A sight to beat all Jaipur sights. Photo Tour of Chandra Mahal – King’s private residence at The City Palace

Chandra Mahal - Shobha Mahal

Chandra Mahal located at the South end of The City Palace is an enclosed area and the private residence of King of Jaipur. Usually visited by state guests or blue- blooded royalty, I was delighted to receive an unexpected and exclusive invitation to this haven of Indian design, craftsmanship and royal grandeur. This is how it unfolded …

“Would you like to take a tour of King’s private residence when you visit us at The City Palace” said the voice on the other side of the phone.

“But doesn’t the King live there? I don’t quite know him” I asked hesitantly

“There’s no problem, Madam. The King is traveling at the moment and we can show you the living rooms and other guest areas. We do make rare exceptions for our very special guests”

“Thank you, I’d love that” was all I could say before we worked out the logistics for my visit. The next morning I was picked up from my hotel and brought to the City Palace through a private gate and what followed was a wonderful tour of Raj splendour in all its glory. Of all the beautiful places I’ve seen in Jaipur (or Rajasthan for that matter), Chandra Mahal is probably a sight to beat all sights.

This post however is not a guide, just a simple photo tour of the extraordinary rooms I saw. Of the intricate design and craftsmanship at play, and above all a wonderful reminder of the grandeur of yesteryear architecture. Each of the four floors boast a living room, one more beautiful than the other. The most impressive of them all was the formal living and dining room where the King receives all state guests – I was however politely asked to not take any pictures of that room. It’s a pity that I can’t share it’s beauty with you but the others are here for your viewing pleasure …

Chandra Mahal Entrance
Entering Chandra Mahal …
Chandra Mahal - hand painted halls and ceiling
Hand Painted frescoes adorn the halls and ceilings
Chandra Mahal - Sukh Nivas
Sukh Nivas or the “Hall of rest” handpainted in Wedgewood blue and White
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Floral pattern in Sukh Nivas a reminder of monsoon
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Stair case Jali detail walking towards 4th floor
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Entrance to the second living room “Chavi Nivas”

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Marble inlay floor pattern
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Chavi Niwas’s intricate design detail

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Shobha Mahal is the third living room at King's residence
Shobha Mahal is the third living room at King’s residence
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Decorated in the age old ‘enamel’ style – a decorative style used predominantly in jewellery design from Rajasthan
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Mirror, lacquer and pure gold paint are used to decorate Shobha Mahal
Details of the decorative ceilings
Details of the decorative ceilings
Finally at the terrace gazebo / entertainment area, or Mukut Niwas (the crown room)
Finally at the terrace gazebo / entertainment area, or Mukut Niwas (the crown room)
A view of Trapolia Tower from Crown Room
A view of Trapolia Tower from Crown Room
Views of Jaipur city from the Crown Room / Mukut Niwas / terrace of King's private residence
Views of Jaipur city from the Crown Room / Mukut Niwas / terrace of King’s private residence
Approaching the exit after a breathtaking tour of Chander Mahal
Approaching the exit after a breathtaking tour of Chandra Mahal
The doors of king's residence open to the courtyard of City Palace, just outside Diwan-i-Khas
The doors of king’s residence open to the courtyard of City Palace, just outside Diwan-i-Khas

Author: Chanda Chaudhary

Aesthete. Storyteller. Wanderer. Chanda is a lover of design, craftsmanship and individualistic style. She’s best known for hosting long champagne lunches filled with stories and tales of adventure, living life on her own terms and making the ordinary, extraordinary. She lives and works in Goa, India.

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