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India is blessed with a number of temples, forts and monuments. However, one of the most intriguing attractions for foreign and domestic tourists is experiences that define royalty in the country.
Rich in history, some of the palaces in the country offer tourists an interesting insight into the royal culture. Out of the many states in India, Rajasthan is the first name that comes to mind when you talk about palaces. The beautiful golden sands of the state welcome you and take you on a journey into history with its spectacular forts and palaces.
These erstwhile royal abodes are still reminiscent of the glorious era that has passed by. A walk through the corridors of these forts and palaces is magical. Although their occupants have long gone, you can still feel their presence in walls, pictures, artefacts and paintings. As beautiful as they are, they also provide valuable information regarding the heritage and erstwhile royalty of India. With some of the Royal India tour packages, you can experience opulence and royalty at its best.
Before Indian Independence, there were as many as 565 kingdoms. The richest and grandest among all these kingdoms were that of Rajputs who occupied the state of Rajasthan. Similarly, the Nizams of Hyderabad had opulent palaces. During the British Raj, a large number of summer houses were also built in almost all the hill stations of the country.
After independence, most of these summer houses were acquired by the royal crowd and converted into palaces. As a part of royal India tour packages, you can catch a glimpse of the regal era that once thrived in India.
The royal heritage of our country is as intriguing as it is interesting. It is for this reason that hundreds and thousands of tourists from foreign countries flock to India to witness these marvelous creations.
India's most beautiful and opulent locations:
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The land of the Rajputs is one of the favourite places of every architecture and Indian heritage lover. Beautiful palaces; lovely golden sand dunes, camels, colourful outfits of the people, traditional song and dance -- everything about Rajasthan is a traveller’s delight. From Dal Baati Churma to camel rides, Rajasthan is a true delight.
The scorching summer heat may get to you but the beautiful land compensates you with cool and breezy nights. Shop to your heart’s content in the local markets and pick yourself an antique or a traditional craft work. A journey to India is incomplete without visiting mystical Rajasthan.
[Visit some of the most famous places while on holiday in Rajasthan]
The palaces of Rajasthan are magical. They take you on a transcendental journey to the time when the land was ruled by Rajput kings. Proud, chivalrous and brave, the Rajputs are hailed till today as the bravest warriors this country has seen. The magnificent palaces of Rajputs are the only remnants of their heritage.
There are several palaces in Rajasthan. From Jaisalmer to Jodhpur, you can find a number of palaces which are not just remnants of the glorious past but also great specimens of architectural excellence. The experience is absolutely incredible and it is probably for this reason that Rajasthan forms an integral part of any of the Royal India tour packages.
1. Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur
The Jai Mahal Palace was built in 1745 and is a fine specimen of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Once the residence of the Prime Minister of Jaipur, this palace has now been restored and is operated by the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. It became India’s first palace hotel when it opened its doors to guests in 1955. The hotel today has about 100 rooms and six suites. The interiors will take you back to the colonial age.
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Each room is beautifully furnished and fully equipped with all modern amenities. The deluxe rooms of the hotel are decked up in the traditional Rajasthani decor. Original paintings by renowned artists adorn the walls of the room.
Extreme care has been taken to provide a comfortable and luxurious ambience to the guests. The luxury rooms of the hotel are a treat to the eyes. Swathed in a beautiful turquoise and red scheme, the decor of the rooms is a beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary styles.
The hotel also has luxury rooms with sit outs and boasts of plush decor and all modern amenities. Each deluxe suite has a distinct theme and layout which reflect the Rajasthani culture and heritage.
The Deluxe Premium Suites are rich and lavish and reflect the opulence of the royalty. The Jai Mahal Palace also offers recreational activities that are fit for a king. The activities include horse riding, golf and sightseeing in Ramgarh.
