What if one could travel back in time and relive the glorious Rajaputana heritage —an era of opulence and grandeur, imposing forts and palaces, brave warriors and beautiful princesses? Well, approximately 180 km from Delhi is a royal residence — Patan Mahal — that welcomes you for a short escape from the everyday city humdrum. This heritage resort is located amidst the Aravalli Mountains in the city of Patan, Rajasthan, approximately five hours by road from Delhi via Koltpulti Sikar road.
The 200-year-old Rajputana fort built in red stone is where leisure meets luxury, and quite surprisingly at an economical price. The Patan Mahal is strategically built in a lush valley formed by mountains on three sides, and it is home to the royal family of Rao Digvijay Singh.
The heritage home has 19 suites that display the regal Rajasthani architecture with decorative chhattris, huge stained glass windows and large wooden antique doors.
One can experience the ancient royal lifestyle in its true sense as the hospitality of the hosts and the interesting décor of the palace will transport you in a different time zone.
The maharaja beds with colourful tie-and-dye bedspreads, vintage oak chairs and tables, elaborate glass chandeliers, and black-and-white chequered marble flooring give an interesting insight into the lifestyle of the royal era.
If you observe carefully the well-preserved antique table pieces and the huge photos of rulers in gilt frames will also speak volumes about the rich past of this ancient palace.
After exploring the royal residence, one can step out in the vicinity and take a dip in the pool. Or one can also go for a stroll in the backyard farms and gardens, where the palace staff grow fruits and vegetables.
If adventure is your thing, you can opt for a long trek in the adjoining mountain range and salute the rising sun from the ruins of the ancient 800-year-old Badal Mahal.
After an adventurous day, in the evening one can savour the delicious Rajasthani cuisine in the courtyard and enjoy the local folk music under the starry skyline.
(The trip was sponsored by Lonely Planet India)