Jai Vilas Palace Museum is part of the palace, built by Maharaja Jiyaji Rao Scindia, that is still occupied by the current successors of the royal family. Filled with antiques, unique architecture from all parts of Europe, opulent expressions of grandeur, the palace façade is imposing and reminds one of ornate façades in Italy and France! The opulence is breathtaking and magnificent – to say the least!
The first part of the museum houses the collection of arms. Though there are loads of artifacts that are amazing but the focal point is the original Dahl (Shield) of the Rani of Jhansi! A vantage homage point!
On the ground floor below the Darbar Hall is the Dining Hall. Here you can see the world famous silver train with cut glass wagons that served the royal guests amazing royal dishes! The chairs back-rest has the royal crest of Gwalior on it. I first read about this train in “Freedom at Midnight” by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (1975). Those days I only dreamed how it must be like to see it!!!
The Queens’ chambers… were unique showing the love of a king for his short queen Chinoo Rani. The royal couple married when they were kids and the Queen subsequently didn’t grow tall… so the King had everything customized to her height! A true labor of love!!! Everything was custom-made to her height and comfort… her chair, her dining room space – table and chair, her bed… even her bejeweled tiny shoes are on display.
The bathroom of the queens, their spas (I guess) and the accruements… Each room has tiles – mostly Belgian tiles on the walls… There are rooms that have different color combinations – the room with blue drapes and walls still remain etched in my memory! A room with Belgian cut glass furniture – amazingly done and ornate! The dining room with the furniture, the woodwork and the glossy presentation – amazing!
The red chandelier at the entrance is beautiful and ornate. It is made from Belgian crystals and some say it weighs a 1000 kg and has a thousand bulbs!
The Durbar Hall is on the first floor/level. The Durbar Hall is breathtakingly amazing! It is one of the few darbar halls in India that is as it was when it held court in all its finery today too!
The carpet of this hall is the largest carpet in Asia!!! It has drapes and furniture that was there since the days of the Royals! There are too many things there – amazing highlights! The Royal Crest on a Rug on the wall is full of gold! The chandeliers are what folklore are woven of – the largest pair of chandeliers in the world! Each 3500 kg with 2500 bulbs, and 12.5 meters high! Ten elephants were made to stand on the ceiling of this hall to check if the ceiling could take the weight of the twin chandeliers! The rampart the elephants used to walk/climb to the ceiling is still standing! The ceiling might be one of the richest in India with over 560 Kgs of gold used for decoration!
Visit Gwalior and take half a day to spend here... A must!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.