2. The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
The Rambagh Palace is often referred to as the ‘Pride of Jaipur’. This palace too has been acquired by the Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces and is one of the most magnificent and opulent palaces of Jaipur. Today, it stands as one of the most important palace hotels of the country. Nestled amidst 47 acres of gardens, the Rambagh Palace was the venue for Katy Perry’s wedding with Russell Brand.
[Explore the majestic forts and palaces of while touring in Rajasthan on your holiday]
The beautiful Rambagh Palace offers luxury and palace rooms, historical suites, royal suites, grand royal suites and grand presidential suites. The hotel arranges various recreational activities for its guests. The activities include Landmark Spotting, local shopping, vintage car rides, sports and other activities.
3. The Raj Palace, Jaipur
The Raj Palace is one of the world’s leading heritage hotels and the oldest mansions of Jaipur. The hotel has been awarded the title of the ‘World’s Leading Heritage Hotel’ by the World Travel Awards four times in a row from 1997 to 2001. The hotel was also awarded the Best Heritage Hotel Award by the Indian Department of Tourism.
The hotel is a boutique hotel with only suites and has a multi-cuisine restaurant, an antique crockery museum, spa and Ayurvedic rejuvenation centre.
The most interesting fact about the hotel is that the gorgeous and exquisitely opulent Durbar Mahal suite of the palace which won the award for being ‘Asia’s Leading Suite’ in the World Travel Awards 2008, was used by the Maharaja himself. This beautiful palace is located to the north of the old city, near the Amber Fort.
[Get the full Indian heritage and cultural experience - The Best of Rajasthan]
The hotel arranges for royal safari trips to nearby palaces such as Jai Mahal and Amber Fort. Being situated in Jaipur, the Raj Palace is situated near several popular tourist destinations such as the Hawa Mahal, the Jantar Mantar, the City Palace, the Rambagh Palace, the Jai Mahal and the Albert Hall Museum. Guests can also enjoy camel and elephant safaris organised by the hotel.
Apart from these hotels, there are several other luxury and heritage hotels in Rajasthan which can give you a glimpse of the beautiful history of Rajasthan and the lives of the royalty who lived in these palaces earlier. Some of the other popular palace hotels in Rajasthan include The Raj Mahal Hotel, the Hari Mahal Hotel, the Samode Palace, etc.
For those looking for more economical accommodations but do not want to miss out anything on the history and heritage of the hotels, there are places such as the Alsisar Haveli, the Naila Bagh Palace and Hotel Umaid Bhawan.
4. City Palace Complex, Jaipur
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The City Palace Complex comprises of the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal and is situated in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. The palace had served as the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur and was built in between 1729 and 1732. The Chandra Mahal now has a museum in it but a major portion of it still serves as the royal residence.
[Visit enchanting forts & old havelis of Rajasthan, Agra and Delhi on our Golden Triangle tour]
The Mubarak Mahal exhibits a unique architectural style which is a fusion of the Mughal, Rajput and European architectural styles. It was built in the late 19th century by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. Besides the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal, the complex consists of the Diwan-I-Khas, the Diwan-I-Aam, the Maharani Palace, the Bhaggi Khana, the Govind Ji Temple etc.
5. Bagore Ki Haveli, Udaipur
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For those interested in history and architecture, Bagore ki Haveli in Udaipur is a fine specimen. The haveli was built in the 18th century by the Prime Minister of Mewar, Chand Badwa. The palace has more than hundred rooms with exquisite glass work and mirror work decorations on the wall. It also has a collection of invaluable Mewar paintings.
[Experience the royalty of India and live like the kings on a tour in Rajasthan]
Initially, the Western Zone Cultural Centre had planned to renovate the haveli and make it a museum that preserved the cultures of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Rajasthan. However, the architectural splendour of the haveli was later retained and the museum now showcases the aristocratic culture of Mewar.
Besides 138 rooms, the Bagore ki Haveli has numerous balconies, courtyards, corridors and terraces. The interiors of the haveli are embellished with attractive glass work and fine frescoes of the Mewari style.
