The ancient city of Karauli, set amidst an area with a history dating back to the Mahabharata, today is one of the most special destinations in Rajasthan, with two of the most extraordinary palaces in India. Bhanwar Vilas Palace Hotel offers a vivid glimpse into the lifestyle of the Maharajas. It is the perfect and (very Insta-friendly!) retreat for the discerning traveller who likes their luxury served with a side of historical authenticity. Merely 10 minutes away, standing proud amidst the walled city, is The Karauli City Palace, the oldest of Rajasthan’s city palaces dating from 1348, is today not just one of the most magnificent palace-forts in Rajasthan, it hosts a unique museum experience.
Where you stay -
The heritage destination of Karauli stands out for being home to some of the most unique historical and cultural experiences, with one of the best heritage hotels in Rajasthan, Bhanwar Vilas Palace and the oldest city palace in Rajasthan -the Karauli City Palace located there. Moreover, for family vacations and photography, Karauli is one of the best destinations in Rajasthan’s Golden Triangle, between Agra and Jaipur.
A Colonial palace dating from 1938, Bhanwar Vilas Palace seeks to turn a heritage-hotel experience into an immersive rendezvous through history and culture with the charm of an intimate, personalized welcome.
Your hosts are the royal family of Karauli, headed by Maharaja Krishna Chandra Pal. He is the 181st of a distinguished lineage that traces descent from Lord Krishna and is the chief of the Yaduvanshi Rajputs.
Bhanwar Vilas is especially unique among Rajasthan palace hotels and heritage hotels for its emphasis on originality and authenticity—īn preserving the exquisite architecture, design and above all the lifestyle of the Golden Age of the Maharajas and bringing that essence of hospitality and luxury to the discerning 21st-century traveller who values unique royal stays with a twist.
The antique furniture—a thrillingly eclectic mix of Mughal era artefacts, Colonial furniture, Art Nouveau and Deco lamps and intricate tapestries truly make each step a step back in time to an era that valued intricacy, quality and whimsicality in its aesthetic. This authentic heritage hotel in Karauli offers a superb royal stay that encapsulates the finest experience of heritage palace hotels in Rajasthan.
Our spacious 45-acre grounds are filled with surprises and discoveries at every step. The fields, organic vegetable gardens, and organic dairy supply the hotel kitchen and epitomize the farm-to-table experience. The vintage cars and 19th-century palanquins are a must-see in this charming hotel in Karauli!
Stroll through the verdant gardens amidst the flutter of peacocks and the chirping of various birds rarely seen in urban areas, or sunbathe after a dip in the massive Art Deco pool—one of the unique features of the Bhanwar Vilas palace hotel. Built-in the 1930s and hidden away in a walled garden for privacy, it is a unique feature, something rarely seen in Rajasthan’s palace hotels.
Explore the grounds of this Rajasthan heritage hotel on one of their superbly-trained Marwari horses!
Relax with a calming massage after a day of exploring or walk into our handicraft shop and emerge dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire for an alfresco meal with the stars above. Bhanwar Vilas Palace Hotel also organizes culinary classes if you want to cook some traditional dishes when you’re home and want to feel like you’re back in a heritage hotel in Rajasthan, soaking in the very quintessence of a royal stay.
Your destination -
The annals of India’s glorious history tell us of the year 1348 when Raja Arjun Deo ji, the head of the Yaduvanshi Rajputs was crossed the hills around the Chambal while hunting and came to the spot that came be called Karauli, a green valley cradled by hills and ravines, with the Bhadrawati river meandering through it. He saw a sheep and a tiger drinking water on the river Bhadrawati. Struck by this auspicious sight signifying peace and tolerance, he decided to build his capital on this spot. He built the original stone fortress of the Karauli City Palace at that very point in 1348. Karauli was to go on to be a powerful martial kingdom at this border of Brajbhoomi and Rajputana and was a Princely State. Its glorious past, evidenced by the exquisite architecture and rolling hills, makes it the finest destination for the best heritage hotel in Rajasthan.
Seven centuries later, Karauli city palace, locally known as Rawal, stands in the middle of the ancient citadel with its winding lanes and handicraft shops. The Palace, as the oldest city palace in Rajasthan, strikes the eye immediately as you walk through each of its massive stone gates. A veritable behemoth of architectural majesty, the exquisite and detailed finesse of the miniature paintings belonging to the Karauli school of art, and the detailed stone lattices make the Karauli City Palace the highlight of any royal stay in Rajasthan.
The careful and thorough restoration and conservation work, with an emphasis on preserving the authenticity of the Palace, is also wonderful to see, as you observe a team of professional restorers clean centuries of oxidation to reveal the paintings intact underneath.
The Madan Mohan ji temple on the palace premises is a must-visit with its beautiful evening aarti, reverberating with melodious bhajans and incandescent with diyas and the devotion of pilgrims.
The City palace is one of the best destinations for palace fashion shoots, wedding and pre-wedding shoots in Rajasthan. This unique symmetry of Instagram-friendly locations, culture and the luxury of a palatial resort retreat make Bhanwar Vilas Palace one of the best and most sought after heritage palace hotels in Rajasthan.
What else to do -
The destinations around the palace hotel at Karauli are unparalleled in variety. The Karauli City Palace and the forts of Bhadarpur, Devgir and Utgir that date from the 11th century are a must-visit for connoisseurs of history and medieval art. The Kailadevi Temple, 21 km away is thronged by millions of devotees annually. It is alive with colour and devotion especially during the Chaitra fair around March. It is one of the most-popular religious and pilgrimage locations in Rajasthan. The Kailadevi Sanctuary with its impressive terrain is a haven for those who truly find peace within the cradle of nature. At only twenty minutes from this hotel in Karauli is the beautiful Maamchari Lake, perfect for picnics and watching migratory birds! Your royal stay in Rajasthan also offers you the feel of a wildlife resort! Bhanwar Vilas Palace offers a truly complete package for anyone wanting to experience something beyond a royal stay in a Rajasthan palace hotel.
When to visit
This Rajasthan palace hotel in Karauli welcomes guests year-round for royal stays, destination weddings, photoshoots and religious pilgrimages at the Kailadevi temple! The weather is especially lovely between September and April!
Why it’s a great weekend trip
This heritage palace hotel in Rajasthan is situated right along the Golden Triangle, three hours from Agra and Jaipur.
At five and a half-hour drive from Delhi you, get to experience both the royal hospitality of one of the best heritage hotels in Rajasthan and the distinctive culture of Brajbhoomi. Visit Bhanwar Vilas Palace for the ultimate heritage vacation experience in Rajasthan.