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A HOMESTAY IN JHALAWAR

 

Maharaj Mahijit Singh Sahib personally invites you “to enjoy the quiet, solitude and peace of a home where time stands still” – a truly unique way to experience India.

 

There are two stunning properties on the family estate of the Maharajah of Jhalawar - Prithvi Vilas Palace and Virendra Bhawan, the latter affectionately nicknamed ‘Crumbles.' Both of these delightful residences are available for a Homestay, according to the length and requirements of your trip.

 

 

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‘Crumbles’ was originally built as the Residency of the British Political Agent appointed to Jhalawar in 1845, Colonel Abbot. At the turn of the twentieth century, it became the home of the legendary Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankar, whose father, Pundit Shyama Shankar, was Home Minister in the Jhalawar State Cabinet. In the 1940’s, it was given to the Maharani as her Dower House, and is now the private residence of Maharaj Mahijit Singh Sahib.

 

In the grounds of Crumbles, you will also find the wonderful SANKALP School for differently abled and orphaned children of the neighbourhood villages. It is a very special institution, being the only one of its kind for hundreds of miles around, and volunteers are always welcome to teach some handicrafts or take the children sightseeing. You may wish to combine a long-term stay with some volunteer work at the school - an altogether highly rewarding experience.

 

Home to the family for one hundred and fifty years, Prithvi Vilas was originally conceived as a suburban Garden House, surrounded by a lotus filled moat. However, it soon came to represent more than just a welcome getaway from living within the vast City Fort, and after the additions of a library and swimming pool it officially became a main royal residence in the 1940’s. It is currently the private family residence of HH Maharaj Rana Shri Chandrajit Singhji Dev Bahadur, 8th Maharajah of Jhalawar.

 

 

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Both royal residences are treasure troves of art, literature and history and are surrounded by beautiful orchards and farmlands to explore. There is a swimming pool in the grounds, as well as a lotus filled moat, a family temple and a very soppy guard dog. Various accommodation options are available within the residences, and there are private drawing and reading rooms. The atmosphere for both Homestays is informal, friendly and relaxed – dining is by full board arrangement , and delicious meals are homecooked on the premises.

 

The princely state of Jhalawar is situated in the south eastern region of Rajasthan, at the edge of the Malwa plateau. It is midway on the rail route between Delhi and Mumbai, allowing you plenty of options when planning your trip. Despite its many attractions, it still remains relatively untouched by tourism and thus provides a perfect opportunity to explore the 'real Rajasthan'. The charming families are often on hand to show you around the nearby towns and temples, as well as to provide cucumber sandwiches or gin and tonics on the lawn for those essential moments of the day.

 

Jhalawar is one of Rajasthan’s most fascinating regions, with a huge range of options for excursions – such as the rare eleventh century sun temple in the colourful town of Jhalrapatan, the Sufi Shrine of Meethe Shah in the impressive fort of Gagraon, or the riverside temples of Chandrabhaga. Jhalawar City itself is a great cultural and musical centre, once boasting one of the finest opera houses in India. Special destinations further afield could see you visiting the beautiful havelis (painted merchant houses) of medieval Bundi, or taking a Chambal River Cruise to see the Gharial Crocodiles and the River Birds Sanctuary. KOKOindia is able to offer you a host of options surrounding your Homestay, according to your interests and wishes.

 

The ideal months to visit are September to March, although April can be wonderful too, in spite of the 'warmer' afternoons. The month of November sees the legendary three day cattle fair at Chandrabhaga ( a wonderful alternative to the touristy Pushkar Camel Fair), and a spectacular Sufi Quawalli Festival is held in a different month every year at the Gagroan Fort – both events are not to be missed!

 

Please note that this Homestay is ideal for those guests looking for a peaceful and cultured environment - please click on this link to email us with your enquiries.