Museum is Rs. 250 for Adults (Above 18 yrs age) and Rs. 100 for Children (5 to 18 yrs age). There is no entry fee for children below 5 years of age. The camera fee is Rs. 250. For students coming in groups, the entry fee is Rs. 100 per student. City Palace museum is open from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm on all days of the week.
GUIDES AT CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
Tour Guides are available at the City Palace complex and a Hindi speaking guide will charge around Rs. 300 at the complex. The guides at the museum charge around Rs. 200. Audio guides are also available here. A must-visit tourist attraction in the City of lakes, City Palace is sure to mesmerize everyone with its splendid architecture and great history. A trip to Udaipur is incomplete without a visit to the magnificent City Palace.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CITY PALACE UDAIPUR
Udaipur City Palace is one of the architectural marvels of Rajasthan, located peacefully on the banks of Lake Pichola. This majestic City Palace is the most-visited tourist attraction of Udaipur and often distinguished as the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Initially, Maharana Udai Singh built this superb wonder, but the present form of the Palace is the result of subsequent additions by his successors.
City Palace boasts of the wonderful blend of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The Palace has various towers, domes, and arches, which add to the flavor of the heritage site. Towering on the banks of Pichola Lake, City Palace is truly a feast to the eyes. City Palace is a marvelous assortment of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms, and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this imposing Palace is wholly built in granite and marble.
City Palace has several gates that are known as “Pols”. ‘Bara Pol’ (Great Gate) is the main gate to the City Palace complex that will take you to the first courtyard. On passing ‘Bara Pol’, you will come across a triple arched gate, which is known as ‘Tripolia’. Between these two gates, you would see eight marble arches or Toranas, where Kings used to weigh themselves with gold and silver. Besides Tripolia, there is an arena where elephant fights were staged. Across ‘Tripolia’, you would enter the ‘Elephant Gate’ or the ‘Hathi Pol’.
City Palace comprises 11 wonderful palaces, which were built by different rulers still they resemble each other. With the sheer glimpse of unique paintings, antique furniture, and exquisite glass mirror & ornamental tiles work of these palaces, you will get amazed. Manak Mahal (Ruby Palace) has figures of crystal and porcelain. However, Bhim Vilas flaunts a fabulous collection of miniature paintings depicting the real-life stories of Radha-Krishna.
The ‘Krishna Vilas’ is known for the noteworthy album of miniature paintings portraying royal processions, festivals, and games of the Maharanas. Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) is celebrated for its lavish decor while Sheesh Mahal (Palace of mirrors) is known for its breathtaking mirror work. ‘Chini Chitrashala’ is renowned for its Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles. ‘Dilkusha Mahal’ (Palace of Joy) is known for the murals and wall paintings.
Bada Mahal is the exotic garden palace that stands erect on a 90 feet high natural rock formation. Rang Bhawan is the palace that used to contain royal treasure. There are temples of Lord Krishna, Meera Bai, and Shiva, located right to the ‘Rang Bhawan’. ‘Mor Chowk’ has exceptional glass mosaics of peacocks, set in the walls presenting the three seasons of summer, winter, and monsoon. ‘Laxmi Vilas Chowk’ is an art gallery with a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings.
Situated in the premises of City Place complex, Jagdish Temple is the biggest and most beautiful temple of Udaipur. This temple Appeals to the aesthetic sense of the people and we will further discuss it in our other section. You can also trace a Shrine of Dhuni Mata in the complex of City Palace. This part is considered as the oldest part of the Palace where a sage passed his life meditating here.
In 1974, a part of the City Palace and the ‘Zenana Mahal’ (Ladies Chamber) has been transformed into a museum. The museum is open for the public and we have discussed it in our other section about museums. One can locate some striking paintings in the ‘Zenana Mahal’ which further leads to Lakshmi Chowk. ‘Lakshmi Chowk’ is a beautiful white pavilion. In City palace, the most captivating sight can be viewed from the towers and terraces of ‘Amar Vilas’ from where you can get a breathtaking view of Lake Pichola.
‘Amar Vilas’ is the highest point of this Palace and has wonderful hanging gardens with fountains, towers, and terraces. City Palace is structured in a way that it offers a splendid view of the lake from all its Balconies, cupolas and towers. Unlike the craggy exterior, City Palace has amazing interiors with delicate mirror-work, marble work, murals, wall paintings, silverwork, inlay work, and a surplus of colored glass. The exquisite work of City Palace cannot be bounded in words, so one must visit this palace to capture the real picture of it.