Rajasthan is a place that comes to my mind when I think of Maharaja’s and Rajasthan palaces are sheer delight for travelers. The colors, the splendor, the stories behind the smallest things I feel the pull gets stronger after every visit to Rajasthan.
After attending dessert festival in Jaisalmer while coming back vis Bikaner last year I had a short 1 day stay at Bikaner where I could manage to explore only Junagarh Fort and a meal at Laxmi Nivas Palace. So when I got the invite for an Interesting concept of Food Meditation over a long weekend from Narendra Bhawan I was more than intrigued.
So with four other travelers, I hopped on to overnight train to Bikaner to experience what came out be a stunning mix of History, stories and a visual delight along with a splendid food extravaganza that unfolded itself one meal at a time. But First, let me take you through Narender Bhawan and its story.
Narendra Bhawan Bikaner
A Rajasthani haveli turned into hotel Narender Bhawan used to be the residence of Maharaja Narender Singh of the Bikaner. Now converted into a boutique hotel by MRS group the Hotel combines the old world charm with best of modern world facilities at your disposal. We were welcomed by our Charming Host Karan Singh Vaid, the President of Narendra Bhawan to the tunes of band and sprinkling of rose petals. The first thing that you notice after admiring his traditional attire of crisp cotton kurta and dhoti is there was no formal reception area, we were taken directly to the living room. The reason being they wanted to make their visitor feel as a guest will feel at their host home.
A stunning property, right from the vintage chevy at the entrance to the guardian lions, Red Piano that is prominent, I was wowed with each small details that have a story of its own. Photo’s of Maharaja and his family members, the pool room, the charpoy at the upper residence floors that make you want to relax and forget rest of your schedule and soak in the moment.
The intricate Jali work typical of Rajasthan combined with mirrors and paintings on the walls every minute detail is nothing short of stunning. We have tried to recreate the history and combined it with our imagination of how Maharaja Narendra Singh would have lived if he was alive today, tells Karan Singh Vaid.
I will leave you with few photos that a remembered to click whenever I was not so mesmerized by soaking in the details and my luxurious surroundings or being pampered by Hotel’s staff members Thank you So much! Ram, Balbeer and Sunil and everyone who made sure that flow of food and drinks never stopped.
Food Meditations at Narendra Bhawan
The info card about the food meditations which btw intrigues you even more than revealing any thing other than thought process behind these four meditations that were waiting to unfold one by one
“This excellent man to whom we are indebted was a thinking man who maintained that one’s memory recalls the foods that have flattered its taste buds and, like all other pleasures it gently dissipates, its departure leaving us always wanting more”
Wanting for more we were left, one meditation after other. Each one was a different experience altogether, 4 unique meals, each different from other in concept and culinary experience. I will not reveal the mystery for you here because it is one of those things to experience and feel but I will leave you with some phone photos of what I experienced and mind you these are just very few 😀 of what we actually experienced.
The food medications, whether it was Museum Lunch at Laxmi Nivas Palace, Le diner at Durbari where you dine under a canopy of stars on a full moon night, Literary lunch at P&C or a blindfold dinner at the night room it really left me always wanting for more.
I am definitely going back, this time most probably with Mr MTC and maybe experience the magic of full moon night and dining under the stars…an experience curated by Narendra Bhawan that was totally unforgettable.