City’s iconic and most prominent structure, the one that represents Indore even in the modern world, is not just another historic monument ! It has a great saga behind it and is like a legacy of the Holkar dynasty that has been passed on through the ages ! To showcase the glorious history of Indore, Malwa, and Holkar dynasty, MP Tourism is beginning from May 16, 2015, a fabulous light and sound show, graced by the rich and deep baritone of India's biggest superstar - Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, or as the world calls him - Big B !! The show is expected to be held everyday at 8 pm, for 30 minutes, and the charges for the same would be ₹200/person !!
The original Rajwada, built in 1747 by the founder of the Holkar dynasty - Subedar Malhar Rao Holkar I (reign: 1732 – 1766) - was completely destroyed in an attack in 1801 ! After the treaty of Mandsaur in 1818, the present day Rajwada, a majestic and imposing structure, with a magnificent seven-storied gateway in front, was constructed by Malhar Rao Holkar II (reign: 1811 – 1833) at a cost of ₹4 lac ! This palace was used by Holkars for residential purposes, holding durbars, and for state ceremonies !!
After independence, the Rajwada palace was bought over by city’s businessman Mr. Dev Kumar Singh Kasliwal in 1974, at a price of ₹16 lacs ! After huge protests & uproar, it was taken over by Madhya Pradesh government and declared as a monument ! The department of archaeology had then opened it to the public, for the first time, in 1976 ! However, in the national riots of 1984, Rajwada had once again succumbed to destruction, when most of the palace was destroyed in fire !!
The palace is built in an excellent combination of Maratha, Mughal and French styles of architecture with different portions constructed in various styles ! The lower stories are made up of stone and are painted in a dark colour, while the upper floor is made of wood ! The vast courtyard that is situated near the entrance is a centre for art exhibitions as well as classical music concerts ! Upon entering the palace, one can see bright, sun-lit quadrangles that are surrounded by beautiful galleries and delicate arches !!
A part of the palace is still maintained by the Holkar family’s trust, which has recently opened an exhibition centre on the Holkars and also, in a temple there, evening prayers are conducted everyday in Holkar tradition !!
The beautiful images of this iconic monument have been provided to us by Mr. Bhalu Mondhe, Indore's Rocking & Leading photographer !!
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