Jai Vilas Palace
The Jai Vilas Palace, also known as the Jai Vilas Mahal is situated in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh and is a symbol of age-old Indian culture and opulence, preserved to the modern day. The Maharaja of Gwalior, Jayaji Rao Scindia, had this magnificent edifice built to ensure a grand welcome for King Edward VII, the then Prince of Wales in 1874. Today, it serves as a residence for the descendants of the royal Maratha Scindia family. The palace also serves as a museum stretched over 35 rooms, houses the Chitrangada Raje Art Gallery and a library that comprises more than 5,000 books.
Moreover, each room in the regal palace contains curios of historical importance, including a collection of swords that date back to the times of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, and the original Dhal (shield) that belonged to freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai. The venture cost a total of INR 1 crore, which is likely to have been quite an extravagant affair in that era.
Covering a floor area of about 75 acres, the Jai Vilas Palace has an intricately designed Durbar Hall, which houses some of the world’s most colossal chandeliers, gilt furnishings, and a large plush carpet. The centre operates with a vision of creating an international cultural centre for the study of Maratha dynasty.