The Laxmi Vilas Palace built for Raja Ragunath Singh, (the younger brother of the then Bharatpur ruler, Maharaja Ram Singh) is set amidst the sprawling 50 acres, and surrounded by undulating, yellow mustard fields. An eclectic and lively fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture, the palace was earlier called Raghunath Niwas though locals always preferred to call it Kakaji ki kothi.
Spacious and airy rooms opened out into the inner courtyard with its marble fountain, enchanting cupolas and sunny courtyard completed the pretty picture. Reminiscent of the scintillating grandeur of the Jat dynasty stands proudly the Laxmi Vilas Palace. Situated on the old Agra – Jaipur road, with large open space, it offers a fascinating view from the roadside. The picturesque palace, popularly know as Raghunath Niwas was constructed in the year 1899. Connoisseurs believe that its architecture is a happy blending of Mughal style and famous Rajput architecture of chivalrous Rajputana with brightly painted frescos reminding of Brij culture with its religious and romantic overtones.
This palace, inspite of the inroads of modernity, can boast of its old aristocratic traditional style of living with two spacious courtyards the second one reserved for the cozy privacy of the queens, the princess and their bandis, its each beautiful room has broad opening on both sides galleries and canopies in burjis (minarets). All the spectacular glamour melts into the modern comforts and makes the story memorable and delightful. Frescos deftly portrayed with bright shell herbal paints in the ceremonial room leave an everlasting impression on the visitor. These wall paintings depict Lilas of Lord Krishna (super natural feats of Lord Krishna) the supreme deity of brij region where this palace is located.
For almost hundred years, the Laxmi Vilas Palace has been a prime witness to, and a participant in almost every eventful happening that took place in the princely state of Bharatpur – royal weddings, affairs of the court and royal duck shoots. It has played host to such dignitaries as the Duke of Edinburgh, Shah of Iran, King of Nepal and Shah of the Afghans. There was of course enough to entertain those who entered the portals of the palace. Feast and festivities lasted several days. And the palace kitchen ensured that only gourmet cuisine arrived at the dinning table. The same tradition of the hospitality has been kept alive till the present day. In 1994, a decision was taken to convert the Palace into the hotel. The Laxmi Vilas Palace has been operational ever since.