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Royal cities in India: Visit these destinations that were once ruled by Maharajas

Royal cities in India: Visit these destinations that were once ruled by Maharajas

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By Upasana Kochhar  Nov 11, 2022 3:33:22 PM IST (Updated)

India has a rich royal heritage, when Maharajas would rule the land. While the country progressed, its time to revisit the grandeur of our royal past. Check out this list of some destinations that serve as remnants of our past riches and deserve to be a part of your travel bucket list.

As one travels across the length and breadth of India, it's difficult to resist being mentally teleported to the grandeur of our ancient past. Regal sightings take us back and want us to revisit the royal splendor and opulence that once graced this prosperous nation.

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Exploring the fantastic tales of this rich yet intriguing history never fail to fill us with a renewed sense of amazement.
While we progress into the future, its time we revisit the grandeur of our royal past. Here's a list of some such destinations that serve as remnants to our past riches and deserve to be a part of your travel bucket list.
Discovering the regal splendor of Rajasthan
Leela Palaces Udaipur
The aesthetics, artwork, and history of Rajasthan make it stand out as one of the grandest and most royal vacation spots possible. From the sand dunes of the Thar desert in the north to the rocky hills in the southeast, Rajasthan's geology and landscape are just as colorful and diverse as the state's regal history and culture. Rajasthan is one of the most interesting parts of India to visit because of all the historical landmarks it has, like palaces, forts, and Havelis.
As a unique travel location, Rajasthan offers varied experiences- spread across each city
The opulent city of Udaipur
Udaipur, the most picturesque city in Rajasthan, is home to the breathtaking Monsoon Palace, which can be found nestled on a hill top. This 9-story Monsoon Palace was built in 1884 to house an astronomical observatory that would track monsoon clouds to anticipate the rainy season.
Udaipur's City Palace is a stunning royal home. The City Palace, on the shores of Lake Pichola, is a popular tourist destination due to the beauty of its Mughal and Rajputana architecture. This magnanimous complex house eleven different palaces within it.
Located on an island in the midst of Lake Pichola, the Jag Mandir Palace is another exquisite architectural delight. The hotel is a Baroque masterpiece, built between 1743 and 1746. The Lake Palace's four-acre courtyards are filled with fountains, gardens, and pillared terraces which give you a never-seen-before glimpse of royalty.
An epitome of grandiose, Jaipur
Royalty is well reflected in the name of the capital city of Rajasthan, which is Jaipur. Jaipur, known as the Pink City, has a rich history of ‘Rajas’ and ‘Ranis’. The eternity of the city exudes an air of imperial splendor.
India's most famous palace is Jaipur's, Hawa Mahal. Its striking red and pink sandstone architecture makes it the most recognizable building of this Pink City. The 953 windows at Hawa Mahal, known as "Jharokhas," are an intriguing architectural wonder. The palace's remarkable architecture and windows every meter is sure to astound you.
City Palace, at the very heart of Jaipur, is an incredible palace that can’t be missed. Two of the city's most impressive palaces—the Chandra Palace and the Mubarak Mahal—have been fused into one. This 17th-century luxury residence makes for one the most noteworthy landmark monuments in Indian history.
The Jal Mahal, in the center of Man Sagar Lake, is one of Jaipur's most impressive palaces. It is a seamless mélange of Rajput and Mughal architectural elements.
Amber Fort, which can be found in the town of Amer just outside Jaipur, is a must-see for every visitor to Rajasthan. The Sheesh Mahal, also known as the Mirror/Crystal Palace, is another beautiful building commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jahan. This is undoubtedly the most prominent building in the whole fort. Glass flowers and paintings adorn the walls and ceilings, and mirrors cover every surface of the building.
Other jewels studded in Rajasthan
Bikaner's Lalgarh palace is a stunning example of Indo-Saracenic design that was built for the Maharaja of Bikaner and is currently operational as a luxury hotel.
