The Belgadia Palace
10
The Belgadia Palace, Ward 02, Mayurbhanj, Odisha 757002
Rural & Royal – a rewarding immersion into Northern Odisha
The Belgadia Palace

Mayurbhanj in Odisha has an interesting past and a present that is an explorer’s dream. During the reign of the British, the Bhanjja Kings pioneered the upliftment of the region and it was regarded as one of the most progressive states. The Bhanjja Kings established educational institutions and banks and were known for their generous, futuristic and firm governance. A drive through Baripada town, home of the Mayurbhanj estate, showcases stately buildings and the railway station, which dates back to as early as 1905.

Perfectly Rare

Equidistant from both Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar in Northern Odisha is The Belgadia Palace, a former royal residence. The two storeyed building surrounded by gardens and a mango orchard offers a taste of royal life and local culture, in the company of its passionate owners, Princesses Mrinalika and...

Know Your Host

The 18th-century Victorian-era styled Belgadia Palace is the home of the Bhanjdeo royal family. The legacy of the erstwhile rulers forms a tangible presence in the attitude of the present generation of the family and their relationship with the people of the district.  Princesses Mrinalika and...

As you drive up to the modest gates, you are impressed by the double storeyed white façade with striking Corinthian columns, inviting you gently towards the ‘Hathi Baramdah’ entrance. Catch a glimpse of the lavish interiors as you are led into the library for a warm royal welcome.

All around the palace, you see remnants of old-world grandeur. Heritage comes alive through family portraits and paintings that adorn the walls. Period furniture and ornate chandeliers compete for your attention as you admire furnishings and upholstery, old vinyl records, Persian carpets, chandeliers and oil paintings. The wide and winding mahogany staircase leads you to the upper chambers, which comprise spacious suites in jewel-toned décor.

The palace is surrounded by fifteen acres of mango orchards and gardens. The extensive grounds have clear walking paths that urge you to explore; local weeds and creepers hang over a natural lake. The open verandas, built as viewing parlours for the ladies of the household are ideal for an afternoon siesta, for lounging, reading and to idle away in the company of rustling trees and birds.

The suites and rooms are characterised by high ceilings and en suite bathrooms, and decorated with antiques and art from around the world. The design is young and colourful and contrasts with the heritage architecture in an interesting way. The rooms on the ground floor overlook the gardens and open into a long veranda.

Dining

Breakfast is typically alfresco with the fragrance of frangipani and hibiscus wafting around you. The main meals are typically served in the formal dining room; you have the choice of dining by yourself or family-style around a large dining table, in the company of the royal family. The cuisine is mainly homestyle Indian and regional delicacies, using a variety of locally grown vegetables and grain.

The Belgadia Palace warrants a minimum of two nights and ideally three or longer depending on your interests and time. The buildings in Baripada town form the basis of an interesting heritage walk that includes the Mayurbhanj Palace, now repurposed as a women’s college. The local Jagannath temple is a replica of the temple in Puri and dates back to the 14th century; its lively evening aarti is a deeply spiritual experience. The weekly village haat (market) is a photographer’s dream come true. Traders sell a variety of produce, from fresh vegetables to varieties of grain, spices, fish, miscellaneous bric-a-brac including hand woven basket-ware and cooking utensils.

Excursions based on art and craft abound around Baripada; Dokra brassware, black stone carvings and Sabai grass ware, run by a women’s co-operative. The stone temples of Khiching dedicated to the mother goddesses are important pilgrimage sites of the region. The Mayurbhanj Chhau offers visitors an insight into this folk dance that flourished under the patronage of the Mayurbhanj rulers.

Perfect For

Individuals and small groups and families, off the beaten track exploration, immersions into local history and culture as well as rural sojourns. It’s also the ideal place to work away from the office and home. The Belgadia Palace is a great start (or end) to an exploration of East India, with good connectivity to both Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar. It combines well with our other RARE properties of the region, Rajbari Bawali, Bari Kothi and the Glenburn Penthouse in central Kolkata as well as the Assam Bengal Navigation’s river cruises on the Ganges and Brahmaputra.

 

Operational status

The Belgadia Palace is open all year

Mrinalika and Akshita are focussed on ensuring the Belgadia Palace is high in terms of Responsible Tourism. The House has banned single use plastic, and are trying to phase out using any plastic containers. Glass water bottles with safe filtered drinking water are kept in the room and personal water bottles given to guests for outside excursions. Refillable haircare and skincare dispensers are in all guest rooms.

