After walking around the Jagdish Temple and getting blessed, we wandered over to the City Palace. This place is kind of crazy looking and seems to go on forever. It was built over 400 years, constantly being added on to by each new king. As such, it’s the largest palace in Rajasthan and a mixture of different types of architecture.
It almost seems like there isn’t a single bare spot on this entire building. Everything is covered with ornate decorations or detailed carvings.
We marveled at the gates, built so tall to allow people to ride through on elephants, but with spikes to keep out invaders on elephants as well. The elephant-lover in me can’t help but cringe when I think about what must have happened.
The palace sits up above the city of Udaipur with views of the whole town. It’s very white and yet somehow colorful at the same time!
Before we went inside for a tour, we walked around the little shops in the walls around the palace. They aren’t souvenir shops necessarily, but they have some cute, antique-type things to buy. We didn’t get anything, but it was fun to look. And I admit, I was tempted by the horse on wheels. How relaxing would that be to ride around on?
Inside, I was immediately taken with the tiled walls. A Ganesh tile? I wish I could have found a couple of these to bring home!
We wandered around inside on a self-guided tour. The views of Lake Pichola were lovely, and that white building in the middle is the Lake Palace. Originally it was built as a winter palace in the mid-1700’s. Today it’s a luxury hotel and was used in the James Bond movie Octopussy.
The area we’re exploring is the older part of the palace, but further down is a hotel, and there’s also a place for the royal family of India to stay when/if they visit.
We briefly stopped to rest in one of the many courtyards found throughout the complex. I can totally see why these were appealing. Lots of trees and surrounding walls kept the area cool, and you get a breeze off the lake below.
I think those hooks in the ceiling were used to attach a swing.
I really loved how pretty the walls were decorated. Either they were brightly painted with flowers and animals, or they were covered in gorgeous tile.
I can just imagine the kings of yesterday standing here, looking out over their kingdom. It’s a really pretty view. What might they have been thinking? Were they good leaders who wanted the best for their people? Or were they greedy and only wanted what was best for themselves?
I didn’t take many pictures inside – it was generally too dark and they didn’t turn out well, but here’s a few of some different rooms, including my personal favorite, the one I like to call the disco room (I believe it was a throne room, but I can only see Saturday Night Fever).
It took us a couple hours to make our way through the museum palace so it was early afternoon by the time we finished up the tour. As we walked back to the car, we stopped at a few shops to do more shopping. I got a couple scarves for people at home and Maggie was on a mission to find some jewelry. I think we visited 3 different jewelry shops! We had one more stop to make to visit the Courtyard of the Maidens before we were done for the day. This tour company really knows how to pack the sites into a day! More on that next!