20 Majestic Palaces and Famous Forts in India to Visit

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Indeed, India is a land of rich cultural heritage where visitors can experience the living testimony of ancients eras in the form of majestic forts and glorious palaces. However, each and every fort of India depicts an unforgettable remark of some rulers and their prospering history.

Ranging from Mehrangarh Fort, Chittorgarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort of Rajasthan to Karnala Fort, Junagarh Fort, Kolaba Fort, Ramnagar fort here is a list of famous forts in India that are the true example of unique, finest, and beautiful artistic architecture.

Let’s have a look at this list of famous palaces in India as well as famous forts in India. We divided this article into two parts, first we will discuss the royal palaces in India and then discuss the famous forts in India.

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Top Famous Palaces in India

Here is the list of most royal palaces in India:

1. City Palace, Jaipur

city palace jaipur

Located in the most magnificent city of Jaipur, the City Palace was constructed by the Sawai Jai Singh II in the 18th century. The complex of City Palace reflects the architectural brilliance of Rajputana, Mughal and European style, which makes the structure unique and beautiful.
How to reach: Every train stops at Jaipur junction and a few of the trains stop at Gandhinagar and Durgapara. After getting down at the railway station, you can reach by an auto-rickshaw, bus or hire a taxi.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

2. Maharaja Palace, Mysore

mysore palace

Serving as the official residence of the rulers of Mysore from the 14th century to the 20th century, the Maharaja’s Palace is one of the biggest palatial complexes in South India. Popularly known as Mysore Palace, it was built by the ruler of Mysore Yaduraya Wodeyar and witnesses the beauty of the Indo-Saracenic style architecture.
How to reach: The nearest major airport to Mysore is the new Bangalore International Airport, which is about 170 kilometers away. You can also take the bus from Kempegowda Bus Station near the Bangalore City Railway Station to reach Mysore and then hire a taxi or cab to reach the place.
Visiting Hours: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm

3. Cooch Behar Palace, West Bengal

cooch behar palace

Also known as the Victor Jubilee Palace, the Cooch Behar Palace is an architectural marvel constructed in the 19th century. With its renaissance style architecture, regal color coordination, amazing structure, the influence of the Bengali culture and the astonishing museum really makes it a must-visit in the state.

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Visiting Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

4. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

rambagh palace

Located around 5 miles outside the Pink City, the grand Rambagh Palace was constructed by the Sawai Man Singh II in the 20th century. The Rambagh Palace was once a palatial residential area of Maharajas with a number of suites. But now, it has been transformed into a hotel where visitors can witness the royal lifestyle of the Maharajas of Jaipur.
How to reach: Every train stops at Jaipur junction and a few of the trains stop at Gandhinagar and Durgapara. After getting down at the railway station, you can reach by an auto-rickshaw, bus or hire a taxi.
Visiting Hours: Open 24 hours

5. The Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur

One of the largest royal residences in the world, the golden-yellow sandstone Umaid Bhawan Palace is located in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, India. It is one of the world’s largest private residences managed by Taj Hotels. The palace is named after Maharaja Umaid Singh of Rathore Dynasty. The palace has 347 rooms was awarded as the World’s best hotel at the Traveller’s Choice Award, which was organized by TripAdvisor.

How to reach: Jodhpur has its own domestic airport which is well-connected to other major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur, and Jaipur. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a cab or taxi.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 am 5:00 pm

6. City Palace, Udaipur 

The City Palace in Udaipur is located on the eastern bank of Lake Pichola. Maharana Udai Singh kept the foundation of this palace in 1559 and later it was completed by his successors till the 18th century.

The best thing to enjoy here is the architecture of this palace as it is the combination of Medieval, European and Chinese Architecture. The view of this palace from Lake Pichola is amazing.

How to Reach: The Udaipur City Palace is easily accessible either by taking local buses, tongas, auto-rickshaws and taxis from the city.
Visiting hours: 7am to 11pm

7. Bangalore palace

The Bangalore Palace is constructed on the area that was owned by the first principal of the Central High School in Bangalore named Rev. J. Garrett. The British Guardians of the minor Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar 10 purchased this property in 1873 at the cost of Rs. 40000. The construction of this palace was started in April 1874 and it takes 4 years to complete this Tudor style of architecture.

How to reach: This palace is in Vasanth Nagar area, near Mount Carmel Institute of Management. You can take private cabs or get an auto-rickshaw to reach the Bangalore palace. 
Visiting hours: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

8. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

hawa mahal

Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the 18th century, the Hawa Mahal is a magnificent monument that beautifully reflects the Hindu Rajput architecture with a blend of the Islamic Mughal architecture style. Translated as the ‘Palace of Winds’ it is a high screen wall built with red and pink sandstone where visitors can witness the hustle bustle of Jaipur’s city life.
How to reach: Every train stops at Jaipur Junction and a few of the trains stop at Gandhinagar and Durgapara. After getting down at the railway station, you can reach by an auto-rickshaw, bus or hire a taxi.
Visiting Hours: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

9. Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

The Laxmi Vilas is located in Vadodara, Gujarat. It was constructed in 1890 by the Gaekwad Maratha family, who ruled the Baroda State. The Maharaja Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III hired Major Charles Mant as an architect of the palace.

This famous Indian Palace is based on Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture with the most high-tech facilities including elevators at that time.

