Jan 312018

My Royal Experience At Narendra Bhawan Bikaner Rajasthan

Narendra Bhawan review

Are you ready for THE Narendra Bhawan Experience with me?

I am not an early riser, so I checked with my hosts at Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

So what time is the breakfast tomorrow?”

He just smiled said

Whenever you want to have it”

Puzzled, I looked at him and said, ” But there must be some breakfast time you follow?

His smile got a bit wider and he said

Yes, the time for Breakfast here at Narendra Bhawan is when the Guest wants to have the breakfast”

That dear reader is the essence of my personal luxurious experience as a guest of Narendra Bhawan, in Bikaner Rajasthan.

And not just mine, this is the personalized experience that every single guest at Narendra Bhawan gets. As per Siddhartha, the VP at Narendra Bhawan, the philosophy is very simple, each and every guest is considered a Royal Guest, and a Royalty decides their own schedule.

True to the philosophy the folks at Narendra Bhawan  make sure that you get a personalized luxury experience where you are pampered like a prince and taken through experiences that make your stay memorable for a long time to come.

From the time we were picked up at the Bikaner Airport that has daily connecting flights to Delhi we were for some great time in Bikaner after all we were to stay at Narendra Bhawan.

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner > Click here to see the Narendra Bhawan in the night.

First a little bit of history of Bikaner and Narendra Bhawan

Bikaner was one of the most prosperous princely states in India and was ruled by the Bikaner Royal Family. The city prospered in one of the biggest cities in Rajasthan and was one of the first princely states in India to get electricity.  After independence Bikaner state was also merged in India along with other princely states. Narendra Bhawan Bikaner was the residence of the last Maharaja of Bikaner – Maharaja Narendra Singh jee, and I say residence because it has a more personal touch, and as the king had a bigger palace close by _ Lakshmi Niwas Palace  where we had a Royal 7 course lunch ( or maybe it was 9 course but who was counting ? 🙂  ) . But Narendra Bhawan is where the king actually lived and that is what gives it a special charm.

Diwali Chowk Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

The 2nd-floor central courtyard of Narendra Bhawan called Diwali Chowk

Cow shaped fountain Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

As you sip your tea slowly flowing water emerging from cow mouth shaped fountains recreate the sounds of nature at Diwali Chowk 

The different rooms in Narendra Bhawan take you through different phases of life o His Highness Narendra Singhji.  I was in the Prince Room that takes you to the life  of the young Prince very much influenced by a European lifestyle; the Regimental Rooms remind us of where his roots  were, a ruler responsible for his kingdom and people, coming from a family of brave warriors; and the India Rooms, as the name suggests, has a patriotic feel to them, with influence of  Gandhian principles and symbols like the charkha, use of khadi and jute fabric and that favorite color of India to paint the exterior of homes – Indigo

The present Narendra Bhawan Hotel was refurbished and restored keeping in mind the times, life and philosophy of His Highness Maharaja Narendra Singh Jee.  The current hotel was painstakingly restored and modern amenities were added to welcome the guests. So while you are cocooned in the hospitality and luxury of an era bygone you are never going to miss any of the modern amenities you are used to.

Here is an excerpt from Narendra Bhawan website, that explains the hotel philosophy much better 

“Narendra Bhawan, in its new avatar, retells the story of the last reigning Maharaja of Bikaner, His Highness Narendra Singhji. Unconventionally curated, it is composed of Narendra Singhji’s memories from his travels to destinations near and far.”


So what is Narendra Bhawan Experience Like?

Like I mentioned earlier, being a guest at Narendra Bhawan is like a personal Royal Guest of a King. Now you may arrive in Bikaner with your own agenda but if you really want to enjoy your visit to Bikaner in true Royal Style then let your own agenda go, and let the folks at Narendra Bhawan curate a personal experience for you. Trust me these guys know how to make each and every experience special.  From breakfast, the pampering starts and you typically start the day with a heavy dose of Bikaneri Kachori. Yes Sir Bikaner is the city that consumes the maximum number of Kachories in the world per capita and all the yummy namkeens you have in India that are called ” Bikaneri Namkeen” they all trace their roots to Bikaner in one form or another so you know what treats you are upto.  But the Narendra Bhawan Experience is not just confined to the physical walls of the hotel, it extends beyond the physical realm of Narendra Bhawan and is all about how they show you the Royal Rajasthan, Maharaja way.

The lunch can be an elaborate affair if you are going to the Lakshmi Niwas Palace nearby. You are treated to a 7 course ( or was it 9? I forget again ) meal that goes back to the times of Maharajah Ganga Singh jee who liked to entertain his royal guests in the very room you are sitting surrounded by almost 50 KG of gold work on the walls around you. But being surrounded by 50 KG of Gold is only part of the story. Oh, the goosebumps I got to be in the same room where once a Maharajah dined with his guest and being treated like one of his guests is what makes the Narendra Bhawan Experience so special.

