Built 300 years ago, the Rajbari Bawali flourished for 170 years as a symbol of the power and wealth of the zamindars (landlords) of the time. Along with temples in the surrounding greens, it lapsed into decay and neglect – until an eight year restoration effort saw its former glory restored. For travellers to check in and experience the rich cultural, historical, culinary and social heritage of Kolkata and Bengal.
Immense research, planning and execution went into recreating what the original building was – in form and in spirit. Craftsmen were trained by the Aga Khan Foundation. They learnt the art of traditional brickmaking in Murshidabad; roofs were restored, ponds carved out, pavilions reclaimed, and original wooden shutters from the zenana painstakingly renovated and reused. Interestingly, marble from the colonial period had to be excavated from an Italian mine also named Calcutta.Teak furniture from Burma (Myanmar) and other antiques were rescued from other buildings of this period which were being demolished. Even the fabrics used are linens and cottons of the past era for an authentic ambience.
THE DOORS ARE OPEN FOR AN IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
Even as you indulge in luxurious leisure at the Rajbari Bawali, there is lots for you to get immersed into. This includes:
* Village walks: Mr. Mondal, a descendant of the original owners of the property, is a repository of the history of the family, the property, the Bawali village and the surrounding temples (functioning and dilapidated). A great conversationalist, he makes for an engaging guide. Chat up locals and be a part of their easy pace of life – for at least a few hours.
* Boat ride on the Hooghly river: Wind down your day with a sunset boat ride over snacks, drinks and light music. Includes visits to an embroidery factory and a riverside temple.
* Cycle tour: Pick up a bike and head out with a guide – and explore as much as you can pedal. The 12 kms (7 miles) ride along the Hooghly river and through villages give you an insight into the crafts and the way of the life of the region.
* Walks in Kolkata: We work with trusted partners who can take you on walking trails in the city – covering history, culture, food and shopping.
* Get fit: Sign up for yoga, zumba and aqua zumba sessions.
* Book a live music performance: Bengal is the home of music, and you can book artists across genres including classical at any one of the charming locations within the property.
* A taste of Bengal: You cannot be in Kolkata and not enjoy your meals. Order what you like, or go by the chef’s recommendations. And even get live demonstrations on what goes into the making of your dishes.
* Jump into the beautiful pool at the Rajbari – or even host poolside parties.
* Unwind in the spa – choose from foot massages to full body relaxation under the care of specialists.
YOUR WEEKEND GETAWAY
Rajbari Bawali is closer than you think – just an hour’s drive from Kolkata city. It is ideal for an extended weekend getaway. Book for three nights to include airport transfers, a luxury stay, all meals and local excursions; yoga and spa programs can be optionally included to suit your preferences. Land on a Thursday morning, and be home by Sunday evening – for a rejuvenated start to the following week.
FOR BOOKINGS CALL A KUNZUM TRAVEL CURATOR
Tel: +91.9650702777 / +91.11.26564475 / +91.11.26564476
Availability: Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (We travel on weekends)