It has the distinction of having the largest number of stained glass paintings, and some of the Gothic-inspired statues leave you wondering if you are in an Indian palace at all! A fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, the 125-year-old Lukshmi Vilas Palace has all the ingredients to make it a must-visit on a visitor's itinerary.

Claimed to be the biggest private dwelling of its kind, the Luskhmi Vilas Palace was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad in 1890. Major Charles Mant, who was the chief architect, kept in mind that the palace must have the traditional touch - and so the three distinct quarters for the ruler, the ladies, and the public.

The entire palace is not open to visitors as parts of it are still occupied by the erstwhile royal family. The entry is from the rear of the palace for visitors, who are bound to be mesmerised by the well-maintained architectural marvel right from the start.

A small courtyard, lush with big plants, leads to front porch from where starts the tour. It is pertinent to mention here is that unlike many other historical sites where one may be pestered by people posing as guides, at Lukshmi Vilas, you are given an audio system to take you through the palace and explain everything in detail.

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