How to Reach: This beautiful Laxmi Vilas palace of India is located on the Nehru Road, Vadodara. This place is easily accessible. One can reach here via cabs and auto-rickshaws.
Visiting Timing: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Mondays and public holidays)

10. Jai Vilas Palace, Gwalior

Famous Forts in India

Here is the list of most famous forts in India:

11. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

mehrangarh fort

Located in the Blue City of Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India which was built by Rao Jodha in the 15th century. This impregnable fort rise encompasses high battlements, chiseled rocks, thick boundary walls, and the seven gates. Mehrangarh Fort also houses a museum which reflects the rich history of the ‘Rathore’ elaborate lifestyle in the form of attires, paintings, arms, etc.
How to reach: Jodhpur has its own domestic airport which is well-connected to other major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur, and Jaipur. Once you reach the airport, you can hire a cab or taxi.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 am -5:00 pm

12. The Red Fort, Delhi

red ford delhi

A stellar example of Mughal architecture, The Red Fort in Delhi is fused with Hindu, Persian, and Timurid architectural styles. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was constructed by Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It has an Indian War Memorial Museum, a small bazaar, Rang Mahal, Mumtaz Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas along with many other beautiful buildings.
How to reach: Indira Gandhi International Airport is just 20 km away from the city center. Also, The railway stations in Delhi are all well connected with different parts of the city. After this, you can take an auto or taxi to reach the fort.
Visiting Hours: 9:30 am 4:30 pm, Monday Closed

13. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

Gwalior Fort, built by Raja Man Singh Tomar in the 15th century, is one of the most wonderful attractions of Madhya Pradesh. It encompasses a defensive structure, two palaces, Man Mandir and Gujari Mahal and various monuments like temples, palaces, and water tanks that will transpose visitors back to history.
How to reach: Madhya Pradesh can be reached by each and every mode of transport-railways, airways, and roadways. After reaching, you can hire a taxi or cab to reach the palace.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 am – 06:00 pm

14. Warangal Fort, Telangana

Built during the reign of the Kakatiya dynasty, the Warangal Fort was build in the 12th century. However, a major portion of the fort complex is in ruins now, but whatever is left of the city hax an amazing history buffs. The major attraction i.e. the thousand pillar temple that is located within the precincts of the fort that captures many people’s attention.
How to reach: The fort is only 5 km away from the Warangal railway station. Auto rickshaws and taxis are public transports available to reach the Warangal fort.
Visiting Hours: 10:00 am 7:00 pm

15. Amber Fort, Amer, Rajasthan

amer fort

Constructed by Raja Man Singh the magnificent fort of Amber is divided into four sections and each one tells a different story through its intricately carved and aesthetically pleasing walls. Here visitors can explore the private quarters of the kings & queens, zenana, Sheesh Mahal, Suraj Pol, Chand Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jaleb Chowk, Siladevi Temple, stairways, courtyards and much more.
How to reach: The public bus to Amber starts at Ajmeri Gate and MI Road which will take around twenty minutes to reach to Amber Fort. The most exciting part of the Amer fort visit is to go on the top of the hill by the elephant ride, which is accessible for the visitors.
Visiting Hours: 10:00 am 5:00 pm

16. Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort
Image by digant on Pixabay

Designated as the World Heritage Site, this majestic fortress was built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. This impregnable fort houses a number of beautiful temples built by the Mauryans. Here visitors can also explore the Badal Palace and take a walk around the ruins of the fort to find interesting stories about the lives of the Mewar rulers.
How to reach: The most convenient way to reach Kumbhalgarh is to book a private cab from Udaipur.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

17. Golconda Fort

golconda fort
Image by AdamHillTravel on Pixabay

Encompassing a rich heritage of South India, Golconda Fort is surrounded by a 10km long boundary wall that protects one of the richest Indian forts. The entrances, domes, pillars, battalions, mosques, and temples of this fort are intricately carved in order to bring out the brilliant engineering and magical architecture of the time. Built in the 12th Century by the Kakatiya Kings, this fort enchants visitors because of its magnificence, grandeur and unparalleled beauty.
How to reach: Golconda fort is located at a distance of nearly 11 km from Hyderabad and is easily accessible by road.
Visiting Hours: 9:00 am 5:00 pm

18. Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur

fatehpur sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a fortress town built by Mughal emperor Akbar, was the first planned city of the beautiful Persian architecture infused with Indian embellishments. This was the city of victory for Akbar who put his best minds at work to create this marvel. It houses one of the largest mosques of India, i.e., Jama Masjid, along with various other palatial buildings.
How to reach: Kheria Airport in Agra is the nearest airport to reach Fatehpur Sikri. It is approximately 40 kilometers away and is well-connected with all major cities.
Visiting Hours: 9 am 5 pm, Friday Closed

19. Agra Fort, Agra

agra fort

Spread across a massive area of 94 acres, the Agra Fort is appropriately called a walled city for its magnanimous size. The construction of Agra Fort was initiated by the Mughal emperor Akbar initiated as a military structure which was transformed into this splendid palace by Shah Jahan. Apart from this, Amar Singh Gate, Moti Masjid, Nagina Masjid, Shish Mahal, Khas Mahal, and Muhammad Burj can also be visited by visitors to see the true brilliance of Mughal architecture.
How to reach: Agra is well connected by bus to cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Lucknow, and Kanpur. Also, Agra is situated on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Chennai route and is well connected to most cities across India. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi to reach Agra fort which is just 2 kms away.
Visiting Hours: Dawn-Dusk

20. Srirangapatnam Fort – Karnataka

The Srirangapatna fort is located in Srirangapatna, Karnataka. It was built by the Timmanna Nayaka in 1454.

Read More, best historical places in the world

These are the best and most famous palaces and forts in India to visit. If you are planning to explore India then you must visit these beautiful historical architectures in India.

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