India is a vast country that is full of cultural heritage, architecture, and history which makes it an amazing tourist destination. It has a rich and glorious past that is still cherished in the beautiful palaces in India that was created by Kings, Maharajas and Nizams.
There are about 80 palaces in India and the most famous ones are Mysore Palace, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Lake Palace Udaipur, Jal Vilas Mahal, Falaknuma Palace, etc.
These royal palaces in India are a mirror of the bygone era that shows the cultural and social facets of regal life. Many of these palaces have been converted into luxurious hotels that help you enjoy the lifestyle of the royal families.
Best Palaces in India
India has a long & glorious history of the regal era. There have been many dynasties that ruled in this country at different times. Each of these eras is marked by its historical, cultural & architectural value.
In olden times, the kings or emperors used to invest heavily in monuments & buildings such as forts, temples, palaces. These buildings used to be the symbol of their wealth, knowledge & love for art. Historians have spent a considerable amount of time studying these architectural marvels.
Today, many of these palaces in India are converted into luxury hotels & resorts. It gives a great opportunity to experience the ultra-luxurious & opulent life of royalties, which obviously comes with a price. You may stay in one of these hotels & resorts surrounded by priceless antics & artifacts & feel like royalty.
Here we are sharing a list of palaces of India that you MUST visit. It is not in any particular order but each one worth a visit for sure.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Located in the Blue city of Jodhpur, this magnificent palace is perched on Chittar Hill. Built-in 1943 by Maharaja Umaid Singh, the palace has a stunning interior and exterior featuring various architectural styles. The Palace has been constructed in the area of 26 Acres and is one of the largest private residences with 347 rooms.
Owned By Maharaja Gaj Singh, the palace has a museum that features classic cars, stuffed leopards, clocks of different shapes and sizes, photographs and memorabilia. A part of the palace containing 64 rooms has been converted into a heritage hotel by Taj Hotels.
Interesting Facts about Umaid Bhawan Palace
- The Umaid Bhawan Palace was the last Royal Palace built before independence. The work started in 1929 & finished in 1943.
- It is the royal residence of Maharaja Gaj Singh. He lives in a part of the palace while the rest of it is converted into a heritage hotel & museum.
- It was built for a noble purpose to help people during Famine in the 1920s. The king of Marwar ( Formal name) Maharaja Umaid Singh saw the plight of people & decided to help them by providing an opportunity to earn in troubled times.
- It is one of the largest private residences in the world spreading over 26 acres of land. It includes gardens, buildings, swimming pools, tennis & squash courts.
- It is one of the most popular all over the world for a destination wedding. The famous Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas wedding took place here.
- It shows the best view of Jodhpur city.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace was designed by Henry Lanchester, a famous British architect.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum has a fleet of Vintage cars, clocks, weapons & flags.
Visiting hours: 9 am-5 pm on all days of the week
Entry fee: Rs. 15 for Indians and Rs. 50 for Foreigners.
Address: Circuit House Road, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342006
City Palace Udaipur
City Palace is a palace built on Hilltop by Maharana Udai Singh that offers a beautiful view of the Lake City Udaipur. The palace is situated along with the Aravali range with Lake Pichola in front. There are many lakes, temples, and palaces within this complex.
The interiors of the palace are amazing with wall paintings, murals, mirror work, silverwork, marble work, an infinity-edge pool. It is a popular tourist spot that provides insight into the Royal Kingdom of Mewar. Built-in the 16th Century, there are beautiful structures like Diwan-i-Aam, Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-E-Khas, City Palace Museum, etc. in the complex.
It is one of the most sought after palaces in India for destination wedding & movie shoots. Many famous Hollywood & Bollywood movies have been shot here over the years.
Interesting Facts about City Palace Udaipur
- The city palace Udaipur has two entrances. One is for the public & the other is a private entrance.
- Garden Palace or ‘Badi Mahal’ is a huge swimming which was used during the Holi festival. It is entirely made up of natural rock.
