Constructed in 1870, Phool Mahal Palace in Kishangarh, central Rajasthan is a boutique hotel that once served as the royal palace of the maharajas of Kishangarh. Owned and run by the Kishangarh royal family of H.H. Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Brajraj Singh Bahadur, H.H Maharani Meenakshi Devi, Princess Vaishnavi Kumari, and Princess Sarveshwari Kumari, the renovated heritage hotel now offers tourists the best of Rajasthan’s heritage and culture.
The palace was originally a pleasure garden, or the Palace of Flowers, for the maharajas of Kishangarh. The grand Kishangarh fort and the adjacent, 17th-century moat form the backdrop of the hotel, while the beautiful Gundalao Lake makes for the wonderful front setting of Phool Mahal. The lake lent a cool breeze in the hot summers, and the fort walls gave it ample shade.
Back in the day, it was a source of inspiration to a number of famous Kishangarh miniature artists. Even today, the setting of the palace provide themes for the painters of Kishangarh, executing in the classic style of the Kishangarh school of painting on paper, cloth, wood or marble.
Presently the summer home of the royal family, the quaint heritage hotel features a number of wonderful paintings by local craftsmen. It also features art from Princess Vaishnavi Kumari’s pet project with miniature art, The Kishangarh Studio.
Constructed by Maharaja Prithee Singh, Phool Mahal was designed like a British mansion with some ethnic elements like arches and jharokhas. The drawing room, which has been converted into a lounge, is filled with portraits of the earlier maharajas. Also present are several antique artefacts from the family’s collection like an old silver throne, some rare pottery, crystal chandeliers, old silver pieces and stuffed tigers.
The hotel has 11 luxury suites and 26 deluxe rooms, which are traditional yet contemporary, with exclusive frescoes and all modern amenities: en suite bathrooms, televisions, telephones, private terraces, and room service. The rooms are decorated with antique furniture from the colonial era comprising four-poster beds, love settees, and coffee tables.
Most rooms offer a picturesque view of the lake, and guests can experience the chirping of the birds at the crack of dawn. The in-house restaurant in the palace hotel serves an assortment of lip-smacking cuisines that are a combination of age-old Kishangarh family recipes and friendly service.
During their stay at the palace, guests can enjoy hiking through the ancient commemorative plaque garden, its famous shrines and the picturesque lake.
The 300-year-old trees that have various species of birds dwelling in them will definitely catch one’s attention, while a walk through the Kishangarh fort will transport guests back to the 16th century, and a look at the ancient temples and havelis around the area will have them awestruck.
In addition, the hotel also offers grand facilities that include jeep safaris, sightseeing arrangements with tour guides, a well-stocked library, a jogging track, herbal massages, yoga rooms, and traditional Rajasthani music and dance so that every traveller witnesses the true essence of Rajasthani culture. Time spent at Phool Mahal will truly be a holiday worth remembering.