All Gud Things in life which give you happiness and reasons to explore more

All Gud Things in life which give you happiness and reasons to explore more

Padam Palace: The Royal Palace in Rampur Bushahr

Usually, while traveling to Spiti Valley from Delhi, everyone makes their first stop at Shimla, and then head forward to Kalpa or Sangla Valley skipping Rampur Bushahr. But somehow the things were planned differently for us during our Spiti Valley winter trip. We got late while finishing our work assignment with Aamod Resort Shoghi, so planned a halt midway at Rampur Bushahr, Himachal Pradesh. The unknown destinations and unplanned halts always take you to explore the hidden gems i.e. what proved true for us and we found the hidden architectural marvel Padam Palace, also known as Rampur Palace at Rampur Bushahr.

Padam Palace- Royal Palace at Rampur Bushahr

About Rampur Bushahr

The town Rampur Bushahr lies 128 Kilometres from Shimla and is the last capital of Bushahr dynasty. The Bashahr dynasty originally used to rule from Kamru Fort near Sangla in Kinnaur and Shimla region. Later they moved their base to Sarahan and some 100 years back to Rampur Bushahr, along the beautiful River Sutlej. Interestingly, if you go by mythology and legends, the dynasty trace their roots back to Lord Krishna’s family. And this belief comes true when you can see lots of temples in the region.

Entrance to Rampur Bushahr town: Padam Palace

Rampur Bushahr spreads longitudinally covering the mountain slopes. It is guarded by Lord Hanuman’s Idol at the entrance, from Shimla side and below flows the gushing River Sutlej. The town seems to be blessed and quite prosperous.

Lord Hanuman statue at Rampur Bushahr: Padam Palace

History of Padam Palace

In the middle of the city, near bus stand, just adjacent to the Nau Nabh heritage hotel stands the walled, exalted Padam Palace. The Palace and town once served as the winter capital of Princely state Bushair but today it is just a private residence of the royal family and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

Panoramic view of Padam Palace

The foundation stone of Padam Palace was laid down in 1919 by Raja Padam Singh, who was 122nd King in the league of Bushahr dynasty and the father of Virbhadra Singh. The construction spanned over 6 years and got completed in 1925.

Padam Palace Complex

Just as we stepped inside the huge Iron Gate from Hotel Nau Nabh, there was a huge sprawling complex with a lot of green lawns. At one end of the lawn, there is a colorful glass and wood building known as Sheesh Mahal, in the center stood octagonal dome-shaped structure in a turquoise blue color known as Machhkandi. Whereas on the other end, stretched a building in ash grey color with huge vertical pillars, known as Padam Palace. The dark shades against the green background and blue sky truly represented that the building has grown more elegant with time.

The eight-sided dome-shaped wooden structure in the lawn, Machhkandi was the place from where King interacted with his public. The structure is painted in blue, has a lot of carvings and figurines and four entrances. We totally fell in love with its architecture and couldn’t resist climbing it. From all the eight angles, the views were different but equally enchanting.

Machhkandi at Padam Palace

Machhkandi from different angle at Padam Palace, Rampur

After entering I looked up at the dome and was astonished to see the colors, symbols, and figurines on it. The engraved symbols and figures were Om, Ram, Name of the king, state, fish, flowers etc.

The dome of Machhkandi at Padam Palace, Rampur Bushahr

Exact logic of having them in the dome is still not clear to us but what we could relate is that Machhkandi was treated like a temple and the King or decision maker sitting there was like a God. So these positive symbols might be imparting him the wisdom to make the fair decision.

Dome decorated with symbols and figurines - Padam Palace

The Palace

As we stepped down the stairs of Machkkandi, there started the horizon of horizontally spread elegant Palace. The Palace has a huge facade with symmetric arches and geometrically designed ceiling with green and red glass patches in between. The chocolate brown colored wooden carvings on the first floor, crowned by reddish brown gables and multi-gabled bandstands clearly depicted the architecture skills of craftsmen. The tapered wooden screen on the first floor has floral designs and figures to partially admit light without exposing inside.

Wooden Carving on first floor of Padam Palace, Rampur

In the whole structure, the major attraction was the alluring blue front door with a lot of glass work on it. Few glasses in center of the door were colored and tinted. We couldn’t enter inside as it was closed but still it left us completely stunned from outside. I peeped inside through the glass and could see a huge hall with minimum furniture and colored windows/ doors on all sides. The sun rays through these tinted glasses were making wonderful geometrical impressions. On each side of the door, was placed a statue of Hindu idols -Lord Ganesha and Lord Balaji.

Blue Door at Padam Palace. Rampur Bushahr

 

Another, striking feature of the palace is completely No use of cement anywhere. Instead, the black gram paste was used for cementing the stone blocks together.