- Some famous movies were shot here in the palace. Like the famous Hollywood movie ‘Octopussy‘ & Bollywood movies like ‘Guide‘ and recent movie ‘Ram Leela‘.
- The palace was started by Uday Singh II in the 16th century but it couldn’t be completed in his lifetime. It was later completed by his son Maharana Pratap.
- This palace is built by 22 Generations of Kings from the Sisodiya Dynasty. They have contributed to various parts & smaller palaces within the main city palace.
Visiting hours: Open every day from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
Entry fee: Adult- INR 300
Student- INR 100
Address: Old City, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001, India
Taj Lake Palace Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace was built in the 18th century and served as the royal summer palace to the rulers of Mewar dynasty. Even today the Royal Butlers who are the descendants of the original palace retainers serve the guests of the hotel.
You will get the most scenic views while staying in this palace hotel as it is built in the serene and tranquil Lake Pichola. This palace has white marble interiors with 83 rooms and suites. It is considered as one of the most romantic palaces in India as it is ideal for fairytale weddings and magical honeymoons. You can indulge in a boat ride across Lake Pichola to view the Lake Palace.
Things to do in the Taj Lake Palace
1. Discover the royal palace which was once the residence of Kings & Queens of Udaipur. It is the best way to relive the bygone era.
2. Nothing beats a pleasant boat ride in the evening which magnificent palace at the background lit with hundreds of lights. The palace is a vision at night. A boat ride is a must in Pichola Lake.
3. The hotel guests can experience a royal welcome at the arrival where you arrive at the venue in a boat, followed by a ride in a vintage car. The guards will escort you to the hotel under a handcrafted umbrella to complete the royal experience.
4. A unique luxury of Boat Spa for the hotel guest known as ‘Jiva Spa’.
Visiting hours: Open for the hotel guests.
Entry fee: Rs. 500 with Rs. 450 for a boat ride
Address: Pichola Lake, Udaipur, Rajasthan 313001
Jal Vilas Mahal Gwalior
This is a nineteenth-century palace built by Jayajirao Scindia and still serves as the residence of his descendants. It is a three-story palace, spread over 28.4 acres designed using Tuscan, Italian and Corinthian style of architecture. This 140 years old palace is a famous landmark of the city & a famous palace in India.
The palace has 400 rooms and a large Durbar Hall that has posh carpets, gold furnishings, and magnificent chandeliers. This part of this palace has been converted into a museum that has historic documents, old weapons and other artifacts that helps the tourists get a glimpse into the history and culture of the region.
Interesting Facts about Jal Vilas Mahal Gwalior
- The grand chandelier in the palace weight whooping 3500 Kgs. It is said that elephants were engaged to transport the chandelier & test the roof. The engineers tested the roof by sending 10 elephants on to the roof. Once the strength of the structure was thoroughly checked before installing it on the roof.
- The food for the guests is served in a silver train. It is fixed on the dining table & runs through the length of the table to serve the food.
- 40 out of 400 rooms in the palace are converted into a museum housing several antiques, rare art and things that were used by the royal family.
- The swords of Shahjahan & Aurangzeb are places in the museum.
- The visitors can also see many artifacts from Italy & France collect by the royal family during their oversea trips.
- Pure gold & Precious stones were used in roof carving making it unique & exotic.
Visiting Hours: 10 am to 4.30 pm on all days except Wednesdays.
Entry fee: There is an entry fee of Rs. 140 for Indians and Rs. 350 for foreigners.
Address: Jayandra Garg, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh-474001, India
City Palace Jaipur
This is one of the most treasured palaces in India that was built in 1732 and belonged to Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The palace is built using European, Mughal, and Rajput architecture and it has a wide variety of temples, pavilions, and gardens.
The palace has uniquely designed peacocks at the gate and presently only the ground floor is open for the visitors. There are numerous places of interest like Chandra Mahal, Maharani’s Palace, Mubarak Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam and City Palace Museum.
