Palace in Udaipur
Opening hours: 9:30am-5:30pm
Address: Old City, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Ticket price: adult/child ₹300/100, guide per hourr ₹250, audio guide ₹200
Visit duration: People typically spend up to 1.5 hours here
Udaipur’s City Palace is one of the largest palace complexes in the state of Rajasthan and in India. Among the most popular sightseeing places in the city of Udaipur, the City Palace is worth admiring. Be it the architectural wonder of the palace or the breathtaking views that it offers, once you visit the City Palace you will know how picturesquely beautiful the city is.
The palace stands as a symbol of magnificence on the eastern banks of an artificial lake called Lake Pichola. It is on the banks of this lake that Udaipur was built. The mighty Aravalli Range flanks the other side of the palace adding natural beauty to the surroundings.
The kingdoms that ruled over Rajasthan kept on changing their capital. It was in 1537 that the Mughals attacked the then capital of Chittor and fearing that they would lose the fort, Maharana Udai Singh II strategically shifted his capital to Udaipur which has Lake Pichola offering a natural shield against invasion.
The construction of the City Palace was started by Maharana Udai Singh II. However, the expansive complex took over 400 years to get completed and today it boasts of being an epitome of architectural excellence.
The materials used to construct the City Palace are granite and marble. The facade behind which the complex is built stands 100 feet high and 801 feet long. Though there are several structures within the complex, including 11 palaces, the design of all is so homogenous that they all blend into one massive masterpiece.
The magnificent exterior of the complex leads to an even more stunning interior that has intricate designs. The influence of Mughal architecture is seen on the balconies with coloured glasses, and inlay work decorating towers and cupolas. You can also spot amazing silver and mirror works, murals and wall paintings in different parts of the palace. The palace is built in a zigzag pattern that allows the royal residents to escape any surprise attacks.
Badi Pole is the main entrance to the Udaipur City Palace complex which has eight ornamental stone arches called torans on the wall. This leads to the first courtyard and the Tripolia Pol which is a three-arched gate. This gate is the northern entrance of the palace.
Manek Chowk is another distinct feature of the City Palace which is used for ceremonial purposes including public gatherings, elephant parades, and horse cavalry. The famous Light and Sound show also take place here. This brings alive the rich and diverse history of Rajasthan.
For art enthusiasts, the Badi Mahal and the Bhim Vilas are a visual treat as they house miniature paintings belonging to the 18th and 19th centuries. Ganesh Deori takes you to the City Palace Museum decorated with artefacts.
One part of the City Palace was constructed for the women of the royal family. Such chambers where only the women of the family would visit were common during mediaeval times. These chambers were called Zenana. The Zenana chamber of the complex along with other parts was converted into a museum in 1974.
The entry fee for Udaipur City Palace is ₹300 for adults and ₹100 for children. For students who show valid id proof, there is a concession on the entry fee.
The City Palace opens its gates at 9:30 am and closes at 5:30 pm on all days of the week. It is better to visit the palace in the late afternoon so that after a visit to the museum and other parts of the complex, you can either take a sunset boat ride on Lake Pichola or enjoy the sunset from the terrace of the complex.
Yes, you can click photographs and shoot videos by paying a nominal fee of ₹250.
The City Palace Museum houses precious royal memorabilia including paintings, silver and sculpture galleries that take you back to the days of yore.
Yes, you can shop for handmade crafts and also a wide range of traditional Rajasthani clothes called Bandhani sarees and other handloom items. Some of the shops are also run by royal families.