Maharajas of India
Through my regular feature in this wonderful e-magazine on tourism I am happy to introduce to the readers the life and times of the maharajas of India.
The maharajas relinquished their powers post India becoming a republic but history, governance, pomp and pageantry and sheer romance associated with them continue to fascinate the public even today.
The Maharaja & Maharani of Santrampur Spread over 1350 sq.km. and surrounded by the hills of the Aravalis in the present-day state of Gujarat in western India is the kingdom of Santrampur. It was established in 1255 AD by the Parmars – a clan of the Rajputs, India’s warrior class. The rulers of Santrampur were forward-looking and created multiple resources for the benefit of those they ruled. In particular were the preservation of the forests and water on which the predominantly tribal population of the region depended for livelihoods.
The present Maharaja Pranjayaditya and his wife own three palaces at Santrampur : The Raj Mahal, The Hawa Mahal and Sri Joraver Villa. All the three palaces have retained their breathtaking heritage character with ornate floral paintings on the ceilings,the large corridors displaying portraits of the former rulers in regalia,the mahogany furniture, chandeliers,silverware and marble fountains.
Shri Joraver Villa juts into a lake and when night falls and lights are on you would wish to go nowhere else!
The Maharaja and his wife stay in their Sri Joraver Villa where they host their guests for one to three days. Their chefs have revived the cuisine that formed part of the royal meals of their ancestors. The palace is a wonderful place for a quiet holiday,walks around its gardens and bird watching. Guests can learn the fine art of slow cooked food and take jeep safaris through the villages stopping now and then to talk with the craftspersons. The place is a photographer’s delight.
I invite the readers to experience a memorable time at Santrampur on my ten or twelve days heritage tours. The best time to visit is between September and March when the weather is salubrious.
The Maharaja featured here is incidentally my cousin.
About KV Singh
K V Singh
Your host in India in your journey through this fantastic land !
Tourism Planner since 1976, Singh is widely traveled, a wild-life enthusiast, horseman, mountaineer, environmentalist and gourmet. He & several of his relations from royal families own & operate lovely boutique hotels & resorts in India where you would be warmly welcomed and personally looked after.
His wife is a social entrepreneur and conducts study tours in India for volunteers, students and teachers from all over the world.
Singh is a scion of the royal family of Khandela. The photographs displayed along side are some of his ancestors in regalia. They were great patrons of music & dance, paintings, culinary arts and were themselves gracious hosts. The tradition continues.