4 Historic Palaces of India and its Gastronomy
By Ana Torres |
India is famous for the Taj Mahal, but in DINKtravelers you will find out 4 historic palaces of India, and learn about typical Indian food.
Why Should You Visit India?
India is full of stories. A trip to this country proves that it’s a magnificent destination, rich in architecture and gastronomy. For this reason, DINKtravelers, your world travel guide, tells you which are the most interesting historic palaces of India and which dishes you should try to enjoy your visit even more.
The Taj Mahal Palace in Agra
Undoubtedly the most emblematic building in India is the Taj Mahal, not only for its architecture, but also for the love story behind its walls. This mausoleum combines elements of Islamic, Indian, Persian and Turkish architecture. For this reason, in 1983, it was added to the list of World Heritage by UNESCO. It is so famous that in 2007 it was selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of the Modern World, along with the Roman Colosseum, Petra, Chichen Itza and others.
Its popularity is well deserved, and DINKtravelers has already written an article about this beautiful mausoleum. That’s why in our list of the 4 major historic palaces of India we have not included the Taj Mahal Palace of Agra.
Visit the Top Tourist Cities in India
Our trip only covers the cities of Agrahara, Jaipur and Thanjavur. Jaipur is located in the North of India, so after your visit to the Taj Mahal Palace in Agra you can take a train to Jaipur. Agrahara and Thanjavur are located in the South of India, so you will need to take a flight to reach either of these two cities.
The journey seems to be tough, but believe us when we say visiting this 4 historic palaces of India is totally worth it. Are you ready?
#1 Agrahara: Mysore Palace and Masala
This Indo-Saracenic beauty is located in Agrahara. Although its original construction dates back to the fourteenth century, the building we can visit nowadays is the result of several restoration works and modern adaptations made by the British architect Henry Irwin. Nowadays, it is the residence of the Mysore Maharaja, from the Wodeyar dynasty. For this reason, you’ll only be allowed to visit the perimeter of the building.
After your visit, you can enjoy the gastronomy of the place. It’s great for foodies who want to buy tons of varied spices. Usually, Indian cuisine uses a lot of ground spices. Their combination is called masala. One of the most famous spices is curry, but we recommend you buy black pepper, which is known for its healing properties. It will be the perfect culinary souvenir to take home.
#2 Jaipur: Hawa Mahal Palace and Mustard Oil
The Hawa Mahal Palace, also known as the Palace of the Winds, is located in the city of Jaipur. It was built in 1799 by the Maraha Sawai Pratap Singh as an extension of the harem he had in the city’s palace. It was originally used as a house from which the royal wives could observe life on the streets without being seen. For this reason, the façade has a total of 953 windows! The wind that blows through them gives the building the name of Palace of the Winds. It is said that the air flow inside contributes to its peaceful and calm atmosphere.
Continue the tour at the Johri bazaar, where you’ll find one of the most popular ingredients in Hindu gastronomy, particularly in the north of the country. We’re talking about mustard oil, ideal for frying food. Pour it on nuts to delight your palate.
#3 Thanjavur: Thanjavur Palace and Ritual Food
In India, food is part of the spiritual life. An example of this is the culinary ritual they have in honor of Krishna. This practice is known as “naivedya” and it is famous for serving only vegetarian food. The dishes are prepared with great dedication, and chefs try to innovate their recipes by using exotic masala. Some examples of this are orange flavored rice and steamed vegetables with rose water.
In order to learn more about this and other Indian traditions, visit Thanjavur Palace, whose original construction dates back to 1550. Nowadays, it’s known for hosting several traditional Indian dance events. Visit the building and discover the bronze statues in its museum. Also, visit its library and see the mural paintings of several Indian cities.
#4 Jaipur: Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh and Indian Rice
Sisodia Rani is located in Rajastan. It has spectacular gardens as well as a dreamy palace. It was built in the mogul style by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, in 1779. It will offer you one of the best views in India. You’ll get the chance to walk its stepped gardens, with its numerous fountains and canals. The view is perfect for a photo shoot near the water. Afterwards, visit the galleries and see the mural paintings that portray the life of Krishna and Radha. This is a love story the maharaja ordered to be painted to prove his love to his wife.
After the tour, and before your trip is over, try a plate of rice with legumes. One of them is channa (peas) and another one is mung (green lentils). Order your food with traditional bread such as roti or paratha. Both of them are baked in cylindrical ovens heated by vegetable carbon.
As part of your trip to see the Taj Mahal, visit one of these 4 historic palaces of India and live an unforgettable architectural and gastronomic experience.