Home to ancient forts, bastion, and the long-standing breeding ground of Rajputana culture, Rajasthan is the land of the brave-hearts and chivalrous. Showcasing tales of the bygone eras, you will always be surprised by what you see in the state swamped by the Thar Desert. The homeland of Prithvi Raj Chauhan and Maharana Pratap, the region also happens to be one of the most sought locations to visit. Blessed with unyielding beauty, the land of Kings is steeped in history, tradition, culture, and architecture. From Mughals to authentic Rajputana and even, sandstone masterpieces - Rajasthan happens to be a paradise for architecture lovers.
City Palace, Udaipur
Start your architecture trail with a visit to the City Palace in Udaipur. Offering a mind-boggling view from the hilltop, the palace is over 400 years old. Constructed using a fusion of Mughal and Rajasthani architectural styles, the palace has been built entirely in granite and marble. The inside of the palace is interlinked through a series of chowks and zigzag corridors, the delicate mirror-work, wall paintings, murals, balconies should be keenly observed. The marvellous view of Udaipur from the upper floors and a sight to behold.
A two-hour ride from Udaipur, the second largest fort of Rajasthan after the legendary Chittor Fort, Kumbhalgarh sits at an elevation of 1,100 meters. With its walls spreading over an area of 36km, it is recognised as India's very own Great Wall. According to legend, Maharana Kumbha used to burn lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked in the valley. A Mewar fortress, Kumbhalgarh has 13 peaks with each posing a unique and elegant view of the landscape of the Aravali mountain ranges. The palace residing on top of the structure happens to be the Badal Mahal, the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. Said to house an astounding 360 temples, the Shiva Temple comes highly recommended.
Situated adjacent to the Taragarh Fort, the Bundi Palace is notable for its lavish turquoise and gold murals and frescoes. The Chitrashala (picture gallery) is a must visit. Renowned for housing the best painting school in the country, it is easily recognisable by the elephants built at the entrance. The Badal Mahal at the palace is where the best murals are at - the Chinese inspired ceiling, decorated with peacocks and Krishnas are a sight of marvel. The Phool Mahal is also worth a visit, where the murals are of a royal procession.
An oasis in the Thar Desert, Osian is regarded as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan because of its temples. A famous cluster of ruined Brahmanical and Jain temples dating back to the 8th and 11th century, the small town is a panchayat village. The origins of Osian can be traced back to Lord Rama. Elaborate carvings embellish the Jain temples and are sure to leave you awestruck. Go on a spiritual journey like no other in Osian. The Sachiya Mata Temple, one of the earliest places of devotion in the town, is the place to go if you hope to understand the social history of the place.
Patwon Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
An important haveli in Rajasthan, this structure encompasses an extraordinary form of architecture. Popular because it is not just one haveli, but a cluster of five, it is a masterpiece of yellow sandstone work. Famous intricately composed mirror works decorate the walls of the havelis. The carvings on the architecture are as fine as those on expensive jewellery, The jharokhas or balconies are fine examples of elegant and detailed Rajasthani craftsmanship.