Padam Palace Facade

Just in front of the Palace main door is a huge octagonal shaped fountain, which was empty and filled with dirt. But we are sure when in the run; the fountain might be adding the charm to the whole complex.

How to reach Padam Palace

Padam Palace lies 128 Kilometres from Shimla and can be reached by bus, cab or private car in 3 hours. If commuting by bus, get down at bus stand and walk meters0 meters right and you will be at Padam Palace.

Entry FeesThere is no entry fee to see the Palace. You need prior permissions to visit inside.

Total Time to see PalaceHalf -hour to 2 hrs

 Where to stay in Rampur Bushahr

There are several accommodation options in the town from budget, luxury to heritage hotels. But, if you want to live like Royals, then stay at Nau Nabh Heritage Hotel for a day. We will be writing a complete post on it, soon.

Best time to Visit Rampur Bushahr

Rampur Bushahr can be visited throughout the year. Summers are pleasant and they last from March to June. Monsoon starts from June and continues till September.  September to November too is a good time to explore the place but is cold. Expect cold and snowy winters from December to March in Rampur. Sometimes even roads get closed, so check the status before planning your trip.

However, the best time to visit town is during Lavi festival; which is held every year between 11th to 14th November. Lavi Fair is one of the biggest fairs in North India. It adds life to the town and is a major talk of the area.

Other Attractions in Rampur Bushahr

Apart Padam Palace, one can visit Raghunath Temple, Ayodhya Temple, Narsingh temple, Dumgir Budh Temple, Dutt Nagar, Nirath, Nirmand and Asia’s largest Hydro project Nathpa Jhakri power plant.

Padam Palace, Rampur Bushahr

For us, the visit to the Padam Palace was like a time warp to the era of the Kings and Queens, where they lived the royal lives and were the decision makers. Imagine, still, the people of Rampur Bushahr, greet Cheif minister, Virbhadra Singh as Rajaji (King).

 

 



21 thoughts on “Padam Palace: The Royal Palace in Rampur Bushahr”

  • We love India so much and went to 5 states so far! We want to go here it’s so epic! The design is amazing

  • I love how you guys showcase different places to visit in India. The Padam Palace Complex looks like a great place to visit with so much history.

  • I love the colours for the decor. Really makes the palace stand out. And what a location. I love it when buildings like this are surrounded by pictuesque mountains.

  • Wow amazing pictures! I can’t believe no cement was used, the design is so intricate! What a gorgeous palace!

  • I have been following your Padam palace updates on Instagram, you seem to be in love with it. I was in love with this palace when I visited it 3 years ago. It is such a hidden gem of HImachal Pradesh.

  • Interesting bit of history. The temple’s architecture evokes a mystic feel that’s unique only to India and neighbouring countries. The blue entrance door is stunning with its ornate decorations. Great location against a backdrop of a mountainous region.

  • Padam Palace is nothing short of a revelation. The palace looks so grand and colourful. The dome and its artwork is really exquisite. It is this kind of discoveries that make travel so rewarding. Loved the pictures. Keep travelling and discovering such unknown gems.

  • I visited Padam Palace several years back. And, I must say it looked as gorgeous as seen in your pictures. I am not a big fan of religious places but I quite liked visiting Raghunath Temple, Narsingh temple, and Dumgir Budh Temple. And, I ended up taking so many photos of Nathpa Jhakri power plant.

  • This is a gem that you have discovered. I love your pictures and description of it and they really make me want to visit it. The ceilings and the doors are so stunning. It seems fairly well maintained too. I admit that I did not know much about the history of this place but I sure would like to live it with a visit to this place.

  • I love palaces and temples in India, some of them are amazingly decorated and well maintained. Padam Palace is definitely one of them: and those colorful ceilings make it really Instagrammable, too!

  • I have never heard of Padam Palace and looking at only pictures, I would’ve thought its somewhere in Southeast Asia but I did not think it’s in India! I haven’t been to Spiti Valley so I have never had the opportunity to cross this place but if I ever do, I’d like to take a short detour to Rampur Bushahr, thanks for this information!

  • Now this is the kind of good luck that comes from a negative if being late to finish the work assignment, and leads to the discovery of an unexpected treasure! Great to learn about Padam Palace, and enjoy your photos of the intricate decor.

  • Padam Palace is truly exquisite and I’d love to visit! The colours are like nothing I’ve seen, it’s so decorated and beautiful and I can’t believe it is cement free! So clever. I adore that bright blue door!

  • Six years is fast for the construction of such an impressive palace. Machhkandi is beautiful, I can see why you fell in love with its architecture. I can’t believe there is no cement anywhere in the construction. I have never heard of black gram paste, but I am still impressed that they didn’t use cement. It’s a gorgeous place and I really like that it is free to visit.

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