Thursday, Dec 08, 2022
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For A Royal Holiday In Odisha

For A Royal Holiday In Odisha

Home to many prestigious royal families of India, Odisha has a string of palaces which are now being converted to heritage hotels. Here is our pick of the six best.

Library inside Belgadia Palace, Mayurbhanj, Odisha
Library inside Belgadia Palace, Mayurbhanj, Odisha Image courtesy: Belgadia Palace

Belgadia Palace

Located in Baripada town, this magnificent palace belonging to the Bhanj Deo family, has been creatively redesigned, with much of the old charm intact, and converted to a heritage hotel. It sits in the middle of a sprawling lawn, surrounded by orchards and gardens. If you are fond of books, they have a lovely library. You may also pay a visit to the Simlipal National Park, old temples in the vicinity, and buy local handicrafts.

Gajlaxmi Palace

This elegant palace, belonging to the former rulers of Dhenkanal province, is less than two hours’ drive from Cuttack. The royal family has made four rooms available for night stay, along with meals in the grand dining room. The management can guide you about what to see and do while you stay here, such as explore the surrounding forest, visit old temples, buy local handicrafts, etc. 

Killa Aul Palace
The sprawling former palace overlooks the Kharasrota River and has been able to retain many of its former architectural features as well as colourful frescoes. It is located adjacent to Aul town (Kendrapara district), about 100km away from Cuttack by road. If you love being outdoors, you may try cycling tours, nature walks, birdwatching, etc. The forest surrounding the palace is part of the Kapilas Elephant Sanctuary.

Kila Dalijoda

This former hunting palace of the Panchakote rulers, about 22km from Cuttck, exudes a Gothic charm. Now converted to a heritage homestay, it will give you a chance to experience the royal charms of yore. You may request for a property tour. Owing to certain beliefs, the kitchen will not serve chicken or chicken eggs but you may enjoy quail eggs and 

Mahodadhi Palace

Sitting at the far end of a garden, this former summer palace of the Panchakote royal family is located on Puri’s Beach Road. The heritage hotel is now managed by The Orchid (Ecotels, Hotels and Resorts) group. The rooms and suites possess an old world charm but are fitted with luxurious modern amenities. It is a dog friendly hotel (separate charges and subject to in-house rules).

Palace Dhenkanal

Built in the 1830s and exhibiting a mixed style of architecture, this former palace belonging to the Dhenkanal Raj, is now a luxurious homestay. It is about 75km away from Bhubaneswar by road. Enjoy the outdoor areas, go shopping for local handicrafts and handlooms, etc.

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