JAI VILAS PALACE

The Jai Vilas Palace, down in central Gwalior, was built by Maharaja Jayajirao in 1874 using prisoners that were captured in the Gwalior Fort. The convicts were rewarded with the 12-year job of weaving the hall carpet, the largest in Asia. This European style palace has been converted into a museum and is known for its unique architecture which is a mix of Italian, Tuscan and Corinithian.

 

The Museum exhibits a collection of antiques belonging to the Scindia reign which were originally from Italy, France, and Versailles. Two Belgian chandeliers weighing several tonnes are said to be the largest pair in the world. Further, swords that were once used by Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan are rather conspicuous and catch one’s eye.

 

Maharaja memorabilia fills 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 displays the pièce de résistance, a model railway with a silver train that carried after-dinner brandy and cigars around the table in crystal coaches.