Benares will continue to intrigue, astonish and elevate people, in varying degrees - very real emotions as one beholds the Ganges flowing in her many moods irrevocably towards the ocean. To contemplate that this is a city living and thriving for over 5000 years is enough to send a chill down your spine and then the people’s stories, the myths, the mayhem and the strong currents of religious sentiments, one comes away fascinated. All you can do is speak and think of the city and how life and death exist at such close proximity. You are then either filled with understanding or a sense of ennui. You may forget your visit soon caught up with your daily life, but something has moved in you imperceptibly !
BrijRama Palace blends into the story of Benares as if it was a one of the main characters. One look at the location and you will know why. There are reams written about the Ghats of Kashi, each one poignant with myth and insight, lined along the Ganges in a perfect crescent reminiscent of the one resplendent on Shiva’s forehead. BrijRama stands right in the centre of the crescent affording a fabulous view from every level. Formerly the erstwhile Darbhanga Palace, BrijRama traces its origins to the reign of the Marathas reflected in the architectural features that have been painstakingly restored over a 18 year ambitious restoration initiative. Today as a premier luxury hotel upholding all the sentiments of a sacred pilgrimage destination, BrijRama manages to offer a rich melange of services, style and experience. When the Ganges flows low and placid, BrijRama can be accessed over the river from Asi Ghat or Bahishasur Ghat, the palace a fascinating view on the river bank as you draw closer. 32 rooms and suites are offered per five categories ( Vasundhara, Nadidhara, Dhanurdhara, Bhurj and the luxurious Maharaja Suites ) carefully based on its size and views of the river. The décor is elegant with traditional furniture and embellished in the jewel colours of the silks of Benares. Facilities like a tea/coffee stations, ensuite bathrooms, marry the traditional all Indian décor and design with the best of modern amenities.
Spread as terraced floors, leading from wide stairways over a solid rock scaffolding and between rounded turrets on either side , the facade reflected on the river is as impressive as the interiors. An old lift chute is a feature retained for antique value, that adds a unique dimension to the view of the fort from the front. Inside, the design includes arches and columns, small courtyards that function as atria bringing in air and light. Every floor has a lounge and a terrace, the piece-de-resistance is of course the views from each and every floor. The terraces offer the best light of the sun for meditation, yoga and breakfaston winter mornings and to watch the sky reflected in various hues of orange over the river at sunset. The property is serviced by a lift from the river to the first floor and another from the first to the third floor. The Lounge on the first and second floors are open and airy places to sit and read or relax over tea time, surrounded by art and artefacts from the private collections of the owners.
The courtyard on the ground floor is a unique space, beautifully restored to retain its original features of rain water outlets along the slight roof, neatly scooped into the stone. The floor of the courtyard pattern in marble is flanked on either side bysmall alcoves, temple-like to house life size wooden figures of Radha and Krishna. Light streams down the atria during the day while at night the embellished feature walls and roofs of the lounge and sitting spaces glow from all the gold leaf painting. This is also the venue for musical performances in the evening while the terrace is perfect for dance performances under a star-lit sky. Darbhanga is the fine dining vegetarian restaurant serving a curated menu to include classic Indian recipes and a good variety of world cuisine. BrijRama offers the Benares experience from start to finish, from the time you arrive at the hotel,toasting a Thandai ( a concoction of milk flavoured with saffron, spices and almonds ) on your way across the river, met by their genial team ever ready to speak to you about Brijrama and Benares in the same reverent breath. Every offering be it the‘Paan’ - a tiny parcel of betel leaf and areca nut famous as a digestive by your bedside to the array of snacks, music and dance performances, Panaya – a store that showcases the crafts and textiles of Benares, walks into the lanes and introduction to the art and history of the palace, BrijRama serves you Benares wholeheartedly, right by the gracefully flowing Ganga !
Category: Heritage Luxury
Brand Quote: Experience Heritage in the lap of Luxury.
RARE Experience: Retreat by the River, Classic Heritage
Room & Suites: 32 ( Nadidhara , Dhanurdhara, Vasundhara, Bhurj and the luxurious Maharaja Suites )
Dining & Cuisine: Darbhanga Restaurant serving India and Continental
Experiences: Boat cruises, Architecture walk of the property, Yoga by the riverside etc.
Tariff: Rs.19,200 to Rs.40,800 + taxes on CP basis / valid till 31-Mar-2017. [Please Note : These rates are not applicable for the period 11th to 16th Nov 2016 (both day inclusive).