Unique Hotels in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The Brijrama Palace: A Timeless Treasure on the Ganges

Perched on the banks of the sacred Ganges River in the ancient city of Varanasi, the Brijrama Palace offers a truly unique and luxurious experience steeped in history and spirituality. This opulent boutique hotel, housed within an 18th-century palace, has been meticulously restored to preserve its original character while providing modern amenities and comforts. With its unparalleled location, stunning architecture, and impeccable service, the Brijrama Palace offers a rare glimpse into the rich cultural tapestry of Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cities.

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The City of Varanasi

Cool Places to Stay in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi
Images courtesy Brijrama Palace

To fully appreciate the singular allure of the Brijrama Palace, one must first understand the mystique of its setting: the city of Varanasi. This ancient city, located in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a history dating back over 3,000 years. As one of the holiest cities in Hinduism, Varanasi draws millions of pilgrims each year who come to bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River, perform rituals, and cremate their deceased loved ones in the hope of attaining moksha, or liberation from the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.

Varanasi’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage is evident in the city’s countless temples, shrines, and ashrams, as well as its vibrant arts scene, which encompasses traditional music, dance, and the famous Banarasi silk weaving industry. The city’s narrow, winding lanes and bustling markets are an intoxicating blend of sights, sounds, and scents, offering a sensory experience that is at once exhilarating and overwhelming.

The History of Brijrama Palace

Best Hotels in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The story of Brijrama Palace dates back to 1812 when it was built by the royal family of Nagpur, led by Raja Brij Raj Karma. Originally known as “Dharbanga Mahal,” the palace was designed in the Maratha style, featuring intricate sandstone carvings, domed ceilings, and ornate courtyards. Over the centuries, the palace changed hands several times, ultimately falling into disrepair until it was lovingly restored and transformed into the luxurious boutique hotel it is today.

The restoration process was carried out with painstaking attention to detail, preserving the palace’s original architectural features while incorporating modern amenities and facilities. The result is a seamless fusion of past and present, offering guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history and culture of Varanasi while enjoying the comforts and conveniences of a contemporary luxury hotel.

The Unique Accommodations

Best Places to Stay in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The Brijrama Palace offers 32 guest rooms and suites, each exquisitely decorated to reflect the opulence and grandeur of the palace’s rich history. The rooms are adorned with antique furniture, handwoven silk textiles, and traditional artwork, creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance and refinement. Modern amenities such as air conditioning, flat-screen televisions, and Wi-Fi ensure guests’ comfort during their stay.

Guests can choose from a variety of room categories, including the Varuna Burj, which offers unparalleled views of the Ganges River and the city’s famous ghats, or steps leading down to the river. The spacious suites, such as the Vasundhara Suite, provide an added level of luxury, featuring separate living areas, private terraces, and indulgent bathrooms complete with deep soaking tubs and rain showers.

Dining at Brijrama Palace

Historic Hotels in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The dining experience at the Brijrama Palace is a culinary journey through the diverse flavors and traditions of Indian cuisine. The hotel’s main restaurant, Darbhanga, is a fine dining establishment that showcases the best of regional and pan-Indian dishes, prepared using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. With its exquisite decor, featuring carved sandstone pillars, ornate chandeliers, and sweeping views of the Ganges River, Darbhanga offers a truly memorable dining experience.

In addition to the main restaurant, the Brijrama Palace boasts a rooftop terrace, Kamalya, where guests can enjoy an array of light snacks, refreshing beverages, and signature cocktails while taking in the breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the river. This enchanting setting is particularly magical at sunset when the golden light casts a warm glow over the ghats and temples of Varanasi.

The Brijrama Palace also offers private dining experiences for guests seeking a more intimate and personalized culinary experience. The hotel’s skilled chefs can craft bespoke menus tailored to individual tastes and preferences, featuring a selection of traditional Indian dishes and innovative fusion creations.

Experiences and Activities

Unique Places to Stay in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The Brijrama Palace provides guests with a range of immersive experiences and activities designed to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Varanasi. One of the hotel’s signature offerings is the guided morning boat tour along the Ganges River, during which guests can witness the city’s famous ghats come to life with the daily rituals of bathing, prayer, and cremation ceremonies. The tour also includes a visit to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites in India.

For guests interested in exploring the city’s vibrant arts scene, the Brijrama Palace can arrange visits to local workshops and studios, offering a rare glimpse into the intricate process of traditional Banarasi silk weaving, pottery, and woodcarving. The hotel also regularly hosts live performances of classical Indian music and dance, allowing guests to experience the rich cultural traditions of Varanasi firsthand.

The hotel’s knowledgeable staff can assist guests in planning the perfect itinerary, from arranging excursions to nearby Sarnath, where Buddha gave his first sermon, to recommending off-the-beaten-path experiences that reveal the true spirit and character of Varanasi.

Wellness and Relaxation

Cool Hotels in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The Brijrama Palace is committed to promoting the well-being of its guests, offering a variety of wellness and relaxation services designed to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. The hotel’s spa, Sandhya, features a selection of indulgent treatments inspired by ancient Ayurvedic principles, using natural herbs, essential oils, and traditional techniques to restore balance and harmony.

Guests can also participate in daily yoga and meditation sessions, led by experienced instructors, in the serene surroundings of the hotel’s rooftop terrace. These classes are designed to cater to all levels of experience, from beginners to seasoned practitioners, and focus on promoting inner peace, relaxation, and spiritual growth.


Boutique Hotels in India: Brijrama Palace, Varanasi

The Brijrama Palace invites guests to step back in time and immerse themselves in the rich history and spiritual traditions of the captivating city of Varanasi. This unique hotel, with its painstakingly restored 18th-century palace and unparalleled commitment to authenticity, provides a truly unforgettable travel experience.

From the opulent accommodations and sumptuous dining options to the immersive cultural experiences and rejuvenating wellness offerings, the Brijrama Palace transports guests to a bygone era while providing the modern comforts and amenities that discerning travelers have come to expect.

Discover the magic and mystique of Varanasi, the city of light, while indulging in the unparalleled luxury and hospitality of the Brijrama Palace. This one-of-a-kind destination offers an unforgettable journey through the rich cultural tapestry of one of the world’s most ancient and spiritually significant cities, making it the perfect choice for travelers seeking a truly unique and transformative experience.

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What do the reviews say:

“Exceptionally decorated with great charm. Extremely friendly and helpful staff. The food was fabulous.”