6. Lake Pichola and Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur
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Lake Pichola is an artificial fresh water lake situated in the city of Udaipur. The lake was created in 1362 AD and is one of the many contiguous lakes that have been created or developed around Udaipur.
These lakes were primarily created to meet the irrigations and domestic use needs of the people of the city. There are two islands called the Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir located in the Pichola Lake. There are two palaces on these islands-The Lake Palace on Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir on the island with the same name.
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The Fateh Sagar Lake is another major attraction of the city of Udaipur. Udaipur is called the City of Lakes and the Fateh Sagar lake is believed to be the pride of the city.
The Fateh Sagar Lake too is an artificial lake which was created in 1678 by Maharana to the north of the Pichola Lake. Apart from tourism, the lake is also of much religious significance. Every year in the month of Shravan, a festival called the Hariyali Amavasya Mela is held on the banks of the lake.
7. Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
The Monsoon Palace is another one of the major attractions of the city of Udaipur. Formerly known as the Sajjan Garh Palace, the palace overlooks the Fateh Sagar Lake. The palace was named after Maharana Sajjan Singh of the Mewar Dynasty and was built in 1884.
[Along with grand palaces, experience the wildlife of Rajasthan]
Due to its ideal location, the palace enables its visitors to enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful lakes and the surrounding countryside. It is believed that the Maharana built the palace at the present location so as to get a view of his ancestral home in Chittorgarh. The palace served as the shooting location for the 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy.
8. Udai Bagh, Udaipur
[Take a cultural and heritage walk in Udaipur and see a different side of the city]
The Udai Bagh hotel in Udaipur is one of the most beautiful heritage hotels in the country. In fact, the heritage hotel is a unit of the Hotel Udaikothi. Situated at a distance of just 10 minutes from Hotel Udaikothi, the Udai Bagh hotel offers the best in comfort and luxury. Located in the midst of the Aravalli mountains, the Udai Bagh hotel in Udaipur has a beautiful garden and designer tents. Each tent is furnished with antique furniture and luxurious furnishings.
9. Jhalamand Garh, Jodhpur
The Jhalamand Garh castle is situated on the outskirts of Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It was constructed in the 18th century and is surrounded by the village Jhalamand Garh. The palace belongs to the Sisodia clan of Mewar and was shifted to Marwar. For his services rendered to Jodhpur state, the Jagir of Jhalamand was gifted to Thakur Gambhir Singhji Sahib.
10. Kesar Bagh, Jojawar
The Kesar Bagh property was built after the Rawla Jojawar. It represents the true tradition of Rajput hospitality. The word ‘bagh’ denotes a large estate like property. Situated in the foothills of the Aravalli Hills, the building was recreated by the present Rao Sahib of Jojawar. Enjoy vintage car rides, service with uniformed butlers and strolls in luxurious fruit orchards at the Kesar Bagh.
11. Khandwa Haveli, Jaipur
The Khandwa Haveli is the oldest heritage hotel in the city of Jaipur. The haveli was an old bungalow which has now been converted into a hotel. Apart from offering comfortable accommodation, the haveli showcases artifacts and hand painted frescoes and miniature paintings. The beautiful collection of artefacts and art items also draws art lovers to the haveli throughout the year.
12. Rohet Garh, Jaipur
The Rohet Garh fort was built in 1622 AD. The fort was bestowed upon Thakur Dalpit Singh I for his exemplary service to the Rathores of Rajasthan. The Rohet Garh Fort holds its place in history and is considered as one of the most important fiefdoms belonging to the state of Marwar.
13. Fort Pachewar Garh, Pachewar
The Pachewar Garh was built about 300 years ago. The fort at present has been converted to a family run heritage hotel. The massive ramparts imposing gates and spacious apartments highlight its beauty. The Pachewar Garh is known for its natural beauty and presents a live sign of rural tourism.
