PADAM PALACE, RAMPUR: A DOOR TO THE TIMELESS ROYALTY

PADAM PALACE, RAMPUR: A DOOR TO THE TIMELESS ROYALTY

Introduction:

Padam palace, Rampur is also known as private residence of Mr. Virbhadra Singh. He is the royalty and also former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh for 30 long years. Yes you read it correct because he was chosen as chief minister of Himachal Pradesh for 6 times. It is believed that this royal family are the descendant of PradyumnaSon of Lord Krishna. So, read further to know about Padam palace, Rampur: A door to the timeless royalty.

Padam Palace, Rampur

Source: Google Earth

Location:

Padam placae is located in the small town known as Rampur Bushahr. Rampur is situated on the left bank of river Satluj. Rampur Bushahr served as a capital for Bushahr dynasty which covered the Shimla and Kinnaur hill areas. After british occupation, the Bushahr state was by far the largest of the 28 Shimla hill states. It also served as winter capital during Britisher’s time. The original seat of the rulers of the Bushahr state was at Kamru fort in the village of Kamru at the bank of Baspa river at Sangla in Kinnaur but the rulers subsequently moved to Sarahan and after that finally moved to Rampur century ago.

How to reach:

Rampur Bushahr is easily approachable.

The availability of transport:
1. Airport facility- Not available (there is no nearby air service available)

2. Bus facility- Buses are easily available from Delhi to Rampur 

3. Taxi facility: Taxi facility is also easily available

The distance by road is given below:
From Delhi – approx. 470 kms (via NH-44 and NH-5, approx time-11 to 12 hrs)
From Shimla – approx. 126.4 kms (via NH-5, approx time-3 to 4 hrs)

There is no entry fees to visit the outdoor areas of Padam palace but for indoor you have to take prior permissions.

All about Padam Palace, Rampur- A door to a timeless royalty:

Padam palace stand tall in the heart of the town and it is just located in the main center of the town. You the enter the palace through the big gate and cross the heritage hotel called Nau Nabh which is also the part of the palace complex. There is also a big lawn filled with greenery so it makes the palace look even more spectacular. 
Padam Palace,Rampur Bushahr

1. History of the palace:

Padam palace is the private property of the royal family of Bushahr dynasty and it was built by Raja Padam Singh. He was the 122nd king in the lineage of this dynasty  and father of Raja Virbhadra Singh former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh.  People still refer him as ‘Raja Sahib’ (means The king)  in this area. Raja Padam Singh laid the foundation of this palace in year 1919 and it took six years to complete this amazing palace and completed in year 1925. 
Kings of Bushahr dynasty Rampur

2. Planning and Designing of the Palace complex:

The complex is huge which consists of several other buildings including the Padam palace, heritage hotel,worker’s quarters.
The main palace building is square in shape and consist of courtyard planning but it is not visible from outside. The palace has a lush green lawn inside the courtyard as well as outside the palace area. The outside lawn is quite big and also has a water fountain right in the front of the palace building. The palace is surrounded by the high hills at the back which provide the great views.
Padam Palace, Rampur Bushahr

Source: Google maps

3. Architecture style of the Palace:

The architecture style of the Padam place resembles the Indo saracenic architecture and this architecture type was basically a revivalist architecture style used by British raj in India. Palace of the rulers of princely states were designed on the same lines by the British architects during colonial times. 
The series of arches on the facade and the cornice details resembles the Indo saracenic style of architecture.
Architecture style, Padam Palace Rampur

4. Construction of the palace:

As per the sources that this palace was completed just in a span of 6 years (from 1919-1925) which depicts the remarkable job of the artisans at such old times. The main structural component material of the palace is stone and the stone were quarried from a nearby place called Khaneri. You will be amazed to know that cementing of stones done by using the black gram paste. After stone the wood is the main material used in the palace and the wood was extracted by the jungle of the nearby village called Munish. 

The continuous arch galary in the ground floor makes it more stable and spectacular wooden work make it light and bearable in terms of terms of the stability of the structure. 

5. Architectural structures of the palace:

The palace is rich with architectural details terms design and material. The detailing of the palace is intricate and beautiful.
 

a) Hertitage hotel Nau Nabh: A heritage hotel being run in a part of Padam palace and is a property of the Erstwhile rulers of Bushahr state, Shimla hills. This hotel is a 4 star rated and is a private property of Raja Virbhadra Singh. This hotel is new addition to the palace complex but hotel’s some part is old one but the main hotel building seems new. The hotel consists of restaurant where tourist visiting the Padam Palace can have good food. Hotel also consists of luxury rooms where you can feel like king and queen itself. The hotel has a courtyard with beautiful wooden work and different motif art. 

Hotel Nau Nabh, Rampur

b) Macchkandi : Just after entering the main door to the palace complex and the first structure is the octagonal roof shaped gazebo in the gorgeous turquoise blue color is known as macchkandi. It is said that this is the place where the king used to interact with his people and used to take all important decisions of the royal matters.

Macchkandi, Padam palace

Its a lovely wooden structure and i fell in love with its beauty. There is a dome below the roof and that dome is exquisitely carved with spectacular wooden carving. The carving were painted in different colors and also have mirror work on it because of which it is also known as ‘Sheesh Mahal’ (means crystal palace). 

