Palaces shimmer in royalty, they gleam in opulence and radiate a beauty distinctly indulgent in the golden glow of a noble lineage. Indeed then, palaces are some of the most beautiful specimens of art and architecture. Whether it be in their grandiose tale of heritage or their extravagant display of the riches, whether subdued in the sublime charm or pristine in their classy riches, India is home to many a beautifully resplendent palaces. Here’s taking a tour through the absolutely stunning royal premises in the country that exemplify the glory of the rich India of the erstwhile times-
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Epitomising the pretty pristinity of the Pink City of India Jaipur is the famed Hawa Mahal which is one of the most beautiful and popular palaces in the country. Built of red and pink sandstone that dresses the palace in a color merging with the allure of the cityscape, the Hawa Mahal has more uniqueness to its beauty than just its blush. In its honeycomb like exterior, the palace features 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework. Very prominent in its stunning architectural manifestation, the Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is perhaps the most identifiable landmark of the city steeped in its heritage riches.
In its fusion architecture that encompasses elements of both Hindu Rajput style and Islamic Mughal style, the Hawa Mahal shapes up as a flamboyant marker of cultural identity as well. With interiors as extravagant as the grand show of the facade, the five storey monument is a definite amazement in its breathtaking aesthetics.
Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore
For a city famous as the City Of Palaces, housing one of the most beautiful of grand royalty presences in India is Mysore in its namesake Mysore Palace. Also famous as the Amba Vilas Palace, this is a top tourist attraction in not just its city of origin but in entire India. And indeed, with a structure so magnificent, the palace is a grand sight that leaves one and all enthused with its sprawling beauty. In its sparkling Golden Howdah, a 185 pound gold throne, the Amba Vilas Palace is ubiquitously assertive of its rich legacy and erstwhile royal grandeur. A fine grey granite structure with deep pink marble domes, this is also among the largest palaces in India and is a towering presence in both its legacy and its lustre.
Ujjayanta Palace, Agartala
A gleaming white palace that sits pretty in a state famed anyway for its architectural wonders, the Ujjayanta Palace in Tripura is a definite wonder. Set amidst large Mughal-style gardens on a lakefront, this delicate beauty comes steeped also in a illustrious legacy. Named by Indian Nobel Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore, this stunning presence in the state’s capital city Agartala incorporates elements of Neo-Classical and Renaissance architecture. A two story high structure that features also three exquisite domes, the beauty of this pearly haven of royalty is further enhanced by its many beautifully landscaped gardens with artificial lakes, fountains, geometric flower beds and walkways, inspired by the Mughal Gardens.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The best hotel in the world and one witness to the grand Nickyanka wedding, the half hotel- half palace presence in Jodhpur is the uber gorgeous Umaid Bhawan Palace. Also the world’s largest private residence, this magnificent 347 roomed specimen of Rajasthani heritage plays host to the royal family of Jodhpur while also being a part museum. Sprawling, luxurious and every bit regal, this place in the Blue City of India sure remains resplendent in all the blue blood it has spawned ever since it was built in 1943. An imposing structure that manifests the erstwhile gilded royalty with its golden yellow sandstone built, this sure is among the most beautiful palaces India can take pride in.
Chowmahalla Palace, Hyderabad
In being the Palace of the Nizams, the Chowmahallat assumes prominence as being one of the must visit places in Hyderabad. Literally meaning four palaces, the iconic palace has been the recipient of the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit award for cultural heritage conservation that furthers Hyderabad’s prestige on UNESCO listings. In its splendid style of architectural amalgamation, the Palace boasts of a grandeur that is second to none. Delicate in its artwork yet imposing in the structure, Chowmahallat conjures up a vision of the lavish erstwhile royalty that bequeathed its extravagant premises.
In each of its four palaces the Afzal Mahal, Mahtab Mahal, Tahniyat Mahal and Aftab Mahal as well as in its heart Khilwat Mubarak, as also a host of Mughal domes and arches, the Chowmahalla Palace is an enduring epitome of grace and grandeur all encompassed into one. One of the most beautiful palaces in India, this is a structure every inch befitting of the stately grandeur Hyderabad forever rests in, in its prominent identity.