For a larger version of this image click here

For us, the Narendra Bhawan experience continued in the evening when we were invited to Ratadi Talai Sundowner, a curated experience in the middle of nowhere, but with everything, you may want for an evening. A musician playing soulful ragas on his flute, some sand dunes forming the backdrop of white tents and a lake that reflects the stars.. As the night progresses shimmering candles create an illusive world of light & shadows, a bonfire keeps you warm and the flowing wine makes you recount stories that were never told before. But tonight under the stars, all elements come together to the tunes of Mohan Joshi’s flute and the raconteur hiding in your innards sheds his inhibitions & a night of storytelling starts.

Jalebi and rabri for breakfast Narendra Bhawan

A breakfast of Jalebis and Rabri one of those desi Khush Hua moments

Lassi and Bikaner Kachori Narendra Bhawan Rajasthan

Bikaner people consume more Kachoris than any other city in the world

Breakfast Poori Bhaji Narendra Bhawan Rajasthan

This is not even 1 % of what I photographed errr….. I mean ate at Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

Oh, how many stories should I talk about? The blindfolded dinner in a private dining room at Pearls and Chiffons or P&C the restaurant themed on the era when Pearls and Chiffons were the ultimate fashion statement. Or should I talk about the Writers Menu lunch where each dish is announced poetically by reading a paragraph from a book from where it is inspired from? Or maybe I should write about the countless priceless genuine artifacts that are spread across Narendra Bhawan from crystal chandeliers to Red Pianos to interacting with local artisans who are keeping the traditions like paintings, making sherbets and artwork that can be used in daily use alive?

Red Piano Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

Click to read more of my thoughts about this Red Piano

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner lobby

Narendra Bhawan can easily give any art gallery a run for money considering the memorabilia and historical artifacts are on display

The Mad Hatter Bakehouse Narendra Bhawan Bikaner

The Mad Hatter – The Cake Shop straight out of a fairytale can you guess which one?

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner review

I am at loss of words to describe this formal Royal Residence … pls help

In most hotels you will find a curio shop, well Narendra Bhawan takes the concept a step further and brings local artisans to you where you can learn about the arts and crafts of Bikaner estate that a few families are taking forward. During my stay, I learned about the special Bikaner Sherbets, the art of making paintings that literally cost their weight in gold and interacted with some folk singers during a visit to the museum.

Traditional Gold painting Rajasthan Bikaner

The Artist Ajmal Usta ji.

Gold paintings Rajasthan India folk art

Only a few artists remain who know how to make these Usta art works

Ah, whom am I kidding? I don’t think this post does any justice to my visit and the hospitality of Narendra Bhawan. I think I will have to write more about Narendra Bhawan. So keep watching this space for some authentic Royal Experience at Narendra Bhawan Bikaner.  Or if you would like some of your own Narendra Bhawan Experience then go ahead make a booking by calling or emailing them on > +91-7827-151 151 | reservation@narendrabhawan.com 

Narendra Bhawan Bikaner Rajasthan India

Well I told you Narendra Bhawan was the residence of His Highness Narendra Singh Jee the last Maharaja of Bikaner

Narendra Bhawan in Night

Narendra Bhawan in the blue hour

Note: I was invited by Narendra Bhawan as a travel blogger.

Low-resolution images are used in this post for faster uploading. 

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Narendra Bhawan Bikaner review  Luxury Heritage Hotel Bikaner India

What Royal Experiences are made of – Narendra Bhawan Bikaner India

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  24 Responses to “Narendra Bhawan Experience: A Luxury Heritage Hotel in Bikaner Rajasthan”

Comments (24)
  1. Impressive writing. You have the power to keep the reader occupied with your quality content and style of writing. I encourage you to write more.

  2. hi . after reading your blog. it seem u have enjoyed alot.. and i also want to feel the same.. i will come here some day to feel the same joy.

  3. Warm Regards from Narendra Bhawan Palace,
    Firstly, thank you so much for this detailed post about Narendra Bhawan with such beautiful pictures. We are honored with such appreciation. We hope that you enjoyed yourself a lot, and will give us another chance to host you in future.

  4. The luxury hotel experience is beautifully described and the description includes all the activities done be it the blind folded dinner or getting to know about the local art and craft. I was amazed by the view of the hotel that is beautifully captured in the lens of the photographer. The delicious cuisines, royal lifestyle glimpse and the folk dance and music give the glimpse of the culture and heritage of Bikaner to the tourists. Quite informative!

  5. Looks so great 🙂

  6. Hahahah getting breakfast when you want to is something that I always dream of… By the way have you thought of correcting the distortion of your Wide Lens click. I also click using Wide lens and usually straighten things up except for those dramatic shots for which I always prefer to keep the distortion.

  7. What an amazing and extremely interesting place! Thanks for sharing

  8. Fantastic pictures.. for me the very essence of this trip was exactly how you described it in the opening

  9. What a crazy experience – sitting on a dining table 5-6 hours every day! But I loved it!

  10. What opulence! A royal ‘wonderland,’ I can see.
    The food also sounds very interesting.
    Superb pictures, Prasad.

  11. What an amazing and extremely interesting place! Thanks for sharing. Some great photos… especially of the food! Haha!

  12. Great to read about Narendra Bhawan. Amazing.
    Thanks for all pics.

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