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JAIPUR AND RAJMAHAL: SHARING PASSAGES OF HISTORY

The ‘candy-floss’ pink walls of SUJÁN Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur can look back at the passage of time like few other buildings of Jaipur. With a history that first saw the light of day in 1729, when the site on which the palace now stands was created as a garden by a Maharaja for his queen, to the heyday of Pax Britannica in the 19th century when it served as the Residency of the British Political Agent to Rajputana, Rajmahal has absorbed a rich tide of history. As a home of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the palace accentuates the trappings of a handsome heritage. It embodies the tastes and reflects the lifestyle of a Maharaja in the 21st century; a dazzling combination of tradition and modernity set in polished stone and acres of wall-paper amidst sprawling, verdant grounds.

 

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Amber’s grandeur and glory still looms large over Jaipur. Extensively built and expanded in the halcyon days of the Mughal Empire, Amber Fort is without doubt one of the most awe-inspiring and imposing fortresses of the 16th century, anywhere in the world.
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A portrait of Maharaja Ram Singh II of Jaipur adorns the Maharaja’s Apartments at Rajmahal. The long reigning monarch – he reigned from 1835 until 1880 – the Maharaja is credited with much of Jaipur’s modernisation programme. He was also an early aficionado of photography and some of Rajmahal’s oldest pictures are credited to his camera. From the SUJÁN Archives.
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The Maharaja’s 1955 Thunderbird (one of six every manufactured) still adorns the portico and entrance to the palace doors. Jaipur was amongst the earliest states to encourage motor-transport in Rajputana and its spacious streets are a testimony to that. From the SUJÁN Archives.


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A walk through “The Chinoiserie”, offers an insight – almost exhibition like – into the history of the Chamber of Princes which represented most of the Princely States of British India. Following the military expedition by Indian troops to China during the Boxer Rebellion in the 19th century, many Chinese artefacts as well as designs found their way back to the corners of the British Empire. From the SUJÁN Archives.
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The main verandah of the palace has seen luminaries of every hue walk along it, from reigning kings and queens to dignitaries, film-stars and guests of the royal family of Jaipur. The tradition continues. From the SUJÁN Archives.


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Rajmahal Palace’s Polo Bar is a repository of Jaipur’s long running affair with Polo. A historical destiny has tied this ‘game of kings’ to the Jaipur royal family from the days of the Mughal emperor Akbar. From the SUJÁN Archives.
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Originally, the grounds of Rajmahal Palace were designed as a pleasure garden by Maharaja Jai Singh II for his wife, Maharani Chandra Kanwar Ranawat ji. The grounds and gardens have survived over two centuries of change, renovation and redesign and few places in Jaipur can boast a lawn as sprawling as rajmahal’s. From the SUJÁN Archives.
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The Durbar Hall is one of the most striking rooms in Jaipur. It is also home to an array of family pictures of the Jaipur royal family, depicting the transition of Jaipur State from a Princely State to its accession to the Union of India. An entire history of 20th century Jaipur can be found depicted in this Hall. From the SUJÁN Archives.

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