Have you ever considered visiting water palaces or seaports? These monuments hold a special place in history. They housed rulers, protected them from enemies and guarded treasures and secrets. Today, the rustic charm of seaports and the excellent craftsmanship of water palaces will take your breath away. So, here are some stunning water palaces and sea forts in India that you must undoubtedly add to your wishlist.
1. Neer Mahal In Tripura
Neermahal is a former royal palace built by Maharaja of Tripura Kingdom Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya bahadur of the erstwhile Kingdom of Tripura, India in the middle of the lake Twijilikma in the 1930s. It is situated in Melaghar, 53 kilometers away from Agartala, the capital of Tripura. Marble and stone were used extensively in the palace, the profusion of balconies, minarets, bridges and pavilions makes Neermahal an architectural splendour. The palace is encircled by the Rudrasagar Lake, which is visited by a large number of migratory birds in the winter season. Every year in the month of August, Neermahal Water Festival – a three event is held at Melaghar and Rudrasagar lake. A big attraction of the Neermahal water festival is the boat race in Rudrasagar Lake. The palace is divided into 2 parts. The western side of the palace is known as the Andar Mahal (meaning the inner chamber). The eastern side is open and has open-air theatres and other places of entertainment. The palace has 24 rooms in total – visitor’s room, bedroom, dancing hall, amusement hall, dining room and kitchen. It even has a guard room and watchtowers. Human activities around the Rudrasagar Lake have increased a lot during the last 50 years affecting the water level drastically. During the time of the Maharaja, there were only 12 families living in the vicinity of the lake. And today, almost 2,00,000 people depend on the lake directly or indirectly. Well, all these have taken a toll on the lake and it has shrunk to almost 40% of its original area.
2. Diu Fort In Diu
The Diu Fortress is a Portuguese-built fortification located on the west coast of India in Diu. The fortress was built as part of Portuguese India’s defensive fortifications at the eastern tip of the island of Diu during the 16th century. Spread over an area of 5.6 hectares, the Diu Fort is protected by the sea on three sides. The outer wall of the fort was built along the coastline and the inner wall had bastions on which guns were mounted. All these bastions have been given the names of famous Christian Saints. The oldest of them all is believed to be of St. George. A double moat between the outer and inner walls provided security to the fort. The moat that separates the fortifications from the castle has been cut through sandstone rocks. A jetty built then on the northwestern side is still in use.
There are three gateways to enter into this historic citadel. In the main entry gate, there are five large windows with stone galleries on the main front wall. A permanent bridge leads to the main entryway that is engraved with inscriptions in Portuguese. The fort was highly guarded by cannons on all sides which are still placed inside the fort. Several cannonballs and iron shells used during the Portuguese period litter the parapet of the fort. This enormous monument had residences for the noble, a warehouse, and barracks for the soldiers, house of arms and ammunition, prison, church, and a chapel unfortunately in ruins. There are many underground escape channels inside the fort. A large lighthouse is also located at one end of the fortress.
3. Deeg Palace In Rajasthan
Deeg Fort which encompasses the famous Deeg Palace was built by Maharaja Suraj Mal in 1730. Capital of the Jat rulers and located 32 km from Bharatpur, the Deeg Palace was built as a summer mansion and was heavily inspired by Mughal architecture. Being constantly under threat by the Mughals, Maharaja Suraj Mal built a large quadrangle shaped fortress around Deeg Palace to protect it from the invaders. The resplendent palace has striking features such as the beautiful arches, swing, pillars, corridors, ornamented gates, marble jaalis, the watch tower, elegant courtyards, scenic gardens, lake and well manicured flowerbeds and shrubs. The entrance of the palace, Singh Pol is named after the lion sculpted on the archway. The design of the garden is believed to be inspired by the Mughal Charbagh which four gardens interspersed by a walkway. The fort is decked with 900 fountains which were supplied with water from two big water tanks – Rup Sagar and Gopal Sagar flanked on either side of the palace with the aim to bring down the temperature during the summers. Rajasthan has more history than the entire country put together – it is the realm of erstwhile Maharajas and their lavish palaces and majestic forts.
4. Bekal Fort In Kerala
Around 16 km to the south of northernmost district in Kerala, Kasaragod, lies the massive Bekal Fort. It is among the biggest forts in Kerala and has been impeccably maintained throughout the years. It rises to 130 feet above sea level and is situated on a headland spanning 35km. Much effort has been put to develop a beautiful beach here called the Bekal Fort Beach. People flock to these spots in great numbers. Situated comfortably on steep hills by the sea, the fort provides for an imposing view from the beach. Built using laterite slabs and with a polygonal shape, it is amongst the most visited sites in Kerala.
There are many factors that have added to the popularity of the site. An observation tower fitted with beautiful peepholes, the Anjaneya Temple with its famous masonry and two Theyyam sculptures built from laterite are among the primary attractions. An ancient mosque built by Tipu Sultan and various underground passageways are also important places in the area. A rock garden was built using laterite in the parking area and is an architectural marvel in itself. Trees have been planted on the beach along with the construction of a splendid walkway which makes it easier to traverse the beach and enjoy its sights. At night, the entire place is lit up with special lights that add a whole new dimension to its beauty.
5. Lakhota Fort-Palace In Gujarat
Lakhota Fort is a historical fort in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is an amazing architectural marvel located in Jamnagar that was built by the Rawals of Gujarat. This architectural marvel was erected during the era of the King Jam Rawal and the region of Jamnagar is named after him. It stands in the traditional Gujarati style of architecture and attracts the visitors that visit to witness its beauty from the different parts of the state. Lakhota Fort is a major crowd puller and is visited on a huge scale. It can be visited throughout the year, especially between October-February. It is the appropriate period for touring the fort and admiring its alluring architecture. When you’re at Lakhota Fort, do not forget to visit the nearby market after exploring the ancient building. The market of this place sells the resplendent dresses for both genders of all age groups, typical Gujarati delicacies, and much more that can be purchased as a souvenir. Shri Bala Hanuman Mandir is another must-see site that will evoke the divinity inside you. Jamnagar is well-connected to entire Gujarat via major highways, airways, and railways. Such connectivity makes it convenient for all to reach the town easily. The state-run buses, express trains, and flights are available from different cities for reaching Jamnagar.