Patwon Ki Haveli, located in Jaisalmer, is an exemplar of Jaisalmer's opulence and splendor. In addition to the eye-catching murals and mirror works on the walls, the impressive gates and arches are also a major draw.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, another incredible jewel in Jodhpur, is home to lovely exhibition ground and also has a remarkable collection of vintage vehicles.
Experiencing the treasures that are hidden hide within the heart of India ‘Madhya Pradesh'
The geographical center stage of India has been the heritage abode and has witnessed generations of royalty. The royal traces of Madhya Pradesh are now enticing visitors from across the globe.
Glorious Gwalior
One look at Gwalior's impressive history of exquisite royal architecture is enough to mesmerise you. The Jai Vilas Palace in Gwalior- this lavish mansion is now a museum housing a magnificent collection of the royal artifacts and belongings of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty.
The Gwalior Fort's Man Mandir Palace is an essential inclusion in any talk of India’s Royal Traces. This architectural marvel dates back to the 15th century and is a stunning fusion of medieval and Hindu styles and still is as captivating as ever.
The aura of royal luxury in Indore
Holkar Palace in Indore, which is drenched in Maratha grandeur, is another sight in Madhya Pradesh that is sure to steal your breath away. The stunning Datia Palace was also built by Bir Singh Dev. Stone was used in its entirety without the addition of any iron or wood to create this seven-story building.
Other Glorious Royal Traces of Madhya Pradesh that make for a compelling visit
In Madhya Pradesh, grandeur and beauty can be seen around every corner.
Some of the grandest palaces and forts in the world may be found in Chanderi. such as the century-old Chanderi fort located at the Betwa River. At the time of Babar's invasion, this fort's Jharkund, Hawa Mahal, and Naukhanda Mahal witnessed close to 800 Rajput ladies committing "Johar." The Raja Mahal, the regal palace, is located in the Orchha Fort in the town of Orchha. The elaborate carvings and opulent furniture are evidence of the high caliber of craftsmanship of the time. The Mandla fort, which is encircled by the Narmada River on three sides and a deep trench on the fourth, served as the capital of the Gaur emperors.
The royal history of the untouched paradise, ‘Ladakh’
There is no other way to describe Ladakh and the remnants of its regal past than as a mesmerizing mélange of culture and nature
The adorned Leh Palace of Ladakh
Located in the Himalayan region, the Leh Palace is a royal palace that overlooks the city of Leh-Ladakh. The palace's distinctive charm comes from the fact that unlike other palaces this is not it too ornate – but instead there is a minimalistic elegance that will leave you enthralled .The Chinese paintings known as a thangka, together with the palace's magnificent collection of jewelry and crowns, are just a few of the highlights that will catch your attention when you visit to Leh Palace. The architectural features of the Leh Palace are a seamless blend of magnificent elegance and understated sophistication.
Wonderful temples and monasteries, including the Namgyal Stupa, Chandazik Gompa, and Chamba Lhakhang, can be found at the palace's foot.
The studded Stok Palace of Ladakh
Stok Palace was constructed around 1820 and was originally the official palace of the Namgyal dynasty. In many ways, it exemplifies the best of regional design. The Stok Palace Museum is located inside the palace and features a fascinating collection of artifacts from the palace's history, such as royal clothing and jewelry, shields, arrows, quivers, and firearms. It also has works of art dating back 400 years.
Apart from these, the ancient monasteries are one of the Ladakh's most recognizable features. The majority of Ladakhi monasteries can be found in strategic mountaintop locations. Namgyal Tsemo Gompa is the name of the monastery that sits atop the Leh Palace. There are some stunning frescoes, ancient Buddhist texts and artifacts, and a massive figure of the future Buddha, Maitreya, on display in the monastery (future Buddha).
In addition to the potential for encounters with royalty, the breathtaking landscapes of Leh and Ladakh make for unforgettable adventures. An experience that is truly surreal – witnessing the most rugged and challenging terrains that reach up to the most mystical sights- giving you a chance to experience the allure of the mighty Himalayas- up close and personal.
Hyderabad, the land of Nawabs
