Zahana Mahal or Queen’s Palace, Udaipur
We left the main palace, headed down a skinny corridor, passed normal looking food prep area and popped out to see a bit of renovation.
We passed a lavishly decorated room complete with solid silver baby swing.
A very plain room and into a corridor covered in mirrors.
The rest of the Queen’s Palace has been turned into a museum: The City Palace is a unique example of the 16th century palace-fortress typology that emerges in medieval Rajasthan. This type evolved from the earlier fort structures that were usually spread over a large hill top and housed palaces, including defence infrastructure and settlements. Some of these earlier forts of the Mewar rulers are Chittorgarh (founded in the 10th century) and Kumbhalgarh (own blog). The City Palace differs from them as it is more like a palace complex on the hill with the city of Udaipur spread below within a city wall. The fortress-like appearance of this palace is achieved by encasing the hill with a retaining wall on which the palaces stand so that it seems to rise to a monumental height and has a continuous fortress-like facade along the hill.
The City Palace at Udaipur has gone through generations of change and transformation since its inception as the genius loci of Udaipur in the mid-16th century. Twenty-two generations of custodians from The House of Mewar, who have safeguarded and developed this invaluable resource of the city and have contributed to five distinct phases and styles of architecture that subsequently impacted the urban form of the lake city of Udaipur.
Phase 1 Mewar-Mature Phase 1559 – 1620 AD
Phase 2 Mewar-Mughal Early Phase 1620 – 1698 AD
Phase 3 Mewar-Mughal Mature Phase 1698 – 1778
Phase 4 Mewar-British Phase 1778 – 1930 AD
Phase 5 Post-Independence Mewar Phase from 1931 AD
What was amazing was (in the main palace Phase 2) steeping out into a courtyard roof garden we were told that these trees are in their original position and this part of the palace ‘grew’ around them.
The City Palace has several layers of histrocity and architectural styles. The stylistic trends show influences from contemporary developments in architecture and yet are distinctly individualistic to the particular ruler of that period. Since few of the royals continued to rule and construct over the turn of the centuries, i is difficult to categorise the architectural styles by each century.
In total, 13 distinct layers of historic fabric are clearly visible in the architectural collage of the palace that can be possibly further categorised in five major phases that link the geography, history and social life with the architectural evolution of the site.
Views, looking inward, from the corridor windows.
Sculptures along the way.
Beautiful window seat.
Display of musical instruments.
Down a level to more sculptures.
Display of royal ladies carriages. Single – open, married enclosed.
Outside, a bit of a surprise, a vintage WWI British field gun. Trigger finger was out before I could say “pose”, the cap went backwards and the sights were tested.
Lovely wall decorations and niches.
Bits and bobs and out through a gate we popped.
Ok, yes, it’s a diddy one.........
ALL IN ALL A REALLY NICE BIMBLE THROUGH
VERY LARGE AND GRAND BUILDINGS