On your boat ride to east banks of Pichola lake, you will be spellbound to see the massive Fort of legacy and royalty craved in both Rajasthani and Mughal architectural style. The fort is City Palace, an open book to enter the history of the Mewar dynasty. The palace exhibits the antique furniture, clothes, weapons, paintings, utensils to have a closure look of the royal lifestyle. The palace is open for all seven days in a week from 9.30 A.M to 5.30 P.M. During the visit to Udaipur city palace, visitors can enjoy boat rides, sunset, sound and light show, and many more activities by paying different entry charges for all the places and monuments inside the Palace.
History of Udaipur City Palace
The grandeur Palace came into existence in 1559, when the Mewar king Udai Singh wanted to save his defeat in Chittorgarh ( his capital) from Mughals. He shifted his capital near Lake Pichola, surrounded by Aravali, making it geographically viable location to protect from enemies and recreate the lost empire.
A loner hermit has advised him once to do so!!!
The king chooses the same place to build the massive fort as his new capital.
The palace came under the reins of Mughals and Britishers on defeats, but later on, it was handed over to the Mewar dynasty after independence. Udaipur is still the princely state and has many royal properties under the Mewar Royal family and with various trust.
Don’t step inside the Palace without knowing it’s architecture.
This city palace is a labyrinth of Chowks, corridors, small courtyards and complexes to defeat surprise attacks from enemies.
An Architectural Guide to The Udaipur City Palace
As you enter the city palace you will find the ticket counter at Badi Pol the main gate to City palace
From there you will see tripled arched gate known as Tripolia gate. The massive entrance hovered by beautiful balconies and lights welcoming the royal entrance.
In the passage towards Tripolia gate from Badi pol, you will spot Bhairav site. The foundation of the palace was laid on this site after a holy man met on hills proposed Maharaja Uday Singh to make his palace there.
The gates are beautifully bedizened by Torans, the hanging fringes, that are part of auspicious marriage ritual of Gujarati and Marwaris.
As you walk through Tripolia Gate you land in Big square courtyard Manek Chowk from where you can have a view of the area of City place you have walked through. The Toran pol and Hathi pol are the two distinctive ornate gates where competition among elephants to exhibits their strength use to be held and the winning elephant use to become the ride of Maharaja.
As you enter the palace lord Ganesh idol in the glass inlay chamber is the mark of starting any journey with his blessing. Ganesh Deodhi must have been built with the same philosophy.
Moving forward you will enter Pratap Kaksh which is also known as Pratap gallery which exhibits the heroic icon Maharana Pratap story in documented and sculpture format.
Beside this room is Nav Chowki Mahal, a 16 pillar coronation hall of the Sisodia Dynasty.
Moving Ahead you enter into Chandra Mahal or Moon palace named after the Marble basin which used to be filled by silver coins to be showered over on the public and needy people by the generous kings.
Now you are about to enter the second important part of the Palace Badi Mahal or Big Palace. The highest point of the city palace is beautiful inside by huge pools and fountains. The place allows to view the city from heights and enjoy the beautiful trees and garden surrounding it. The place has beautiful carve windows and light coming from colored glass reflects the hues of life in royalty. It is also known as Amar Vilas.
The passage that bridges Badi Mahal to Moti Mahal is called as Chitrashali Chowk is an artistic one. The courtyard has windows cemented with Dutch and Chinese tiles giving a panoramic view of the city below. It was used to be the place to celebrate life with music and dance of the royal era.
You would be stunned with the glittering golden light coming from the Sheesh Mahal or Kanch ki Burj a popular structure of Dilkhush Mahal close to Badi Mahal. The entry is prohibited but the glittering lights make their way through closed doors.
The other important structure of Dilkhush Mahal is Krishna Villa. A meditating residence of the princess who committed suicide to stop a war between two kingdom fighting to woe her for marriage. The walls have paintings from the life of Lord Krishna.
As you move forward the glittering beams from Moti Mahal will be struck you with the vibrant display of colors falling from the colored glasses.
Moving further from here you will explore places used as the personal residence of the rulers.
Bhim Niwas was a structure owned by Maharaja Bhim Singh.
Pritam Niwas was the place for physically challenged Maharana Gopal Singh. His wheelchair can still be seen in the palace.
Moving forward from Male dorm to women dorm you will explore Manak Mahal space shining bright like a ruby gemstone. The prestigious hall for a private meeting of the royal company is still scintillating the glorious history.
The lower level of Manak Mahal has embossed golden plated sun symbol, which is worshipped daily to start a perfect day.
Voila, here you enter now the magnificent Mor Chowk or Peacock corridor. The royal blue glass work with silver and gemstones carved in beautiful jharokhas or windows and also peacock mosaic is what will be cherry to the pie.
The Zenana Mahal and Laxmi Niwas chowk are part of ladies dorm covered in hues of blue and accessorized reciting the life of royal princess and queens. The place has a wide open garden in the center making it a perfect place for parties and meetings
Adjoining to the place is the Royal kitchen exhibiting the utensils used by while preparing the lavish feast for maharajas.
You can’t take an exit without sneaking into the Udaipur City Palace museum and get a load of the clothes, chariots, palanquin of the royal lifestyle 400 years back.
After your exit, you can sum up the experience as the royal treat to your eyes. You feel part of the legacy!!!!
Udaipur City Palace Entry Timings
Timings:9:00 A.M-5.30 P.M(Ticket counter closes by 4.30 P.M)for all days of the week
Best time to visit:: winter season from October to March is the best time to visit. Make an early morning visit to avoid the crowd and enjoy every corner of the palace.
Entry Fee for City Palace Udaipur
The City Palace Udaipur entry fee is Rs 30 for adults, Rs15 for children and Rs 200 extra charges for Camera.
How to Reach Udaipur City Palace to experience the legacy?
Udaipur is connected by Air by many airlines to all the major metro cities of India.
The East-West Corridor and Golden Quadrilateral several national highways intersect in Udaipur making is the easily accessible city from any corner of India.
The Railway Station in Udaipur also connects various train running through different states.
You can locally travel in Udaipur on Taxis, auto rickshaws and private cabs, tongas from any corner to City Palace.
Things to do at Udaipur City Palace
Boat ride: The city palace is on the banks of Lake Pichola. Tourists can enjoy the boat rides at a charge of RS 400-Rs500 per person. If you are traveling with a group, you can also hire a charter boat for RS 6500-Rs 7000. The charges are high during sunset time. The timings for boating is from 9.00 AM to 6.00 P.M.
Light and sound show: You can enjoy the Mewar Light and Sound show reciting the glorious history of the kings in both Hindi and English language. You can book your seat for 1 hour Hindi show for Rs 150-Rs250 (8.00P.M-9.00 P.M) and for English show the charges are high from Rs250-Rs500.
Lunch and dinner: You can enjoy the meals at Garden restaurant inside the city palace that serve authentic Rajasthani food along with multicuisine at very reasonable rates. Reserve your seat for Rs 200 for adults and 150 for kids and enjoy the lavish food.
Vintage Car collection preview: You can be proud spectators of the vintage Rolls Royce, Mercedes and all fancy machines used by the kings exhibited in City Palace at the cost of Rs 250 per person.
Book your next holiday to the beautiful magnificent city of lakes Udaipur and celebrate life in the most authentic manner.