City Palace Complex

sights / Architecture

City Palace Complex information

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Lonely Planet review

Below the fort sprawls the colourful and convoluted City Palace, or Vinay Vilas Mahal, with massive gates and a tank reflecting a symmetrical series of ghats and pavilions. Today most of the complex is occupied by government offices, overflowing with piles of dusty papers and soiled by pigeons and splatters of paan (a mixture of betel nut and leaves for chewing).

Hidden within the City Palace is the excellent Alwar Museum . Its eclectic exhibits evoke the extravagance of the maharajas’ lifestyle: stunning weapons, stuffed Scottish pheasants, royal ivory slippers, erotic miniatures, royal vestments, a solid silver table, and stone sculptures, such as an 11th-century sculpture of Vishnu. There are also some striking ‘widescreen’ paintings of Imperial processions. Somewhat difficult to find in the Kafkaesque tangle of government offices, it’s on the top floor of the palace, up a ramp from the main courtyard. However, there are plenty of people around to point you in the right direction and from there you can follow the signs.