Second day of the trip to Udaipur started with visit to one of the most famous tourist destinations of Rajasthan – The City Palace – Most wonderful palace, we had ever visited. The door with huge elephant on the podium made a very splendid view to the entrance.
See it to believe it!
A unique Photo-Essay of the famed City Palace:
But not without its unique story:
The story goes that when Maharana Udai Singh was hunting one day he came across a holy man and, as was the custom, went up to him to take ‘Darshan’ (pay his respects). The sage told the ruler that if he builds his palace round this very place, fortune would favour the family. Maharana Udai Singh accepted his advice and first erected a small shrine. This is the oldest part and is known as Dhuni Mata. It remains a place of worship. It is a simple room containing pictures of the four chief Hindu deities of Mewar, Charbhuja, Eklingji, Shri Nath and Amba Mata.
A wooden railing encircles the holy spot where the sage is said to have sat. Around the courtyard outside Dhuni Mata are pictures depicting episodes from the life of Maharana Pratap, the great warrior son of Maharana Udai Singh. In an inner room can be seen the suit of chain armour and weapons of Maharana Pratap together with his armour worn by his famous horse Chetak. An artificial elephant trunk as shown in many of the paintings was often worn by horses during battles.
Near stair-way is found a simple marble throne on a raised platform, it was here that Maharana’s used to sit at the time of their coronation during a ceremony known as “Lakhu Gokhra” which was performed at this spot in the time of Maharana Sangram Singh.
Other things of interest in Palace include a room with mirrored glass floor with walls decorated with glass designs, and miniature paintings. This was created by Maharana Karan Singh in the 17th Century and is known as “Dil Khushal”. Another room has its walls completely covered with paintings depicting various events in Udaipur from the time of Maharana Jawan Singh.
Nearby is the famous sun window installed by Maharana Bhim Singh. It will be recalled that, by ancient salary tradition, the Maharanas of Mewar are Surya Vanshi, descendants of Sun God. On some special occasions and in evil times the Maharanas were expected to show themselves to their people for encouragement and to shed light in place of hidden sun.
To the south of City Palace Museum lies a romantic medieval tower building which was built for the queens of Mewar by Maharana Karan Singh and added to by his successors. It was built like a fortress and is almost windowless on the outside but astonishingly spacious within. From the lake side great astonishingly towering buttresses nearly a hundred feet high support it. At the top levels lattice windows give privacy air and light.
Amazing indeed! Don’t miss visiting it, though you would require atleast two hours to enjoy it thoroughly but dedicating full day would be ideal.
Photo Courtesy: Mukund Rai