The palace was constructed by Jiwajirao Scindia in the year 1874 with an expenditure of 99 lakh (9.9 million ) and it took 9 years to complete. Part of the palace is opened as museum in the year 1964 Dec 12.
In the present generation the HH King Madhavrao Scindia was a congress leader and he was the railway and aviation minister for a long time during congress government. He died in a plan crash in Uttar Pradesh in the year 2001. His son is now the present power minister in central govertment and is staying at Delhi.
At the entrance of the museum there is photo display of Dussehra celebration of present royal family.
The first hall in the museum is the portrait gallery where photographs of past and present Scindia family is displayed.
In 2nd hall coins and Manuscripts are kept. Next the Huda and Palankis are kept , the hudas were kept at top of the elephant and Palankis were closed chariots used during processions.
There is an Indoor swimming pool for Queens and children of 11ft depth and 60 ft long.
On the first floor there is Maharaja Darbar which is converted as exclusive gallery of HH Maharaja Madhavrao Scindia. In this gallery his photograph with all world leaders including Bill Clinton , Sadam Husen and many other diginitaries are on display. His achivments as BCCI president , as a railway minister , as civil aviation misistor and many other momentos are displayed. His golf kit , day today used articles, pager are on display.
There are several furniture of French period and the main one is Napoleon table which displayed the ancestors with picture of Naploleon at center . There are two similar tables are available in the world. There are several display cabinets constructed by south Indian artisans with rose wood and ivory . There is a unique Persian carpet which depicts great rulers of world. Notable Indians are Prithviraj Chauhan , Razia Sultan and several other rulers. In the bed rooms and dinning halls of queens there are several imported antique furniture on display. Madhorao 1 had two wife one is Maharani Chinko Raje ( short height of 4 feet ) and other wife is Maharani Gajra Raje. There bed room, drawing rooms with furniture are in display. There is a Puja room with crystal jhoola or swing. One rare painting of Ravi Verma is hanged in the Puja room in which Lord Shiva is shown with moustache.
There are two halls with collection from China and Japan. One dragon is used as room freshener is display at the centre of the room.
Before serving food to the king the items were kept in a plate which changes its color in case of present of poison in food.
Infront of Darbar Hall there is a working crystal fountain and it is the India's only illuminated crystal fountain still in use on special occasions. Behind that there are several silver carriage and palanquins.
The most important area of the museum is Darbar hall where two spectacular chandeliers each weighing 3.5 tone is hanged. Each one can accommodate 250 bulbs. Before hanging the roof was checked by walking elephants over it and for this purposes special ramp was constructed.
Asia's largest one piece carpet of size 100 x 50 ft is laid on the hall. This was constructed by prisons of Gwalior and it took 12 years. 560 KG of gold is used to polishing the furniture.
Below the Darbar Hall is the banquet hall. On the main table there is a silver train which runs on the track carrying wine and dry foods for the guests. This train keeps on moving on the table and stops when any cover of the containers are opened. This silver train has 7 compartments each one displaying one letter of the family name Scindia.
Entry fee is Rs 60/- for Indian Adults and children, it is Rs 350/- for foreigners. Still camera ( or mobile camera ) is Rs 70/- and Rs 120 for vedio photography.
Guides are available for Rs 100/-
Museum is open at 10 AM and closes at 5.30 PM.
Museum is closed on Wednesday and national holidays.
It will take one hour to visit the museum. From parking area 200 meters walking is required to enter into the palace and museum.