Rajasthan is synonymous with royalty. Even its name suggests that it is the land of kings or where the Rajas abode. Evidently where there is a King, there have to be palaces around and Rajasthan has a handful of them and beautiful ones at that. Each palace embodies elegance, mystique and majestic memories of a fascinating era gone by; leaving spectators absolutely enamoured by its magnanimity and picturesque landscapes. Truly a State befitting for the royalty!
Each palace in Rajasthan is different from one another, be its carvings or its architecture, speak lengths about the glorious past. Till date, these monuments are well maintained and as soon as you step inside, you transcend to a different word altogether which seemed only true in fairy tales.
Amber Palace, Amber
Located in Amber, the former capital of Kachhwaha Rajputs, the Amber Palace is just 11 kilometres away from Jaipur. The construction of the Palace was started by Raja Man Singh I, the army commander of Mughal emperor of Akbar in 1592.The completion of this magnificent architecture took over two centuries and was finished by Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh. Built in marble and red sandstone, it is a proud reminder of the artisans of yesteryears.
The palace is certainly one of the wonders of Rajasthan and worth a visit. Go for a joyride seated on an adorned elephant to the top of the palace and let your eyes gaze at the serene beauty spread around it. It’s absolutely mesmerising!
Inside, the royal apartment has several mighty gates, stairways, gardens, temples and many other notable architectural sites. Some of these marvellous structures within the palace include Diwan.E.Khas, Sheesh Mahal, Jai Mandir, Sukh Niwas, Diwan. E. Aam, Shila Mata and Kali Mata temples and ‘Kesar Kyari’.
City Palace, Udaipur
City Palace stands on the east bank of Lake Pichola and is one of the splendid palaces found in Rajasthan. Built in a flamboyant style, the palace depicts Medieval, European and Chinese style architecture. It has several domes, arches and towers to adorn the structure. Though the construction of the palace was started by Maharaja Udai Singh, it was further beautified by his successors. The entire structure was developed in the span of over 300 years.
Built in marble and granite, the palace has eleven other beautiful palaces inside. These palaces were built by different rulers who stayed here. The palace is well adorned with antique furniture, glass work, paintings and ornamental tiles. You will also find some paintings depicting the life of eternal lovers of Hindu mythology ‘Radha Krishna’. The special attraction here is the peacock courtyard where the glassworks beautify the walls. Standing on top of the palace offers a panoramic view of the city and other neighbouring monuments. Definitely worth a visit!
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal is one of the most magnificent and popular spots of Rajasthan. Hawa Mahal, meaning palace of winds was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. Built in a pyramid shape, this structure has 953 small windows with tiny lattice work. Known as Jarokhas, these windows look like a giant honeycomb. The small window style has been picked from the Mughal architecture.
The beautiful palace always stays cool as the tiny windows, allows the wind to circulate in every corner of the structure. Early morning is the best time to visit the Mahal, as you see the sun rays dress up the Mahal in golden light.
Hawal Mahal was built specially for women of Royal families, so they could see the processions and activities happening on the street. In those days, women were expected to stay behind the curtains and not come in front of men. Hence, this palace was thoughtfully built to ensure women too had a chance to enjoy the activities without being exposed to men.
Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur
Considered as one of the great palaces of Rajasthan, Umaid Bhavan is located in Jodhpur. The entire palace is built out of carved stones which were later put together by interlocking the pieces. Constructed between 1929 and 1944, the completion of this palace took 15 years and 5000 labours. It is a nice fusion of western and eastern architectural style. The specialty of this palace is that it always maintains its temperature to approximately 23 degree Celsius.
The palace has been the residence of Maharaja Umaid Singhji and his successors but is now owned by the royal Gaj Singh family. With 347 rooms, it was the world’s largest private residence, then. Today the palace stands divided between the luxurious Taj Palace hotel, residence of the royal family and the museum.
The beautiful display of furniture, antique collections, painting and entire royal ambience is worth a visit. Landscaped gardens, arches and domes too add to the charm of the palace.
The RajMahal Palace, Jaisalmer
This seven storey palace is one of the oldest in Rajasthan, belonging to the rulers of Jaisalmer. The palace boasts about the lattice work and was constructed in 1500 A.D. It is said that the most famous and well known craftsmen of the royal era were involved in the construction of this palace. Located within the Jaisalmer fort, it is surrounded by landscaped gardens. The sculpted pavilion style balcony is the major attraction of this palace.