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Wonders of Rajasthan

Vibrant Rajasthan - Tour to the Land of History, Legends, Hotels....

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City Palace Udaipur

The City Palace is a vision in white. Started by Maharana Uday Singh, it was added to by succession Maharanas. Amazingly, all subsequent retained uniformity of design. It is located in the heart of the city and is the largest palace in Udaipur. The City Palace is situated on a crest and has a view of the Pichola Lake that also houses the Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir Palace.

Quite different from the other palaces of Udaipur and even Rajasthan, the City Palace has a blend of European and Chinese architecture. The Elephant Gate or the Hathi Pol is the palace entrance. The 'Bara Pol' the Great Gate on the northern end leads to the first court yard, which joins Tripolia or the Triple Gate. Between these two gates lie eight carved marble arches or 'Toranas'. The custom was that the rulers were weighed against gold and silver under these arches and the value of the gold and silver was then distributed to the poor.

There is an arena that was used for staging elephant fights. The Maharana granted public audiences from Suraj Gokhada or the Balcony of the Sun. The Mor Chawk or the Peacock Square has blue mosaics in glass of peacocks on its walls. The oldest part of the palace is Raj Aangan. The entire palace is now preserved as a museum for its rare artefacts, enamel work, precious antique furniture and exquisite paintings.

Among the various other period rooms inside the complex, the 'Krishna Vilas' has a collection of miniature paintings that depict the lifestyle of the Maharanas including royal processions, festivals and games. The 'Manak Mahal' or the Ruby Palace has crystal and porcelain figures. 'Bhim Vilas' has stories of Radha and Krishna's celestial love painted on the walls. The Zenana Mahal was the queen's quarters to the south and the Dilkusha Mahal (Palace of Joy) has frescoes and wall paintings. The Laxmi Vilas Chowk is an art connoisseur's delight as it houses a gallery, with a distinctive collection of Mewar paintings.

The Chini Chitrashala is decorated with Chinese and Dutch ornamental tiles with the latter depicting scenes from the Bible, including the flight to Egypt. The Moti Mahal also known as the Palace of Pearls is lavish in its decor and the Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) is decorated with inlaid mirror work. There is also a Hawa Mahal in this complex. The Bari Mahal has a fine garden made on a 90 feet high natural rock formation. The Amar Vilas, the highest point of the palace, has exquisite hanging gardens with fountains, towers and terraces and has a commanding view of Udaipur.

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