Waste is segregated in to biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste and three compost pits are  being used for creation of manure. The attempt is to create less to zero waste as well. This translated into using recycled and upcyled furniture and interiors and using sustainable building materials - local brick, mortar lime was used towards the construction. When Cyclone Fani hit in 2019, the debris that was created from its destruction such as tree and foliage debris was used for composting, while fallen branches were used to make tables, chairs and reused to make the boundary wall. There is a low ratio of room to land (about 7 acres of land), energy efficient lighting and appliances are in place along with low flush toilets and sustainable sanitation and water management practices.

They are working toward creating a sustainable farm to table concept and a model that can be replicated by others. Food produce is sourced locally from the local market & from the farms within the property. There is emphasis on Nutrition Farming that is Integrated pest management and Integrated Nutrition management that is all organic and made by recycling and manufacturing on site by dedicated staff via using Amrut Jal and other Zero Budget Natural Farming techniques. This also leads to preserving and creating awareness on local flora and practicing edible landscaping with restoration and rehabilitation of indigenous and certain exotic species while removing invasive species that may kill 100 year old plant species. There is a 100 year old bamboo plantation and golden asafoetida, clove plants, many species of mangoes including Alphonso and other fruit bearing trees like Sitaphal, Ramphal, Lychee, Papayas and Bananas are grown on the property.

The Palace is sensitive to their relationship with the local community. Hiring and skilling youth from local community so that the economic benefits of tourists coming in stay within the community. Partnerships include those with a local tribal contemporary artist and visited his homestay in the buffer zone of Simlipal to showcase art from the region inspired by the local region, with sustainability institutions in Odisha such as Xaviers Collegiate in Bhubaneshwar, so students can work with professors to work on researching, analysing and executing best sustainable practices at the palaces via certified internships and partnering with sustainable and eco-friendly regional and national brands for the in house boutique store.

There is emphasis on preserving heritage by promoting plenty of local festivals and arts and crafts such as Dokra and Chhau – a martial arts dance form. a. Life sized Pattachitra frames (promoting local art) adorning the living rooms of the Palace. Mayurbhanj Chhau dance a 20,000 year old dance form is still being practiced and Belgadia has tied up with a NGO promoting the dance form for guests to experience the folk music and dance. Guests are encouraged to visit the handicraft villages and engage with communities and purchase goods.

The Mayurbhanj Foundation has been created to touch the lives of 100,000 people in the district in 5 years in the fields of education, livelihood and health, sports and the arts. Tie ups include local communities such as Project Chhauni, Chuliaposi Handloom School, Mayurbhanj Art Foundation, Sabai Grass Communities (SHG),Leper Colony, Dokra Handicraft Villages to promote business and provide an alternative livelihood from eco-tourism by giving them access to market linkages with travellers without any middle man with 100% profits going back to communities. (Mayurbhanj Foundation keeps a percentage of revenue earmarked for social and environmental projects benefiting the local community throughout the year).

No Single Use Plastic Local Community Engagement Heritage Preservation The Human Touch Safe Garbage Disposal Nature and Biological Diversity Conservation Sensitive Destination Discovery
RARE Tip
About half an hour’s drive away, Simlipal National Park is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the famous melanistic tiger and a great birding site. Well known for its lush vegetation and its many waterfalls, Simlipal is yet unexplored and sees few tourists.
Facilities
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Reviews and Location
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Royal Experience
by Trip38874075273 on 01/21/2022

It was a wonderful experience staying in this very well-maintained palace. The two suites on the first floor (Narayanhity Suite and Bengal Renesaince Suite) are the best for having the royal...

A quaint palace …
by Naila on 01/12/2022

I went for a solo trip in the month of Jan 2022 . The weather was perfect . A good 5 and a half hour drive from Bhubhaneshwar brought me to Baripada in Mayurbhanj district . I was welcomed warmly by...

Amazing Haven Nestled Away in Quiet, Lush Surroundings
by kookaabura on 01/02/2022

The Belgadia Palace was a wonderful, special home away from home. We stayed here for 4 nights and thoroughly enjoyed our time here. The rooms are cosy and the common areas are thoughtfully curated...

Nearest Airport : Kolkata - Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport : 229 km/4-4.5 hours
Nearest Railway Station : Kolkata Howrah station to Balasore station (90 minutes from The Belgadia Palace by road)
Nearest Bus Station : Kolkata (about 4.5 - 6 hours)

Cancellation Policy:
Terms & Conditions:
  1. All tariffs are in Indian Rupees.
  2. Government Taxes (GST) shall be applicable to the room tariffs (INR 2500 – 7500 @ 18%, INR 7500 & above @ 28%).
  3. Check-in Time: 2pm Check-out time: 12pm
  4. All tariffs and policies are subject to change without prior notice.
  5. We do not provide in-room dining facilities in the bedrooms.
  6. Smoking is not permitted inside rooms
  7. Right of Admission Reserved.
  8. TV situated in the projector room only. Kindly ask the manager for assistance.