14. The Jaipur House, Mount Abu
Situated in Mt. Abu the Jaipur House was built by Maharaja Ram Singh. The present Maharaja of Jaipur, Brigadier Sawai Bhawani Singh, and her highness Maharani Padmini Devi converted the palace into a luxurious heritage hotel.
[Discover captivating past and the amazing present of India with a holiday in Rajasthan]
It provides facilities of international standards with the refined milieu of the interiors carried throughout the rooms. The Jaipur House offers its guests the finest of facilities in a royal way.
15. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
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Located at Jodhpur in Rajasthan, the Umaid Bhawan palace is one of the world’s largest private residencies. It is managed by the Taj Hotels and is a popular destination in any of the royal India tour packages. The palace is named after Maharaja Umaid Singh. The palace serves as the principal residence of the royal family of Jodhpur. It has more than 347 rooms . It was previously known as Chittar palace.
16. Kuthira Malika,Thiruvananthapuram
Vizhinjam Beach at Thiruvananthapuram
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Puthen Malika palace also known as the Kuthira Malika is located on the south-eastern side of the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram. It was built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma.
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The name of this palace is derived from the 122 horses that are carved into the wooden walls of the palace. It was built in 1840 and forms a part of royal buildings near the Padmanabhaswamy temple.
17. Matancherry Palace, Kochi
The Matanchery palace was built by the Portugese in the mid 16th century. The palace was in turn gifted to the local Rajah as compensation for a temple that was destroyed by the Dutch. It was also called the Dutch palace. It is a two storied building and has a small temple located in the central courtyard. The building contains the weapons and clothes from the Rajahs of Kochi.
18. Amar Mahal Palace, Chak Rakwalan
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The Amar Mahal palace is located in Jammu and Kashmir was built in the nineteenth century for Raja Amar Singh by a French Chateau. It was later converted into a museum after it was donated to the Hari-Tara charitable trust by Dr Karan Singh.
The golden throne weighing 120kg is one of the chief exhibits of this museum. It has library with 25,000 antique books and many rare art collections. Situated in the right bank of river Tawri, the palace was the last official residence of the Dogra Rajas.
19. Leh Palace
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The Leh palace is situated in South Leh and was once the world’s highest building. It was modelled after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It was built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal but was abandoned after the Dogra forces took control of Ladakh. The Leh Palace is a nine storey building.
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The palace is being restored by the Archaeological survey of India. The palace is open to the public and provides views of Leh and its surrounding areas.
20. Hill Fort Palace, Hyderabad
The Hill Fort Palace is located near the Naubat Pahad in the Nampally district, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Its spreads over 6.5 acres of land and is the home of Prince Muazzam Jah. It was built in 1915 by Sir Nizamat Jung. It now functions as the Ritz Hotel.
21. Shaniwar Wada, Pune
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The Shaniwar Wada is located in the city of Pune in Maharashtra and was built in 1746. It belonged to the Peshwa rulers of the Maratha Empire until 1818. The fort was almost destroyed in an fire explained in 1828. The palace became the centre of Indian politics in 18th century.
[Find out more about our tours and experience Maharashtra like you never have before]
22. Maharaja Palace, Vadodara
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The Maharaja Palace was constructed when the Gaekwad family started ruling the state of Vadodara. It refers to a bevy of palaces in Vadodara. The Sakar Wada was the first building to be constructed. The Lakshmi Vilas palace built by Maharaja Sayajirao in 1890 is one of the most decorated places with a rich collection of antiques namely armoury and sculptures in bronze, marble and terracotta.
23. Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kanyakumari
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The Padmanabhapuram Palace is located in Thuckalay, situated in Kanya Kumari District, Tamil nadu. It is about 20 km from Nagercoil, and about 50 kilometers from Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala. Located at the foot of Veli Hills, the palace was constructed in 1601 AD by Ravi Varma Kulasekhara Perumal who ruled Venad between 1592 and 1609. The palace consists of several structures like the Mannarasala, the kottaram. King’s council chamber is the most beautiful part of the palace.
