With India being home to diverse cultures and religions, it is quite rich in cultural heritage that displays its royal past.
Indian history is full of legendary kings and queens who were known for building magnificent palaces which were top class examples of architectural grandeur. India also witnessed the arrival of European architecture during the century long British Raj. Magnificent structures were created during the British rule too.
With the kings having abundance of wealth, these architectural structures were meant to display their opulence besides showing their love for architecture.
With a great past, India has no shortage of palaces, forts and castles. While many of these palaces and castles have turned into luxury hotels, still each of the mega structure has its very own story to narrate.
And with the Diwali vacation lying ahead, this could be the best time to cherish the beauty of the rich heritage of India. Here we present you the top 5 marvelous heritage hotels of India:
Located in Rajasthan, Neemran Fort is situated on a hill, along with seven palace wings that are spread over 12 layers and surrounded by beautiful gardens.
It was established as the third capital of the Rajput descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan III in 1464, after his defeat by Muhamad Ghori in Delhi.
One of the oldest heritage resort hotels of India, Neemrana Fort-Palace gets its name derived from a valiant local chieftain named Nimola Meo.
With its room decorated with royal furniture, artworks and artifact, the Neemrana fort is one of the frequent palaces to host cultural programs with performances by leading Indian dancers and musicians.
Taj Usha Kiran Palace
Situated in Gwalior, the Usha Kiran Palace was constructed by the royal Scindia dynasty of the Marathas to house guests for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1902.
The palace comprises of 41 rooms, suites and villas and is surrounded by 9 acres of landscaped gardens and embellished with stone carvings and fine filigree work.
While the royal suites are furnished with Venetian mirrors, mother-of-pearl mosaics and canopied beds, the luxury villas presents the exclusivity in its own way.
After Priyadarshini Raje Scindia transformed the Palace into a hotel, the Usha Kiran Palace is being managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and hence called the Taj Usha Kiran Palace.
This Palace turned heritage hotel has also preserved its tradition with the usage of rosewood elevator from 1930 and two-blade ceiling fans till now.
Umaid Bhawan Palace
Located in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest private residences in the world. Built between 1928 and 1943, Umaid Bhawan Palace was made by Maharaja Umaid Singh, who was the ruler of Jodhpur to provide employment to the people during the time of drought.
Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, the palace is also known as Chittar Palace, because of the stones used in its construction.
This luxurious palace has 347 rooms in it along with a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Jodhpur Royal Family. The palace also showcases the most exotic royal automobiles as well.
Taj Rambagh Palace
Situated in Jaipur, Taj Rambagh Palace is the former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur.
Though the first building was of the palace was built in 1835, it was converted into a modest royal hunting lodge, the reign of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh, in 1887.
The building was further expanded into a palace to the designs of Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the early 20th century.
It was around 1925 that Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II made Rambagh Palace as and added a number of royal suites in 1931. This royal palace was converted in to luxury heritage hotel in 1957.
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower
Situated in Mumbai, near Gateway of India, the Taj Mahal Palace marks the symbol of the financial capital of India.
The Taj Mahal Palace is divided between an over-a-century-old heritage structure, the Palace building, and the Tower wing.
Built in by Jamsetji Tata, this majestic hotel was first opened to public in 1903. With around 560 rooms in the hotel, the Taj Palace is decorated with a rich collection of paintings and antique furniture. While the splendid hotel was originally designed by Indian architects Sitaram Khanderao Vaidya and D. N. Mirza, the project was completed by an English engineer, W. A. Chambers.
The additional wing of the hotel, known as the Taj Mahal Tower was designed by Melton Bekker and was opened in 1973.