10. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
The palace was closed off from the rest of world and was host to the most privileged of people in the social order. Today, it is a luxury hotel inviting guests to experience the opulence of the Bikaner Maharajas. Hand painted friezes and gold plated paintings are just some of the beautiful characters that lie behind the walls of the palace. Some say, architects like Lutyens and Baker were inspired by this mighty structure.
When you build a palace like none other, not just anyone is invited to stay. Since 1904, only a few have been deemed worthy of a higher order of hospitality – princelings, Europe’s pre-eminent bluebloods, King George V and Queen Mary, a handful of statesmen; a few of the notable architects of history. The world at large had been shut out of the Laxmi Niwas Palace. You may now actually go a step further. Gaze at hand-painted friezes and gold-laden walls. Examine up close the inspiration behind Lutyens’ and Baker’s architectural style. And perhaps reflect on the fact that exclusion does sometimes make a place what it is.