Even though Rajasthan is my maternal home (Jodhpur, to be accurate), I never really explored much of this royal state of India. With 12 kingdoms in the state, Rajasthan is a jewel with amazing architectural delights and the perfect blend of good food, history and royal charm.
So when I was invited to visit Bikaner with Narendra Bhawan, it was a big – Hell yeah from my end.
This lovely design boutique hotel is a tribute to the last Maharaja of Bikaner – Narendra Singhji and every element proudly highlights the grandeur and opulence of the bygone era.
I was excited to experience the royal life like a Maharani during my three days at this mansion. What I experienced here, however, has surpassed my wildest expectations.
Yes, my experience at the incredible Narendra Bhawan Bikaner was simply THAT good.
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Rooms and decor at Narendra Bhawan
Tasteful. Eclectic. Modern.
That’s how I would describe the plush interiors, design, architecture as well as the rooms at Narendra Bhawan Bikaner.
Each and every corner of this palace hotel has an element of charm to it. The carefully selected paintings, artifacts from Maharaja era, tiles, crafts and the various quirks, give this design boutique hotel an immediate warmth and appeal.
The rooms were spacious, modern and comfortable. They oozed of warmth and royal charm.
The corridors were an absolute delight to walk around and take pictures 🙂
The swimming pool was an excellent place to lounge, enjoy sun-downers or take a midnight dip.
Experiential Dining at the chic Narendra Bhawan
Experiential travel is all the rage lately.. no one likes the mundane and sundry. We all seek something unique as we immerse in the land’s culture, cuisine and history.
Narendra Bhawan provides the perfect solution to your food meditation and experiential dining needs. Plus the food quality itself is just top notch, they leave no stones unturned when they promise their guests a “royal experience”.
Here’s what we did and how we were swooned by these splendid experiences –
Imagine a food menu which has been painstakingly carved out to match the theme to some of the best literary spectacles ever written. A seven course meal with each course representing a book is something which was quite unique.
Excerpts from the related books were paraphrased and recited beautifully by Siddharth, VP of Narendra Bhawan, prior to each course. This added to the charm of this experience immensely.
Delectable and delicious food combined with vintage wines had a nice little buzz in my head. From Moby Dick to The Bell Jar ….it was a lunch worth remembering.
Another exceptional evening when everyone was asked to dress in white. Nothing else was reveled about the location or experience.
Excited, we got into our luxury chauffeur driven vehicles into the deserts of Bikaner. After around an hour the vehicles detoured and we were suddenly off-roading into a vast open space.
What awaited us was simply breathtaking.
Imagine a lake lit by lamps along the bank, beautiful white cabanas and a flute playing in the distance. Simply awe-inspiring, to say the least.
A wonderful sunset session comprising of refreshing cocktails and a gorgeous dinner in the middle of nowhere by a lantern lit lake – Now that’s what I call an “experience”.
With the splendid white and silver theme, it felt like a true-blue royal outing with the ability to transport anybody into the early 20th century.
Want to enjoy flavors from the King’s platter? Embedded deep in the journals of history are these culinary delights which Narendra Bhawan brings to life in this epic curated museum themed luncheon at the lavish Laxmi Niwas Palace.
Have you ever tried dining in the dark with blindfolds on? Well, this was perhaps my favorite experience at the palace hotel.
As they say, if you remove one sense, your other senses are automatically heightened. This is absolutely correct. Our taste buds were extremely accurate and during our 7 course scrumptious meal, we (as a group) were able to detect every delicate flavor.
I have also never enjoyed a meal more – Makes me wonder why we don’t do it everyday.
Curated and Customized tours of Bikaner
Prior to this trip, I had no idea what I was missing. Now, I know Bikaner has so much to offer from royal forts, palaces, museums, gardens, lakes and those kick-ass Instagram-worthy spots.
At Narendra Bhawan, you can experience Bikaner with their helpful, amicable staff and be treated like royalty even on the crowded streets of Bikaner. Their well trained chauffeurs would have your cold drinks, wet towels and face mist ready as you return from a hot day in the city.
We enjoyed several tours and experiences in Bikaner, all thanks to Narendra Bhawan and here are few highlights and things to expect when you visit this royal town –
Walk around the merchant streets and gawk at the pretty Haveli’s of Bikaner – that’s pretty much what this tour is all about. It can last anywhere from 1-3 hours (Depends on you) as you take pictures and even get to enter a 300 old haveli. Yes, this means you can see how it was built and how the merchants lived a good three centuries ago – This can be quite mind-boggling. Steep narrow staircases and a good dose of British and Dutch architecture make these streets and Haveli’s a major attraction.
Junagarh fort was surely a big surprise for me. As a person who thrives in nature and great outdoors, I am not big on history or architecture (Although curious about pretty much everything).
My plan was to stick around for 10-20 mins for some pictures and quickly get away from the scorching heat. As soon as I entered and the guide started telling us the tales of the Kings, I was engrossed in the story and vast history of this fort… I didn’t even realize how quickly 2 hours flew by as we explored each and every nook and corner of this huge fort. Still, I feel we didn’t even cover 50% of the total area (or less?). Maybe spending an entire day here is advisable especially if you are a history buff – as even I was enthralled by the royal lifestyle and stories.
Curious about the rat temple, Laxmi niwas or Bikaji ki tekri? Want to check out the cenotaphs or all forts of this princely state? Well then, you are in luck. No matter how you wish to experience Bikaner, Narendra Bhawan can curate and customize your tours to the T.
Narendra Bhawan – Booking Information
Address: Samvit Shikshan Sansthan, Gandhi Colony, Samta Nagar, Bikaner, Rajasthan 334001
Phone: 0151 515 1500
Website – NarendraBhawan.com
Click here to check availability and book now. They often have super deals going on, so you don’t have to break the bank to indulge in luxury.
For the last push – Read what others are saying about this royal experience on TripAdvisor.
So ever felt like royalty? Share your top palace experience below.
Special thanks to Siddharth, Karan and Pavni for making out stay exceptional.
Disclaimer – I was a guest of Narendra Bhawan Bikaner for these dreamy three days. However, my opinion is totally unbiased; The cocktails, shots and crisp wine had absolutely nothing to do with this glorified review *hic*.