Palaces are generally thought of as complex residences that are used by the rulers of complex societies & when we talk about India, we automatically hop upon the grand palaces of our country. India is the land of large numbers of beautiful royal palaces. These palaces take us through the unique creativity and stunning collection of architectural style that cannot be found elsewhere. Even though some of them have been converted into hotels, the elegance and grandeur of these palaces has not faded. Here are top 8 Palaces of India you must know.
- Umaid bhavan palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Umaid Bhawan Palace, located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, is one of the world’s largest private residences. Its construction was started on 18th November, 1929 and completed in 1943.It is now divided into 3 areas: one is a luxury hotel, another serves as residence for the royal family of Jodhpur and the last is an open area where visitors can observe paintings, weapons and artefacts from Jodhpurs history.
- Leh Palace, Leh
Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladhaki Himalayan town in Leh. The construction of Leh Palace took inspiration from the Potola Palace in Tibet. King Sengge Namgyal built this in the 17th century, but the palace was later abandoned due to some issues. One can find good collection of jewellery, ornaments and thangkas in the Palace museum. This palace was abandoned in 19th century and was ruined. The Archaeological Survey of India has begun its restoration, but tourists are allowed to visit, as long as they watch their step through the dark corridors and staircases of the palace.
- City palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The City Palace of Jaipur includes not only single palace but two main palaces which are Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal including other buildings as well. The City Palace was built mainly between 1729 and 1732 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The most eye catching part of it is Pitam Niwas Chowk, the interior courtyard that leads to the Chandra Mahal.
- Amba Vilas Palace (The Palace of Mysore) – Mysore, Karnataka
Mysore Palace is the most beautiful palace in India as well as in the World. It is the Official residence of the Royal Family of Mysore i.e. Wodeyars. Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces, for, there are about seven palaces inclusive of this; however, the term Mysore Palace refers specifically to the one within the old fort. The Palace’s predominant feature is its marble domes. Inside, some would say its glitzy opulence is over the top. As well as private and public audience halls, there’s a marriage hall, pavilion of antique dolls, armoury, royal painting gallery, and collection of sculptures and artefacts.
- Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Hawa Mahal or ‘Palace of Winds’, located in Jaipur was built in the year 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. Constructed of red and pink sandstone, the palace sits on the edge of the City Palace, and extends to the women’s chambers. The palace fascade features 953 tiny windows and the breeze that passes through them keeps the rooms cool, even in the hot summer months. The Palace of Winds was commissioned to resemble the Hindu god, Krishna. This multi-layered structure was built out of red and pink sandstone and carefully outlined with white quake lime.
- Jai villas palace, Gwalior
Jai Vilas Palace is one of the most popular royal palaces in India. It was built in the year 1874 by the Maharaja Jayajirao Scindia of Gwalior. Jai Vilas Palace is an Italianate structure, which is mix of Tuscan and Corinthian architectural modes. The palace which was designed by Lt. Col. Sir Michael Filose and some of the gorgeous features of this place include- the antique furniture from France and Italy, the stunning ceilings and fine Persian carpets.
- Laxmi Vilas Palace – Baroda, Gujarat
Laxmi Vilas Palace, Baroda is one of the biggest palaces in the World. It is widely known that is the four time large than Buckingham Palace, England. At the time of construction it boasted the most modern amenities such as elevators and the interior is reminiscent of a large European country house.
- The Lake Palace – Udaipur (Rajasthan)
Located on Lake Pichola, in Udaipur, Lake Palace is now a luxury hotel featuring 83 amazing rooms and suites. It was built during the 18th century, by Maharana Jagat Singh and used as a summer residence. By the mid 19th century, Lake Palace had been damaged by time and the elements, and was completely deserted. Aware of its potential, Bhagwat Singh decided to convert the old Jag Niwas Palace into the first luxury hotel in Udaipur. It has been voted as the most romantic hotel in India and in the world.