India’s long history is filled with stories of extravagant maharajas, kings, and nizams. While they are perhaps best known for their imposing forts (such as Rajasthan’s Amber Fort, Delhi’s Red Fort and Hyderabad’s Golconda Fort), this rich and glorious past has also left behind many stunning royal palaces in India. Though many palaces of India have now been converted into hotels, you can see what remains of the opulent and luxurious lifestyle of these royals.
The Most Famous Royal Palaces In India That You Must Visit:
1. Umaid Bhawan Palace – Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Perched atop Chittar hill over the blue city of Jodhpur is the Umaid Bhawan Palace, one of the largest and most beautiful palaces of India. Completed in 1943 and covering 26 acres, it is known for its stunning mixture of Western Art Deco, Classical Revival and Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture. Owned by Maharaja Gaj Singh, it is one of the largest private residences in the world. Its 347 rooms feature all kinds of exhibits, including stuffed leopards, classic cars, and clocks. A part of it is still the private residence of the royal family. And another part of the palace is a heritage luxury hotel managed by the Taj Hotels.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum is worth the visit and has a very nominal entry fee for Indians. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days. However, the Palace itself is accessible only to guests of the luxury hotel.
2. Mysore Palace – Mysore, Karnataka
Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka located in the heart of the city is truly wonderful. Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it was designed by Henry Irving and completed in 1912. Built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, its distinctive domes and turrets and full of amazing works of art from different corners of the world. The three-storey Mysore Palace also has several courtyards, two durbar halls, twelve Hindu temples, and even an antique dolls pavilion. There are several more palaces in Mysore apart from the Mysore Palace to check out when you’re there.
The Mysore Palace is usually open from 10 am to 5:30 pm. There are also specific dates and times when you can see the illumination of the palace. For more information, you can visit the official site. The site also allows you to book your entrance tickets online with a validity of 6 months from your date of purchase.
The palace was destroyed several times, during the reign of Tipu Sultan and once in a fire. You can read about its fascinating history here.
3. Chowmahalla Palace – Hyderabad, Telangana
Built across 40 acres, this 18th-century palace is a mix of Mughal to Persian designs. It is split into two courtyards and is known for its exquisite antique furniture, Belgian-crystal chandeliers, and many royal artefacts including a 1911 yellow Rolls Royce. It was once the official residence of the Nizams of the Asaf Jahi dynasty in India and hosted many grand celebrations.
The palace is open from 10 am to 5 pm and the entry is free.
4. Hazarduari Palace – Murshidabad, West Bengal
Among the imposing royal palaces in India, Hazarduari Palace was built in the 1830s by British architect Duncan Macleod for Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah of Bengal. Also called the Nizamat Kila, it is part of a large complex on the east bank of the Bhagirathi river that also houses the Nizamat Imambara (a congregation hall) and the Wasif Manzil. The palace is now a museum with 20 galleries displaying all kinds of weaponry, paintings, furniture, statues, manuscripts, and more. Don’t miss the massive crystal chandelier in the Durbar Hall which is said to have been given to the Nawab by Queen Victoria.
The palace is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm on all days except Fridays. The entry fee is INR 250 for foreigners and a nominal fee of INR 20 for citizens of India, SAARC and BIMSTEC visitors.
5. City Palace – Jaipur, Rajasthan
At the very heart of the old city of Jaipur lies the magnificent City Palace, Jaipur. This sprawling complex of courtyards and gardens features a mix of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The City Palace was built by the Rajput king Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1732. Don’t miss the Mubarak Mahal, the Armoury, Chandra Mahal, and the Diwan-i-Am, the uniquely designed peacock gateways, and the museums and galleries. There are also several activities, events and festivals that take place at the City Palace. It is not to be confused with the City Palace in Udaipur, another among the many palaces of India in Rajasthan.
The City Palace is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm on all days. The museum at the City Palace is open from 10 am to 6 pm. The entry fee differs depending on which part of the City Palace you want to visit and the level of access (there are visits to private rooms as well) and also varies for adults, children, Indian and foreign nationals. Get complete ticketing details on the official site of City Palace.
The City Palace in Udaipur is open from 9 am to 5:30 pm. City Palace, Udaipur was completed in the 16th century.
6. Padmanabhapuram Palace – Thuckalay, Tamil Nadu
Near the city of Thiruvananthapuram lies Padmanabhapuram, the former capital city of the Kingdom of Travancore. The Padmanabhapuram Palace (also known as Kalkulam Palace) dates back to the 17th century and is known for its wonderful murals and floral carvings and sculpted interiors. Explore the many rooms of the palace and their black granite floors.
