7 Must Visit Magnificent Royal Palaces In India
By: Kratika Wed, 16 Feb 2022 5:45:52
India’s long history is filled with stories of extravagant maharajas, kings, and nizams. While they are perhaps best known for their imposing forts (such as Rajasthan’s Amber Fort, Delhi’s Red Fort and Hyderabad’s Golconda Fort), this rich and glorious past has also left behind many stunning royal palaces in India. Though many palaces of India have now been converted into hotels, you can see what remains of the opulent and luxurious lifestyle of these royals.
# Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Perched atop Chittar hill over the blue city of Jodhpur is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the largest and most beautiful palaces of India. Completed in 1943 and covering 26 acres, it is known for its stunning mixture of Western Art Deco, Classical Revival and Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture. Owned by Maharaja Gaj Singh, it is one of the largest private residences in the world. Its 347 rooms feature all kinds of exhibits, including stuffed leopards, classic cars, and clocks. A part of it is still the private residence of the royal family. And another part of the palace is a heritage luxury hotel managed by the Taj Hotels.
# Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka
Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka located in the heart of the city is truly wonderful. Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it was designed by Henry Irving and completed in 1912. Built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, its distinctive domes and turrets and full of amazing works of art from different corners of the world. The three-storey Mysore Palace also has several courtyards, two durbar halls, twelve Hindu temples, and even an antique dolls pavilion. There are several more palaces in Mysore apart from the Mysore Palace to check out when you’re there.
The Mysore Palace is usually open from 10 am to 5:30 pm. There are also specific dates and times when you can see the illumination of the palace. For more information, you can visit the official site. The site also allows you to book your entrance tickets online with a validity of 6 months from your date of purchase.
# Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad, Telangana
Built across 40 acres, this 18th-century palace is a mix of Mughal to Persian designs. It is split into two courtyards and is known for its exquisite antique furniture, Belgian-crystal chandeliers, and many royal artefacts including a 1911 yellow Rolls Royce. It was once the official residence of the Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty in India and hosted many grand celebrations.
# Hazarduari Palace, Murshidabad, West Bengal
Among the imposing royal palaces in India, Hazarduari Palace was built in the 1830s by British architect Duncan Macleod for Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah of Bengal. Also called the Nizamat Kila, it is part of a large complex on the east bank of the Bhagirathi river that also houses the Nizamat Imambara (a congregation hall) and the Wasif Manzil. The palace is now a museum with 20 galleries displaying all kinds of weaponry, paintings, furniture, statues, manuscripts, and more. Don’t miss the massive crystal chandelier in the Durbar Hall which is said to have been given to the Nawab by Queen Victoria.
# City Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
At the very heart of the old city of Jaipur lies the magnificent City Palace, Jaipur. This sprawling complex of courtyards and gardens features a mix of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The City Palace was built by the Rajput king Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1732. Don’t miss the Mubarak Mahal, the Armoury, Chandra Mahal, and the Diwan-i-Am, the uniquely designed peacock gateways, and the museums and galleries. There are also several activities, events and festivals that take place at the City Palace. It is not to be confused with the City Palace in Udaipur, another among the many palaces of India in Rajasthan.
# Padmanabhapuram Palace, Thuckalay, Tamil Nadu
Near the city of Thiruvananthapuram lies Padmanabhapuram, the former capital city of the Kingdom of Travancore. The Padmanabhapuram Palace (also known as Kalkulam Palace) dates back to the 17th century and is known for its wonderful murals and floral carvings and sculpted interiors. Explore the many rooms of the palace and their black granite floors.
# Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Built in the 18th century, the famous Lake Palace (previously known as Jag Niwas) is located on the scenic Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan. Once the summer palace of the royals of Mewar, the royal residence is now a popular hotel run by the Taj Group. The luxurious white marble building spans 4 acres and has 83 rooms, each of which is beautifully adorned. The walls themselves are decorated with semi-precious stones and ornamented niches, and enclose all kinds of courtyards, terraces, and gardens. The room prices vary, with those overlooking Lake Pichola being higher. Don’t miss the nearby Jag Mandir (also called the “Lake Garden Palace”). This is one of the largest and most popular palaces in Udaipur, Rajasthan.