The charm of a royal and luxurious accommodation that also has the distinction of being steeped in history is irresistible. We had the opportunity of being invited for a staycation at the Ramgarh Heritage (off Chandigarh, bordering Panchkula and not to be confused with the dilapidated Ramgarh Fort!) recently.
As soon as you enter the hallowed gates of the 325-old enormous haveli, you are plied with soothing glasses of aam panna or neembupani laced with fresh mint.
About seven generations of Chandel Rajas have ruled from here and the last reigning king was Sardar Sahib Tikka Jagjit Singh (1954-2001). Now, his son, Sardar Sahib Jagdeep Singh has opened the doors of their luxurious house for discerning travellers, helped by his son Jaideep. The family was clear about upholding the historical charm of the palace. So, most of the furniture, artefacts and utensils from the past have been retained and used as objects d’art around the property. And artefacts – including kitchen utensils, curios in silver and brass, and even vintage clothing (achkans, pagris etc) dot various spots of the haveli. So if one is walking through the corridors, it is like walking through the annals of history. I was told that a team of skilled craftspersons from Moradabad was called to set up their karkhana for restoring the artefacts and utensils made from brass.
The allusions to the past, however, exist only in the primary structure and the tameez that one is exposed to. The hotel has every modern convenience set to international standards yet maintains its awe-inspiring heritage and historical background.
The breezy whiffs of the Ravanahatta – a type of sarangi signify a past that exists in complete harmony with the present. The ambience has an aura of splendour where quintessential Rajput tradition makes you feel pampered and in the midst of exotic luxury. The rangeen glass gulambars, hand-painted frescoes create a surreal mood. The Shikar Bar with its saddles mounted on a tank wheel as bar stools, deer heads from hunts and framed empty cartridges, justify the theme of this room.
The soul of Ramgarh Heritage lies in the people that run it – right from the owner, erstwhile Prince Jaideep Singh Chandel – who will show you what used to be his nursery in the haveli or the chef who will ply you with delicacies till you reach bursting point.
This is a secluded, quaint getaway akin to the luxurious holidays enjoyed by the Maharajas of yore. Try it!
For reservations: http://www.ramgarhheritage.com/
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh
PS: THN was invited by Ramgarh Heritage for a staycation experience.