Things to do in the City Palace
- You can go for a Chariot ride which will cost you INR 1000/- ( for the family)
- Audio Guide is available for INR 200/-
- Interactive learning Program for kids
Visiting hours: 9:30 am to 5 pm & 7-9 PM for night viewing
Entry fee: Rs. 150 for Indians and Rs. 500 for foreigners.
Camera Charges– For normal Camera INR 50/-, for videography INR 200/-
Address: Tulsi Marg, Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002
Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
This palace is spread over 500 acres of land and is four times the size of Buckingham Palace of London. It is the official home of the Gaekwads the royals of Vadodara, who still reside in the palace.
There are several buildings in the palace like banquet halls, palaces, and museum that has an exquisite collection of artifacts and paintings. There are lush manicured gardens and a 10-hole golf course located within the compound.
Interesting Facts about Laxmi Vilas Palace
- It is the largest private residence built to date. It is still the official residence of the royal family, Gaekwads of Baroda.
- The size of the palace is four times bigger than Buckingham Palace in London.
- The majestic palace has 170 rooms. The construction of the palace started in 1878 & took around 12 years to complete.
- It was considered one of the most expensive palaces in India during its time. It cost around £ 180,000 in the 19th century.
- Laxmi Vilas Palace boasts of the maximum number of stained glass used in any building in the world.
Visiting hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm and closed on Mondays and Public holidays
Entry fee: There is an entry fee of Rs. 170 per person.
Address: Indumati Mahal, J.N.Marg Gate No.2, Laxmi Vilas Palace Estate Opp, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001
Mysore Palace or the Amba Vilas Palace is the official home to the Wodeyars, the royal family of Mysore. The architecture style used inside the palace is a mixture of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles. It was designed and completed by the British in 1912
It is one of the most beautiful palaces in India with three stories and has two durbar halls, numerous courtyards, gardens, exquisite buildings, 12 Hindu temples, antique dolls pavilion, and royal portrait gallery. It tops the list of places to visit in Mysore.
During the Dussehra festival, the place is a sight to behold as it is decorated with thousands of lights. People love to visit it during the festival season especially Diwali as the whole palace is lit up with thousands of lights making it look even more majestic.
Things to do in Mysore Palace
1. You can take the Audio kit while taking a tour of the palace. These audio kits are available in 7-8 different languages.
2. Catch up the Light & Sound Show performed every day at Mysore Palace. It is an hour show shown in two different languages Kannada & English.
Mysore Light & Sound Show ( In English) Thursday-Saturday 7-8 PM; Ticket Price- Adults- INR 90, Children-INR 40
Mysore Light & Sound Show ( In Kanada) Monday-Wednesday 7-8 PM, Saturday 8.15-9.15 PM; Ticket Price- Adults- INR 70, Children-INR 30
3. The Palace is decorated with numerous lights every Sunday & all major holidays and festivals. Plan your trip accordingly to watch the beauty at its best.
Visiting time: Open weekdays: 10 am to 5.30 pm, Sundays and Public Holidays: 7 am-7.45 pm
Entry fee: Foreigner- INR 70
Adults- INR 50
Students- INR 10
Children 10-18 yrs – INR 30
Children below 10 free
(* The visitors are asked to remove their shoes & keep them in the locker. The locker charges are INR 2)
Address: Sayyaji Rao Road, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysore, Karnataka 570001
Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad
This palace was once the residence of the Nizams of Hyderabad and is located on top of 2000 feet high hill with a view of Hyderabad city. It has been converted into an ultra-luxe hotel since 2010 managed by Taj Hotels.
If you want to enjoy the grandeur of Hyderabad nizams then this is one of the most beautiful palaces in India. The hotel has eclectic interiors, roman pillars, marble staircases, artworks, or Venetian chandeliers. The palace also has a huge library that has one of the rarest versions of the Quran. The palace covers an area of 32 acres and has 220 decorated rooms along with 22 spacious halls.
Things to do in the City Palace
- Take a breathtaking 360° view of the city from the palace.
- Enjoy the enchanting performance by the Sufi performers.
- Indulgence in your senses at the luxurious Spa.