Hyderabad, the metropolis of the Nawabs, has a long and illustrious history, as shown by the many palaces built here throughout the centuries. Hyderabad's rich history, architecture, and tradition of excess and richness are still what people think of first whenever the city is mentioned. In addition to constructing the most formidable fortresses, the Nizams and Nawabs also lived lavishly in the finest mansions art could create.
Chowmahalla Palace, which means "Four Palaces," is one of the finest buildings Telangana. In 2005, the palace's gates were open to public, and since then its been a sight that gets curious visitors from across the country. Khilwat Mubarak is the most popular part of this magnanimous complex. Another interesting attraction is the Durbar hall which is contructed beautifully with towering arches, and Mughal domes.
The Nizam of Hyderabad's gorgeous palace is a spectacular edifice, completed in 1893. It is also located in the city of Hyderabad. Situated on a hilltop above the city, the Taj Falaknuma Palace has a footprint of around 2,000 square meters.
Hyderabad's regal air is amplified by the nighttime envelopment of the city. Go out at night and see the Asaf Jahi dynasty's prized monuments lit up for a spectacular show. The Golconda Fort, Charminar, and Mecca Masjid, all bathed in luminous light, is a sight to see.
Invigorating grandeur of Gujarat
Gujarat is a region with several sites that, taken as a whole, harken back to a bygone era that nevertheless seems like it was just yesterday. The palaces of Gujarat include the Vijay Vilas Palace in Bhavnagar, the Aina Mahal (Old Palace) and Prag Mahal in Kutch, the Kusum Vilas Palace and Prem Bhavan Palace in Chotta Udepur, the Navlakha Palace in Gondal, the Riverside Palace in Vadodara, the Orchard Palace in Gondal, and the Dolat Nivas Palace in Idar.
The Laxmi Vilas Palace, also known as the Maharaja Palace, is a stunning structure in Vadodara, Gujarat, and a popular tourist site in India. This palace, which has been around since the 18th century, is among the most expensive creations of that period.
The sumptuous carpet in the Durbar Hall- has been reported that to be among the biggest across the globe- which makes this hall a great attraction. The interiors are lavishly decorated with gold and gilded. Exhibits in the museum's 35 rooms include paintings, fabrics, rare artifacts, furniture, sculptures, ornamental art pieces, royal carriages, and portraits of the Scindia royal family.
The Prag Mahal dates back to the nineteenth century and was used by the royal family. Its design incorporates elements from many different architectural styles. Romanesque elements are mixed with those from the Indo-Saracenic Revival style to create a unique look. The Italian Gothic architectural style is another name for it.
Mysore, the royal kingdom of Karnataka
Mysore has earned the nickname "The City of Palaces" due to its many magnificent palaces. History of the country's illustrious royal family, ornate architecture, world-famous silk saris, yoga, and sandalwood are just a few of the magnificent glories in this land.
The Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore, Karnataka, is one of the most opulent and elegant buildings in the nation. The Wodeyar dynasty used some highly valuable stones to construct this palace, and it still retains much of its former allure. Every night, the whole complex is bathed in warm golden light, creating an opulent aura- fit for a king.
The magnificent Bangalore Palace is one of the best palaces in India to visit if you want to feel the princely charms during your vacation. This palace was supposedly modeled after Windsor Castle in England, which served as inspiration for King Chamarajendra Wadiyar. It's a cultural hub that regularly plays host to concerts, weddings, and other significant cultural events.
The Indo-Islamic style Tipu Sultan Vacation Palace was the emperor's summer palace. The teak wood floors, walls, and ceilings, as well as the huge fluted pillars that help support the building, are all instances of exquisite art.
Mysore is steeped in histories of grandeur, prominence, and splendor, which still resonates in its structures and culture.
The royal trace of India always made for a beautiful sight. Indian palaces have long been a source of awe, whether they are the grandiose homes of the North, the beautifully carved and ornamented palaces of the West, the technical wonders of the South, or the eccentric, wacky palaces of the East.
These palaces are not only beautiful to look at, but also represent important pieces of India's history. In many cases, they have survived the test of time to become living monuments to the technical achievements of another period.
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