5 Magnificent Historical Palaces in South India

April 4, 2017 9:36 am 0 comments

Southern India witnessed the renaissance period for the form of architecture in the country. In some fields, they were the pioneers of methods and techniques. More and more influence of Indian style architecture was being seen. To exhibit such beauties, what better than a larger than life palace. Overtime, they have seen so much history; they are a boon to the field. They are the legacy left by the rulers of the years passed to the generation of the modern era. So, here are five of the most magnificent historical palaces in India.

Mysore Palace, Mysore

Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

The palace was built by the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the noble state of Mysore. The architectural style sees a blend of many faiths and fusion of types such as Indian as well as neo gothic. The influence is seen on the exterior of the palace as the grand scale doesn’t undermine the beauty at all. If anything, it accentuates it. As you enter the palace, you are greeted by a pleasant harmony of colors. They are omnipresent in the interior decor of the palace. Inside you can also see the sun rays entering the palace through the stained-glass ceiling.

The Deewan-e-aam or the meeting hall is vast in scale with an upper loft arrangement where the queen used to reside. The pillars have excellent carvings and are painted gold. Opulence is exuded from every part of the palace. Every year, a deity sacred to the Wodeyars and the locals, Chamundeshwari is taken for a royal procession to the palace. The growing popularity of the palace has seen it rival the number of tourists of the Taj Mahal which makes it one of the must visit places of Mysore. If you get a chance, see the palace exterior at night time when it is lit up. It is incredible.

Photo by Jacintha, CC BY-SA

Thanjavur Palace (Aranmanai), Thanjavur

Built by the Nayaks and improved upon by the Marathas, the Thanjavur Palace was built strategically and meticulously to keep the enemy out. As soon as you approach the palace, the towering structure greets you. It housed the weaponry of the Royal Army, served as the King’s personal training place as well as a watch tower. Interesting thing about this palace is there are secret tunnels, secret meeting rooms situated around the palace. Most have been closed off to the general public but some are accessible. The influence of Hindu mythology is seen everywhere on the sculptures and the carvings on the pillars. There is a small temple present inside the campus. The geometric patterns are prevalent with domes worked upon with shapes of a lotus flower as well as the dome and the pillars near the outer courtyard covered with a barrage of colours.

 

Bangalore Palace, Bangalore

Photo by Masaru Kamikura, CC BY 2.0

Built by a school principal, the palace was then bought out by the Wodeyar King. He made further rebuilds and renovation to the final form which we see today. This Palace is one of the very important tourist places of Bangalore. There are plenty of detailed carvings of white colored stone on a red background spread across the palace. The exterior facade matches that of the English castles of the old era. The motif of the majestic elephant is visible throughout the interior spread on the murals, wall carvings as well as standalone sculptures. There are exquisite works of marbles in mosaic style evident on a solo sitting bench in the courtyard accompanied by a fountain. There are galleries filled with paintings of the ruler’s era. There are audio guides available to the palace. There is also a riding school for budding enthusiasts.


Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

Photo by Ankur P, CC BY 2.0

In the mythical stories, it is said about the creature known as Phoenix that it has the ability to rise from its ashes and be born again, in a new life. Falaknuma Palace is the impersonation of that saying on the largest scale possible. It was left in ruins and was unlived for about eight decades. Without the upkeep, the palace’s beauty was far gone. With more than a decade of extensive renovative efforts involving many people from the queen herself to several dedicated people, the rough diamond that was the Falaknuma palace was polished and ready to shine again. Today, the Falaknuma Palace is operated as a premier and luxurious hotel by the Taj Group to give the guests a truly royal experience in Hyderabad. The name of the Palace, Falaknuma translates to ‘resembling the heavens’ or ‘like the sky’, vast and expansive and endless beauty wherever the eye goes.

Padmanabhapuram Palace, Kanyakumari

Photo by Thejas Panarkandy, CC BY 2.0

The palace is unique in every way and is a classic architectural masterpiece. The building style is purely Indian with a heavy southern influence. Situated in the picturesque town of Kanyakumari, time seems to have stopped and preserved the allure that the palace holds and charms you with. There are exquisite carvings on wooden beams across the ceilings in flower shapes with carvings present on columns supporting the ceiling.

The unique structures like the feeding hall as well as the meeting palace of the kings are well maintained. The entrance courtyard is filled with well maintained greenery which you will find spread across the palace grounds. There is also a museum of ancient artifacts inside for visitors to relive the fascinating ancient era of the King Marthanda Varma.

A visit to these historical monuments is an experience for your senses. The old charm is well and alive within the walls and will make you come back for more.

Author Bio:

Rohit the author writes for Trans India Travels to share his passion of exploring the globe with others.

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