Rajasthan is known to world for the valour of Rajput Kings,hundreds of historical monuments and the grand palaces of kings. The word ‘Rajasthan’ translates to “Land of Kings” or “King’s Abode”. The Mahalas or Palaces in Rajasthan displays something more than royalty. It reflects fine craftsmanship,the might of Rajput kings, their power and wealth.
For, the palaces were built only in flourishing times or to commemorate victory in a war. The grandeur of Rajasthan mahals represent the immense prosperity of a kingdom. While some of these palaces have been turned into a museum, most of them are converted into hotels/heritage hotels. The majestic palaces are spread over several districts and gives you a good reason to visit all of them.
We present a list of the major tourist palaces in Rajasthan that you can and must visit once.
Best time to visit Rajasthan– November to February
How to reach Rajasthan
- Air– There are 3 commercial airports in Rajasthan. The Jaipur( International airport) and Udaipur airports are well connected to major cities of India.
- Train- Every major city in Rajasthan is well connected with rest of Indian railway stations.
- Road– 20 national highways passes through Rajasthan
Top 10 Palaces in Rajasthan
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
We all know that Jaipur is the pink city of India. But did you know why? It is because of the pink colour of Hawa Mahal, the most famous palace of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is a five storey 18th century palace in South Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is also called the Palace of Breeze and rightly so. Even if you visit Hawa Mahal in scorching summer, the gentle wind will have a refreshing effect.
It is one of the most famous monuments of Rajasthan because of many apt reasons. The entire palace is made of red and pink sandstone and is one of its kind. The king who commissioned to build Hawa Mahal was a devotee of Lord Krishna. This became the sole reason of its unique shape, resembling to the crown of Krishna. Without a doubt, this gives a unique and look to the palace.
Apart from the beauty of this palace, major attractions are :- Vichitra Mandir ( where the king worshipped Krishna), over 900 jharokhas( windows) and the pyramid shape of Hawa Mahal.
- Time– 9am to 4:30pm,best to go in early morning
- Entry fee– Rs. 10 for Indian nationals
Also See: Top places to visit in Jaipur in 2 Days
City Palace, Jaipur
The City Palace of Jaipur stands tall since 18th century. The initial complex was built by Sawai Jai Singh II.His successors kept adding more to it,which turned into a huge complex that it is today. The City Palace houses several other rajasthani mahals,gardens,temples and the Sawai Man Singh II Trust Museum. The museum also houses several arms,armours,textile and paintings. The major attractions of this monument of Rajasthan are:- Mubarak Mahal,Sarvato Bhadra,Chandra Mahal,Mubarak Mahal,Govind Dev ji Temple,Clock Tower and multiple majestic pols(gateways).
- Time- 9 am to 5 pm
- Entry Fee- Rs 190 for Indians, Rs 500 for foreigners
Amer Fort/Amber palace
Amber Palace is located in Amer,11km from Jaipur. The 16th century palace is a UNESCO world heritage site. Situated on the banks of Lake Maota, this Rajasthan mahal is well known for its impressive architecture and pols. Amber Palace is divided into several sections but each has a separate pol and courtyard. The major attractions of Amer fort, apart from its grandeur are :- Sheesh Mahal, Sila Devi Temple,magic flower,Chahar Bagh,Kesar Kyari and fort tunnels. One of the passage leads to the Jaigarh fort, a fort built to look after Amer Palace.
- Time– 8am to 5:30pm
- Light and Sound show– 6:30pm to 9pm
- Entry Fee– Rs. 100 for Indians, Rs 500 for foreigners
Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
Have you ever wanted to gaze at clouds from a better height? If yes, then Monsoon Palace is a place you ought to visit once. The Monsoon Palace is situated on a hilltop of Aravalli Range in Udaipur. It was primarily built by Maharaja Sajjan Singh for having a better look of the monsoon clouds. The 19th century palace in Rajasthan overlooks Udaipur city and Pichola Lake.
The Monsoon Palace is made of white marble, which is the main reason for its beauty. It looks like a palace of heaven when it is illuminated at night. The main attractions of Monsoon Palace are exquisite Rajasthani Architecture,domes,beautiful fountains and jharokhas and the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary that lies nearby.
- Time-8am to 6pm
- Entry Fee– Rs 10 for Indians, Rs 80 for foreigners
The construction of City Palace started in 16th century and got completed within the span of 400 years. It is situated at the height of 1960 ft. on the banks of Lake Pichola. This complex of palaces in Rajasthan is made of granite and marbles. City Palace of Udaipur is known for its grandeur and zigzag pattern. The layout of the palace was designed by keeping the defense in mind.
