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Jahangiri Mahal

THIS ROYAL SEAT of the Scindias is dominated by a massive hill fort. The interior owes some of ids finest features to the Bomar musician-king, Man Singh (r.1486-1517). Near the ornate Hindola Gate, one of three gateways located near the old city, is the romantic Gujari Mahal (1510) built by Man Singh for his tribal wife, the beautiful Mrignayani, and it now homes the outstanding Archaeological Museum.His main palace. the Man Mandir, with an amazing variety of ornamental glazed tile patterns, is considered the most remarkable example of an early Hindu palace.

In the city below the fort, the 15 thcentury Italian palazzo-style Jai Vilas Palace houses the Scindia Museum. Famous for a magnificent crystal staircase and furniture, its vast Durbar Hall has Venetian chandeliers that weigh three tons A silver model train, laden with brandy and cigars, once used to serve guests at the spectacular royal feasts held here. Other notable sights are the tombs of Tansen and Muhammad Ghaus, un well as early temples such as Teli ka Mandir (see p24) and the Sas-Bahu ka Mandir.

The Victory Column at Jawahar Bunwith the genealogy carries an inscription of the Jat kings.Both its north and south gates were part of the loot from the imperial Mughal capital at Delhi.Three palaces were built in thefort by the rusticJots in a surprisingly fine mix of Mughalsand Rajput stylistic detail. The royal apartments, in Mahal Khans , had unusual octagonal chambers in the corners with colourful painted walls, but these are now the site of a pharmaceutical college.

The other two palaces were located around the Ketcheei (court) Bagh,and now house the State Museum, where a rare collection of 1st- and 2nd century stone carvings as well as terracotta toys from nearby excavations can be seen. An interesting sunken hamum is close by. In 1818, Bharatpur became the first Rajput state to sign a treaty of alliance with the British East India Company. A later maharaja was a keen collector of Rolls Royce cam,which he converted for use on tiger and duck shoots.


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