Also known as the Taj Mahal of Nepal, Rani Mahal was built as the symbol of love for the beloved late wife of General Khadga Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana. The palace was built in the 19th century at the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, between Syangja and Palpa. Situated at the distance of 13 km from Tansen, the palace looks attractive sitting on a massive rock at a secluded and a quiet place.
In the year 1887, General Khadga SJB Rana was forced to give up his royal title and was sent to Palpa as the western commander in chief of Nepal. In the year 1992, Khadga Shumsher went through an unexpected tremor of losing his youngest wife Tej Kumari Devi. Saddened by the incident he called upon the architects from abroad to make a piece of art in the name of his beautiful wife. Thus the Rani Mahal (Queen’s Palace) came into existence.
The palace took five years to complete as every piece of the architecture was detailed. There are a dozen of rooms, beautiful ponds, a temple, wonderful garden surrounding the area, guest rooms, a kitchen etc. in the palace. Since the palace was built on the edge of the jungle, the jungle was also named as Rani Ban (queen’s jungle) and the stairs leading to the river as Rani Ghat. The river also possesses a religious importance as it is believed that touching the water of the river provides salvation to any sinners.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the Tansen Bazaar, sitting on the riverbank with the most elegant color, a neo-classic art and architecture lies the eye catching palace where every details project the ounce of love. The forests, the ponds, the stair cases and the river banks, everything embodies the affection of Khadga Shumsher towards his late wife. Rani Mahal looks magical, it is a jewel of Palpa and a true epitome of love. Thus next time you visit Palpa, do not forget to hike down from Tansen towards the bank of Kaligandaki to witness this untouched beauty resting peacefully on the lap of a forest symbolizing love and devotion.