The Rani Mahal from Palpa, also known as Ranighat Palace, is frequently known as the Nepal’s Taj Mahal. Even though it does not have the same aesthetic appeal as that of the Taj Mahal, it seems to have a comparable background of love, dedication and appreciation. This palace is located in Nepal’s Palpa District, beside the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. The palace stood alone in the midpoint of nothing when it was completed in 1893. This is becoming a popular tourist attraction for people who want to see how far love could stretch. Because every aspect of the building was meticulously detailed, the palace took five years to finish. The palace has a dozen rooms, lovely ponds, a temple, a magnificent garden encircling the region, guest rooms, a kitchen, and so on. Because the palace was constructed on the edge of the forest, the forest was given the names Rani Ban (queen’s jungle) and the staircases that leads to the river as Rani Ghat (queen’s steps). The river also has religious significance, since it is thought that anybody who touches the river’s water will be redeemed.
History of Rani Mahal: The Governor of Palpa, Khadga Shumsher, established this magnificient Rani Mahal, which means “queen’s palace.” He had several wives, but Tej Kumari was his youngest and perhaps most beloved. Her final request before she died was for a Durbar to really be constructed in her honor. The construction of the great and the mst beautiful palace Rani Mahal commenced and proceeded at this point. When his wife died, he looked in numerous places for the ideal spot to construct. He happened across the present location, even though there was no means to get there except reaching there by walking at the time. In addition, there was a big cliff that needed to be cleared. But he was confident this was the ideal spot, and with sheer effort, he was able to overcome all of the obstacles and make the land fit for a castle. With all the land secured, Khadga Shumsher enlisted the help of a British architect based in India. The Palpa army’s constructors were then chosen. It took four years to build and is now recognized across Nepal as a “monument of love.”
Location of Rani Mahal: The beautiful, magnificient, historic and heavenly palace Rani Mahal is located just 18 km north from the Tansen, Palpa.
How to get there: It’s not difficult to go reach the Rani Mahal from Tansen, Palpa. A local bus leaves at 2:00pm for 100 rupees per passenger, but I’m told it’ll take approximately 25 minutes to get there. A private jeep is available at each of the town’s hotels. It’s not particularly comfortable, and it’s quite crowded with residents from neighboring villages, but it was the most practical mode of transportation. If you want to go privately, the jeeps are available for 140 rupees ($1.40 USD) at the Amar Narayan Temple. They leave every day at 2:30 p.m., but it’s better to arrive by 2:00 p.m. to ensure a spot because they fill up quickly. The same jeep may pick you up at 8:30 a.m. the next day. It takes roughly an hour and a half to get there.
Hiking upto the Ranimahal from Palpa: You may indeed trek along the same path as the jeep goes. It’s roughly 2 hours downwards the hill from Tansen and 4 hours upwards on the journey back, according to my sources. It could be worth hiking there and then jeeping back if you opt to trek.
How long time to spend there in Ranimahal?: To enjoy the beauty and know the more and more history of the Ranimahal, I suggest spending the night over there. If people don’t want to stay in the cheapest accommodations, some tourists arrive early in the morning and return to Tansen the same day.
The structure had degraded and deteriorated towards the end of the 20th century. Theft has also become a big issue, according to the locals. If you go today, you’ll see that the inside has already been stripped of all of its original charms and decorations. Everything had been taken and removed. The palace is now being restored to its former grandeur by the government. The exterior has now been restored to its former glory. I’m not certain if they plan to repair the interiors as well, but if they did, it would be spectacular.
Far from the rush and busyness of Tansen Bazaar, just on the riverside with one of the most magnificent shade, a neo-classic architecture and design sits the eye-catching castle where almost every detail projects the essence of love. Everything, including the trees, ponds, stairways, and river banks, reflects Khadga Shumsher’s love for his late wife. Rani Mahal appears to be wonderful; it is indeed a gem of the Palpa and the symbol of love. So, the next time you visit Palpa, don’t forget to trek down from Tansen to the Kaligandaki’s bank to see this unspoiled beauty sitting quietly on the bosom of a forest representing love and appreciation. You will be amazed and you will just be in love with the vibrance, beauty and the ever welcoming peace of the Ranimahal that you will not forget it lifetime. The color of the Mahal, the waters in the river, the spectacular forest, the breathtaking architecture of the Ranimahal, all are just wonderful and heavenly!!
-By: Saru Niraula for Land Nepal