A centuries-old palace made of wood and stone in traditional Himalayan style architecture has been reduced to ashes in a tiny Himachal Pradesh town.
Police said a short circuit sparked off the fire on Tuesday that reduced the sprawling Kumarsain palace to ashes, located in Kumarsain town, some 90 km from here.
As the building was made of wood, the flames soon engulfed the building, which had some 80 rooms. The loss is estimated to be around Rs 25 million (Rs 2.5 crore).
Idols of a local deity escaped damage, as they had been placed in a stone temple inside the palace.
The palace was around 300 years old and belonged to the erstwhile rulers of Kumarsain in the Shimla hills.
Most of the building was unoccupied, as the last male heir of the royal family had died in 1996 and his married daughters live in Nepal.
A section of the building housed a state government office. That has also been destroyed.