Prince Vivasvat Pal of Karauli followed by one of his royal guards, at Rawal Palace.

Jaipur is a setting worthy of starring in one of those idyllic stories that start with “once upon a time”. The bubblegum color of the iconic Hawa Mahal , the reflection in the water of the Jal Mahal every sunset or the architectural perfection of the nearby Chand Baori, a cistern famous for its more than a thousand steps, are some of the reasons.

But the one that was baptized as “the pink city” of India is not the only one that aspires to be the most beautiful in the kingdom. The state of Rajasthan hides another place that, despite being a rural area, can well boast of palatial beauty: Karauli.

In the heart of the city we come across a yellowish facade that stands out from the rest, and it is no coincidence that it is the home of Maharaja Krishna Chandra Pal – number 181 in the line of succession – and his family, descendants of the iadus, the clan to which the god Krishna belongedKarauli Palace from a bird’s eye view.

Throughout its short history, the Bhanwar Vilas Palace, dating from 1938, suffered looting, leaving it totally desolate. When contemplating her state, the Maharani Rohini Kumari, the first lady of the family to decisively enter the public sphere as a politician, felt the irrepressible desire to recover this patrimonial jewel.

This is how, in 1992, it began its reconstruction and conversion into a majestic hotel , whose interior design, a fusion of oriental and art deco forms, still preserves the rooms and the essence of that time.Corridor in Bhanwar Vilas, hotel and residence of the royal family of Karauli.

We look out the window and treat our retinas to an infinite green landscape. The immense land surrounding the property features farm fields, stables with beautiful Marwari horses , an organic dairy, and garages where antique howdahs , palanquins, and coaches are on display.

But what really made us fall in love with this dream accommodation was the warmth of the royal family , who shared with us pleasant dinners under the stars and showed us every corner of the most spectacular work in these lands: the City Palace. A pleasant walk separates Bhanwar Vilas from the palace, popularly known as Rawal, whose walls were built in the mid-14th century.The Maharajah and his son in one of the Rawal rooms with members of the royal guard.

Once there, its imposing stone door, adorned with delicate paintings of Krishna , invites us to lose ourselves in an authentic ode to art. From the colorful canvases that decorate the rooms to the carved stone friezes, every detail deserves our attention.

Walking through the grounds, we find a revered place of pilgrimage: the Madan Mohanji temple. Although if there is a sanctuary in Karauli to be visited, it is the Kaila Devi temple -located 21 kilometers from Bhanwar Vilas-, which attracts almost six million devotees and onlookers a year, according to Vivasvat Pal, son of the Maharaja.

Our royal host tells us that he has always had a great interest in the art and culture of his country, which is not surprising, since his family has long been a patron of one of the most important schools of miniature painting. from India. One of the halls of the Karauli Palace.

After studying at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London, he was in charge of the restoration of the Bhanwar Vilas hotel, which he runs with his wife Anshika Kumari.

Today, Vivasvat Pal continues to bring her own creations to life, as well as training artists to restore the 14th-century murals found in Rawal. And so, brushstroke by brushstroke, detail by detail, it is how they manage to captivate each visitor with the charm of Karauli.

Karauli is located in Rajasthan , just over six hours’ drive from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi Airport and three and a half hours from Jaipur. From Spain, the connection with this airport is the most recommended, since Air India operates direct flights from Madrid and Emirates , with a stopover in Dubai, from different cities in our country.

WHERE TO SLEEP

Bhanwar Vilas Palace (Baghi Khana, Karauli) : romantic and idyllic. This is how this palace is that the royal family of Karauli has turned into a hotel with a swimming pool where they will make you feel like part of the family.Optical illusion in the stepped wells of Panna Meena ka Kund, inside Amber Fort.

Ramathra Fort (Sapotra, Karauli) : In the heart of a fortification that crowns a small hill is this accommodation with a spa, jacuzzi with views and a charming interior garden, perfect for a cocktail at sunset.

Jai Mahal Palace (Jacob Road, Civil Lines, Jaipur) : Built in 1745, this palatial hotel, which stands in the middle of impressive Mughal gardens, has 94 rooms, six suites, spa, fitness center, three restaurants, a bar and a pastry shop.

Narain Niwas Palace (Kanota Bagh Narayan Singh Road, Jaipur) : A stately accommodation that captivates its guests with its traditional decoration. In the garden, the hypnotic and bluish Bar Palladio –Designed by the Dutch Marie-Anne Oudejans– and her Italian menu will take care of the rest.The Jal Mahal Palace, on the Man Sagar Lake, 8 kilometers north of Jaipur.

WHERE TO EAT

Caffé Palladio (100, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Santha Bagh, Jaipur) : A five-minute walk from Bar Palladio, you will find another restaurant where you can succumb to the charm of Sicilian cuisine . It has a unique atmosphere and a terrace that you won’t want to get up from.

Previous articleThe world from the window of a zeppelin
Next articleTop tips for traveling to Amsterdam