Bal Samand Palace in Jodhpur, built in red sandstone, is a study of splendid Rajput architecture.

Bal Samand Palace 5From the modest entrance, it’s a surprise to walk a few metres and see a col-onnade that stretches beside some of the 300 acres of green. Twenty six former stables, now converted into comfortable room with curved ceilings and decorated in stone, wood and white plaster, are not luxe but comfortable. The only sounds come from tweeting birds and water hoses for the gardens and orchards, once considered the finest of its time.

Bal Samand Palace 4Bal Samand Palace built circa 1594, during the regime of Sawai Raja Sur Singhji, has an unique features-an ancient aqueduct system which was installed to run above the sta-bles to keep the horses cool during the hot summer months.

Behind the lemon trees, scented flora and a huge three-tired fountain is Bal Samand Palace. The majesty is immediate as are the princely comforts. A sweeping white marble double staircase leads to most of the nine rooms. Here the furniture is original. Headboards, chairs and other wood items are intricately carved.

Bal Samand Palace 2Bal Samand Palace 3The rooms are so large they not only have king size beds but chaise longues, screens for privacy, large bureaus and all the modern conveniences one would expect in a palace today. What comes to mind are gold trimmed sari-clad Ranis and impeccably and turbaned attired Rajas, leisurely strolling through these regal halls to the scented orchards. What would they think of the nine hole golf course, a putting green and the swimming pool now installed amidst 17th century pillars.

The restaurant may be large but charming and near the 13th century water reservoir. Most of the meals are off a brick buffet counter but are definitely nobleman’s cuisine.

Bal Samand Palace, Jodhpur
Tel 91 291 2572321 Fax 91 291 257 1240
Email balsamand_1@sify.com
WWW.Marudharhotels.com
By air from Delhi and Mumbai,
Rail overnight from Delhi
Things to see. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodphur’s bazaars.

 

 

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