It is open for visitors from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm on all days except Mondays. The fees for Indians is nominal at INR 35 for adults and INR 10 for children. Fares differ for foreign nationals and there are additional fees cameras. You can see all the details here.
7. Lake Palace – Udaipur, Rajasthan
Built in the 18th century, the famous Lake Palace (previously known as Jag Niwas) is located on the scenic Lake Pichola, Udaipur, Rajasthan. Once the summer palace of the royals of Mewar, the royal residence is now a popular hotel run by the Taj Group. The luxurious white marble building spans 4 acres and has 83 rooms, each of which is beautifully adorned. The walls themselves are decorated with semi-precious stones and ornamented niches, and enclose all kinds of courtyards, terraces, and gardens. The room prices vary, with those overlooking Lake Pichola being higher. Don’t miss the nearby Jag Mandir (also called the “Lake Garden Palace”). This is one of the largest and most popular palaces in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
To visit and explore, book a room at the luxury hotel or dine at one of its restaurants.
Also Read: 11 Reasons To Visit Rajasthan This Year
8. Jai Vilas Mahal – Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
The magnificent Jai Vilas Palace in Madhya Pradesh was built in the 19th century for the Maharaja of Gwalior, Jayajirao Scindia. Featuring the best of European architecture, the three-storey Jai Vilas Palace features many lavish decorations, such as gold furnishings and exquisite chandeliers. The palace is now a museum, with exhibits focused of old weaponry, historic documents, and other artefacts.
The Jai Vilas Palace is open for visitors from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Entry fees are INR 150 for Indians and INR 800 for foreign nationals. Cameras are charged separately.
9. Taj Falaknuma Palace – Hyderabad, Telangana
The Falaknuma Palace (or the Taj Falaknuma Palace as it is now known) is a large and magnificent palace near Charminar. It was built by Sir Viqar-ul-Umra and later belonged to the Paigah family and the Nizams. The palace is known for its interiors, which are full of Venetian chandeliers, Roman pillars, intricate statues, art, and exquisite period furnishings. Covering 32 acres, the Taj Falaknuma Palace and its grounds are also home to Japanese, Mughal and Rajasthani gardens. It is now a luxury hotel and is open to the public.
The Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad charges an entry fee based on the type of tour you book. You can book these tours online and they are only available on Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices range from INR 2,000 to INR 3,100 for adults and INR 1,600 to INR 2,480 for children.
Also Read: 25 Wonderful Places To See In Hyderabad
10. Bangalore Palace – Bangalore, Karnataka
Inspired by Windsor Castle, the splendid Bangalore Palace was built in 1878 as the private residence of the Wodeyars, the maharajas of the state of Mysore. The palace features beautiful carvings both inside and outside, as well as paintings by the famous Raja Ravi Varma. You can explore the lavish furniture and hunting memorabilia, and even get an audio guide.
The entry fee for Indians is INR 225 and for foreigners, it is INR 450. The palace is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm on all days except Mondays.
Also Read: 30 Fascinating Things To Do In Bangalore
11. Vijaya Vilas Palace – Mandavi, Gujarat
Built in the 1920s, this stunning palace was built by Maharao Shri Khengarji III of Kutch as a summer retreat for his son. It is known for its use of red sandstone, and the exquisite coloured glass windows and carved stone screens that adorn it. There are also wonderful gardens, a museum, and even a private beach. After the Gujarat earthquakes in 2001 damaged the other palace of the royal family of Kutch, it has also become their primary residence. The palace has also been used in many Bollywood films, most famously in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ and ‘Lagaan’.
The entry fee is only INR 10 (additional INR 50 for a camera) and is open from 8 am to 6 pm.
12. Kuthiramalika Palace – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Located near the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram is the Kuthiramalika Palace. It was built by Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma, the ruler of the Kingdom of Travancore, in the 19th century. It is known for its traditional Kerala architecture (with sloping roofs and enclosed courtyards) and for the horses carved into the wooden brackets. The palace is part of a vast complex of royal buildings but was mostly abandoned after the death of Swathi Thirunal in 1846. Now restored, it is a museum filled with furniture, statues, paintings, and other artefacts of the Travancore Royal Family.
The museum is open from 9 am to 12:45 pm and 2 to 4:45 pm all days except on Mondays. The fees are extremely nominal.
13. Cooch Behar Palace – Cooch Behar, West Bengal
This grand and elegant palace was built in the 1880s for the Maharajas of the princely state of Cooch Behar. It is modelled after the Buckingham Palace in London, and its many halls and rooms are filled with wonderful chandeliers, paintings and photographs. A section of the palace is now a museum.
