India's heritage is a real treasure trove brimming with diversity and richness. The chapters of our history are coloured by the reign of many benevolent maharajas and sultans. Their splendid traditions and culture are reflected in the grand palaces they constructed in various parts of India.
These majestic abodes, adorned with exquisite artworks and captivating aesthetics, are truly striking and can transport us back to our illustrious history. While some of these magnificent structures have transformed into heritage sites, numerous others now welcome guests as luxurious hotels, offering a taste of the regal lifestyle to the common folk.
For those who are captivated by our glorious past and abundant heritage, here is a list of the best palaces in India to visit during your next trip. The best part? All these regal gems are only a few hours' flight away from DEL! Check them out!
Built with yellow sandstone, the imposing Umaid Bhawan is spread across 26 acres of land. This luxurious abode with 347 rooms is believed to be the world’s largest private residence. Its construction took around 15 years to complete.
Divided into three sections: a luxury hotel, a royal museum, and the regal family’s residence, Umaid Bhawan is one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. At present, the part of the abode serving as a palace hotel in India is managed by Taj Hotels. The palace boasts attractive galleries and an impressive collection of automobiles that makes it a must-visit for everyone.
An amalgamation of Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic styles, the Amba Vilas Palace is popularly known as the Mysore Maharaja Palace. With stunning outdoors and striking indoors, the regal structure was developed for the 24th ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty in 1912.
One of the biggest palaces in India, the Amba Vilas Palace appears breathtakingly beautiful when illuminated with golden light every evening. The second-most visited historical monument in India after the Taj Mahal, the regal site is an example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
One of the best palaces in the world, situated in Tripura, Ujjayanta Palace was constructed in 1901. It boasts an imposing grand structure, beautiful wooden ceilings, and lovely tile floorings. The palace stands on the banks of two lakes, surrounded by gardens. The former royal palace of the kingdom of Tripura, the castle looks awe-inspiring when lit at night.
Spread across 250 acres of area, the royal palace was named by the famous writer Rabindranath Tagore. Now converted into a state museum, the Ujjayanta Palace showcases northeastern art and culture and features several halls, including the Reception Hall, Durbar Hall, The Chinese Hall, and many more.
Constructed by Jayaji Rao Scindia to welcome King Edward VII in 1874, Jai Vilas Palace is a residence of the descendants of a Maratha Scindia family. The opulent palace boasts a unique collection of personal belongings of the Mughal emperors and houses many books from different genres.
Consisting of 35 rooms, including a gallery and museum, Jai Vilas Palace is an example of European architecture. It features a durbar hall decorated with luxurious carpets, golden carvings, and ornate interiors that attract tourists. This Indian palace also features a collection of swords and antiques that once belonged to the Maharajas.
Built in 1890, Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the biggest palaces in India, with approx. four times the size of Buckingham Palace in England. With stunning Maratha and Indo-Saracenic architecture, the famous structure boasts elegant interiors and beautiful designs.
With a compound spread across 500 acres of land, the palace houses many buildings, including the Moti Bagh Palace and Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum building. Constructed for 1,80,000 British Pounds Sterling, the abode remains the residence of the royal family to date.
Famous for its expansive gardens and intricate architecture, Bangalore Palace spreads across 45,000 square feet. Constructed in 1878, the palace’s wooden structure is adorned with beautiful carvings and offers valuable insight into the history.
The Bangalore Palace was built in Scottish Gothic and Tudor architectural styles and was inspired by Windsor Castle in England. It hosts a variety of events from time to time, like rock shows and concerts, which are a sight to behold.
The Mubarak Mandi Palace is a picturesque site showcasing the royal culture of the Dogra dynasty. Overlooking the Tawi River near the old walled city, the palace houses multiple courtyards, halls, and rooms, including the Gol Ghar Complex, Rani Charak Palace, Sheesh Mahal, and Darbar Hall Complex.
At present, Mubarak Mandi Palace houses government offices and the Dogra Art Museum featuring a rich collection of miniature paintings and gold painted bow and arrow of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. With a rich history dating back to 1824, the palace was revamped by many rulers and has hints of Rajasthani, European, and Mughal architecture.
Although the pink city houses more than one palace, the Hawa Mahal is a prominent attraction. One of the distinctive landmarks in Jaipur, the honeycomb-like structure consists of five storeys. Because of using red and pink sandstones, the Hawa Mahal is pink-hued and consists of 953 windows called Jharokhas.
Completed in 1799, the palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It was built to allow the ladies of the royal family a glance at the grandeur of the city of Jaipur. The palace is an amalgamation of Hindu Rajput architecture and Islamic Mughal architecture, which makes it unique and a must-visit in Jaipur.
Built in 1893, the Taj Falaknuma Palace is the previous residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The structure sits on a hilltop and offers mesmerising views of the city. With 60 rooms and 22 halls, the grand palace houses an admirable collection of Nizam’s artefacts, including paintings, statues, furniture, manuscripts, and jades.
Constructed from Italian marble, the glamorous adobe now operates as a luxurious five-star hotel under the Taj properties and is one of the best palace hotels in India.
A prime tourist attraction in Varanasi, the Ramnagar Fort is located on the east bank of the Ganges. Built from chunar sandstone and constructed in the Mughal style of architecture, the structure houses Ved Vyasa Temple, the king’s residential complex, and a museum displaying vintage automobiles, weapons, jewel-encrusted chairs, and an astrological clock.
The fort features carved buildings, open courtyards, and pavilions that attract tourists. Built on high grounds above the flood level, the palace houses the royal family.
One of the best palaces in India, Padmanabhapuram Palace, was constructed around 1601 CE. Located at the foothills of Veli, a part of the Western Ghats, the structure is one of the best examples of traditional Kerala architecture.
The Padmanabhapuram Palace houses many complexes like the king’s council chamber, performance hall, the southern palace, guest house, and Thai Kottayam. Although it lies in the territory of Tamil Nadu, the palace is owned and maintained by the government of Kerala.
India houses many royal palaces that reflect our rich and opulent history. These grand and stunning structures have unique charms and splendour that will leave you mesmerised. So, when planning your next trip, consider visiting these regal gems located only a few hours' flight away from Delhi.