The colourful state of Rajasthan is a beautiful destination blessed with exotic history and culture. It is the land of many palaces which date to more than 100 years old which remind us the glorious times this place enjoyed. These magnificent mansions standing atop hills or amidst serene lakes are the living testimonies of the past when Rajas and Maharajas ruled this royal state. Today, most of these palaces have been renovated into heritage hotels and are the heart and soul of tourism here.
Most popular palaces of Rajasthan
City Palace, Udaipur
A perfect agglomeration of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, it is no doubt one of the most splendid structures in this north-western state of India. Snuggled in between the picturesque lake of Pichola, it is a huge complex in itself housing a museum and many small and big palaces like Badal Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Manak Mahal, etc. The beautiful art work, mirror works and the murals inside the mansion enchant every tourist visiting this massive palace.
Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur
Nestled atop Chittar hill, Umaid Bhavan is one of the most fascinating palaces of the state. Built under the commission of Maharaja Umaid Singh, a portion of the mansion is a 5 star hotel now. However, it also houses a museum where many model aircrafts, crockery, clocks, hunting trophies and many other such antique pieces have been put on display for the tourists. Built with many sandstone blocks, its unique structure itself is a major draw for the tourists.
Jal Mahal, Jaipur
It is a five storied building beautifully placed in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. It depicts the blend of the Mughal and Rajput style of architecture. The first floors of the building remain submerged under water when the lake is full. Apart from its magnificent structure, the views of the lake and the surrounding Nahargarh hills attract unnumbered tourists every year.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
It is again one of the most adored mansions of Rajasthan. It was erected during the reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. A major draw of the palace is its exterior design with a number of windows with an exquisite lattice work. Standing tall in middle of the city of Jaipur, this 5 storied building also boasts of its architectural design. Completely built with the perfect blend of red and pink sandstone, it looks quite similar to the crown of Hindu God, Lord Krishna.
Lake Palace, Udaipur
Built with so much dedication and craftsmanship, it is certainly one of the must visit mansions of this princely state. Located amidst the island of Jag Niwas, it is a wonderful structure of white marble which clearly reflects the architectural brilliance of the bygone era. Today, it is a five star hotel renowned for its luxury suites.
It is a recent construction built in 1902 by Maharaja Ganga Singhji which has a unique blend of Mughal, Rajput and European architecture. It may lack the sophisticated elegance unlike other mansions of the state, though you will love the intricate lattice work of the building. Today, a part of it is a hotel, most known for its pure Indian delicacies where the guests are given a royal treatment.
Apart from these, palaces like Jagmandir, Sariska, Narain Niwas, Deeg, Rambagh and Samode palace are equally worth visiting.