Monday, March 18, 2013

Jaipur, Albert Hall Museum & Rambagh Palace - Rajasthan State

Event date: 2nd July 2009

I first laid my eyes on this beautiful building while looking at a direction to Chokhi Dhani on the night I arrived in Jaipur City. It look so astonishingly grandeur and outstanding when it was lighted at night. Hence, after I finished my tour to Amber Palace Fort and Jaigarh Fort the next day, I went to look for the building.  

The museum was modeled after the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and is located in Ram Nivas Bagh, south of the Jaipur Old City. Its collection includes portraits of local kings, costumes, woodcarvings, paintings, arts and crafts. Unfortunately photography isn't allowed. A visitor, foreigner is required to pay Rs30. The museum opening hours is from 10am to 4.30pm daily.

Albert Hall Museum is the oldest and the famous museum of the state. It is functions as the State museum of Rajasthan. The building is situated in Ram Niwas garden outside the city wall and opposite of the new gate . It has a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The building was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and was opened as a public museum in 1887. It is also called the Government Central Museum. Maharaja  Ram Singh initially wanted this building to be a town hall, but his successor, Madho Singh II, decided it should be a museum for the art of Jaipur and included as part of the new Ram Nivas Garden. The museum has a rich collection of artefacts like paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, metal sculptures, colourful crystal works etc. It is named after King Albert Edward VII, who visited to the city when he was the Prince of Wales when its foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1876.

A beautiful statue at the roundabout near the Albert Hall museum.

Another beautiful building at Ram Nivas Garden near Albert Hall Museum

Rambagh Palace, now known as Taj Palace Hotel is an impressive Taj Group hotel after being converted from once the famous "Jewel of Jaipur", a Rambagh Palace. It is now Jaipur's most magnificent palace hotel, and was a home to the royal family for over 30 years. The hotel is set among 47 acres of gardens to the south of the Old City. It's been voted the best hotel in Asia and Indian subcontinent.

The front courtyard

The Rambagh Palace is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, located 5 miles outside of the walls of the Jaipur city on Bhawani Singh Road. It become a preferred choice by celebrities and sport stars across the globe, widely considered to be one of the best hotels around the world.

The first building on the site was a garden house built in 1835 for the wet nurse of prince Ram Singh II. In 1887, during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh, it was converted into a modest royal hunting lodge, as the house was located in the midst of a thick forest at that time.

In the early 20th century, it was expanded into a palace to the designs of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II made Rambagh Palace as his principal residence and added a number of royal suites in 1931.

After India became independent and the princely states united, the Palace became the Government House. By the 1950s, the royal family felt that the upkeep of the palace and its 47 acres (190,000 m2) of gardens was becoming very costly. They, therefore, decided in 1957 to convert it into a luxury hotel.

I did not have a close view of the inside hotel as we were passing by on our way searching for the Albert Hall Museum at the time the photos was taken.

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