Another destination in the country which is known for its palaces and royal grandeur is Mysore. Mysore is the third largest city in the state of Karnataka. This beautiful city is situated on the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, Mysore is situated at a distance of 146 km from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka.
The princely kingdom of Mysore was under the reign of the Wodeyar dynasty, except in the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan emerged as illustrious leaders of the region.
24. The Mysore Palace
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The Palace of Mysore also known as the Amba Vilas Palace served as the official residence of the Wodeyars, who had ruled the princely state for more than seven centuries and are a must visit in most royal India tour packages.
The first palace was built by the Wodeyar kings in the 14th century; however it was demolished and reconstructed several times. The present structure was completed in 1912 and further modifications were made to it in 1940.
[Visit the beautiful palaces of Mysore on our city of palaces tour]
The Mysore Palace is second only to the Taj Mahal in terms of tourist interest. The Mysore Palace is a stunning specimen of the Indo-Saracenic architecture and has been prepared by blending Gothic, Rajput, Hindu and Muslim styles of architecture. The palace has a central dome and is three-storied. One of the towers of the palace has about 145 stories.
The palace was built using grey granite with deep pink marble domes. A British architect, Henry Irwin, was roped in by the then Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana to complete the work of the palace.
The palace is surrounded by an expansive and extremely beautiful garden. Above the central arch of the palace, an exquisite statue of the goddess of wealth and prosperity Goddess Gajalakshmi is carved.
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The Mysore Palace serves as the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival every year. The festival is the most extravagant celebration in the city and is held in the months of September and October every year. The festival has been celebrated in the city by the Wodeyars since 1610 and even after all these years there has been no change in the gaiety and fervour during the festival.
The Mysore Palace has some very interesting rooms such as the Amba Vilas, which was used by the king for a private audience. The Gombe Thottil or Doll’s Pavilion has a gallery of dolls dressed in traditional attire from the 19th century and early twentieth century.
The Kalyana Mandapam is a grand marriage hall with stained glass panels and peacock motifs. The palace complex has about 12 temples within its premises.
25. Jaganmohan Palace
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The Jaganmohan Palace is another architectural masterpiece built under the patronage of the Wodeyar dynasty. The palace has served as the residence of the royal family when the Mysore Palace was under construction.
The Jaganmohan Palace has been renovated and is now being used as an art gallery and function hall. The palace was constructed in 1861 by King Krishnaraja Wodeyar II to house the royal family, after the Mysore Palace was destroyed in a fire.
The coronation of King Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was also held in the Jaganmohan Palace. In 1915, the palace was converted to an art gallery and was renamed as Shri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery. The palace has also been used as a function hall.
The early convocation ceremonies of the Mysore University were held in this hall and the first session of the Legislative Council of the Mysore State was also held here in 1907.
[Visit some of the colonial landmarks on a walking tour in Mysore]
The beautiful palace has been built in the traditional Hindu architecture style. The interiors of the palace have been adorned with spectacular murals.
These murals were prepared using vegetable dyes and are the earliest known specimens of the Mysore style of painting. The murals depict scenes of Dasara. The family tree of the Wodeyars is also painted on one of the walls.
The present day art gallery houses the largest collection of artefacts in South India. The gallery has about 2000 paintings, many of which are works of Raja Ravi Varma.
The others are from different schools of paintings such as Mughal, Shantiniketan and Mysore. Apart from paintings, other items such as brassware, sculptures, antique coins, musical instruments and weapons of war have been put on display in the gallery.
26. Jayalakshmi Vilas
The Jayalakshmi Vilasa isn’t a palace, but is one of the most important buildings in Mysore. The mansion was built by the King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV for Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani, who was the eldest daughter of the Maharaja Chama raja Wodeyar. The Princess was later married to Sirdar M Kantharaj who became the Dewan of Mysore.
