One of Rajasthan's grandest palaces

Laxmi Niwas Palace

Laxmi Niwas Palace

Bikaner
, Rajasthan
, India

Laxmi Niwas Palace was commissioned by HH Sir Ganga Singh in 1904, to provide employment to the townspeople and to create a stately residence worthy of the royal house of Bikaner. His Highness was a man of impeccable taste and supervised the artists, masons and builders personally. Many of the friezes on the palace’s walls, with their perfect symmetry, ornate filigree work and latticed screens may be attributed to his artistic vision and temperament. He was also a famous host and his guests, (nearly always royals or dignitaries with packed agendas) tended to overstay, sometimes for months longer than they had originally intended. We have to say, it is hard to blame anyone for not wanting to leave.

Our Rating: Luxury
Property Type: Heritage

Accommodation

In replicating the grandeur of the maharajas, they’ve relied on photographs from 1937, the time of King George’s visit and the Second Durbar, which was when the Laxmi Niwas Palace was a study in fin de seicle opulence. From authentic chintz to original drapery, objet’d art to Empire furniture, hand-painted walls and gilt-embossed gold paneling, every detail from that halcyon era has been lovingly preserved, within the palatial rooms. However, in none of them have the need for modern conveniences been compromised.

Dining

Go back to a time when lunch was called luncheon. Look up to usta art on old Burma teak-paneled roof. On the walls, a continuous frieze, in tempera, of shikar scenes. Alongside, a hand-painted panel of stone, the figures as fresh as the day they were laid on. This is not the dining chamber of commoners. Swarna Mahal serves up a dauntingly elaborate traditional Rajasthani thali and other regional cuisine with élan. Lal Maas, or mutton cooked in gulmohar flowers, is a huge draw. Our chef is partial to Thai, Indian and many Continental staples.

Experiences

Evening performances by fire dancers, traditional singers, kalbelian performers, jugglers and acrobats. They are not averse to teaching you a line, or a step or two, if you’re willing to hum and dance along.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)