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Kanika Nevatia Jun 03 2014

Which are the best palaces in India?

Pritha Manchanda Jun 03 2014
7 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Flaunting a range of architectural styles, the best palaces of India are gateways to the era of the “rajas” and “maharajas”. While some of these palaces offer impressive and unforgettable experience to visitors, others offer comfort and opulence to tourists staying in them.

1. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Presently owned by Maharaja Gaj Singh, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, is known to be one of the best palaces in India and the largest private residence in the world. The palace has three functional parts--the residence of the royal family, a museum showcasing the history of the Jodhpur royal family and a heritage hotel run by the Taj Group. This traditionally built property is home to attractive courtyards, beautiful carved balconies, open terraces and rooms that take you through antique furnishings. It took 15 years to complete the construction.

Photo of Umaid Bhawan Palace (by Ajajr101)

2. Lake Palace, Udaipur

Previously known as the “Jag Niwas Palace”, Lake Palace has been voted for being the “Best Romantic Hotel of Asia”. It is one of the most beautiful palaces in Rajasthan and has been converted into a luxury hotel. Placed right in the middle of the azure waters of Lake Pichola in Udaipur, this masterpiece was created in 1743 for Maharana Jagat Singh to serve as his summer palace. While the floor of the palace has been laid with white and black marble, the walls have been decorated with different coloured stones and ornamented with niches. From sprawling gardens to splashing fountains and winding courtyards, everything here reflects the best craftsmanship from all over Rajasthan.

Photo of Lake Palace (from the Official Facebook Page)

3. City Palace, Jaipur

Located near Kanwar Nagar in Jaipur, the City Palace is where you can see a perfect blend of Mughal and traditional Rajput architecture. The palace was initially built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1932, but was later modified by the successive maharajas.The main attractions in the palace are the Mubarak Mahal and the Chandra Mahal where you can find on display some very fine paintings, beautiful mirror work, a variety of lush garments worn by maharajas and two huge sterling silver vessels, which are the largest in the world.

Photo of City Palace (by dalbera)

4. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Known for being one of the most unique historic structures in the country, the “Palace of Winds” or Hawa Mahal is a five-storey red sandstone palace with more than 950 windows. It is located on the Johari Bazar Road in Jaipur.This masterpiece was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 as an extension of the women’s chamber, so that all the royal ladies could get a glimpse of everyday life in the street without being spotted.

Photo of Hawa Mahal (by w3p706)

5. Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

Spread across an area of 700 acres, Laxmi Vilas Palace in Moti Baug, Vadodara, is one of the biggest palaces in the world. It was previously the official residence of the Baroda royal family (Gaekwad family). One of the main attractions of this palace is its Durbar Hall with marvellous European architecture. The Venetian-styled mosaic floors and Belgian-styled stained glass windows further the beauty of this palace. Once here, don’t miss exploring the golf course, beautifully laid courtyards with fountains and palms and Sayajirao’s museum, which houses original paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.

Photo of Laxmi Vilas Palace (by Emmanuel Dyan)

6. Leh Palace, Leh

Leh Palace was built in the 17th century by Sengge Namgyal, who once ruled over Leh. Located on the edge of Namgyal Hill, the palace is similar in design to the Potala Palace in Tibet. Spread across nine floors, this palace houses maze-like corridors and wooden balconies that offer a beautiful sight of the Himalayan town of Leh and Zanskar range. The best way to learn about this palace and the Namgyal Dynasty is through the palace museum. From jewellery collection and ceremonial dresses to old crowns and Chinese thangkas, the museum has everything you can think of.

Photo of Leh Palace (by Philip Larson)

7. Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior

Situated near Jayandra Ganj in Gwalior, Jai Vilas Palace was built by Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia in the 1809. It is one of the best palaces in India. Admire the lovely furniture that was imported by the maharaja from France and Italy. A pair of Belgian chandeliers that hang in the main hall are believed to be the biggest in the world. Inside, you’ll find a museum that houses a collection of carriages, paintings, sculptures and a silver train that ferries liqueur round the table. Don’t forget to take a look at Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan’s historic swords hanging on the walls.

Photo of Jai Vilas Palace (from the Official Website)

8. Jahangir Mahal, Orchha

Named after the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir Mahal is a palace that sits on a sandstone hill near Paryatan Bhawan in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh. It was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo in the 17th century. Exhibiting a mix of Indo-Islamic architecture, the mahal looks quite interesting with marvellous sculptures, topped domes, intricate trellis and chhatris, and hanging balconies. Other forts, cenotaphs and an impressive state museum, referred to as “the Collector’s Office” can be located around the mahal.

Photo of Jahangir Mahal (by Saad.Akhtar)

9. Mysore Palace, Mysore

Mysore Palace or “Amba Vilas Palace” is the official residence of the Mysore royal family. Located near Sayyaji Rao Road in Karnataka, the palace is a combination of Hindu, Rajput, Muslim and Gothic styles of architecture. Surrounded by lush gardens, this remarkable three-storied masterpiece was designed by the famous architect, Henry Irwin using pink marble and gray granite. This palace is more like a museum, showcasing artwork and exquisite carvings from across the world.

Photo of Mysore Palace (by ramnath bhat)

10. Tanjore Royal Palace, Tanjavur

Located in Thanjavur, Tanjore Royal Palace is one of the most frequented places in the city. It was built during the Nayak reign. Presently, it is the official residence of Bhonsle family. Inside the palace there’s a Durbar Hall that takes you through divine scenes of saints and Hindu deitieson the walls. Also, there’s a museum, a royal gallery and a library placed within the complex. You’ll get to see a marvelous spread of mural work and other beautiful and intricate architectural designs as you make your way through the palace.

Photo of Tanjore Royal Palace (by Melanie-m)

Confused which palace to pick for your next holiday? Pick from various tour packages available and be a guest at these best palaces in India and live the royal life.
Poonam Shah Oct 05 2014
1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Jay vilas palace Gwalior
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