Kowdiar Palace, Trivandrum
That Kerala is mainly celebrated as a land of verdant greenery and swaying waters, of beachy allure and coastal glory perhaps explains why an architectural specimen as striking as the Kowdiar Palace in Trivandrum makes for among the rare places that tourists tend to visit. In its structure, the palace is a simple manifestation of architecture, yet it is by no means any less exemplary a specimen than other flamboyant illustrations. Even historically the Kowdiar Palace holds significance as Maharajah Sree Chithira Thirunal built it for the wedding of his only sister, Maharani Karthika Thirunal Lakshmi Bayi.
A really unique wooden structure, one that even boasts an elevator made of wood, the Kowdiar Palace makes for a grand sight even in its ‘rooted’ existence. A three storeyed building that rears its majestic bearings from among the verdant expanse of Trivandrum, the palace is a lofty sight with its six steeples and an equally breathtaking wonder in the picturesque garden of greenery that nestles it. The Kowdiar Palace indeed is an encompassment of the simplicity that describes Kerala, flamboyant in its natural endowment and alluring even in its minimalism. There truly is no ode to beauty that does Trivandrum better humanly than the Kowdiar Palace.
Bangalore Palace, Bangalore
Lavish in its splendor and elegant in its beauty is Bangalore’s namesake palace that is one of the most mesmerising palaces in India. Be it the striking exteriors or the equally ornated interiors, the palace presents itself as a charming premise of prettiness, marked by such fine manifestation of craftsmanship entouraging its diversive architectural flamboyance that leaves everyone spellbound. Attractions abound in the palace, be it in its distinctive decor or its many curious collectabillia. Needless to say, this is one iconic tourist hotspot in the city in all its rare regal rustle.
Sajjan Garh Palace, Udaipur
A white marble palace perched high on the Aravalli Hills is the Sajjan Garh Palace of Rajasthan. One among the many beautiful palaces of this royal land in India, this popular tourist destination just outside Udaipur is also known as the Monsoon Palace because of it having been built chiefly to watch the monsoon clouds. Even more picturesque is the Monsoon Palace during the night when its many besotted elements from Rajasthani architecture comprising domes, fountains and jharokas sparkle in the lights in some sort of fairylandic beauty. Overlooking the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary, the palace’s high location makes it witness to some really spectacular sunsets apart from offering a panoramic view of the encircling City of Lakes.
Chettinad Palace, Karaikudi
A colossal palace of elegant beauty, Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad Palace is a wonderful amalgamation of exquisite architecture and intricate art, nestled in tradition. A harbinger of the cultural heritage of the southern region of India, this among the beautiful palaces also is encompassing of European influence in its otherwise predominantly indigenous style of architecture. The surrounding lush landscapes only adds to the ethereal grandeur of the Chettinad Palace, which is already a definite wonder in its detailing and ornation. Opulent in vision, yet harbouring a simplistic charm, the Chettinad Palace is a testimony to the simple way of lives of the Chettinad people throughout history.
Marble Palace, Kolkata
Quite a distinctive place in stemming not from royalty though steeped in hordes of it is Kolkata’s Marble Palace. An extravagant spectacle in pristine white marble, that which lends the palace its name, the Marble Palace is a structure featuring a neoclassical built. In incorporating also traditional Bengali elements intertwined with Chinese styles, this is a very prominent architectural masterpiece within the confines of India’s City of Joy. Boasting of an art and decor collection no less exquisite that the palace itself, this is one private residence that sure is worthy of royalty.
Rai ka Baag Palace, Jodhpur
Another of the most beautiful palaces in India owe its seating in the royal land of Rajasthan. One of the the oldest palaces in Jodhpur is the very artistically resplendent Rai ka Baag Palace. Shaped as an octagon, this bungalow palace is one of the most visited places in the blue city owing to its exquisite beauty. The Rai ka Baag haweli is indeed an unmissable attraction and one that will have you taken aback in all its glory.