It is open from 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Fridays. The entry fee is INR 250 for foreigners and a nominal fee of INR 20 for Indians, SAARC and BIMSTEC visitors.
14. Rambagh Palace – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Once a royal hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace was greatly expanded in the 1930s by Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II. It is full of opulent rooms, lush gardens, and marbled corridors. The palace is now a popular hotel managed by the Taj Group.
Since it is now a hotel, you will need to make a reservation to see the palace.
15. Ujjayanta Palace – Agartala, Tripura
The Ujjayanta Palace, Agartala, Tripura was once the residence of the royal family of the Kingdom of Tripura. Constructed between 1899 and 1901 by Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya, it sits beside two serene lakes and is surrounded by lush green Mughal-style gardens. The palace itself is in the neoclassical style and was designed by Sir Alexander Martin of the Martin and Burn Company. It later housed the State Legislative Assembly of Tripura and is now a museum dedicated to the culture of northeast India.
From Tuesdays to Saturdays, the timings are 10 am to 1:30 pm and 2–9 pm; on Sundays, it is open from 11 am to 1:30 pm, and 2 to 6:30 pm. It is closed on Mondays. Entry fee is extremely nominal.
16. Laxmi Vilas Palace – Vadodara, Gujarat
The former private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, Laxmi Vilas Palace is located in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat. It is spread over an area of 500 acres and its size is four times the size of the Buckingham Palace in London. This majestic palace served the royal family of Vadodara and is also known as Maharaja Palace. Built-in Indo-Saracenic style, Laxmi Vilas Palace is an amalgamation of Mughal, Hindu, and Gothic forms that are visible in the minarets and domes of the palace. The constriction of the palace took around 12 years and today it is home to a remarkable collection of old armoury and sculptures.
The museum is open from 10:30 am to 5:30 pm and the palace is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on all days, except Mondays. Entry fee for the palace is INR 200.
17. Neemrana Fort Palace – Neemrana, Rajasthan
This 15th-century palace is counted among the must-visit royal palaces of India due to its rich history and grandeur. An epitome of great beauty and architecture, the Neemrana Fort Palace was under the reign of Rajput Maharaja Prithvi Raj Chauhan III. Today, the palace is converted into a heritage hotel which has become perfect for an idyllic getaway and receives a heavy footfall every year. Surrounded by greenery, the fort palace covers an area of 10 hectares and allows you to witness the alchemy of traditional Rajasthani designs and modern interiors. Get a whiff of true luxury and indulge in the lavish activities during your stay at the Neemrana Palace.
Since it is now converted to a hotel, visiting Neemrana Palace requires a reservation. However, if you’re planning a day trip with no intention to stay overnight the Neemrana resorts offer a package inclusive of lunch for a specific duration.
18. Mubarak Mandi Palace – Jammu, Jammu And Kashmir
Once the royal residence of the Dogra Dynasty of Jammu and Kashmir, Mubarak Mandi Palace is a grand building in Jammu showcasing the royal nature of the dynasty. This picturesque palace overlooks the Tawi river near the old-walled city and has numerous courtyards, rooms, large halls and an extensive collection of items that once belonged to the royal family. With a rich history dating back to 1824, the Mubarak Mandi Palace’s architecture style ranges from Rajasthan to European baroque and Mughal.
The palace is open on all days from 9 am to 6 pm and has no entry fees.
19. Leh Palace – Leh, Ladhak
Also known as Lhachen Palkhar, the Leh Palace, built in 1553 is one of the most glorious attractions in Leh. The palace consists of nine floors offering breathtaking views of Stok Kangri, and the surrounding mountain ranges. The palace was constructed by King Senge Namgyal, the founder of Ladakh’s Namgyal dynasty. Overlooking the town of Leh, the Leh Palace stand tall with the traditional medieval Tibetan style of architecture inspired from Lhasa nearby. During your visit, don’t forget to check out the Chinese paintings called thangka, ornaments, rich collection of jewellery and crowns along with the wonderful structures like Namgyal Stupa, Chandazik Gompa and Chamba Lhakhang.
It is open on all days from 8 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is INR 15 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.
20. Lalgarh Palace – Bikaner, Rajasthan
Built between 1902 and 1926, the Lalgarh Palace is a harmonious blend of east and west. The Palace was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner and is located in Bikaner, Rajasthan, deep in the heart of the Thar Desert. The palace today is a heritage hotel which is run, by Princess Rajyashree Kumari. Lalgarh Palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and is considered among the most remarkable royal residences built during the 20th century. During your visit there, don’t forget to check out red sandstone of the Thar Desert, the cupolas domes, charming sepia photographs, cherished hunting trophies, royal lounges and the world’s fourth-largest library.
