Marvel at the opulent home of Jaipur's royal family at the City Palace. This sprawling complex features striking gates, pleasing courtyards and a series of segregated exhibits that make up part of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum.
Built by Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th century, this palace was designed to insulate the royal family from the outside world. As you stroll its grounds, take note of its distinctive blend of Hindu Rajput and Islamic Mughal architectural styles.
The complex is served by three gates, the Virendra Pol, the Udai Pol and the Tripolia gate. The Tripolia gate is reserved for the royal family, so you’ll have to enter through one of the others. Admire the grand ornate arches as you pass through.
Stop by the Mubarak Mahal, whose name, meaning "Auspicious Palace," hints at its divine beauty. Combining Rajput and European architectural motifs, the patterned exterior of this building makes for a striking sight. Inside, you’ll find a museum displaying saris, print work and delicate pashminas.
Continue to the Chandra Mahal, a seven-story red sandstone palace. Its façade is decorated with floral patterns, while the inside halls feature paintings and mirrors. The upper floors are reserved for royal residents, but feel free to explore the ground floor, where you’ll find a collection of carpets and preserved manuscripts.
Take a moment's breath in the lavish courtyard of Pitam Niwas Chowk, adjacent to the Chandra Mahal. Admire the peacock decorations adorning each entry and look for symbols of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Elsewhere in the complex, the Sarvato Bhadra holds a collection of silver and the Maharni palace, which was once the residence of the royal women, houses frescos and weaponry exhibits.
Don’t miss the Bhaggi Khana building, where you’ll find displays of British artifacts, or the Govind Dev Ji temple, which features an impressive gold-leaf ceiling.
The City Palace is northeast of Jaipur’s city centre. Get here by bus or rickshaw. The complex is open daily and charges admission. Guided tours are offered by tourist operators.