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Indian parenting includes a healthy dose of outdoor playing, home-cooked food and bedtime stories. Most have grown up listening to sagas of Shivaji Maharaj to Rana Pratap Singh. India was constituted of princely states and hence boast of large number of forts and palaces. Many have been preserved as museums, but there are quite a few where you can spend a night or two feeling royal. While most of the palaces are in Rajasthan thanks to the Mughal and Rajput kings, there are some off-beat and noteworthy palaces spanning from the south to the north.
Leh Palace is a royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. It was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. The palace provides incredible panoramic views of the Zangskar and Ladakh mountain ranges. Here you can find a rich collection of jewelry, ornaments, ceremonial dresses and crowns, as well as Tibetan thangka or sooth paintings dated to about 450 years ago. These are intricate paintings and their pleasing and bright colors were rendered by crushed and powdered gems and stones.
Leh Palace, Namgyal Hill, Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India +91 1982 252 297
Gajner Palace, described as ‘an incomparable jewel in the Thar desert’ was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji of Bikaner. The palace was used by Maharaja for grand shoots and lavish entertainment. Both international and Indian royalty, viceroys and other dignitaries have been entertained at this grand palace. It was built in red sandstone with intricately carved pillars, jharokhas and screens. It is surrounded by a beautiful wooded area, now a preserved sanctuary which provides shelter to chinkaras, blackbucks, blue bull (neel gai) and flocks of imperial sand grouse.
Thirumalai Nayak Palace is a 17th-century palace erected in 1636 AD by Thirumalai Nayak, a king of Madurai’s Nayak who ruled Madurai from 1623–59, in the city of Madurai, India. This Palace is a classic fusion of Dravidian and Rajput styles. In its heyday, Thirumalai Nayak Palace at Madurai was considered to be one of the wonders of the south.
The Palace of Kangla is an old palace at Imphal in Manipur (Kangleipak). It is situated on the western side of the bank of the Imphal River. Kangla means ‘dry land’ in old Meetei. It was the traditional seat of the past Meetei rulers of Manipur. Kangla is not only the seat of political power, but it also a holy place for religious worship and ceremonies.