Entry fee is nominal and the timings are 10 am to 5 pm on all days except Sundays.
21. Deogarh Mahal – Deogarh, Rajasthan
This imposing palace stands majestically atop a hill in Deogarh, Rajasthan and boasts a commanding view of the Aravalli mountain range, lakes, and countryside. Built in 1670, Deogarh Mahal was originally a personal residence and fort after a long history of turmoil and sovereign disorder between aristocratic members of the Mewar region. It was later converted into a hotel by the Deogarh family members. The family still occupies a part of the Mahal and personally supervise and manage it as well. Poised between Jodhpur and Udaipur, Deogarh Mahal highlights the rich history, art, and traditions of India throughout the property with expressive colours, vibrant linens, and intricately detailed furnishings.
22. Prag Mahal – Bhuj, Gujarat
Built-in the 19th century, the Prag Mahal in Bhuj, Gujarat is a marvel of Italian Gothic style of architecture. It is located next to the popular Aina Mahal and designed by famous architect Colonel Henry Saint Wilkins in the 1860s. The palace was commissioned by Maharaja Pragmalji II and cost 3.1 million Indian rupees during its completion in 1879. The entire property is made from Italian marble and sandstone, don’t miss the grand durbar hall with its classic statues, chandeliers Corinthian pillars, decaying taxidermy in halls and jali work depicting European flora and fauna. For some panoramic views of Bhuj, climb the stairs of the 45-metre high lofty bell tower, which is also the second-highest clock tower in India.
Entry fee is nominal and it is open on all days from 9 am to 12 pm and 3 to 6 pm.
23. Fernhills Royal Palace – Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Built-in 1844, Ferrnhills Royale Palace was the erstwhile summer residence of the Maharaja of Mysore. The opulent summer palace is set amidst the quaint scenery of Ooty and is spread out over 50 acres of green lawns, stylized gardens and dense woods. In 1873, the Fernhills Royal Palace was bought by a 12-year-old prince (Chamarajendra Wadiyar) for a sum of INR 10,000 from the English.
Today, the palace serves as one of the regal heritage hotels in Ooty. The charming palace is superbly finished with Burmese teak and features a magnificent ballroom with a highly valued ornamental papier-mache ceiling along with views of terraced tea gardens and lush verdant valleys.
24. Taragarh Palace – Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
60 km the Dharamshala Airport, the Taragarh Palace in Kangra stands amidst the splendour of Dhauladhar ranges. This heritage hotel is located at a height of 1000 metres and is a haven for nature lovers. You get to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of nature along with the lush green forests and tea gardens. Taragarh Palace was constructed as a summer resort by the royal family of Jammu and Kashmir in 1951 but was converted into a heritage hotel in 1971.
Today, this palace resort is owned and managed by Mr G P Acharya and family and is equipped with premium facilities such as an imperial dining hall, a gift shop, a durbar hall and a patio overlooking the mountains.
25. Deeg Palace – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Located 35 km from Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Deeg Palace is an embodiment of the rule of Jats and their successive victories. The palace was constructed in 1772 and was used as the summer retreat of the Bharatpur royal family, right up to 1947. The architecture of the palace is a perfect blend of the Mughal and Indian aesthetics as the rulers were influenced by the glorious Mughal architecture. Deeg Palace is characterised by its bhawans or mansions, namely Gopal Bhawan, Suraj Bhawan, Kishan Bhawan, Nand Bhawan, Keshav Bhawan and Hardev Bhawan. The palace complex is flanked on both sides by large water tanks – Gopal Sagar and Rup Sagar to keep the summer heat at bay.
It is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm and the entry fee is nominal.
Which Of These Palaces In India Would You Visit?
Are there any other famous royal palaces in India that we’ve missed? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.
FAQs For Palaces In India
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in India.
Kolkata in West Bengal is known for its palaces and buildings made by the British during the 19th century. Jaipur, Rajasthan and Udaipur, Rajasthan are also known for its splendid palaces.
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is the costliest palace of India.
The Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan is known as the biggest palace of India.
There are many best palaces in India for you to visit. Some of them are Umaid Bhawan Palace, Rambagh Palace, Marble Palace, Falaknuma Palace, Amer Fort, Laxmi Vilas Palace, Victor Jubilee Palace, etc.