Royal Splendour at the Lallgarh Palace-Heritage Hotel in Bikaner

Written by Arati Thapa 17 Apr 2017
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The first thing that strikes you about Bikaner is its railway station, small, quaint and pretty clean as compared to most other railway stations in India. Its architecture and dimensions give you the feel of the place that you are about to visit. I spend a weekend in Bikaner at the beautiful Lallgarh Palace-Heritage Hotel at the invitation of its owner - the very elegant Princess Rajyashree Kumari. Bikaner still needs to find its place in the tourist map of India but hey, make a visit there to see beautiful ladies dressed up almost like a bride and walking about nonchalantly with mathapattis, leheriya lehengas and dupattas that will remind you how vibrant our culture is. Since the place is relatively untouched by tourism you won't see the hustle and bustle of bazaars that reek with displays of wares displayed to attract tourists, whose genuiness may be a big question.

Princess Rajyashree Kumari, don't you love her pink leheriya sari ?

I could make my own itinerary, the way I wanted I was informed at the palace. That made me so happy, I definitely do not like to be bound by scheduled itineraries. Help was at hand. I was given a butler who gave me the dope on where all I could go. A driver and a Duster was placed at my service, anytime of the day and night. Wowiee!! what more could I want except maybe the services of a masseur at the spa. I should have asked for more, all they asked when I expressed the desire was - what time? There, that was sorted!

I wanted to wander around the fabulous royal luxury spread around me. Look at every magnificent corridor, touch the walls that stood out for its red coloured stone slabs, peer into every antiques and sepia photographs of the royals displayed, taste every food that the restaurant served and above all take a dip into their beautiful indoor swimming pool. The Lallgarh Palace was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner over a century ago deep in the heart of the Thar desert where it stands even now with the splendor of the royal age. By the way there were at least two beautiful couples doing a pre-wedding shoot during my stay and were having a whale of a time choosing the best from the best location.

With 59 rooms, most of them large enough to accommodate extra beds, the Palace Hotel is perfect if you are looking to do a small wedding in an exotic destination, filled with the royal glam and charm. The hotel provides you amazing Rajasthani and Indian cuisine. Troop down to the Junagarh Fort, which again was quiet and enjoyable without pesky shopkeepers loitering around you. Here you will get to see a lot of history of the Bikaner royals. I particularly liked the section where the war weapons are displayed. There's a sword which is almost 30 kilos in weight, imagine the royal who fought with it! There's the Karni Mata Mandir to visit and play the tourist with a ride on the Tonga which takes you for a sight-seeing around the town. Also visit the Cenotaphs or the Chatris as it is known locally.

There, now is the perfect time to get into that spa coz now you are finished with the sight-seeing, well almost.

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