“A historic town-two distinctive palaces, a unique Art Deco palace to stay in and a huge 14th century painted palace to explore.”

Accomodation

Where You Stay

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Bhanwar Vilas Palace is a series of delightful discoveries-from the first awe-inspiring glimpse of its magnificent façade standing out against the ancient town of Karauli, to an exploration of its edgy decor aesthetic-an eclectic melding of Oriental and Art Deco forms. Built in 1938 it is the family home of Maharaja Krishna Chandra Pal, who is the 181st in an illustrious line tracing itself back to Lord Krishna and is the head of the Yaduvanshi Rajputs.

Bhanwar Vilas is unique in that none of the rooms are newly constructed, they are all part of the original edifice and with antique furniture in each room to present an authentic, and not merely simulated, heritage experience.

The family undertook the conversion of Bhanwar Vilas into a heritage hotel in 1992 restoring and decorating its period interiors, Laliqueand Bauhaus lights, exquisite European tapestries, portraits and furniture in a completely authentic manner while modernising its luxuries.

The palace is a treasure trove of antiques and paintings-almost a living museum! Besides this, the 45 acre grounds hold sprawling fields, organic vegetable gardens, stables with rare palomino Marwari horses that are available for riding, an organic dairy, and garages with their display of vintage cars and ancient palanquins and howdahs which ensure that every inch of the estate feels like a momentous discovery. After all, the chief pleasure of a hidden gem is to find your own happy space within!

Kick back and relax with a soothing massage after a day of sightseeing or dress in traditional regalia for a dinner under the stars. We also offer cooking demonstrations in case you want to replicate some flavourful traditional dishes back home! 

As the historic heads of the ancient area of Brajbhoomi, a stay with the family offers not simply a slice of history but a composite understanding of the unique culture of this area. Join us on an extravagant spiritual and cultural voyage, amidst gracious, regal hospitality.

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Your Destination

History has it that Raja ArjunDeoji, the head of the Yaduvanshi Rajputswas in search of a strategic and safe capital when he crossed the hills around the Chambal while hunting and came to the spot that came be called Karauli, a vista of verdant land nestled among jagged hills and ravines, with the Bhadrawati river meandering through it. Legend, meanwhile tells us that he saw a sheep and a tiger drinking water, in peaceful proximity on the banks of the river Bhadrawati. He built the orginal stone ramparts of the Karauli City Palace at that very point in 1348. Karauli was to go onto become a significant military kingdom at the border of Rajputana, and a Princely State during the Raj, to now when its glorious past sits at ease with its quaint present-the quintessence of the charm of small town India.

Sixteen generations and 668 years later, the 14th century city palace, locally known as Rawal stands in the middle of the ancient walled city with its winding lanes and handicraft shops. The Palace itself is an overwhelming experience, from the first sight of its towering stone gate adorned with fine Krishna paintings. This mammoth symbol of architectural perfection has remarkably fine miniature paintings in almost every one of its many rooms, beautiful carved stone friezes and intricate stone lattices. These have been carefully restored by the royal family .The palace also houses the famous Madan Mohanji Temple – a revered pilgrimage site. The evening aarti at the temple is unforgettable, with its elaborate rituals and depth of spiritual feeling. The Palace is a short walk from Bhanwar Vilas, or a camel cart ride, depending upon how adventurous you feel!

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What Else To Do

The destinations around the palace will appeal to every age and interest; from the City Palace and the ancient forts of Bhadarpur, Devgir and Utgir for the history and art buffs, to the Kailadevi Temple for the spiritually inclined and the Kailadevi Sanctuary for nature lovers.

The ancient Kailadevi Temple, 21 km from Bhanwar Vilas is among the most revered temples in North India drawing almost six million pilgrims annually, especially during the vivid, exuberant Chaitra and Navratramelas.

We also offer languid boat rides and lunches at a lake behind a charming Colonial near bungalow near the temple.

The Kailadevi sanctuary is in the buffer zone of the Ranthambore National Park and is home to an abundance of species including sloth bears, striped hyena , Indian porcupine and many varieties of deer such as the nilgai, sambhar and cheetal.

The undulating landscape is characterised by spectacular river gorges and ravines known as khos. Jeep safaris from Bhanwar Vilas let you experience this natural loveliness at close quarters. The safari also includes a visit to small settlements and villages on the fringes of the sanctuary which give a fascinating insight into a way of life that has completely vanished in bigger towns.

Excursions to the tranquil Mamchaari Lake, 20 minutes from Bhanwar Vilas can also be arranged to see migratory birds.

Why It’s A Great Weekend Trip

At a five and a half hour drive from Delhi you, get to experience both an idyllic country estate and the distinctive culture of Brajbhoomi which is quite distinct from the culture of the rest of Rajasthan. Alternatively, you can board the Jan Shatabdi express from Nizamuddin to Hindaun-and request a pick-up from Karauli-a 30 minute drive away.

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Cuisine

Come to Bhanwar Vilas palace to experience the exquisite alchemy of truly authentic dishes-that have evolved over centuries of refinement in palace kitchens, to their present state-the most magical combinations of pure ghee from our own dairy and aromatic spices. We take pride in constantly researching and curating the finest traditional recipes from our archives, celebrating fresh local ingredients, often picked from our own farms to bring to you a culinary experience that truly presents the region on a platter.

Highlights

  • Organic farming and dairy tours
  • Culinary workshop for clean eating
  • Sattvik meals on request
  • Visit to school for children with hearing and speech challenges
  • Organic farming and dairy tours
  • Traditional Massage is available as an add-on at the palace
  • Yoga and pranayama sessions: morning and evening
  • Meditation and ‘Dhyana’ sessions
  • Guided Visits to Madan Mohan Temple at 14th century City Palace and Kailadevi Temple
  • Access to spiritual library and discussions
  • Talks on naturopathy and traditional medicinal systems like Ayurveda
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