Our trip through the rooms of the palace where the past comes alive. Built to welcome Prince George and Princess Mary of Wales in 1876, the Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior (current residence of the Scindia family) is a majestic insight into the lives of the Indian royalty. Some 25 rooms of the palace have been turned into the Jivaji Rao Scindia Museum. An amalgamation of different themes, the first floor of the palace is Tuscan, the second - Italian-Doric, and the third is inspired by Corinthian and Palladian design.
1. It sounds unbelievable but the imposing Darbar Hall has two central chandeliers weighing a couple of tonnes, and hung only after ten elephants had tested the strength of the roof! As per a report, the hall is embellished with 560 kg of gold and the design is influenced by the Neoclassical and Baroque styles.
2. You can find the jewelled slippers that belonged to Maharani Chinku Rani hung on a beautiful tree-shaped showpiece. Interesting to note here that she was one of the queens in the Scindia family who is remembered for her height. She was 4 feet 3 inches and was married to Maharaja Madhorao Scindia.
3. We found some fascinating pieces of crockery across the halls, where guests were served. Very delicately painted in tints of pink, blue and green, the plates on the dining tables are extremely captivating to look at.
4. Notice the silver train with cut glass wagons which served guests brandy and cigars as it moved on miniature rails designed for a long dining table.
5. We were enchanted by the typical high tea setting in the palace displayed in one of the rooms as the window overlooked the exteriors of the Jai Vilas Palace.
6. We loved the royal nursery which includes a beautiful baby stroller shaped in the form of a swan.
7. Different rooms in the palace were used for different purposes to host guests. The green-walled billiards room was used to entertain guests after dinner. We, too, would love to gather here after dinner and strike up interesting conversations!