- Explore the grand palace by taking a walking tour. The manicured lawns will be a delight to walk on.
- The palace is a magical land for art lovers. The architecture is heavily inspired by the colonial style, making it perfect for a self-guided tour.
- Admire the huge collection of portraits, murals, exquisite carpets, chandeliers & extravagant art in the palace.
Visiting hours: It is a hotel so it can be accessed whenever the hotel is ope
Entry fee: There is a palace tour of Rs. 3100 or Rs. 2000, which is inclusive of tea, snacks, entry ticket, bus and tour guide.
Address: Engine Bowli, Fatima Nagar, Falaknuma, Hyderabad City, Telangana-500053
Rambagh Palace Jaipur
Rambagh Palace was the residence of the Royal family for more than 30 years and is considered one of the most luxurious palaces in India. This palace was built in 1835 and it has served as the home of queen’s favorite handmaiden, hunting lodge, as a royal guesthouse, and the residence of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his queen Maharani Gayatri Devi.
The USP of the hotel is the peacock suite overlooks the Mughal terrace and you can enjoy the extravagance of the place.
Interesting facts about Rambagh Palace Jaipur
- The palace was built in 1835 as a leisure garden for the queen. Later in 1887, it was converted into a royal guest house & hunting Lodge by Sawai Madho Singh.
- The palace was converted into a school in 1910 for the sons of the royal family.
- For the first time in 1925, the palace became the royal residence. Sawai Mansingh ΙΙ along with his family shifted from City Palace to Rambagh Palace.
- Maharani Suit was added to the palace in 1938 when Sawai Mansingh Married Maharani Gayatri Devi. He appointed his favorite designer from London, Hammond, to design this suite. It was a surprise wedding gift from him to his new queen.
- The Palace was converted into a luxury hotel by Maharaja Sawai Mansingh ΙΙ in 1957.
- The Taj Group of Hotels finally took the responsibility to run the luxury hotel in 1972 & managing it to date.
Visiting hours: It is a hotel so it can be accessed whenever the hotel is open
Address: Bhawani Singh Road, Rambagh, Jaipur city, Rajasthan-302005
Built-in 1878 by the Maharaja of Mysore, Bangalore Palace was the private residence of the Wodeyars. The area of the palace belonged earlier to Reverend J Garrett. Several renovations have been made since 1878 along with landscaping of the surrounding area. This palace has been spread over an area of 454 acres and boasts of Tudor style architecture inspired by Windsor Castle of London. There is an entry fee of Rs. 230 for Indians and Rs. 460 for foreigners.
The interiors of the palace have floral motifs, relief paintings, and cornices along with paintings by Raja Ravi Varma. There are beautiful gardens in the palace and there is amazing carved woodwork done both inside and outside the palace. It is one of the renowned palaces in India even to date. Many international celebrities have performed in its arena.
Interesting facts about Bangalore Palace
- The Palace is owned by the Royal family of Mysore. The current owner is HH Pramoda Devi Wadiyar.
- It was built in 1862 by Rev. Garrett, the first principle of the central high school in Bangalore.
- It is hugely inspired by the Windsor Castle. Some even say that it is a replica of the Castle.
- Later the palace was bought by Chamaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja Of Mysore.
- It has a huge arena where many international celebrities have performed like Iron Maiden, The Rolling Stones, Deep Purple & Aero Smith.
- A major portion of the palace has been converted into a museum exhibiting several beautiful paintings, arts, photographs, portraits & antiques.
Visiting Hours: 10 am to 5.30 pm every day
Entry fee: Indian – INR 225
Foreigner- INR 450
Camera Charges-INR 675
Address: Palace Road, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka-560052, India
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If you are planning a tour to India this season, make sure to visit these famous palaces in India to get a glimpse of royal India along with its history and culture. These palaces are glorious and gleaming and each one has a story to tell.
If you are interested in the cultural heritage of India and love to look at antiques and fabulous architecture then a visit to these palaces is a must. Some of the palaces have been converted into hotels so you can experience royal living by staying at these wonderful hotels.