Lal Bagh Palace

Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh

Built between 1886 and 1921, Lal Bagh is the finest building left by the Holkar dynasty. As was the fashion among many of the late-Raj-era Indian nobility, the lavish interior is dominated by European styles: striated Italian marble pillars, lots of chandeliers and classical columns, murals of Greek deities, a baroque-cum-rococo dining room, an English-library-style office with leather armchairs, a Renaissance sitting room and a Palladian queen’s bedroom (with sadly ripped furnishings in some rooms).

There's also a billiards room complete with a dusty, full-size table, plus a library with shelves full of titles such as Discourses on Siva (wonder how much bedtime reading that one got...). Imitations of the Buckingham Palace gates creak at the entrance to the 28-hectare grounds, where, close to the palace, there’s a statue of Queen Victoria.

An autorickshaw from the city centre costs about ₹50.

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