Step back in time at Jai Vilas Palace Museum

07-Aug-2021

Blog :: Heritage

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The Jai Vilas Palace is a magnificent architectural marvel, situated in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. Maharaja Jayajirao Scindia entrusted Sir Michael Filose to design and build the Jai Vilas Palace which is spread over 1,240,771 square feet.


The Palace has a distinctive influence of Renaissance Italian architecture with Baroque, and Rococo elements, and an Indo-Saracenic influence as well. Pillars from the famous Corinthian and Tuscan orders decorate the outer wall as well as the inner walls inside the vast courtyard reflect structural aesthetics and tops the list of tourist attractions in the Gwalior city.


The Jai Vilas Palace also serves as the private residence to the Maratha royal family and a wing of the grand structure is turned into HH Maharaja Sir Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum popularly known as Jai Vilas Palace Museum. The museum is one of the most visited monuments in Madhya Pradesh.


Unknown facts & tales about Jai Vilas Palace Museum


Apart from the grandeur of the palace, what really enhances a visitor's experience is the Jai Vilas Palace Museum's rare collection and facts associated with them. Here are some of the spellbinding objects with tales related to them :


1. The Durbar Hall and its Chandeliers


The grand Durbar Hall in the Jai Vilas Palace is adorned with 560 kgs of gold. Apart from this, the Durbar Hall has two majestic chandeliers, measuring 12.5m (42ft) in height and 3500 kgs (3.5 tonnes) in weight, donning 250 bulbs. In fact, while the hall was being built, eight elephants were made to walk on the roof above the Durbar Hall to check if its ceiling could take the weight of the chandeliers.


2. The Silver Train in the Banquet Hall


The famous silver train with cut glass carriages was made by Bassett-Lowke Ltd for the Maharaja of Gwalior in 1906 as a novel way to serve drinks to his dinner guests. It currently resides in the Banquet Hall of the museum.


H - 340

W - 534


3. The Silver Chariot in the Palanquin Gallery


In 1923, Maharaja Madhav Rao I, commissioned the "Silver Chariot" for a procession held in the memory of his beloved mother, Maharani Sakhyaraje. Regarded as a sacred ceremonial object, this exquisite piece has Maharani Sakhyaraje's initials etched on either side of the chariot. It also is decorated with divine designs,  including winged horses and 'makara' - a mythological Indian creature associated with the revered Goddess Ganga.


4. The Persian Carpet


Created by Mohammad Ibn Ja'far between 1870-1910, the Persian Carpet has a high knot density of 500 knot/sq. inch. It is one of the most exquisite knotted carpets in the world. Intended to be used as a wall hanging, the carpet portrays at least around 180 important historic personalities from around the world like Jesus Christ, Napoleon Bonaparte, Nadir Shah, George Washington, Louis XIV and so on.


5. Akbar's Zulfiqar Sword


The glory of the Zulfiqar sword is well known in the Islamic world. It belonged to Imam Ali who is a highly respected individual in Islam. The greatest Mughal emperor of India, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar ordered a replica of Zulfiqar to be made with the Nad-I-Ali inscribed on it. This sword rests in the museum's Arms Gallery.


Visit to Jai Vilas Palace Museum


On a visit to Jai Vilas Palace Museum you will witness a royal odyssey that uncovers a treasure trove of precious objects curated with memories from rich history.


Jai Vilas Palace Museum is open for visitors from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm every day of the week except on Mondays.


For inquiry visit social media pages : instagram - @gwaliorpalace and facebook page - @GwaliorPalace or e-mail on info.jvpmuseum@gmail.com