The mansion was built to commensurate the status of the Princess and the Dewan. The mansion is located amidst the lush green surroundings of the Manasagangothri and is located on a hillock on the western bank of the Kukkarahalli Kere or Lake. Presently, the mansion serves as a gallery for huge collection of priceless artefacts and has been declared as a heritage building by the Karnataka government.
[Experience old world glory of the city on a walking tour in Mysore]
The mansion, which was built in 1905, was originally called the First Princess Mansion. The Dewan of Mysore had a house in the Fort of the Palace, which was known as the Gunamba House.
The Jayalakshmi Vilasam was later on acquired by the University of Mysore and large scale renovations were done which incurred expenses to the tune of Rs 1.17 crores. The renovation work, which spread over a period of four years, was also funded by the Infosys Foundation.
The Jayalakshmi Vilasam is primarily made of brick and mortar, timber and iron. The renovated building has as many as 287 beautifully carved doors, 300 windows and 125 rooms.
27. Lalitha Mahal
The Lalitha Mahal is another one of the architectural masterpieces bestowed by the Wodeyar dynasty. It is the second largest palace in Mysore and is strikingly distinct in terms of colour scheme and architectural style. The palace was built on the orders of King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV for an exclusive stay of the then Viceroy of India.
The palace is modelled on the lines of the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and is, undoubtedly, one of the finest structures in Mysore. It was converted into a heritage hotel in 1974 and is currently being operated by the Ashoka Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation. However, the group has retained the original ambience of the palace in order to provide a royal experience to its guests.
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The Lalitha Mahal is of particular interest due to its interesting architectural style. Modelled on the lines of the St. Paul’s Church in London, the palace was planned by an architect from Bombay, EW Fritchley, and built by B Munivekatappa.
The palace uses architectural styles of the English manor houses and Italian palazzos. The palace has two stories and the supporting structure of the palace is a double Ionic column.
A breathtaking view of the Chamundi Hills and the Mysore city can be enjoyed from the Lalitha Mahal. The interiors of the palace have been adorned with full length portraits of Wodeyar Kings, Belgian crystal chandeliers, Italian marble floors, cut glass lamps, mosaic tiles, heavy furniture and exotic Persian carpets.
28. Rajendra Vilas
The Rajendra Vilasa is another architectural masterpiece bestowed upon the state by the Wodeyar dynasty. The stunning architectural style, craftsmanship and fine detailing make the Rajendra Vilasa palace a must-visit.
The palace is situated on top of the Chamundi Hills at an elevation of about 1,000 feet. It is believed that there was another building in place of the Rajendra Vilasa around 1822, which served as a summer retreat for the Wodeyar royal family.
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According to popular belief, this building was the place where King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV received lessons in philosophy and English. However, this building was brought down and the King conceptualised the plan for the Rajendra Vilasa in the early 1920s.
The palace was commissioned by the king in 1938 -1939. Although, many elaborate plans were made regarding the construction of the palace, several ideas had to be dropped and the construction has to be downscaled due to paucity of funds.
Photo credit: Ville Hyvönen - flickr
To complete your experience of regality especially in Mysore, an integral part of any royal india tour packages is a royal horse safari. You must experience the Royal Horse Safaris hosted by Maharaj Kumari Meenakshi Devi and her son.
You get to choose from the finest thoroughbred and half-bred horses from the stable of the Maharajkumari. The horses are of Indian bred Marwari and Kathiawari lineage and were once used in races. Although they have retired from the races, these horses still offer an excellent riding experience.
The best time to enjoy this ride is between the months of October and March. During this time, the city of Mysore experiences the best weather and the terrain is much more navigable.
The horses have grooms who check on the horses in every 10 to 15 km and take care of them through grooming, saddling, unsaddling, feeding, brushing etc.
[Want to explore India on a horseback? Read more in our guide to horse riding in India]
In Rajasthan too, Royal horse safaris are usually conducted in regions with desert wildlife, rural areas of the state or in hilly regions. Guests are asked to dress in the conventional Jodhpuri breeches, hats and boots for the ride.
