City Palace

Rising from the bank of Lake Pichola, the imposing City Palace is a grand icon of Udaipur’s and Rajasthan’s royal past. A must-visit destination for anyone who comes to Udaipur, City Palace is the largest palace in Rajasthan.

With a facade that is 244 m long and 30.4 m high, the palace complex has 11 smaller palaces. Construction of the palace was started in 1599 by Maharana Udai Singh II, the city’s founder, and was extended by his successsors. Though today, it seems uniform, like the brainchild of one man. It includes two luxurious palace hotels, a school and the popular City Palace Museum. With ornate towers, cupolas, arched doorways and protruding balconies, the City Palace is an architectural marvel and represents an exquisite blend of Rajasthani, Mughal, European and oriental architecture styles.

It has a maze of courtyards, pavilions, terraces, corridors, rooms and hanging gardens. Encircled by fortifications, this stately palace is built in granite and marble. The massive gates of the palace are known as ‘pols’ with Bara Pol being the main gate, which leads to the first courtyard. On passing Bara Pol, one comes across a triple arched gate, known as Tripolia. Between these two gates, one can see eight marble arches or ‘toranas’, where its is said kings used to weigh themselves with gold and silver. Next to Tripolia is an arena where elephant fights were staged. Across Tripolia, is the Elephant Gate or the Hathi Pol. In 1974, a large part of the City Palace was turned into a museum, known as the City palace Museum. You can still marvel at the royal family’s horses at the stables next to the museum. Inside the museum, first comes Rai Angan, where it is said king Udai Singh met a sage who asked him to build the city.

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