Palace sights in Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh
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The Scindia Museum occupies some 35 rooms of the Scindias' opulent Jai Vilas Palace , built by Maharaja Jayajirao in 1874 using prisoners from the fort. The convicts were rewarded with the 12-year job of weaving the hall carpet, the largest in Asia.
The gold paint around the durbar (royal court) hall weighs half a tonne. Eight elephants were suspended from its ceiling to check it could cope with two 12.5m-high, 250-lightbulb, 3.5-tonne chandeliers, said to be the largest pair in the world.
Bizarre items fill the rooms: Belgian cut-glass furniture and stuffed tigers. There's a ladies-only swimming pool with diving boards, a boat and a wine cabinet. The cavernous dining room…
Whimsical is the only way to describe Man Singh Palace : an imperial palace decorated with a frieze of yellow ducks! These - and mosaic tiling of elephants, tigers and crocodiles in blue, yellow and green - give it its alternative identity of Chit Mandir, or Painted Palace.
Built by Tomar ruler Man Singh between 1486 and 1516, this fine example of early Hindu architecture consists of two open courts surrounded by apartments on two levels. Below ground lie another two storeys constructed for hot weather, connected by 'speaking tubes' built into the walls and used by the Mughals as prison cells.
Here Aurangzeb imprisoned his brother, Murad, and slowly poisoned him with…