Rajasthan literally translates to Land of the Kings and royalty lies in the very essence of this majestic state.
A journey through royalty of Rajasthan is incomplete without experiencing the regality that the delightful heritage properties located here offer. These properties are a symbol of aristocracy as they once served as palaces, havelis, castles and forts to the maharajas, nobles, kings, rich merchants and ministers.
Following the independence of the country in 1947, several of these mansions were converted to heritage hotels after the abolishment of all royal titles and feudal ownership.
Here’s a virtual tour of the some of the most famous heritage properties in Rajasthan:
Samode Palace is the perfect synonym for hospitality and courtesy. It was built 475 years ago and was later converted into a heritage hotel by the Samode family. Located 42 kilometers from the state capital of Jaipur, this palace is the perfect combination of Indian and Mughal styles. The Indo-Saracenic architecture and the ancient murals on uneven walls can attest to this fact. Sultan Mahal was added much later to the palace is the most famous. It has vivacious blue tiles and frescos on the wall covered with geometric patterns, paisley, floral patterns in earthy hues.
The most striking feature is the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ which is covered with mirrors and reflects a thousand images of a person at a time.
Things to do – Enjoy the company of folk musicians on the terrace garden and get a relaxing massage by trained professionals at the spa. Cherish the vistas of the Aravali range as you take a dip in the rooftop infinity pool. Treat yourself to the royal Indian, Asian and European delicacies offered by the two in-house restaurants.. Take a camel ride through the Samode village which is famous for its havelis with murals and wall paintings and the surrounding countryside.
Jai Mahal Palace
Jai Mahal Palace was built in 1745. This 273 year old property, spread amidst 18 acres of landscaped Mughal gardens is a splendid example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This palace originally served as a residence for three Prime Ministers of the princely Jaipur state. The 94 luxury rooms plus 6 suites personalized with miniature paintings, antique furnitures, and Rajasthani motifs allow for luxuriously designed accommodations with an amazing view of the city. Located in a prime location of the Pink City (as Jaipur is affectionately known) in Civil lines, it is close to major historical sites such as Amber Fort, City Palace and Hawa Mahal.
Things to do – Enjoy authentic Indian as well as Italian cuisine in two of the finest restaurants in India – Cinnamon and Giardino, respectively. Try the trendy Marigold Bar that offers innovative cocktails and cigars. Unwind with rejuvenating yoga and meditation at the spa and entertain business clients at the palace boardrooms – Silver Oak and Sterling.
Rambagh Palace is also popularly known as the Jewel of Jaipur. According to history, it was built in 1835 for the queen’s favorite handmaiden, Kesar Badaran. Later in 1925, it was transformed into a residence for the Maharaja of Jaipur. Further in 1957, the palace was converted into a plush hotel by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and finally, in 1972, the palace was taken over by the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. The palace is magnificently decorated with sandstone balustrades, hand-carved marble jalis or latticework, elaborate Mughal Gardens, and cupolas and chattris or cenotaphs.
Things to do – Enjoy royal Indian cuisine in Suvarna Mahal, formerly used as a 18th century French styled ballroom, multi-cuisine at the Rajput Room or Verandah cafe and Mediterranean delights at the lounge bar. Envelop yourself in ancient Indian wellness therapies at the Jiva Grande Spa.
Sardargarh fort is one of the leading heritage hotels of Rajasthan. It was built between 1738 to 1743 by one of the most powerful Dhodia rulers, Sardar Singh. Situated at 94 kilometers north of Udaipur, this fort hotel is situated amidst thick forests and hills of Chuppun. Though the passage system, granaries, stores and halls are still intact, the China and Mirror Halls, were defaced by the massive explosion of a powder magazine. The castle has undergone considerable repair and it stays one of the finest in Mewar.
Things to do – Enjoy the essence of the bygone era by staying in any of the 21 suites, each named after the queens that lived there in the medieval period. The colour theme of each suite is also inspired by the favorite colours of these queens who were the brides of the Sardar Singh family. Enhance your taste buds with the delicacies of Mewar at the rooftop restaurants along with traditional Indian and Continental cuisine.
Taj Lake Palace
Taj Lake Palace was built in 1746 by Maharana Jagat Singh II, successor of the Mewar Dynasty. History has it that when the young Prince was caught frolicking with ladies at moonlight picnics, he built his own pleasure palace on the Lake Pichola and named it Jag Niwas. This later came to be known as the Taj Lake Palace of Udaipur. It was in 1983, that this palace became world renowned after getting featured in the James Bond movie ‘Octupussy’.
Things to do – Enjoy the breathtaking views of City Palace, Aravalli Hills, Machla Magra Hills and Jag Mandir from any of the 66 luxury rooms or 17 grand suites. Taste the authentic Rajasthani cuisine at the Neel Kamal, European delicacies at the Bhairo and indulge in signature cocktails and premium international spirits at the Amrit Sagar bar. Pamper yourself at the Jiva Spa and enjoy the long-lived tradition of grand soirees and formal levees.
Ranvas Boutique Hotel
Ranvas Boutique Hotel has undergone many historic transitions. Originally built in the 4th century as Ahhichatragarh fort by the Nagvanshi clan, it was later rebuilt in the 12th century by the Ghaznis. After many ownerships, the final structure became a promising example of Rajput-Mughal architecture. In the 18th century, the fort served as home for several queens of Maharaja Bakhi Singh of Jodhpur, and by the advent of modern times, the fort was finally converted into a heritage hotel named Ranvas, meaning abode of the queens.
Things to do – Enjoy the royal treatment by staying in any of the 27 luxury rooms which are actually spaced out amongst 10 individual havelis with private courtyards and guest rooms. The personal collections of the maharajas are on display in these rooms and can give one deep insight into the yesteryear. Cherish the beauty of nature as you spot peacocks casually wandering in the premises. Private dining can be arranged at the courtyards where one can enjoy traditional Rajasthani delicacies along with the special culinary specialties straight from the queen’s kitchen.
Heritage Style Property Recommended by Far Horizon
Dera Dune Retreat
Dera Dune Retreat is located between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in middle of the Thar Desert on a 100-foot high sand dune. It houses 18 lavish cottages decorated in traditional Rajasthani style and a grand swimming pool to beat the desert heat. Enjoy the beauty of nature and gorgeous sunsets during your stay here.
If you are planning to try all or some of these locations, let us help you plan a memorable holiday. Contact us and we will be happy to get your journey started on the right foot.