Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior: A night to remember


Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior A night to remember  (344)

H. H. Maharaja Sir Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum, Gwalior

For the first time in History, the Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior opened their gates for the admirers of Art, Music and History with an exclusive Evening Tour marketed as “Night at the Museum”. Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior A night to remember  (354)Imaginations to witness the ‘Jai Vilas Palace’ in its full lure and charismatic approach did came true. Fully illuminated Palace with florescent and incandescent lights along with live traditional Music and Flowing Fountains in central court yard area, took many to a different world altogether.

Guys at H.H. Maharaja Sir Jiwaji Rao Scindia Museum have taken a step to promote the Art and Indian Classical music players and singers of Gwalior.

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior A night to remember  (347)

Here is the list what all happened and what all were being offered for those evenings:

  1. Exclusive evening tour of the Museum Galleries
  2. Exclusive tour of Durbar Hal with world’s largest chandeliers lit up and silver train on track
  3. Access to new galleries with the display of royal dress collection and Silver Chariot
  4. Flowing fountain in central courtyard alongwith live performance of Indian classical music
  5. Museum Shop for the buyers
  6. Newly renovated cafeteria
  7. Entire palace in flood lights and light shades
  8. Free parking for visitors
  9. No camera charges additional
  10. Guides were available for special audience

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior A night to remember  (1)

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior A night to remember  (360)

Under the aegis of Scindia Dynasty Madhya Pradesh’s textile and handloom industry made a great elevation. It was also admired and cherished provincially and even universally.

The central part of India gradually became famous due to Maratha textile culture of chanderi, Maheshwar, Paithani made from exquisite muslins. Chanderi saris transmit a rich tana-bana or wrap and weft design where two threads are woven in a criss-cross pattern. The saris also conduct a gold border and two identical bands to style the pallu. Places like Chanderi, Maheshwar, Bagh, Neemch, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior etc. still sustain this one and only weaving tradition in their textile industries and they even get it exported all over India and countries around the world. In the earlier times these worth-a-million textiles were indicative crown by the royal families but on the double it has become a wish-we-can-have fascinating luxury belonging. All thanks to the aegis of Scindia’s Chanderi of Gwalior state.

Angarkha, achkans and vest coats or breeches which were worn over a churidar payjama- a narrow payjama were the major module of royal getup.  The 110 yard long Pagdi with gold lace, turra and other enhancing components along with a woven silk dupatta concluded the majesty of the royal men’s costume. The ladies of the royal family took to wearing woven 9 yard or Nauwari Saris which were worn with gorgeously embroidered silk blouses. The saris worn by the Maratha women are Kashtas or also known as ‘nauwari’ or 9 yard saris. This empowered them to ride horses and get in on the act in guerrilla warfare if essential.


Without spirited and confident rank and file no administration is strong therefore Sardars hammer out as the most fundamental in the Maratha administration. The word Sardar is a sequence of two words i.e. ‘Sar’ which means the Head and ‘Dar’ meaning Holder. It was originally used to denote princes, noblemen, and other aristocrats.

Sardar were granted Sanads’ meaning a contract, specifying rights and responsibilities on the authority of which they hold lands or cash allowances, either for their life time, genetically from generation to generation or renewed annually. They were authoritative towards managing their separate military forces and also delivering services to the Darbar timely and when compulsory.

