Visited by King George V in 1937, the Laxmi Niwas Palace was designed with the needs of VIPs in mind
City | History & culture | Sports & activities
Bikaner is a small city in Rajasthan's Thar desert in northern India, and is known for its colourfully-adorned camels, red sandstone buildings and hot, dry climate. Laxmi Niwas Palace is located just fifteen minutes away from the bustling centre, and on the way lies the 17th-century Junagarh Fort, a magnificently impressive edifice whose red sandstone walls guard an array of temples, palaces and treasures within.
Rooms at the Palace are spacious and airy, and all beautifully furnished with fine carvings, antiques and more. Painstakingly retouched to recall the latter days of the Raj, guests can enter the time portal of the princely Historical Suite, complete with decadent upholstery and an intricately carved teak ceiling finished with gold. Other suites contain quirky antique touches such as the Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji's own gramophone, while the smaller Royal Deluxe rooms all offer panoramic views of the estate.
The Palace has two restaurants to choose from, alongside a characterful cocktail bar. Fine dining at lunch and dinner is hosted at Swarna Mahal, where the florid, gilded and detailed handiwork adorning the walls is matched by the richly flavoured Rajasthani fare on offer. The other restaurant, the Hari Mahal, offers less formal buffet dining, and is also open for breakfast.
In keeping with its late colonial-era ambience, the Palace offers a very traditional array of amenities, beginning with a billiards room complete with a piano and scores of hunting trophies. A luxurious pool sits out in a sun-kissed terrace, though those wishing to escape the desert sun are amply catered for with an indoor table tennis room and a reading room. Outdoor sports including tennis and croquet can be played in the grounds.
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