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Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan

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The Royal Rajasthan

Forts and Palaces of Rajasthan


Rambagh Palace and Fort, RajasthanRajasthan ‘The Land Of Valour And Chivalry’ is best experienced through its forts and palaces. As Rajasthan straddles the Great Indian Desert Thar and Aravali mountains, its forts and palaces have also incorporated these into its architecture. Most of its forts are located on hilltops, there are palaces bang in the middle of artificial lakes and some are even situated in forest reserves.

The architecture of palaces and forts in Rajasthan draws inspiration from all sources, be it Rajput, Mughal or European. The interiors are opulent, done up with the best objects obtained from all over the world, and befitting to the status of the ruling families. The monuments were and still are usually surrounded with man made water bodies, lush gardens, fountains and ramparts. The interiors were large complexes, divided into various palaces (separate for males and females), audience halls (for private and public audiences), galleries and temples. In the present day, most of these forts and palaces also have a museum to showcase the armoury, costumes and other aspects of the royal families. Several of these palaces and forts are now successful heritage hotels that serve up a slice of royal living.

The forts were made to be invincible and are a silent testimony to the turbulent history of royal Rajasthan. Among the most famous forts in Rajasthan are the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur; Jaigarh, Nahargarh and Amber in Jaipur; Sajjangarh, Kumbhalgarh and Chittorgarh in Udaipur; Junagarha nd Lalgarh in Bikaner; Sonar Killa (Golden Fort) of Jaisalmer and Taragarh of Bundi. The forts of Rajasthan have great tales of bravery attached to them that are still told through ballads and paintings.

The Rajasthan palaces range from the romantic, charming to absolutely stupendous. From the largest private residence in the world (Umaid Bhawan Palace) to the awesome Lake Palace of Udaipur, Rajasthan has it all. Made of various usually locally found materials such as marble, red sandstone or yellow sandstone, these palaces are sheer poetry. Topping the list of must see palaces in Rajasthan are City Palace and Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, Umaid Bhawan of Jodhpur, City Palace and Fateh Prakash Palace of Udaipur, Gajner Palace in Bikaner and Sukh Niwas Palace in Bundi. Most of these palaces are now heritage hotels and a stay in one of them makes for a luxurious holiday by itself.


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