The house of Scindia consisted of 37 Sardar Families together with-

  1. Shri Mansur Shah Sahib
  2. Sardar Apte
  3. Sardar Raghunath Rao Nana Saheb Ingle
  4. Sardar Kadam
  5. Sardar Kahtge
  6. Sardar Khwasiwale
  7. Sardar Gawde
  8. Sardar Ghorpade
  9. Sardar Gujar
  10. Sardar Jadhav
  11. Sardar Jinsiwale
  12. Sardar Nana Saheb Pawar
  13. Sardar Patankar
  14. Sardar Madhav Rao Phalke
  15. Sardar Anand Rao Phalke
  16. Sardar Najaji Rao Phalke
  17. Sardar Colonel Albert Filose
  18. Sardar Khande Rao Bhonsle
  19. Sardar Daulat Rao Mahadik
  20. Sardar Narayan Rao Mahadik
  21. Sardar Mahurkar
  22. Sardar Rao Raja Dinkar
  23. Sardar Sarnobat
  24. Sardar Bade Sitole
  25. Sardar Temuk
  26. Sardar Kaka Sahib Shinde
  27. Sardar Bhim Rao Kadam
  28. Sardar Nimbalkar
  29. Sardar Venkatrao Nimbalkar
  30. Sardar Michael Filose
  31. Sardar Lieutenant Colonel Sir Clement Filose
  32. Sardar Rao Bhonsle
  33. Sardar Mohite
  34. Sardar Anglikar Sitole
  35. Sardar Pingaokar
  36. Sardar Hazratji


Shrimant Maharaja’s Seat
Sardars with Toda and Gashiya Honours

Policital MemberGujar
Army MemberFilose
Vijay SinghPawar
Adjutant GeneralFinance Member
Quarter Master GeneralA.D.C.
Muntazim to the Jagirdars
Sardar Chain Singh
Sardar Nawab Basoda
Legal Member
Chief Justice

H.H.Maharaj Sir George Jiwaji Rao Scindia who began his military training at the age of four as a private at a rupee a day in the Maharani’s own infantry, explains the Scindia tradition where their rulers considered themselves as a soldier first and then a Maharaja. It was during Shrimant Madhav Rao Scindia’s first regime that Gwalior Army became accustomed to western method of army organization and warfare. During the First World War the Scindia infantry personnel’s had a uniform with a combined Indian and imperial elements. And full dress uniforms were soon replaces with only Khaki uniforms. The horse cavalry was formed during the time of Benoit De Boigne in 18th century. His assistant Skinner founded the first regiment and Maharaja Madhav Rao Scindia was appointed as an honorary colonel. Apart from weapons, cavalry also had various decorative elements to it, like decorative horse mounts, gilded silver plated pads and hangings.

The Scindia army mounted on well conditioned horses and their costumes, arms, were of superior description. Apart from the infantry the horses and elephants had one of the most fascinating uniforms in the forces. Colors like bright pink, blue, brown, and beige, reds, white and black added an exceptional flavor to the ceremonial uniforms, and there were separate ceremonial uniforms, worn by different ranks at different occasions. The uniform predominantly consisted of a coloured safa, an angarakha, breeches, cummerbanoh, boots and jutis (Mojris), which were made of leather and rich material.

In 1914 the 14th Gwalior Imperial Services Infantry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Girdhari Singh defended the Suez Canal from Egypt. This unit also operated successfully in Palastine at the battle of Gaza and later on at Jerusalem. The 3rd Gwalior imperial Services Infantry under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ganpat Rao Nimbalkar proceeded to East Africa as an expeditionary force. It left Gwalior on 29th September, 1914 and returned to Gwalior on 31st December 1917. But in October 1918, the battalion again proceeded to Mesopotamia (Iraq) and returned back home in 1919.

The royal Carriage of the Scindia family was made around the late 19th century during the reign of HH. Maharaja Shrimant Madhav Rao Scindia I. However,it was the Late Maharaja H.H. Shrimant Sir George Jiwaji Rao Scindia who took a keen interest in maintaining it and hence moved it to Usha Kiran Palace, and was used by the Maharaja on ceremonial occasions. Thus, the carriage is also a testament to various events associated with the history.

The Carriage is based on a wooden and metal frame and contains 50 kilograms of silver on it. A thick sheet of silver is embellished with representations of various objects and beings including sun, snake, floral pattern, fish, women, lions and angels. The upholstery of the carriage is done in golden brocade and velvet laces, with seats for four people along with separate seats for attendants and charioteer.

The silver carriage is still used on important ceremonies like Dusshera Pujan and Royal Weddings which it an Object of religious and auspicious significance.

Now enjoy the different parts of the Palace-


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