How to Reach Jai Vilas Palace Gwalior: - The jai vilas palace is situated in the Gwalior city,it is very well connected by a network of good roads, a railway station just 2 kms from the palace, an airport well connected with flights to major cities of India.
Best time to visit Jai Vilas Palace: - The best time of the year to visit Gwalior sure is the winter season (November-march) the summers are abnormally hot in this part, rainy season is hot and humid.
Entrance of Jai Vilas Palace Gwalior: - Remember the palace has entrance charged even on the mobile phones and video cameras, do buy the ticket before you use them in the campus.Indians – 100 INR
The jai vilas palace is sheer opulence to be witnessed no where else in India, you will come across a room which has 350 kgs of gold used for adorning the walls, world’s heaviest two chandelier hang from the ceiling.
The floor is decked by a carpet which took 12 years to make by the prison inmates and is probably world’s largest single knot rug. The palace comprising of some 400 rooms was constructed in 1875 at a cost of 1 crore rupees by the Scindia Maharaja of Gwalior Jayaji Rao Scindia. The palace is built on a huge area of 75 acres with beautiful gardens. Some 35 rooms in one corner have been made up as a museum which are open to the common people and tourist, going through these rooms one can imagine the grandiose style of living these maharaja’s enjoyed. The coloured crystal glass fountains, a miniature train set up on a dining table with cart load of delicacies doing the round of the dining table certainly amuses the visitors. An art gallery and a library having more than 5000 books. A collection of swords and daggers with some belonging to the mughal emperor Shahjahan and Aurangjeb. A personal war shield of 1857 revolutionary Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi.
To test the strength of the ceiling and judge whether it can sustain the weight of the massive chandeliers the architect sir Michael filose made a wooden ramp and led elephants to scale the ceiling. Even after a lapse of 140 years the ceiling still stands tall with the chandeliers underneath.
History of Scindia Rulers : - The scindia hail from the Maharashtra state and are Marathas. Maratha general Mahadji Shinde in the late 18th century captured the city of Gwalior from the Jat Rana of Gohad after few years the British overtook the city from them, In 1844 the Scindia family was again given the reins of Gwalior by the British. The scindia remained loyal to the British even during the 1857 revolt the Jai vilas palace, and many more structures were added by the Scindia dynasty to the Gwalior city. The famous Scindia school is also run by the Scindia family, the school is situated in the Gwalior fort atop the Gopachal hill.
Architecture of Jai Vilas Palace : - This palace is an excellent example of European architecture designed and actuated by sir Michael Filose who was fondly called as Mukhel sahib, Even after passage of 140 years the palace has been up kept very nicely and it appears in pristine condition, The palace is a blend of Italian, Cornithian and Tuscan style of European architecture. The palace rooms were embellished with choicest Persian carpets, the ceiling had crystal chandeliers imported from Europe. The furniture too was classy designed by the European designers, the accessories were sourced from various nations- China, Italy, France etc. The visitors say they haven’t seen this sort of opulence any where else in India it can any day be compared with the Buckingham palace or any other European palace, the Darbar hall in particular is worth a mention with more than three quintal of gold used to decorate the walls, the ceiling has two very heavy and large chandeliers each weighing 3.5 tons, the floor is decked up with perhaps the largest carpet.
It can be certainly said that this hall is the epitome of luxury to be seen on this planet. The rooms display the period furniture used by the Scindia royals, the dresses they wore, the arms and weapons they used, a wide display has been made, the sandals of the Maharani, the accoutrements, coloured window panes, The photographs and the trophies of the hunt which was a royal demeanour in the past century. It takes around an hour to go through these 35 rooms and people are awe struck to examine and realize the bygone era. The sheer brilliance of the craftsmanship on display is certainly worth an applause.
The palanquins used even by the Mughal emperors makes the experience worthwhile. The lawns have a coach of the Scindia royal Railway which was used to transport royalty on display, specially used on hunting sprees.