The best part about this particular package is that you get to ride the best of horses and experience royalty in its finest. The Royal Horse Safari is an exhilarating experience. You can view a large number of important landmarks ranging from the Jain Temples of Ranakpur to the Cloud Palace.
This exciting ride through the beautiful countryside of Rajasthan will enable you to experience Rajasthan, its royal heritage and local culture like never before. For long safari rides, it is advisable that only experienced people or those who know horse-riding undertake the activity.
The safaris usually last for at least 4 to 5 hours. Furthermore, it is advisable to take some time and get acquainted with the horse and train yourself for the ride. The Royal Horse Safari covers the Mehrangarh Fort, Desert tracts, Wildlife and Bishnoi village, secluded palaces, lush green countryside and hilly tracts of Kumbalgarh sanctuaries.
Enjoy an evening in the desert like the royalty once did. It is believed that the Mughal Emperor Jahangir initiated the trend of desert safaris. During a trip to Kashmir for summer retreat, the Emperor halted in the desert and set up his camp.
The camp had all the facilities that the Emperor needed. This trend was then carried on by the Rajput rulers who set up camps in the desert and arranged for food, drinks and entertainment during hunting trips, outdoor evenings, marriage parties and royal gatherings.
[Experience the Thar desert life in a desert safari at Jaisalmer]
From being just an accommodation for the night, desert safaris became a reason for celebration. You too can enjoy a night on the beautiful golden sands of the desert, under the starlit sky.
There are several packages available that offer accommodation, food and entertainment. Furthermore, you can go on excursions led by experienced guides to some really beautiful offbeat destinations in the desert.
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[Enjoy camel riding in Thar desert on a full day desert safari tour]
You can choose from long and short excursions. The short excursions are in places near the campsite. There will not be a landmark or monument to admire, but the wonderful way of life of the people of the desert will instill awe and admiration in you.
The longer trips lead to Khichan, which is home to a large number of migratory birds from October to March. As many as 8,000 to 10,000 birds can be seen in the region during the winter season.
For those who are interested in visiting historical buildings during a trip to Rajasthan, the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels is a must-have experience. The Palace on Wheels is an experience that you will never forget. The interiors of the train reflect the richness and opulence of the Rajputs.
Exquisitely furnished interiors, spacious lounge, comfortable bar cum lounge and restaurant cars that dish out lip smacking Rajasthani, Continental and Chinese dishes are the epitome of luxury and lavishness in this train which is also called the ‘Golden Chariot’.
The Palace on Wheels train starts from the Safdarjung Railway Station and traverses into the beautiful state of Rajasthan every Wednesday night. Turbaned Khidmatgars await your orders and serve you in a manner that makes you feel no less than a king.
[Read more about the 4 best luxury trains Rajasthan has to offer]
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels through Rajasthan is a delight. The beautiful culture, traditions and heritage unfold before your eyes as you delve deeper and deeper into the secrets of the state. The beautiful palaces and forts of Rajasthan are reminiscent of the glory of the Rajputs and the grandeur of the era that has passed.
Another such wonderful journey is offered by the Indian Maharaja or the Deccan Odyssey. The train offers a weeklong journey that covers important tourist destinations in Maharashtra and North India.
The Deccan Odyssey or the Indian Maharaja is a train that is run in joint venture by the Ministry of Railways and the Maharashtra Tourist Development Corporation.
The train is the epitome of luxury and comfort. It has about 21 coaches and two Presidential suites. The most attractive feature of the train is that it has a Spa Car to add to the luxury of the passengers.
Train journeys for tourists are a popular offering in India. Apart from these major trains, some of the other tourist trains in India include the toy trains of Shimla and Darjeeling.
For tourists who love the old world charm, the Shimla toy train and the Darjeeling toy train are the best options. Other trains that play an important role in connecting the tourist circuit in the country include the Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and other luxury trains of India that must be included in any royal India tour packages.