Winter is soon approaching, and as Rajasthan welcomes travellers to its colourful lanes, we give you a list of 8 Heritage Havelis where you can soak up local history and culture in plenty. The best part? Most of these are run by descendants and relatives of royal families themselves.
Located in the heart of the walled pink city of Jaipur, this heritage Haveli gives you a glimpse and feel of the hustle-bustle of the ancient city. It was built in the mid-19th century by Thakur Sobhag Singh. His son, Thakur Hari Singh was the Commander in Chief and Chief of Police in Jaipur during the pre-independence era. Now, his only surviving grandson among six brothers, and his wife, run a portion of the Heritage Haveli as a small boutique homestay.
There are a number of tastefully decorated rooms you can choose from. We recommend the Heritage Suite which was once the bedroom of the Thakurani Saheba (senior lady of the family) and therefore has a unique character to it. The terrace offers a view of the famous Nahargarh Fort which is perched on a hilltop overlooking the Haveli.
Located in the Lake City of Udaipur, this century-old Haveli lives up to the city’s image of elegance and romance like no other place does. The Haveli is the retirement home of the descendants of Viramdevji, the son of the founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh.
The host, Mrs. Kumari’s love for décor and hospitality led her to open the doors of the Haveli to guests and convert it into a homestay. The suites are spacious and have all been personally designed and decorated by her using antique furniture and traditional artefacts. There’s a lavish living room and dining hall, a lush lawn, and each room comes with either a Jharoka or seating by the bay window that lets in ample sunlight.
Built in 1920 by Maharaj Ratan Singhji of Raoti, a royal from Jodhpur and one of the finest horsemen and polo players of his time, this heritage Haveli is a breath of fresh air in the city of Jodhpur. The mansion, reminiscent of the romance of the bygone era, has opened its doors to guests but continues to be the residence of the great grandson of Maharaj Ratan Singhji.
With a well-appointed staff to take care of your needs, you can relax in the courtyard or the large garden, savour local delicacies in the dining hall, take a dip in the swimming pool, and enjoy the décor of the bedrooms which have period furniture, hand block prints and family photographs adding to their charm.
This 300-year-old Haveli, located in the old city of Jodhpur, is only a 5 minute walk away from Mehrangarh Fort. The then Maharaja of Jodhpur, Hannvan Singh, gifted the Haveli to the great grandfather of our host, Mr. Mahendra, who was a pujari.
The 5 rooms, with white washed walls and decorated in bright colours and traditional artefacts, make for a great stay option to experience the local culture and hospitality of Jodhpur. The host, an adventure and travel lover himself, will also be happy to take you trekking to the Aravali Mountains or for overnight camping to the Thar Deserts for an additional cost. If you want to learn how to whip up a few traditional Rajasthani dishes while there, you can opt for the in-house cooking class organised by Mr. Mahendra’s wife.
As you enter the huge gates of the Haveli, you see a stark change from the dusty lanes of Pushkar outside. A disorderly Haveli was restored by the host, Mr. Anoop, and converted into this beautiful Bed & Breakfast. The large fountain in the courtyard, the colourful cushions on the sofa sets surrounding it and the green vines running across the length of the four-storeyed building – all add to the dreamy, elegant look of the place.
There are a number of rooms to choose from, each one with white-washed walls, pastel-coloured décor and windows letting in plenty of sunlight. There is a roof-top restaurant, with a view of the mountains, which serves some delicious vegetarian food.
This heritage property, dating back to 1934, is a part of the 140 acre estate of the former ruling family of Chomu. It was built by Thakur Devi Singh ji, the ruler of Chomu, for his sixth son, Major General K Bhagwati Singh.
The walls of the Haveli showcase not just family history but also the passions of the host family – wildlife, navy and travel. Other than the spacious and elegant rooms, there is a courtyard, a large open terrace, a dining hall serving home cooked local delicacies and a swimming pool as well. You wouldn’t believe you’re in a city when you hear the calls of peacocks, partridges, cuckoos and lapwings from your room here.
This 80-year-old Haveli is the home of Thakur Ratan Singh who’s related to the Maharaja of Jodhpur through his aunt. Set around a well-maintained garden, the property is spacious and offers ample privacy to guests.
The rooms come with bay windows, private sit outs and balconies. There is a swimming pool that you can plunge into, a lounge area where you can read books and a great restaurant, with an option of outdoor seating, which serves delicious home cooked food as per your request. The hosts can recommend some great local things to see and do both in and around Jodhpur.
This Haveli, located in the bylanes of the Old City of Jodhpur, was gifted to the family of the host, Deepak, by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Accessible by a short walk through the blue houses, temples and markets, the Haveli allows you a peep into the life of the locals who’ve been living in this old part of the city for generations now.
The rooms, decorated with traditional and colourful artefacts, paintings and antiques, perfectly reflect the old-world charm and vibrancy of Jodhpur. The roof-top restaurant serves some delicious home cooked meals and offers a captivating view of the Mehrangarh fort.
Cover Photo Credits: www.allwallpaper.in
Note: All the above photographs were taken by Sarita Santoshini during her trip to Rajasthan for SaffronStays.
About the Author: Born and raised in Assam, Sarita Santoshini has been travelling around India and penning down her experiences over the past year. She currently works as the Content Editor for SaffronStays. You can read more of her travelogues on her blog-http://crumbsfromyourtale.wordpress.com.