Rani Mahal is the crown jewel of the Palpa district of Nepal. The palace was made by Khadga Samsher Rana in memory of his beloved wife. Rani Mahal is extremely beautiful. The beautiful design of the palace with the taste of the western architecture combined with the beautiful nature of the surrounding and surreal Kali Gandaki River makes Rani Mahal in Palpa one of the best tourist locations of the district as well as the country.
Palpa is located in the Lumbini province of Nepal and is one of the 77 districts of the country. This district is located on the west side of Kathmandu valley with a distance of about 260Km. The capital, as well as the economical center of the district, is Tansen with a huge number of settlements and numbers of people. Palpa region has massive potential for tourism and Rani mahal is one of many high potential tourism destinations of Palpa.
Rani Mahal history
The history of Rani Mahal began when Khadga Samsher Rana was forced to drop his title as general and was sent to the west side of Nepal. The year was 1887, general Khadga Samsher Rana was forced to go to the west side of Nepal and act as the Western Commander in Chief of Nepal. Various politics among the family members of Rana occurred at that time and sending Khadga Samsher Rana to the western part of Nepal may also have been the result of the same politics.
It was the year 1892 and the youngest wife of Khadga Samsher Rana died. She was the youngest of the wives of Khadga Samsher Rana as well as the most beloved. He was grief-struck with the sudden demise of his queen. Khadga built a palace in memory of his beloved queen and named it Rani Mahal.
Location of Rani Mahal
Rani Mahal is located at a distance of 16.3 Km from Tansen which is the headquarters of Palpa district. To reach Rani Mahal from Palpa it may take about one hour going on average speed. The palace is located on the top of a rock at the bank of Kali Gandaki.
Kali Gandaki is one of the holiest rivers of Nepal. Saligram is found on the bank of only the Kali Gandaki River. It is believed that Saligram is one of the many forms of Lord Vishnu.
Rani Mahal is surrounded by a forest which is also called Rani ban which translates to the forest of the queen. The forest was given the name Rani ban when Khadga Samsher named the palace Rani Mahal. He at that time also named the nearby Ghat the Rani Ghat.
Rani Mahal appearance
As we have already discussed Rani Mahal is located at the top of the rock at the bank of the Kali Gandaki River. The entire rock is covered in structures and is very beautiful. The main structure of Rani Mahal is located at the top of the rock. It is colored blue and white color. The architecture of the palace resembles the buildings that are made in the west. On the front side of the main structure, there are two small ponds which are called Rani Pokhari (The pond of the queen). The ponds are small but are incredibly beautiful and add to the beauty of the palace.
From the main building to the base of the palace the other structures are colored white and contain stairs from the main building to the base. Along, with the stairs, there are some structures also that are present below the main structure of the palace.
Rani Mahal after the abandonment by Khadga Samsher Rana
Khadga Samsher Rana with his family lived in Rani Mahal till 1902 A.D. However, in 1902 A.D. Khadga Samsher Rana with his family abandoned the palace and moved to India, due to a threat to his life as well as the life of his family. Khadga Samsher was forced to leave the beautiful palace that he had made in memory of his beloved late wife. When the Rana family abandoned the palace and went to India, the palace was left abandoned.
Since no one was left to maintain the structure and environment various damage was seen in the structure. The palace was huge and made for the living of lots of people, so it also needed a lot of resources to manage it. However, the government of Nepal had taken the consideration for maintenance of the palace to its former glory, and it had been done to some level.
Taj Mahal of Nepal
Rani Mahal is also called the Taj Mahal of Nepal as it was a beautiful structure that was made by a husband in the memory of his late wife.
Rani Mahal as a center of tourist attractions
Rani Mahal is quickly developing as the massive tourist attraction of the country. People not only come to visit the palace but also come to enjoy themselves at the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. The place is already the most popular landmark of the district and with proper care and marketing can move much ahead in the field of tourism.