Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur
Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur epitomizes romance. Legend has it that Maharana Jagat Singh II of Udaipur, when caught cavorting at moonlight picnics with ladies of the ‘zenana,’ built his own pleasure palace at Lake Pichola, naming it Jag Niawas. Taj Lake Palace has made its appearance in many movies and TV serials, the most famous ones being Octopussy and The Jewel in The Crown. The tradition of grand soirees and formal levees are still hosted by the royal family of Udaipur.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur built between 1928 and 1943, displays the best traditions of Rajasthan’s heritage, besides being its “modern symbol.” Having served as the home of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family, it prides itself on being the world’s sixth largest private residence. This fairy-tale palace also shares a common feature with the Taj Mahal at Agra in the form of palm court marble used in its construction. This colossal palace has also been the recipient of several awards and became one of the top heritage hotels in Rajasthan. The “Historical Suites” in this hotel are so named because they once served as the residences of visiting royalty.
Kasmanda Palace, Mussoorie
WH Kasmanda Palace, Mussoorie has a very fascinating history attached to it. Built in 1836 by Captain Rennie Tailour of the Bengal Engineers, it’s one of the oldest buildings in the hill station of Mussoorie. This glittering mansion built in Anglo-French style, first served as a sanatorium for the British armed forces, and then a school, before being transformed into the summer retreat of the Kasmanda Royal Family. Its stateliness is embellished by the spectacular setting it finds itself in. Situated 200m uphill from the Mall, it provides panoramic views of both the towns of Mussoorie, as well as the Doon valley.
Cabana Dempo, Goa
Run by the Neemrana Hotels, Cabana Dempo – a charming Noble Home, is located amid perfect tranquility, with the Zuari River running in front of it. Owned by the Dempo Family, one of the oldest in Goa, this elegant home provides a perfect combination of luxury amid tranquility. The Dempo Family was engaged in coconut trade in the 16th and 19th century, before entering the business of Cargo Sail Ships. All the rooms in this Noble Home have been named after the large ships owned by the family. The three rooms are Darya Daulat, Amizad, and Pongai.
Maison Perumal, Pondicherry
Maison Perumal displays a wonderful combination of old-world Tamil and French architectural styles. Verandahs and sit-out areas display the Tamil Heritage, while arched windows and colonnades are reminiscences of French colonial ancestry. All the materials used in its architecture are local. The cool Cuduppah stone underfoot and teak furniture lend it a sense of elegance and richness. The only symbol of modernity exists in the form of the air-conditioner.
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel, Goa
Ever fancied staying in a fort? That is exactly what Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel offers. Having served as an armed fortress that once belonged to the Portuguese, the ramparts of this fort now provide kaleidoscopic views of the Arabian Sea and the estuary of the Tiracol River. Located in the northern most tip of Goa, it gives the appearance of being timeless. Upon entering its courtyard, a visitor is left awestruck at a splendid 17th century church standing right at the middle. One can almost feel history come alive at this fort. However, what endears it most to its visitors is the privilege of complete isolation in a former defense fort.
Nilambag Palace Hotel, Gujarat
Nilambag Palace Hotel, in Bhavnagar, Gujarat ranks high in terms of popularity with visitors and guests. This can be attributed to its outstanding hospitality service. Built in 1859 by the German architect, Mr. Simsom, for Sir Takhat Singh, it once hosted the ruling Gohil dynasty of Bhavnagar. The Gohils’ old family title of Rawal can be traced back to their historic battle with Alauddin Khilji in Chittor. A stay at this house acquaints its guests with a taste of royalty and modern luxuries.
Heritage Khirasara Palace, Gujarat
Heritage Khirasara Palace, situated 14km from the bustling city of Rajkot, despite facing various challenging episodes of history, stands proudly in all its resplendent glory today. This magnificent palace, draped in opulence, showcases the rich heritage and culture of the glorious past of Kathiawar. History has it that this imposing structure was constructed by Thakore Ranmalji, the mighty descent of Thakore Bhimaji, during the Ghori Empire. It’s said that in spite of sustained efforts by Thakore Bhimaji to restore the Khirasara Castle with 350 masons, the endeavor failed each time. However, after visiting ‘Nale-Sat-Pir’, a Sufi fakir from Sindh, who instructed him to build a castle to the north, this palace came into being. Even today, one can find the tombs of the Pir and his ascendants present in its abode.
