A stay at these palaces beck­ons you to dive back into the past and get a taste of what life must have been like in In­dia’s golden era

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SIONS: SHIVANGI ASTHANA

Live life king size at In­dia’s best royal palaces


Bal Sa­mand is a world away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of mod­ern life. The lake was engi­neered in the 12th cen­tury, but the ex­quis­ite red sand­stone palace came later, built by Ma­haraja Jaswant Singh I of Jodh­pur in the 17th cen­tury, at the very zenith of Rathore rule un­der the um­brella of the Mughal em­pire. Set in a pri­vate es­tate of over 60 acres, with sprawl­ing or­chards of lime and pome­gran­ate, land­scaped gar­dens are criss-crossed by el­e­gant wa­ter­ways and an aque­duct. The palace, with its lovely prom­e­nade on the lake, was al­ways more than just a res­i­dence - it’s a plea­sure palace in the finest Mughal tra­di­tion. In more re­cent times a tra­di­tion has de­vel­oped with the royal fam­ily cel­e­brat­ing the first rains at Bal Sa­mand. This cus­tom has led to the palace be­ing re­ferred to as the Mon­soon Palace. But to­day, af­ter the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of an am­bi­tious restora­tion and mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gram Bal Sa­mand is a palace for all sea­sons and a world class her­itage ho­tel with mod­ern ameni­ties.

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