Seesh mahal, Padam palace Rampur

The different motifs of flower, fish or other patterns has been made on this dome. Also Om, Ram and name of the king has been engraved on the dome. It has different views from all the eight sides and view of the palace is spectacular from this structure.

Macchkandi design Padam Palace

b) Palace Building:

After stepping out of Macchkandi, here comes the grand palace. I couldn’t take my eyes off this marvelous piece after staring for a while. The palace have the subtle earthy colors which blend with the surroundings so well. The palace stand strong and has a symmetrical facade and the series of arches and a huge portico in the front make it grand. 
Palace building, Padam Palace Rampur
Also the two towers in the end of the facade add that royal castle touch to the whole design. The dark brown painted wooden work depicts the amazing craftsmanship and the interesting roof design in the red color sits like a crown at the top.
 
Padam Palace towers

c) The other buildings of the palace complex:

At the rear side of the palace on the left so there are some buildings which are the part of the complex. These buildings belongs to the darbari’s (people who used to work for kings like: clerks, advisors and servants etc) with their families. These buildings were made in stone and red roofs with simple joinery with bare minimum detailings.
Servant quarters, Padam palace Rampur

6. Architectural details of the palace:

a) That turquoise blue door:

The major attraction of the palace is this alluring turquoise blue wooden door. Intricate wooden geometrical carving with mirror work antinted glass design makes it feel like a door to heaven and this is one of the amazing door designs i have even seen. 
Blue door, Padam Palace

The joinery detail is amazing in this palace but i also found on the door which has different design. The main door is simple like other door, white colored with wooden pattern and stained glass work. The factor that makes it different is the outer wire mesh door. This is V shaped door design, which has two flaps and it has a beautiful cornice detail at the top.

Palace doors, Padam Palace rampur

b) Another special door:

Another special door is placed at the rear side of the palace. This door is also painted in blue and has beautiful wooden carving in bright colors. Also there is a deer dummy with real horns on the top of the door. You may have seen these kinds of horns in other palace as well which it used to depict the power of the kings by hunting and also part of their hobbies in old times.

Beautiful Palace doors, Padam palace

Why this door is so special? So, as per Hindu customs during holi festival people also welcome faag month ( beginning of Spring season). There is an old tradition  that faag mela (faag fair) is conducted in the palace and lots of Devi & Devta Idols (God and Goddess) visit the palace for the celebration of this festival. This is considered as an auspicious occasion for all the local people of Rampur and surrounding regions also. Devi & Devtas play holi and dances with colors as shown in the video below. This fair is now quite famous and many people comes to see it from all over India as well. There is a procession which takes place with lots of drum rolls. 

So coming to the importance of the door, this door is traditionally dedicated to welcome the arrival of the Devi & Devtas inside the palace invited for the fair. The royal family welcome them and worship them from the same door. Also, that time palace is open for all people and fair is conducted inside the palace area.  

c) Exquisite wooden carvings and elements:

The upper facade of the palace is filled with dark brown intricate wooden carvings. These carving are geometrical jaalis with different patterns and are partially covered by tinted or simple glass .

Exquisite wooden carving in Padam palace

The ceiling of the corridors has beautiful geometrical patterns, painted in vibrant colors along with some mirror work. Also round flower stones motifs add extra royal touch to the facade.

Padam Palace beautiful ceiling

7. Interiors of the palace:

Sadly i was unable to see the interiors of the palace because being a private property prior permission from the authority is required to enter the palace. As per the localities the palace consists of the luxury rooms, library and big halls filled with antiques, hanged painted portrait of the royal family members on the walls and the priceless old furniture pieces. 

I also tried peeing from the tinted glass door so all i saw was a big hall with few furniture pieces and the same door at the opposite walls. Those tinted glass on the doors were doing magic inside the rooms when the light was passing through it.

Padam Palace Rampur interiors

So that was all about the Padam palace, Rampur-A door to the timeless royalty. Visit to Padam Palace felt like going back in the times of Royal raj where they ruled and took important decisions for their people. Raja Virbhadra Singh (The present king) is still greeted with same respect as the king of their area by the local people.

Treasury lock, Raja Vir Bhadra Singh Padam Palace Rampur

As an architect its one of the great experience to visit such historical monuments and also get a chance to learn infinite things from its designing, planning, construction and detailing. So I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and will also be able to learn something from it. Our world is filled with such amazing monuments and we just need to cherish their precious existence. 

If you liked this blog: Padam palace, Rampur-A door to the timeless royalty. So please let me know through your comments and please share it with other people who are passionate about such timeless royalty. Contact us in case of any queries and also read my previous blogs related to architecture and travel. Be safe and remain indoor during this tough time. Thank you.

Designer -An Architect (Specialized in Sustainable Architecture and Green building Design, IGBC-AP and GRIHA-CP) -Planner (Specialized in Environmental planning and management) -Budding Blogger Passion: Travelling, Dancing, Cooking and Painting. From: INDIA, Himachal Pradesh
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6 thoughts on “PADAM PALACE, RAMPUR: A DOOR TO THE TIMELESS ROYALTY

  1. Wspaniałe pomysły kosztuja grosze. Bezcenni są ludzie, którzy je urzeczywistniają. Twój blog jest tego wspaniałym przykladem…

  2. This is a appealing article by the way. I am going to go ahead and bookmark this post for my sister to read later on tonight. Keep up the good work.

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