Hawa Mahal :
The most extraordinary of the collection is the Hawa Mahal. A facade built on the walls of Jai Singh’s original palace by a successor Pratap Singh (in 1799) is in fact, one of the buildings of Jaipur, most significantly influenced by traditional local styles.
The structure looks somewhat like a Hollywood film-set and the pyramidcal profusion of balconies, portals and arcuate roof, seems merely bizarre.
There was not only the martial architecture of the Rajput fortress but also the jain religious style which comes through most forcefully in the Hawa Mahal, and a Bengali touch too, transmitted through Jai Singh’s principal architect Vidhydhar, who come from that region.
The structure is poised between the colourful royal past and the bustling cosmopolitan.
Ummaid Bhawan Palace :
Pratap Singh gave Jodhpur a reputation for progressiveness and this was continued by Maharaja Umaid Singh who was determined that Jodhpur should be a ‘Model State’. In 1923 when the Monsoon failed for the third time in succession, the only manner in which the young Umaid Singh could think of providing employment for his starving population was, to put them to work in building a palace.
Lanchester, famous in Britain for a style of heavy self important civic architecture, was chosen for this work and to serve as an architect.
Umaid Bhawan was his only excursion in stately architecture.
Possesses 347 rooms. There is a profusion of goldwork and stacks of imported furniture while, even the murals of traditional Indian subjects were painted by modern European artists. Outside was an immaculate copy of sixteenth century garden.
Sariska Palace :
Designed more like a hunting lodge, Sariska was the place which was constructed specially for tiger-shoots. It was the ebullient extravagant Jai Singh who combined the joy of the chase with the field exercises of the Alwar armed forces.
Deeg Palace :
Open pavilions, lotus arches and moghul gardens being the distinct features of the Bharatpur Raja’s fortress of Deeg. Surrounded with water the palace has delicate jali (Net) work in stone.
Samod Palace :
Built over 150 years ago by Rawal Sheo Singhji, the prime-minister in the Jaipur court belonging to the family of Samode.
Built as Samode Royal family’s suburban manor house, today stands as a reminder of a halcyonic past. The spirit of Rajasthan’s history and legend coloured by chivalry and romance finds expression here.