India has seen the rule of so many magnificent, influential and powerful dynasties, that the culture and heritage still prevails in some ways in the present world. A classic example of their rule and presence in the country, are the relics that's been created in the form of monuments, palaces and forts, that we are lucky enough to witness till date.
The royal residences of several dynasties are spread across the country and are now tourist hotspots. These palaces are now well maintained and offer a glimpse into a bygone era. Read about these 8 spell-binding palaces of India, that you must visit especially if you're a history buff.
Built in an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture in the 14th century, the Mysore Palace, which is also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is the most popular tourist attraction of Mysore city in Karnataka. This spectacular palace served as the royal residence of the Wadiyar dynasty from 1399 to 1950.
During Dussehra, the royal palace is lit with about 100,000 bulbs, a spectacular sight that happens every evening during the 9 days of the festival. Visitors are allowed to revel in its splendour from 10 am to 5.30 pm everyday.
Located in the Blue City of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Mehrangarh Fort sits at a high altitude crowning the beautiful city. It was built by Rao Jodha, the chief of Rathore clan, during 1460.
Within the fort, you will find many other glorious buildings, such as the Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and a museum that houses beautiful royal palanquins, musical instruments, paintings, etc.
Literally translating to "Palace of Winds", Hawa Mahal is a stunning palace built in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Constructed using red and pink sandstone, the purpose of the palace was to allow the women living in the palace to see the festivals that took place on the streets without being seen.
Drawing inspiration from the Khetri Mahal built by Bhopal Singh, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh built the Hawa Mahal in 1799. It is a 50-ft-high pyramidal shaped monument built in a blend of Rajput and Mughal style of architecture, that is bound to leave you in awe.
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This 8th century hill fort was built by Man Singh Tomar. It mainly consists of two magnificent palaces namely Gujari Mahal and Man Mandir, which was safeguarded by defensive structures of the fort. The Gujari Mahal which belonged to the Queen has now been turned into an archaeological museum.
The fort is without a doubt one of the main tourist attractions in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh. It remains open from 9 am to 6 pm with Rs 75 for the entry of an adult and Rs 40 for children.
Cooch Behar Palace
Modelled after the world famous Buckingham Palace of London, the Cooch Behar Palace is the main attraction of Cooch Behar city in West Bengal. It is a classic example of Western style of architecture, that has been built using bricks.
The two-storeyed building is spread across a vast area of 51,000 square feet and includes various rooms, such as a billiard hall, a dining room, a dressing room, etc. Visit the museum and appreciate the beautiful paintings made by artists of the bygone era.
City Palace Of Udaipur
City Palace in Udaipur is nestled on the east bank of the picturesque Lake Pichola. The completion of the structure took over 400 years with many rulers of the Mewar dynasty contributing to the making of it.
Built with a fusion of Rajasthani and Mughal style of architecture, the City Palace of Udaipur is surrounded by many other spectacular palaces, some of which are even found in the Lake Pichola. The palace remains open for visitors from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
PC: Dennis Jarvis
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Being one of the biggest private residences in the world, a section of this grand palace is now taken over by the Taj Group of Hotels. Formerly known as Chittar Palace, the construction of the palace was completed in 1943.
The palace was built in order to provide employment to the famine-stricken Jodhpur. A part of the palace has also been converted to a museum. Umaid Bhawan Palace is a grand architectural marvel that is certainly worth a visit, when in Jodhpur.
PC: Deepak Bansi
Fatehpur Sikri, the beautiful capital of the Mughal dynasty, is home to several striking monuments that cannot be missed, while visiting Agra. Rich Mughal culture and architecture are clearly reflected from the palaces, forts and mosques that are built in this glorious city.
Jodhabai Palace is one such magnificent structure that used to be the quarters of the beloved Mughal Queen Jodha, along with other women that belonged to King Akbar's harem.
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