Posted June 25, 2015

Scattered throughout Rajasthan, each palace and fortress is just as enchanting as the next; providing visitors with a rich history that has been dominated by lavish ruling dynasties and powerful warriors.

Mehrangarh Fort

Built in 1458 by Rao Jodha and located 120m above the city of Jodhpur is Mehrangarh Fort. Inside the fort are a number of beautiful palaces that have been added by the 17 generations of rulers here. The fortress is enclosed by walls that are 6m thick and it was once said that a charge of elephants couldn’t even shake their foundations. With battlements that stand 120 feet tall, Mehrangarh was claimed to have been built by the hands of giants.

In 1460, Rao Jodha brought an idol of his favourite goddess, Chamunda Mataji, to Mehrangarh. She remains the Maharaja’s and the royal family’s adopted goddess and is still worshipped by most of Jodhpur’s citizens.

Kumbhalgarh Fort

Tucked away deep in the Aravali Mountains is the 15th century Fort Kumbhalgarh. This massive fortress is considered the greatest of the 32 fortresses designed by Rana Kumbha. Encompassed by a 36 km long wall, Kumbhalgarh Fort claims to have the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China. In the medieval period, messages were sent along the wall by flags, mirrors and fire torches.

The fortress was only ever captured once and its inaccessibility means that this fort stands as one of the greatest defensive refuges of medieval military history. Kumbhalgarh is also known as the birthplace of the most famous Rajput king, Mharana Pratap. One of the three palaces inside the walls here is dedicated to this Indian hero.

Jaipur City Palace

Jaipur City Palace still remains a royal residence and consists of 11 smaller palaces, courtyards and gardens. The palace is Rajasthan’s largest and is an amalgamation of European, Rajput, and Mughal styles.

The Sabha Niwas is one of the palace’s most impressive assembly halls and can be found off the Mubarak Mahal courtyard. The ceiling here has been painted in a vibrant red and gold, and the chamber now functions as an art gallery. Originally, this room is where ceremonial occasions would have been held. Women were usually not allowed to participate in these occasions but could watch proceedings from a raised gallery that was hidden behind a carved screen.  The Maharaja’s Golden Throne is also still on display in the Sabha Niwas. When being used out with the hall, this throne was mounted on an elephant or carried by palanquin bearers

Lake Palace

Now a luxury hotel, the Lake Palace or Jag Niwas is situated on a 4 acre island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur. Completed in 1746, this palace was one of the summer residences for the Mewar royal family. Jag Niwas is east facing so that the royal family could begin each day by praying to the sun.

Since being turned into a hotel in the 1970s, much of the former glory of this palace has been restored. Decorative gilt moldings, sculpted marble columns and the colorful arabesque walls have all been returned to their former glory, prompting the palace to be voted as the most romantic hotel in India.

During a revolt against the British in 1847, Jag Niwas provided shelter to many European families who had fled from the east. Maharana Swaroop Singh, the ruler who supported the British, protected these families by destroying all of the boats in Udaipur. Resulting in mutineers being unable to reach the palace island.

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Journey Through Rajasthan


Discover Rajasthan's forts, palaces and rural villages

£2,995 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
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Textile Tour of India


Textile tour of Gujarat & Rajasthan including the Mewar Festival

£2,795 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
16 days
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