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5 ancient palaces in India that showcase the grandeur of the Maharajas!

5 oldest palaces in India

A country with a vibrant history stretching back to thousands of years, India has seen many a royal dynasty flourish and reach the peak of prosperity. The royals commissioned the best of resources at their disposal and built magnificent palaces. With an imposing presence, these palaces today stand tall and have great historical importance. Having withstood the ravages of time, they echo with royal legends, inspiring awe and making us feel proud of our rich history. We at Chaloindia.com have curated five antique palaces of India. These palace destinations offer visitors a sneak peek into the grandeur of erstwhile Maharajas. Get into rewind mode and embark on a royal historical tour. Remember to follow the rules and regulations of local authorities. Do not litter at the venue and maintain silence during your visit.

City Palace, Udaipur

Located on the banks of Lake Pichola, the City Palace, Udaipur is considered to be the largest royal complex in Rajasthan. Constructed in 1559 by Maharana Uday Singh, it was the residence of the Maharana royal family. With each passing generation, the palace was expanded. Today, one can see a number of mahals, courtyards, pavilions, corridors, terraces, rooms and hanging gardens. The charm of the City Palace has attracted many film makers. Hindi film ‘Guide’ and the James Bond movie ‘Octopussy’ have been shot here. Exploring the City Palace of Udaipur takes one down memory lane of royal heritage.

Approximate time required for sightseeing: 3 hours

Open from: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm

Entry Fee: Applicable

Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

The royal family of Vadodara – the Gaekwads built this majestic palace. The private residence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, Laxmi Vilas Palace is four times larger than the Buckingham Palace, London. Spread over 700 acres, the construction began in 1890 and took nearly 12 years to complete. The Laxmi Vilas Palace is made up of several exclusive landmarks that cater to the needs of the royal family. An extraordinary collection of Raja Ravi Verma paintings can be found here.

Approximate time required for sightseeing: 2 to 3 hours

Timings : 9.30 am to 5.00 pm (Closed on Mondays and public holidays)

Entry Fee : Applicable

Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior

The Jai Vilas Palace is reminiscent of our age-old Indian culture and opulence, preserved to the modern day. Jayaji Rao Scindia, maharaja of Gwalior constructed this magnificent landmark to extend a grand welcome to King Edward VII, in 1874. Today, it is the royal residence of the descendants of the Maratha Scindia family. Spread across an area of about 75 acres, the Jai Vilas Palace has an intricately designed Durbar Hall, which houses some of the world’s massive chandeliers and furnishings. Each room in the regal palace contains antiques of historical importance, including a centuries-old collection of swords and the original Dhal (shield) that belonged to freedom fighter Rani Laxmibai.

Approximate time required for sightseeing: 2 to 3 hours

Timings : April to September: 10.00 am to 4.45 pm

October to March: 10.00 am to 4.30 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

Entry Fee : Applicable

Mysuru Palace (Amba Vilas Palace), Mysuru

The Royal City of Mysuru was the administrative capital of the Wodeyars of Mysuru. The Mysuru Palace was built in 1912 and is reckoned as one of the largest palaces in the country. Designed by the English Architect, Henry Irwin, the Mysuru Palace is flanked by the Chamundi Hills towards its eastern side. It has beautifully designed square towers and a vast Durbar Hall with sculpted pillars. It has many temples within the complex. The palace is illuminated on Sundays, Public Holidays and during the world famous Dasara Celebrations. It has the distinction of being the second most visited historical monument by local and foreign tourists after the Taj Mahal.

Approximate time required for sightseeing: 2 to 3 hours

Timings : 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Entry Fee: Applicable

Chettinad Palace

Located in Tamil Nadu, this palace is well-known for the indigenous Chettinad architecture. Dating back to 1912, it is an example of exquisite architectural beauty. The Chettinad Palace was built by Dr. Annamalai Chettiyar, founder of the Indian Bank and the Annamalai University. Intricately carved, the palace houses a number of figurines which take the visitor down memory lane.

Approximate time required for sightseeing: 2 to 3 hours

Timings : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entry Fee: Applicable