Chhattisgarh accommodation - Kanker Palace
Fronted by lawns and rambling bougainvillea Kanker Palace is the family home of the erstwhile ruling family who can trace their ancestors back to the 12th century.
Built in 1937 the colonial bungalow was the residence of the British agent in this remote part of India who was the young prince’s guardian at the time, and is the royal family’s fourth palace, the others having been given up to become a temple, school and hospital.
The five suites, like the other rooms in the main building have double height ceilings (designed this way to keep the temperature bearable in the incredibly hot summers) and enormous fans that would have once been pulled by fully occupied punkah wallas. The rooms are decorated with traditional furniture, animal skins and hunting trophies, including ‘Henry’ a complete tiger who watches over guests in the sitting room. There are some more recently added rooms and cottages which, though lacking the character of the heritage rooms, have air-conditioning.
Other areas within the grounds hint at a more affluent past; the former maharaja’s outbuildings are now a children’s nursery, the water body around a pleasure island is silted up and the ‘tiger den’ overgrown and almost in ruins. It’s all hugely atmospheric and your royal hosts absolutely charming, full of fascinating stories about the past, the lives of the people in surrounding villages and enthusing with ideas for the future.
Aside from enjoying the hospitality and old world charm, a stay at Kanker Palace is all about exploring this part of Chhattisgarh with a knowledgeable guide who accompanis guests to places of natural beauty and archaeological significance, but most importantly to villages hidden deep in the forests to discover the traditions and culture of the indigenous people.
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