Jai Vilas Palace Gwalior

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2008

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Entrance to Jai Vilas Palace. Most of it is locked except the Museum and the Durbar Hall. It was built by Maharaja Jiwaji Rao in 1874 at a cost of Rs 99 lakhs. The architect was an Italian Michael Filose. Parts of the palace were converted into a Museum in 1964.

This is the original Dhal (shield) of the Rani of Jhansi that weights 15kgs. As you enter the museum the first section is a collection of Arms.

You see Mahi Maratav with Surya Devata or Sun God in the center. This was placed on the elephants when they went in procession. Also see in museum Maharaja’s rooms, toilets, dinning rooms.

Enroute to the Durbar Hall. We were told this vintage car still works well.

The Durbar Hall is on the first floor. On the ground floor there is a huge dining hall with the world famous silver train with cut glass wagons which served guests as it tugged around on miniature rails on the tables. Spend time here.

This Belgian chandelier is as the entrance. The steps that you see take you to the Durbar Hall. It weights 1000 kgs and has 100 bulbs.

As you come to the Durbar Hall on the first floor you see two huge Belgian chandeliers each of which is 3500 kgs 250 bulbs. These were purchased in Paris and assembled here. It is said that ten elephants stood on the roof of the Durbar Hall to check if the ceiling could take the load. You see one the two chandeliers.

Ceiling of the Durbar Hall. 560kgs of gold were melted and used in the Durbar Hall.

The ceiling and walls are very well designed with some intricate work as you can see in this picture. A tour of the Jai Vilas Palace gives you a feel of how India’s royals lived. Read the travelogue on Gwalior.

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