Tuesday, 27 September 2016

14 Palaces & Forts In Rajasthan That Speak Of The Royal Era

14 Palaces & Forts In Rajasthan That Speak Of The Royal Era

Rajasthan, the land of rich heritage, is synonymous with royalty. It symbolizes the culture of India in its most extravagant form, and is a home to the magnificent palaces of the Indian royalty. Each palace in Rajasthan is different from one another, reflecting majestic memories of a fascinating era gone by.

Interesting fact: In earlier times, Rajasthan was divided into 20 princely states and each of its rulers built forts and palaces in Rajasthan to safeguard their subjects and kingly luxury. The other reason Kings built such amazing and luxurious forts in Rajasthan was to show off their power, hospitality, and majorly their wealth and their artistic taste towards designing and literature.
If you have a thing for the past, and want to witness the rich lifestyle of the most remarkable Maharajas of Indian history, then an escape to the Forts of Rajasthan is just what you need.

Here, we have listed out 14 forts and palaces for you to choose from, to soothe your curiosity for history, with each one of them narrating a story about its kings, kingdom and colorful culture. Once you’ve decided your favourite destination, get ready to transcend to a different world altogether which seemed only true in fairy tales.

1. Amer Fort and Palace, Jaipur

Built in the 16th century Amer Fort welcomes you with its warm Rajasthani folk music. Designed based on both Hindu and Mughal architectural elements, the fort showcases its artistic wealth. Amer Fort delivers a experiential light and sound show with Amitabh Bacchan’s voice echoing off the fort’s sturdy walls, held at Kesar Kyari every evening when the fort is drenched in honey gold at sundown.

2. Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur Built in 1726, Jaigarh Fort is famously known as the ‘Victory Fort’, housing the world's largest cannon on wheels called ‘Jaivana’. Rumours said that there was a large treasure of gold buried in the premises of the fort, which lead to the sealing of fort from the public for 7 years. Currently the museum here displays a wide range of antiques and armours belonging to several Rajput clans.

3. City Palace, Jaipur Built in 1732, City Palace is known for its exquisite combination of Mughal and European architectural work. A part of the Palace, known as the Chandra Mahal still serves as a residence for the royal family. The palace museum is well stocked with a collection of old carriages, palanquins and European cabs.

4. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur Hawa Mahal was built in the year 1799. The Mahal showcases a fusion of Rajasthani and the Islamic Mughal style of architecture. The exterior of the palace being a five storey building, looks similar to the honeycomb, because of its 953 small windows known as ‘Jharokhas’, for the queen to see the outside world without being looked at. The red colour of the Mahal becomes extremely vivid in the soft glow of the morning sun.

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5. Chittorgarh Fort, Udaipur

Built during the 7th century AD and spread over an expansive area of 700 acres with seven massive gateways, and about  22 water bodies inside the fort, Chittorgarh Fort is famously known as Water Fort.  The fort is known for its history of bloodshed, especially when rulers, soldiers and their wife considered death as a more viable option than facing dishonor and surrendering themselves to the foreign rulers.

6. City Palace, Udaipur

The Palace was built with establishment of the Udaipur city in the year 1559. This striking white palace is one of a kind and complements the blue waters of Udaipur.  City Palace has a rich blend of  Rajasthani,  Mughal, European and Chinese architecture. A part of the palace, The Shambhu Niwas,  still belongs to the royal family. The flamboyant palace is built on hilltop so as to provide a panoramic view of whole city.

7. Udai Bilas Palace, Udaipur

Udai bilas Palace dates back to the mid-19th century. Located amidst the blue waters of Gaib Sagar Lake, the palace is built in bluish-grey sandstone. Today, the palace has been converted into a heritage hotel retaining its crystal chandeliers and many hunting trophies that took their positions when the palace served as a hunting resort for the royal family.

8. Lake Palace, Udaipur

In the middle of Lake Pichola and overlooking Udaipur City, Lake Palace is a fine marble masterpiece completed in 1746. Famously known as the charm of Venice of the East, Lake Palace has been praised as the most romantic luxury hotel in India. The east facing construction makes it a scenic location at the time of dawn, with the Aravalli mountains at the backdrop. A must visit for honeymooning couples, Lake Palace will make you revisit the golden era with the comfort of modern facilities.

I bet you can find out much much more when you visit the Forts of Udaipur on any of these holiday packages to Udaipur from!

9. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Built in 1460, Mehrangarh Fort overlooks the Blue City of Jodhpur from a height of 125 meters. Initially designed for keeping the army and king safe from attacks, the fort is still witness to several palm imprints of the queens (‘ranis’) who willingly cremated themselves on the funeral of their dead husband. Currently, the fort houses one of the most well stocked museums in the country, featuring costumes from the bygone era, arms and paintings. Interestingly, the fort has been featured in many movies. Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises, was shown imprisoned in the prison of this palace!

10. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Built back in 1929, Umaid Bhawan Palace makes you feel like a maharaja, but with modern world-class amenities. The palace took approximately 15 years to complete. Currently it is divided into 3 parts with most part of the palace still being occupied by the royal family. The rest 2 split between a luxury Taj Palace Hotel, and a gallery showcasing the most exotic automobiles owned by the maharajas.

I bet you can find out much much more when you visit the Forts of Jodhpur on any of these holiday packages to Jodhpur from!

11. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer

Often known as the Sonar Quila or the Golden Fort, Jaisalmer Fort was built in 1156 AD, at a height of 76 meters above the city. With a small market at the entrance, where you can shop traditional Rajasthani attires, and enjoy a spellbound view of the Jaisalmer City from the canon points at the top, the fort does not fail to impress anyone. Enjoy the evening here as you witness the massive yellow sandstone walls fading to honey gold during sunset and camouflaging with the Thar Desert.

12. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
Designed by a British architect in an Indo-Saracenic style, Laxmi Niwas Palace was built in 1902. Earlier home of the former king of Bikaner, Maharaj Ganga Singh, the palace has now turned into a luxurious hotel, managed by the Golden Triangle Fort and Palace Pvt. Ltd. With a variety of rooms, the Palace highlights the perfect blend of modern amenities and ancient architecture.

13. Neemrana Fort, Alwar

Neemrana Fort, which is on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway, was built by Raja Dup Raj in the year 1467. This fort is one of India’s oldest heritage properties, which is also the epitome of comfort. With an interesting intricate architecture, a variety of lavish rooms, a pool to swim the heat away and also the facility of riding vintage cars, Neemrana Fort is a favourite weekend getaway destination for Delhiites.

14. Bundi Palace, Bundi
Bundi Palace was constructed during the reign of Rao Raja Ratan Ji. The palace is popular for its lavish murals - painting or work of art executed directly on walls. Even though large sections of the palace are closed up and left to the bats, the rooms holding a series of fabulous fading turquoise and gold murals are currently open to the public. The very best murals includes a wonderful Chinese inspired ceiling, divided into petal shapes and decorated with peacocks and Krishnas. Bundi Palace is located in a vicinity to a number of artificial lakes that eases out the desert heat.

I found these forts to visit in Rajasthan, tell me a few that I might have missed? Find out more about forts in Rajasthan on these amazing holiday packages to Rajasthan via!

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