Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India because of the number of palaces and forts existing in this dessert state. It is one of the most colorful states of India that stands apart because of the beautiful monuments built here. Almost all the monuments of Rajasthan were built by the Rajputs. The architecture of these palaces and forts still surprises us. Many of them are way better than the constructions of today. Truly enchanting, the state will take you on a ride back to the times when the kings ruled the kingdoms and the queens made the fashion statements. Rajasthan is the best place to visit if history inspires you or architecture intrigues you. Given below are some of the best palaces in Rajasthan you might not want to miss out on.
1. Amer Fort, Amer
Located in Amer, the Amer fort of Rajasthan is an excellent example of the architectural excellence of the people of those times. The fort was a residence to the rulers of the area. With a number of gates and other such structures, the design layout of Amer fort would leave your spellbound. The importance given to details, both in planning and architecture, will leave you wondering about the scientific acumen of people of that era. It is built with sandstone and limstone. The Amer fort has a number of important sections within, namely the Diwan-e-Aam, the Diwan-e-Khas, the Seesh Mahal, the Sukh Niwas and the Jai Mandir. The thought process behind each of these structures is amazing. This fort is also declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
2. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan palace of Jodhpur is considered one of the largest private residences of the world. It took about 14 years to complete its construction which ended in the year 1943, shortly before India’s independence. This palace was built only to provide employment to the commoners who had just been affected by a famine. The family line of the rulers still resides in this magnificent palace. It is so huge that one portion of it was given to the Taj Group and was made into a luxury hotel and another portion stands as a museum today. Built with marble and sandstone, this palace is a mini wonder of the country itself.
3. Lake Palace, Udaipur
Initially called the Jag Niwas, the Lake palace is a beautiful construction in the city of Udaipur. Its name came from the island on which it was built. The island was called Jag Niwas. The lake around the palace is called Pichola lake. The lake in itself looks serene and the added charm of the palace beautifies the scene a hundred times over. This palace was built in three years, under the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh. The palace is made up of white marble that whispers elegance. It is now a huge five-star hotel that fulfills people’s fantasies of tasting the royal lifestyle. Since it is situated in the middle of a lake, the hotel provides transportation via speed boats to and fro the palace.
4. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Yet another excellent example of Rajput architecture, the Rambagh palace stands proudly in the Pink City. It was the residence of the rulers of Jaipur. This palace was originally built in the middle of a thick forest. The Rambagh Palace evolved over time. At first, it was a single monument that was made into the hunting lodge of a king. This is how the Rambagh palace we get to see now came into existence. The royal family was still staying there until in the last few decades.
5. Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner
The Lalgarh palace of Bikaner was built for the Maharaja of Bikaner, Sir Ganga Singh. The ruler decided to name the palace after his father Maharaja Lall Singh. The construction began in 1902 and went on for the next 24 years. The Lalgarh Palace is a blend of Rajput, European and Mughal styles of architecture. This style of architecture is called Indo-Saracenic style. Materials of very fine quality were used in its construction, with red sandstone which was specifically mined from the Thar desert. A part of this palace is now a hotel.
6. Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
The Monsoon palace is also known as the Sajjangarh palace. It was built in 1884 by Maharana Sajjan Singh of Mewar dynasty. Since the palace is located on a hilltop, it offers amazing panoramic views of the entire city. The lakes, the gardens and the other palaces make for a great view. The palace is made of white marble and was originally constructed to observe the monsoon clouds. It is a beautiful edifice and would definitely leave you enchanted. The architecture and the view go great together and you just wouldn’t want to leave this place.
7. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
The word ‘Hawa’ means ‘wind’ and ‘Mahal’ means ‘palace’, therefore it translates to ‘the palace of winds‘. Hawa Mahal owes its name to its structure which consists of 956 windows with very intricate design. Before beginning with the constructions, detailed designs were made to make sure that was is a very well ventilated palace. The shape of Lord Krishna’s crown can be seen as the basic structure of this fort. The construction had begun in 1799 under the reign of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. He had this palace built for his queens and other such important womenfolk. The fort’s locality was also such that when one looks down, they can see the common people’s day to day lives. Therefore, the fort enabled the queens to keep a close watch on the lives of the common people without attracting attention to themselves.
These beautiful monuments will definitely leave you mesmerized and spell bound. The stories around them are very fascinating and have the power to keep your interest. The best time to visit Rajasthan would be during the winters when the weather is not dominated by scorching heat. Pleasant weather conditions make it easier to explore the state. These are just a few of the palaces found in Rajasthan. The state is dotted with such structures and if you are done with exploring these seven palaces and still wish to witness some more of these architectural wonders, you can go for the City palace in Jaipur, Nahargarh fort, Deogarh Mahal, Neemrana palace and the Bundi palace.