Chettinadu Mansion, Tamil Nadu
Chettinadu Mansion, existing since 1902, and sprawling over an area of 80,000sq. ft., is ranked the largest of the 2000 mansions spread across 72 villages and 2 towns in Chettinad. This glorious mansion is located in Kandukathan in Tamil Nadu – declared as a Heritage Village by the Government of India. The heritage of this mansion is carefully safeguarded and just 12 rooms are open to public display. One of the major attractions of this resort is that provides visitors a glimpse of life in the bygone era. In fact, one can hear fascinating tales about its history and heritage from its owners themselves, who reside in this mansion.
Sheesh Mahal, Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Sheesh Mahal, located in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, reflects the medieval heritage of India. Fascinating old world charm exists beside contemporary facilities and flawless Indian hospitality. The strong imprint of medieval India architecture here is hard to miss. It once served as the residence of Udit Singh, Maharaja of Orchha. The rooms here are adorned with marvelous paintings, precious furniture and beautifully reflect the charm of the bygone age.
WelcomHeritage Noor us Sabah Palace, Madhya Pradesh
WelcomHeritage Noor-Us-Sabah Palace which means, “the light of dawn,” holds the distinction of being one of the finest residential palaces of Bhopal. Constructed in the 1920’s by H.H. Nawab Hamid Ullah Khan, for his eldest daughter Begum Abida Sultan, this perfectly white palatial building testifies to the prevailing regality and grandeur of a bygone era. Proudly seated atop a hill, it offers some splendid views of the beautiful and expansive Bhopal Lake and the Vindhya Hills. However, though immersed in history and royalty, it is equipped with all kinds of modern amenities to cater to the needs of guests. The palace itself is perfectly positioned for exploring the streets of Bhopal, even while being away from the commotion of city life.
Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad perched at 2000ft above the city, was built in 1894. One of the best heritage hotels of India, it once served as the former palace of the Nizam, rumored to be the richest person in the world at one time. Its corridors, stately rooms and lawns reflect the once existing pristine glory. Through the Grand Staircase, one can walk the “walk of kings” right from the Nizams, European royalty, elegant Begums and honorary Heads of State. The 60 rooms and suites here have were refurbished by Her Highness Princess Esra, the Nizam’s Turkish wife. Another captivating sight to behold is the marble fountain located in the middle of the palace, the Jade Terrace, where the Nizam drank tea and the 101-seater dining hall bedecked with Belgian chandeliers.
“If Simla is the queen of the hills, then Chapslee is its crown,” so said Lady Penelope Betjeman, daughter of Field Marshall Chetwode, the former Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army. Chapslee once served as the summer residence of the late Hon’ble Raja Charanjit Singh of Kapurthala. His grandson, Kanwar Ratanjit Singh, now runs it as a popular hotel. Its exteriors and interiors create a nostalgic feeling for the era gone by. Staying at Chapslee is like taking a step back in time. From the allure of line worn objects handed down through generations to the opulence of the faded velvet and antiquities – everything here brings back the charm of its history.
Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, Mysore
Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, a glistening white palace, lies on a low hill, just outside the royal city of Mysore. Its architecture is distinguished by its Italianate palazzo – double-columned and domed, set against the background of perfect manicured gardens. The Maharaja of Mysore built this fabulous palace to greet his most important guest – the Viceroy of India. Seated on a ridge, it offers panoramic views of the curving valley below, at the foot of the Chamundi Hill. The building is a two-story composition of two iconic columns, consisting of a projecting porch on the ground floor, spherical domes with lanterns and the central dome – which provides an overall elevation to the building.
Netuk House, Gangtok
Netuk House, Gangtok shares an interesting history. Perched on an elevated part of Tibet Road, it’s a fascinating piece of architecture. Built in the 1950’s, the house belonged to Gellong Netuk Lama, an executive counselor to the then Chogyal (Monarch). It traces its origins to the period when it served as a transit point for silk traders involved in the historic Silk Route Trade. This place displays the best traditions of Tibetan hospitality and culture. However, its most attractive feature is its close proximity to the marketplace, which allows visitors a quick stroll to the market, even while being away from all the ensuing noise and commotion.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in