Lashkar Jai Vilas Palace & Museum
¤ Main Attractions
Jai Vilas Palace & Museum
A few kilometres to the south of the Gwalior Fort, is the new town of
Lashkar. It was established in 1809, and houses the Jai Vilas Palace.
Lashkar was founded by Daulat Rao Scindia and served as a military
base. By 1829, Lashkar was already a full-fledged town with wide
streets, stone houses and a proper sewage system.
gleaming white Jai Vilas Palace built by Lt.Col. Sir Michael Filose
resembles a quaint Mediterranean resort. The palace was designed to
resemble an Italian palazzo and constructed in three years flat
(1872-74), to welcome the Prince of Wales on his visit
here. Although the palace was executed in sandstone, it was painted a
brilliant white to simulate marble.
Jai Vilas Museum
Though the present Maharaja still lives in the palace, 35 of its
rooms house the Scindia Museum, which displays royal memorabilia.
The Museum boasts of a remarkable collection of artifacts, culled
from all over the world. A crystal staircase winds its way up to the
spectacular Durbar Hall. The arched ceiling, with stunning gold leaf
work, carries two of the worlds largest and most magnificent
chandeliers, each weighing over three tons and holding 248 candles.
The roof was tested in advance by getting 10 elephants to climb upon
it via a two-kilometre ramp.
The chandeliers were gilded with 56 kilograms of gold. Spread out
across this very hall is the largest carpet in Asia, made in the
The hall is dotted with all kinds of curios such as Belgian cut glass
and crystal furniture including a rocking chair. Stuffed tiger
hides speak of the hunting expeditions of the erstwhile royalty of
You will even find a Rolls Royce on rails and a German bubble car.
Elsewhere, is a room of erotica where an explicit life-sized marble
statue of Leda having her way with a swan, occupies pride of place. It
should be mentioned here that according to Greek mythology, Zeus
visited Leda in the form of a swan, and together they begot the famous
Helen of Troy.
However, the most enchanting curiosity is the famous model train that
circulates brandy, dry fruit and cigars around the table after dinner.
The lifting of a container or bottle would automatically reduce
pressure on the track and thus stop the silver train.
Open 0930-1700; closed on Monday.
There are other places of interest in Lashkar that can easily be
covered within a day. The other prominent monument in the new town is
the Moti Mahal, which now houses government offices. What is
noteworthy about this palace, are suites with coloured glass and mural
paintings of scenes from Hindu mythology.
Royal Chhattris-- (Cenotaphs)
These chhattris are dedicated to the Scindias of Gwalior. The place
is locally referred to as the Chhattri Bazaar and is close to the
Jayaji Chowk the main market of Gwalior. The most elegant of
the chhattris is dedicated to Jayaji Rao. It is a massive oblong
structure of sandstone, carved with mythological figures and crowned
by a cupola.
Memorial of Rani of Jhansi
Southeast of the Fort, on the way to the railway station is
aMemorial to the Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai, who fought the British
in Indias First War of Independence. A platform marks the spot
where her zealous followers cremated her.