Somehow I managed to get myself into this silly little blogging rut these last few days – I’ve have a ton of photos to share & have spent hours on the internet but I’ve been lacking the motivation to actually blog & have instead spent all these hours obsessively planning to re-do my room.

Anyway the only way to get out of such a rut is to just do it so here I am; I feel better already!

Today I’m sharing photos from our visit to City Palace. It used to be the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur (unlike most of India, Jaipur was a princely state which meant rulers could keep their titles / wealth etc. as long as they co-operated with the British Raj via a subsidiary alliance). The maharani of Jaipur, Gayatri Devi stayed there. Now a part of it now serves as a museum but most of it is still owned by the royal descendants.

Just as we entered a traditional Rajasthani puppet show was on. Puppets & music are used to narrate stories, we had a similar show at the hotel we stayed in almost every night.

Jaipur has a lot of pigeons. Everywhere. Every morning we would wake up to them making noise outside our window. Also they were everywhere in the museum. The people of Rajasthan definitely have an affinity for feeding pigeons & it shows.

There’s a separate smaller building in City Palace (I think it was called Friends of the Museum?) You have to pay an additional (nominal) entry fee. There are also no cameras allowed inside, which is a shame because it’s quite a sight – you will find every different kind of handicraft / art form on sale along with the craftsmen who make them (almost all of whom have been doing this for generations). Miniature paintings, natural perfumes & kohl (eyeliner), jewellery, footwear, small furniture etc. All of them proudly display certificates Prince Charles gave to them on his visit, signifying that their goods are of the highest quality (& they should be because prices in there range from double to 5x times the cost of the very same items outside!)
Ridiculous prices aside, I’d still strongly recommend going in there just to see the craftsmen at work. This carpet-maker demonstrated a few lines on his huge loom (he doesn’t follow a pattern, in case you’re curious). He happily consented to a photo & even put his colorful turban on just for it.

In the inner courtyard, there’s an area called Pitam Niwas Chowk. Here there are four gates, also called Ridhi Sidhi Pol that are very ornate. Each one is dedicated to a season & God / Goddess & only the gate corresponding to the current season is kept open. When we visited in early December the Peacock gate (representing autumn & Lord Vishnu) was open. Here’s my mom in front of the Lotus gate (which represents Summer & Lords Shiva & Parvati). I I love how her block-print kurta just went with the scene.

The exhibits inside various buildings were very dimly lit & not all that interesting – mostly weapons & garments belonging to the royal family from a few years ago.
Diwan-I-Khas (literal translation: hall of special audiences) had a lovely little shop that sold small mementos, I picked up a bunch of lovely postcards all featuring miniature paintings (the best quality I found in all of Jaipur!) Diwan-I-Aam (hall of public audiences) was lovely, but photography wasn’t permitted inside.