Yesterday we did the Taj Mahal at sunrise, explored the Fatehpur Sikri just outside Agra, drove 6 hours to Jaipur … and then, per our official guide, the rest of the day (all 2ish remaining hours before we crashed into bed) was at “our leisure.”
But it wasn’t all bad; we were greeted at the Rambagh Palace by a shower of rose petals.
Just like royalty.
Also, who knew, rose petals have some serious heft to them. Especially when you move out of range of the shower and the young lady has to resort to throwing them at you to give you the proper reception.
Rambagh Palace was originally a hunting lodge for the local Maharaja. In the early 1900s, it was expanded into the royal residence of the Maharaja and his beloved wife, Rajmata Gayatri Dei, (once named the most beautiful woman in the world by Vogue magazine in 1940s).
One of the most expensive weddings in the world (a achievement that still stands in the Guinnes Book of Records) was celebrated here when the only daughter of the Maharaja married the heir of Baria.
But by 1957 (after India’s independence), the royal family recognized that the upkeep of the palace was becoming very costly and turned the palace into a hotel.
Many other royal families, faced with the same costly dilemma, followed the lead of turning their royal residences into luxury hotels. Which is great. Because I love staying in Palaces!
One of my favorite rooms in the Palace is the state dining room.
Where you eat on gold leaf plates. And drink out of gold glasses. Which, as you would expect, are very heavy.
Oh, and I recommend the food.
This is the hotel that offers Elephant Polo. Alas, it was very expensive for 45 minutes of playing time. So we didn’t get to participate. But we did get to pet elephants.
Word of advice? Never stand behind a camel. Don’t ask how I know. Just take my word for it.