Constructed by Bir Singh Deo at the height of the Bundela’s “golden age”, the little-visited majestic palace at DATIA, 30km northwest of Jhansi and 71km southeast of Gwalior, is one of India’s finest Rajput buildings.

Presiding over a mass of white- and blue-washed brick houses from its seat atop a rock outcrop, the Nrsing Dev Palace stands in the north of town. Half the fun of visiting the labyrinthine palace is trying to find a path from its pitch-black subterranean chambers, hewn out of the solid base of the hill for use during the hot season, to the rani’s airy apartment on the top floor. In between, a maze of cross-cutting corridors, flying walkways, walls encrusted with fragments of ceramic tiles, latticed screens and archways, hidden passages, pavilions and suites of apartments lead you in ever-decreasing circles until you eventually run out of staircases. The views from the upper storeys are breathtaking.

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