Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior, India - an inspiring building with ''silver toy train'' to serve liquor to royal guests!!

 chandeliers-largest pair in the world''Jai Vilas Palace,Gwalior Indiawikimedia.org/
Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior. India .livehistoryindia.com/living-history/forgotten-treasures
Built  in 1874 by  Maharajadhiraj Shrimant Jayajirao Scindia Alijah Bahadur, the Maharaja of Gwalior when India was under the direct control of  the  British Crown administration, London,  the
Jai Vilas palace, Gwalior, dinning table with  model train track.alamy.com
Jai Vilas Palace, is a beautiful building designed and built by Sir Michael Filose for the popular ruler.  Presently, a part of the palace is converted into a Museum  called the "Jiwajirao Scindia Museum". It was opened on 12 December 1964  by  Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (a great Indian Philosopher), then president of India  to be used by the public. Part of the palace is being used by descendants of the former royal Maratha Scindia dynasty as their residence. The palace has 400  well- furnished rooms, out of which  40 rooms  form the famous Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum. The palace has a fine collection of  amazing gadgets and antiques of past era and other  attractions. The reading rooms, drawing rooms, JSM hall, and breakfast room are built in a nice way.
Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior. India livehistoryindia.com
What is so unique about this 19th century historical palatial palace is  it a fine model of a combination of  various styles of European architecture. The first story is of Tuscan, the second Italian-Doric and the third has a touch of  Corinthian style.  It was constructed on a plot of  1,240,771 square feet and the most impressive part of this palace is its  large Durbar Hall that  is carfully decorated with gilt and gold furnishings and adorned with a huge carpet and gigantic chandeliers. It is 100 feet long, 50 feet wide and 41 feet in height.  The Durbar (royal court) hall ceiling  is very high and it has a pair of  12.5m-high, 3.5-ton  impressive pure crystal chandeliers with 250 light bulbs and it said to be ''the largest pair in the world''.
Maharajah Jayajirao Scindia of Gwalior. .theindianportrait.com

Above image: Sir  Shrimant Jayajirao Scindia (19 January 1834-20 June 1886) of the Scindia dynasty of the Maratha clan  was the ruling Maharajah of Gwalior from 1843 to 1886 under the British rule.  keenly interested in the welfare of his state, in 1872, Sri Jayajirao  gave Rs. 7.5 million for building the Agra-Gwalior portion of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, and a similar amount in 1873 for the Indore-Neemuch section of the Rajputana-Malwa railway. In 1882 land was ceded by the state for the Midland section of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway.
Shrimant Jayaajirao was a great builder and  constructed many impressive  buildings like Moti Mahal, Jai Vilas Palace, Kampoo Kothi, Victoriya Building, Gorkhi Dwar Gate and Daffrine Sarai. Being a true Hindu, he  reconstructed the Koteshwar Mandir and about 69 Shiva temples across his state.  With a view to improving  fortification etc., he gave Rs. 1.5 million for the reconstruction of Gwalior fort boundary wall and the broken parts of Man Mandir, Gujri Mahal and Johar Kund. In 1886  he made efforts to get back  Gwalior fort and Morar cantonment, with some other villages, which had been held by British troops since 1858,  by exchanging  Jhansi city.  In 1861, Shrimant Jayajirao was given a Knights Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India. His photos appeared in the London press and was regarded as the friend of the British Empire. In 1877, he became a Counselor of the Empress and later on a GCB and CIE  (https://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/Jayajirao_Scindia)   ....................................
Located in the heart of the city, Jai Vilas Palace is a major destination for the visitors to this city.   Befitting to the prestige of this royal family, the palace is known for excellent embellishments.
Many of the rooms, including drawing rooms, bed rooms and bath rooms, are lavishly decorated and are being well-preserved as of today, thus maintaining its old charm and the splendor for which this palace was famous.  The kitchen  where the  quality food was made for the royal family members and the visiting guests  is well built with fine furnaces, pots, china etc. Its preservation  as of today is praise-worthy.  A descendant of this royal family - Madhavrao Scindia, served as the Railway Minister of India when the Congress was in power  at the Center in Delhi several years ago. A visitor could see his  the desk and photographs of  him in a large room in the palace.
.Silver toy train, Jai Vilas palace, Gwalior, India. ailes.ch/dataPDF
The palace rooms have numerous curios including cut-glass furniture, stuffed tigers and a ladies-only swimming pool with its own boat. An interesting feature of the royal dinning room is  it has a model silver train that would chug  along  the palatial dinning table, carrying after-dinner brandy and cigars to entertain the guests. The silver train was used as a table trolley for serving food to the guests as well
Silver toy train, Jai Vilas palace, Gwalior, India. pinrest com
Madho Rao Scindia was the 5th Maharaja of Gwalior and ruled from 1886 to 1926. He was a great gadget lover and was the first Indian ruler to own a car.  He, giving due attention to emerging technology development,  introduced the Light Railway system in his home state called Gwalior Light Railway  with 28 stations.  His love for trains was a known fact and he could run the main locomotive.  He was so enamored with trains in 1906 he ordered  a
Gwalior, MP city map mapsofindia.com/
silver train set with  Bassett Lowke, a  British model toy Company  that functions even today(?). It was meant for the banqueting hall to serve liquor, etc to the guests. The train included  Silver engine carriages  made of silver and crystal  decanters.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jai_Vilas_Mahal
 https://www.livehistoryindia.com/herstory/2017/08/05/amrit-kaur-indias-first-female-cabinet-minister
https://www.livehistoryindia.com/living-history/forgotten-treasures