The zigzag pattern was to confuse the enemies in case of an attack. The details given to decoration are very intrinsic. The palace is adorned with splendid artistic features involving mirrors and coloured glass.The complex also has a museum. The main tourist attractions of City Palace of Udaipur are :- Bhim Vilas that houses miniature paintings, Sheesh Mahal,Badi Mahal, Amar Vilas, Mor Chowk and Rang Bhawan. The Fateh Prakash Palace is now turned into a luxury hotel.
- Time- 7 am to 11 pm
- Entry Fee- Rs 15 for children, Rs 30 for adults( permitted areas)
- Museum Timings– 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
- Museum Entry Fee – Rs 100 for children above 5, Rs 250 for adults
Junagarh Fort and Palace, Bikaner
Junagarh was one of the major kingdoms of pre-independent India. The fort was completed between later 16th and early 17th century. It is one of the few palaces in Rajasthan that is not located on a hilltop. Till 20th century, the Junagarh Palace was called Chintamani Mahal.
Many palaces were added to the fort complex over the period of 3 centuries. The palace is an example of a traditional Rajasthan Mahal. The Junagarh Fort Complex comprises of 8 palaces. The combination of red sandstone and imperial designs highlights the great artistic work. The Junagarh Fort Complex is often called a “paradox between military defense and impressive interior decor.” The major attractions of this monument of Rajasthan are:- majestic pols, several temples, Karan Mahal, Phool Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Ganga Mahal and Badal Mahal.
- Time– 10 am to 4:30 pm
- Entry Fee– Rs 50 for Indians, Rs 30 for Indian students, Rs 300 for foreigners, Rs 150 for foreigner student
Mehrangarh Fort and Palaces, Jodhpur
The Mehrangarh Fort Complex is one of the well preserved monuments of Rajasthan. The fort was built by Maharaja Rao Jodha in 15th century. Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. The entire complex is turned into a museum now.
Like the Junagarh complex, it houses several palaces which adds up to the of the Fort. Unlike other mirror palaces in Rajasthan, the Sheesh Mahal here comprises of thousands of mirrors along with pictures of Hindu deities. Mehrangarh Fort Complex houses some of the famous monuments of Rajasthan. These are:- the seven pols, National Geological Museum,Chamunda Mataji Temple,Moti Mahal,Phool Mahal,Moti Mahal and Desert Rock Park. The museum is known for its collections of palanquins, fine arts and paintings.
- Time– 9am to 5pm
- Entry fee– Rs 60 for Indians, Rs 400 for foreigners
The Lalgarh Palace is a modern era palace. It was built in 20th century as a new home for the royal family of Junagarh. The Lalgarh Palace is yet another an example of Impressive European architecture and fine craftsmanship. This palace in Rajasthan derives its name from red sandstone, the material used to build Lalgarh Palace. The Mahal is divided into three parts like the Umaid Bhawan Palace.
- The royal residence
- The heritage hotel
- The museum
- Time– 10 am to 5 pm (except Sunday)
- Entry Fee– Rs. 10 for Indians, Rs 20 for foreigners for museum
Umaid Bhawan Palace,Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the most famous palaces in Rajasthan. This Rajasthan mahal is amongst one of the world’s largest private residence.The Umaid Bhawan Palace was constructed and completed in the early 20th century. The 105 ft rotunda is one of the major attractions of this grand palace. It is at present the residence of former Jodhpur royal family. The palace is divided into three parts
- The royal residence
- Taj hotel
- The museum
The Museum exhibits classic cars used by kings, antique clocks and a flag given by Queen Victoria to Maharaja Jaswant Singh.
- Time-10 am to 4:30 pm.
- Entry Fee– Rs 10 for children, Rs 30 for Indians, Rs 100 for foreigners
Jag Niwas/ Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
The Jag Niwas is a white spot of beauty in the city of Udaipur. It is situated in the midst of Lake Pichola and is one of the most famous palaces in Rajasthan. The Aravalli Hills in the backdrop makes this a beautiful picturesque. Jag Niwas is built using white marble, semi precious stones and black marble. Since this palace is turned into a hotel, the tourists are allowed to visit this monument externally. The only way to reach this palace is through a boat ride from the banks of Lake Pichola.
- Time– 9:30 am to 8 pm
- Entry Fee- Free
- Cost of Boat ride– Rs 200 for Indian adults and Rs 100 for children
Besides the grandeur of the these palaces in Rajasthan, it represents rich culture. The mahals live today to tell the story of the flourishing past of Rajasthan royalty.
Note– A composite ticket gives access to 7 monuments in Rajasthan.
- These are– Amber palace,Jantar Mantar,Hawa Mahal,Nahargarh Fort, Albert hall
- Price– Rs. 100 for Indian adults, Rs. 40 for Students