I was instantly enveloped by immersive bliss when I first drove into Jhira Bagh Palace, a therapeutic Resort perched in the centre of acres of plush greenery. This tranquil heritage resort is a perfect getaway, to take a break from the hustle-bustle of city life. Close to Indore, Jhira Bagh Palace is a remote royal residence thriving with antiquity and farms occupied by over 300 stunning peacocks. On the whole, the hospitality will exceed your expectations while you enjoy a nature vacation and get served amazing farm-grown meals. Having said that, I happened to stumble upon this resort in Dhar, when I decided to take a trip to Maheshwar and Mandav. In between these two cities, is an 18th-century restored palace, that brings alive royalty in so many ways.
From an intense brew of imperial legacy to a whitewashed house of Anand Rao Puar, the 19th-century Maharaja of Dhar, Jhira Bagh Palace, is a tale of heritage loomed in legacy. Which, is why, the moment you arrive here, you are met and greeted like a celebrity. The historic Carriage (Baggi) parked at the entrance gives you a gist of Jhira Bagh’s historic opulence. Followed by a short tour of the royal residence hosted by the property manager. I was, in particular, thrilled by the Victorian Suite containing spacious colonial-era washrooms, fireplace and switchboards. You may wonder, how could a switchboard be that special. Well, let me tell you that the switchboards in the Victorian Suite were handpicked by the King during his international tour in the nineteenth century. Luckily, the property still has them the way they were first installed here.
Inside the Victorian Suite, you will find numerous elements that portray an aura of royalty and grandeur. These include well-tended poster beds, handcrafted period furniture, languid silk sofas and ethereal art exuding integrity. in addition to that, you also get a private attached alfresco seating area where you can wake up to a mystical sunrise or relax by the epiphanous sunsets.
Also, the washroom attached to this suite is as big as a room in a Mumbai apartment. So, it’s not surprising to get impressed by the overall look and feel of this suite from the Victorian period. The Victorian Suite is also special as this is where the former King and the Queen resided. It faces the surrounding spectacular scenery fringed with palm trees and in-house agricultural heritage. Apparently, the green that you see is also where your food comes from. The Chefs at Jhira Bagh Palace pick fresh ingredients from these lush gardens every single day to prepare a personalised organic meal for you. Honestly, the food I ate here tasted outstandingly fresh and delicious.
All along, the manager of the property told me about how the ingredients were picked the same morning. I could tell the excitement by the look on his face and I guess these small gestures make a huge difference. Also, these are the factors that distinguish a royal property from that of a regular commercial hotel. To experience the timeless glory of the Jhira Bagh Palace, you must tour its inner courtyard. I was told that the remodelled interiors looked very different hundreds of years back. Hanging on the walls, the old photos of the former palace have become a state of art decoration today. The miniature model of the palace makes an excellent viewing platform for the guests. It allows you to get a 360-degree view of the royal residence.
Likewise, the long corridors flaunt a trail of prehistoric artefacts, which will leave you spellbound with its historical reflections. Each wall reverberates treasured olden times like a light that can never be dimmed. Besides, all along, the palace, you will find minimalist luxury and recklessly extravagant comforts. Like the property truly claims, “they are a rendezvous of the old world charm where the lighting uplifts the mood, as the sun rises, and a potent aura takes over as dusk sets in, ushering in magical, mystical evenings.” Additional activities on the site include milking session at the dairy, tractor ride, and table tennis. They also have a ground-level pool nestled in the backyard. Don’t be surprised if peacocks pay you a visit, while you swim your worries away.
Whether it be, the charm of the thematic suite or the culture of utmost care, carried down through generations, Jhira Bagh Palace conjures a legendary past that plays centre stage to a bygone era. To me, staying at Jhira Bagh Palace was a journey of rediscovery and a walk through time.
Fact – “Jhira Bagh Palace played host to important British officials, Viceroys and Governor Generals of India, serving as a place of residence for official as well as recreational visits.”