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The Lake City

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Kota district:

261 km (162 miles) S of Jaipur

Total Population



THE IMPOSING facade of Kota's fortified City Palace, which dates back to 1625, stretches along the banks of dle Chambal river, recalling the princely past of this now heavily industrialized city. Kota's rich altistic heritage is well-represented in the palace apaltments - every available surface is covered with out­ standing minianlre paintings, mirrolwork, murals and mosaics. Palticularly resplen­ dent is the Durbar Hall, with its ebony-and-ivory doors, and paintings depicting Kota's history. Many of the royal apaltments now form pan of the excellent Rao Madho Singh Museum, which has a fine collection of weapons, paintings and royal regalia.

Rao Madho Singh Museum

ENVIRONS: Bardoli, 55 km (34 miles) southwest of Kota, has one of Rajasthan's most beautiful temple complexes. The 9th-century Ghateshwar Mahadev temple has an outstanding sculpture of Nataraja (the dancing Shiva) on the door of its sanctum.

The older section of the City Palace complex dates from 1568. Behind its fortified walls is a maze of royal apartments, reception halls and court­ yards. They are linked to each other by narrow passages and steep staircases - a feature typical of Rajput palaces of that period, designed to confuse invaders.The superb City Palace Museum is spread out through several palaces in this section, and is entered through the imposing Tripolia Gate (built in 1713). Above the entrance is the Mewar crest - a large Sun face (rein­ forcing the Sisodia clan's claim to be descended from the Sun), flanked by Rajput and Bhil warriors (the tribal Bhils,skilled archers, played a heroic role in Mewar's great battles). Beyond this is the Ganesh Deorhi Gate where entrance tickets for the museum are sold. It leads into a coultyard decorated with frescoes of horses and elephants, and a marble relief of the god Ganesha surrounded by daz­ zling mirror and glass inlay.