Hey Gals & Gents,
Here is a fantastic guest post for you. Maybe one day we can talk Indian fashion, #DGalStyle! Is India on your bucket list, too??
India: the land of the Majestics! Whether it’s the graceful architecture of the Nawabs, the luxurious palaces of the Nizams, the aristocracies of the Mughals or the elegance of the Rajput, India has always been rich with royal history. See why you should add its sights to your travel bucket list!
What stood throughout the sands of time, and still stands tall today thanks to conservation efforts are these magnificently built and beautifully surreal palaces. There’s more to India than the Taj Mahal, so let’s step into history and get a glimpse of India’s royalty throughout the ages!
1. Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
Laxmi Vilas defined royal extravagance when it was first built. Made by the Gaekwads in 1890, it had elevators, mosaic floors, and Belgian windows. It is also one of the largest royal residences ever built – this palace happens to be 4 times bigger than Buckingham Palace! At present, the palace is a walk-in museum meant to attract any avid tourist.
2. Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior
Standing at the top of a hillock, this palace built by the Scindias in 1874 screams extravagance in every way possible! See its 400 rooms, the largest chandeliers in the world, and a silver train that carries cigars and liquor to a dining room. The fun doesn’t end there though, there’s even a boat in the indoor swimming pool! Yup. A boat. Inside. Today, 40 of the 400 rooms are used as a museum and the rest are still used by the royal family. It’s definitely a place you want to visit if you’re ever in Gwalior.
3 Cooch Behar Palace, West Bengal
Inspired by Buckingham Palace, this charming western architectural structure is famous for its arcade verandas. Although not as famous in India, this palace is a sight to behold for it’s similarities to Western royal palaces. Just look at those colours! This palace is worth the visit just for its beauty and history.
4. Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore
Known as the Mysore Palace, this palace was built by the Wodeyar dynasty in 1912. A blend of Hindu, Gothic, Muslim and Rajput architecture, this palace is still a gateway to the unimaginably decadent past. The uniqueness of this palace lies in the various types of rooms and halls, which include a doll room, a marriage hall, and a Ambavilasa room! There are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore inside this palace so whenever in Mysore, check it out!
5. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
One of the largest residential buildings ever built, this palace has 347 rooms and is known for its grandeur architecture! With a heart-warming story, it’s believed to have been constructed to provide jobs to famine struck people. Presently, the palace is divided into three parts; Taj hotel, a museum, and residence for the remaining royal family.
6. Marble Palace, Kolkata
Built by Raja Rajendra Mullick in the year 1835, this is a very well maintained structure that still serves as a home to its owners! Known as the marble palace for it’s beautiful floors and walls, the moment you step inside the visiting area (a museum now), you’ll feel the impact of the architecture!
7. Lake Palace, Udaipur
Built in the 1740s by the royal family of Mewar as a winter home, this palace is commonly known as Jag Niwas after its founder Maharaja Jagat Singh, the second of Udaipur. The palace is famous for its perfectly circular room and white and black marble. It’s currently a luxury hotel (converted in the late 1900s) and people from across the globe make a point to visit the fort when in Udaipur – you’re never left disappointed!
8. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Standing tall above the city, this fort is a collection of several palaces and 7 gates. The only reason it can be included in this list is because of the breathtaking view it offers! Just one glance at a photo and you’re bound to fall in love with it. From howdahs and palanquins to armouries, paintings and turbans, this fort now houses a museum that has it all! Apart from this, the fort also includes a famous temple.
9. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
One of the largest forts in India and one of the largest preserved forts in the world, the Jaisalmer Fort is one to add to any travel list. Almost a thousand years old and sealed within a protective layer of 3 walls, this fort has a palace, havelis, and several temples.
10. Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
If you haven’t noted my love for forts by now, then I’ll simply add another that I couldn’t resist placing on this list. Originally known as Chintamani, built by Raja Rai Singh in the year 1594, this fort accommodates 6 palaces, Bikaneri havelis, a few temples, and a museum! It’s multifunctional and the fort has more than just a feel of royalty in each of its dwellings, providing plenty of things to be seen.
This list is merely the tip of the iceberg – India has many royal palaces and forts waiting to be discovered! We hope this provides a little insight, giving you more destinations to visit if you’re ever in India.
We hope you enjoyed this piece about India. Are you already booking your plane ticket?!