Miracles are sometimes man-made. Very few of these seem magnificent and only a handful does seem majestic. One such man-made marvel is the Shiv Niwas Palace, bestowed upon the historic capital of the Rajputanas’ Mewar, Udaipur, by Maharana Sajjan Shambu Singh and his successor Maharana Fateh Singh. Shiv Niwas Palace, built in the late nineteenth century, was initially planned as a guesthouse to accommodate distinguished guests. Later when Bhagwat Singh succeeded in 1955, the difficulty in affording to maintain the line-up of magnificent guesthouses forced him to rejuvenate the building and then it was renovated in a period of 4 years, to serve as a luxury heritage hotel. Glancing at the romantic Pichola Lake, the graceful building lies along the southern tip of the glorious City Palace Complex.
The Palace gives the entire atmosphere an exuberant look by its Royal designs. Large and spacious rooms lavishly furnished in traditional Indian style, typical Rajputs’ progressively proportionate balconies projecting elegantly from the main building, high dooms that serve as terrace for the pavilions, unsuspecting courtyards, and the energetic limpid blue water pool, everything adds a feather to the other. The beautiful array of classy paintings, seen across the inner walls of the building, also adds to its richness and royalty. The inlay works also include that of ivory, glass mosaics and frescoes, most of which are produced by Khaja Ustadh and Kundam Lal, people who were sent to England for learning these elite arts by the Maharana himself.
The projecting balconies and rooftop terraces overlook the beautiful garden which has been laid against the Dam wall of Lake Pichola. To the west of the edifice, is spotted, a panoramic view of the Lake Palace and the Jag Mandir island resorts. Yet, it is the mind-wavering sight of the Aravalli Mountain Range at the backdrop which gives a lively atmosphere to the entire scenery. The Palace also has some exciting venues within its premises, in Zenana Mahal, Manek Chowk, Squash Court and other amenities.
In its initial stint as a guesthouse, Shiv Niwas Palace has hosted a number of VIP Meetings and Royal gatherings. People of Royal lineage from all over the world, including George V of The United Kingdom and Edward the Prince of Wales, have visited the Palace. Yet, also in its second phase as a luxury heritage hotel, it has won over in keeping its VIP buzz at par. Since its inception as a hotel in 1982, it has played host to Queen Elizabeth, Jacqueline Kennedy, the King of Nepal and the Shah of Iran among others. The Palace has also hosted James Bond in the movie Octopussy.
The delicious Continental Cuisine served at the Paantya Restaurant, the Indian delicacies served at the poolside restaurants and the lively classical music played from under the huge Rajasthani Champa trees go one on one in a perfect blend to stir out romance from the hearts of people all around. Also, The Pane era Bar which is adjacent to the pool proves a perfect pause to confide in after the magical jaunt we came across.
How to reach :
Udaipur is one of the most popular and well connected cities in Rajasthan, it is well connected through air and road links as well as railways and because of that a person traveling to Udaipur has all the options available and if a person is planing a road trip then also Udaipur is well connected to all the major cities of Rajasthan.
Maharana Pratap airport or Dabok airport is how the Udaipur airport is known as and it is well connected by daily flights from all the metro cities of India.
Udaipur railway station: It is known as udaipur city railway station (UDZ) and is well connected via rail route will all the major cities and town and trains are available round the clock also it is dotted with a number of hotels and lodges so if a person has not booked a place to stay can easily find accommodation here before starting his journey to the city of lakes .
by road connectivity: udaipur is connected to rest of the country through 3 national highways i.e NH8, NH48 , NH27 and apart from state transport buses there are a lot of private bus operators who connect udaipur to rest of the country and the kind of buses range from regular buses to sleeper coaches and Volvo bus service which is also operated by rajsthan state transport.