The Majestic Ranighat Palace
Nepal is a country filled with culture and history and has many breathtaking sites that are a little off the beaten path. Outside the small town of Palpa, between two of the most frequented Hindu pilgrimage destinations, namely Ridi and Ramdi, is the spectacular Ranighat Palace. Its construction site overlooks the Terai plains, the unpredictable tides of the Kali Gandaki River and the surround mountain landscape, on which the palace is built.
Standing outside the majestic palace walls is a near magical experience. Completely isolated from the world, in the midst of a natural paradise filled with wildlife, birds and the calming noise of the river’s rushing waters, it almost seems as if a picture has been taken from a fairytale. Even though it has been battered by the passing years, it is easy for a visitor to let their imagination bring the palace to life. The palace and shrine were constructed by Khadga Shamahe Rana in the year 1898, in honor and as a memorial to his wife, Tej Kumari.
Ranighat Palace, or the Tajmahal of Nepal as it is also known, was constructed from sorrow, built with love and its perfect location chosen with devotion. Many authors and visitors have described the palace as an engineering masterpiece and some have suggested it to be an act of supernatural power. While climbing the stairs along the rocky mountain, one has to wonder how anyone managed to construct this massive palace and once landscaped gardens. The exterior of the palace is still intact, but the interior has been neglected. None the less, the interior ruins add an atmosphere of mystery, eeriness and intrigue.
The idyllic setting, the spectacular views from the large palace windows and what has remained of columns and facades carved with detail, are testament to the care that went into the construction of this glorious memorial of love. A small building outside the palace offers refreshment to tired and speechless visitors. The Ranighat Palace evokes emotions of romance, longing and wonder, as its walls remain standing proud on the banks of the Kali Gandaki River and as a reminder to true love and sincere devotion.