Durbar Hall

Historic Building in Udaipur
Alexander Belokurov / Flickr Vision

The restored Durbar Hall (royal reception hall) in the City Palace is one of India’s most impressive, with some of the country’s biggest chandeliers. The walls display weapons and portraits of former maharanas of Mewar, who come from what is believed to be the oldest ruling dynasty in the world, spanning 76 generations. Entry to the Durbar Hall is included with a ticket to the Crystal Gallery.

Many palaces in India have a durbar hall. Usually the grandest room in the place, with a respectable amount of chandeliers and gilt overlay, the durbar hall was dressed to impress and used by Indian rulers for meetings and official occasions, such as state banquets.

The foundation stone of this hall was laid in 1909 by Lord Minto, the viceroy of India, during the reign of Maharana Fateh Singh, and it was originally named Minto Hall. The upper level of this high-ceilinged hall is surrounded by viewing galleries, where ladies of the palace could watch in veiled seclusion what was happening below. Nowadays, these halls are the Crystal Gallery.

The hall still has the capacity to hold hundreds of people and can even be hired for conferences or social gatherings.