The interiors of the Narendra Bhawan in Bikaner are inspired by the life and times of its last reigning monarch, the Maharaja of Bikaner, Narendra Singhji. Take a tour of the stunning property
He is said to have lived a multifarious life, a young prince who loved to travel the world, visit museums and watch Broadway shows. With his roots firmly grounded in a recently-independent India, the last reigning Maharaja of Bikaner, Narendra Singhji, was every bit as traditional as he was contemporary. It’s his eclectic tastes and varied life that are the inspiration for the interiors of his former royal residence, Narendra Bhawan.
Designer Ayush Kasliwal didn’t want to just recreate history. Instead, the team imagined how he would live if he had been alive today. The result is a distinctive amalgamation of varied styles – Bombay Art Deco motifs, stone jaali-work façade, Portuguese tiles, marble columns, framed Benarasi silks, Bikaner terrazzo floors, plush velvets with English prints, oriental urns and porcelain vases, a bright red piano overlooking the diwan-e-khaas, and French doors opening out on to the Rajasthani courtyard.
The artsy interiors of this 82-room design hotel boast a diverse colour palette of reds, blues, yellows, greens, deep pinks and browns. Custom designed lamps and furniture by Kasliwal’s company AKFD like the Prussian blue bench with gold ‘horse-limb’ shaped legs pair well with the vintage carpets, original artwork and the photographs of the royal family.
The Pearls & Chiffon restaurant is a mix of Indian royalty and Victorian-style décor with floral wallpaper and dusky blue walls forming the backdrop for the ornate ‘Judge’s chairs’. Its luxurious private dining room is filled with rich fabrics, gold pendant lamps, and carved metal chairs. The design of the rooms are thematic, based on different stages of the Maharaja’s life and range from the ornate Residence rooms with rich colours, carved stucco ceilings and jaali-work railings to the muted colours, English-inspired prints and plush velvets of the Prince’s rooms.