In the verdant country around Kolkata, just 60 mins from the bustling Alipore area is Rajbari in the 24 Paraganas where despite a mobile phone in every villager’s hand, time seems to have stalled, the pace seems slower and nature spreads her fronds of tranquility everywhere. Bawali is famous for its nurseries that house a wide variety of ornamental and landscape plants, a green paradise of palms, lawn plants, bare root plants, floating plants as you walk the narrow lanes of the small town.
The Rajbari springs a surprise and the conservation story takes your breath away as you stand in the middle of the courtyard looking up at the wide stairway leading up to the majestic, columned Thakur Dalan which is a private dining space. Rajbari also serves as a confluence of all that is best and...
The Rajbari springs a surprise and the conservation story takes your breath away as you stand in the middle of the courtyard looking up at the wide stairway leading up to the majestic, columned Thakur Dalan which is a private dining space. Rajbari also serves as a confluence of all that is best and enduring of Bengal – music, dance, traditions, cuisine and mysticism.
Know Your Host
Ajay Rawla is a third generation Punjabi living in Bengal and loves to call himself a “Bongjabi”. An environmentalist with an eye for architecture and aesthetics, a keen mind and a self-driven hunger to learn more, to evoke the lost and untold histories of our past. From constructing the...
Ajay Rawla is a third generation Punjabi living in Bengal and loves to call himself a “Bongjabi”. An environmentalist with an eye for architecture and aesthetics, a keen mind and a self-driven hunger to learn more, to evoke the lost and untold histories of our past. From constructing the Nationally Important AGNI base in Chandipur, Orissa while living in a thatched-roof hut, to founding the National award-winning export house, The East India Natural Goods & Co, to restoring the 300 year old Rajbari to its former glory, he is committed to promoting Bengal’s cultural and architectural heritage. Mr. Rawla strives for excellence and believes that standards have to constantly improve. A generous host, his passion is restoration, music, performing arts and culinary delights all of which come together to create delightful experiences not just for guests but also set standards of excellence within the industry.
A 300-year-old palace belonging to the Zamindars, Rajbari will be a delightful itinerary on your visit to the erstwhile Capital of India during the British Raj. Here, among the slowly crumbling temples and generous ‘pukurs’ (small fish ponds) Rajbari Bawali, invites you to experience the tradition, culture and cuisines of the Zamindars of Bengal.
Set on an estate that sits between two fish ponds, The Rajbari has been restored with gentle aesthetics offering 30 spacious rooms and suites with high ceilings, antique restored furniture, four poster beds and beautiful local fabrics. A pool, spa, library, conference room and private dining rooms are a part of the facilities here while a cuisine that combines the flavors of Bengal and from around the world served in multiple food and beverages areas is a highlight.
Between Thakur Dalan for private dining, a bar on the first floor opposite the imposing façade, the Pavilion, a recent addition with the Tea Terrace and a number of alfresco dining options, Rajbari makes a very powerful statement with its cuisine. When travelers from nearby towns including Kolkata flock to a place for a meal, weekend stays and small celebrations, it speaks a lot about the quality and appeal of their cuisine which ranges from pure local to Indian and a selection of international cuisines as well.
Rajbari also weaves into your stay interactions and showcases elements of Bengal's history, local culture, folk lore, cuisine and day to day life outside the city. For those keen to explore around there are references to a tragic exodus of a group of Sikh people from Budge Budge – a river port nearby, the gurudwara Komagatamaru (named after the Japanese ship) stands as a testament to human spirit and a settlement of Chinese immigrants around the Ahchi temple. Every evening begins with the ‘sondhya arti’ at dusk to the roll of drums and chants, and continues onwards to various performances like dances by a local dance troupe, of singing by the wandering Bauls of the region and a display of the energetic Bengal drums. Walks into the lanes of the town in the morning or early afternoon are a great way to see life in small town Bengal. A late afternoon cruise on country made boats on the Hooghly to catch sunsets and visits to local textiles are not to be missed.
Rajbari is also ideal for events and has been used for various small engagements, movie shoots and
photography. The ambience, service and cuisine coupled with the fact that Kolkata is close ensures easy access and good organization capability. A two bed Spa with a limited menu is on offer for those lazy, restful afternoons while the pool in early and late winters is the best place to unwind.
Leisure, independent travelers and small groups, The Rajbari is versatile and has something to offer for all age groups. A sprawling property, The Rajbari can be as artist’s retreat, staycation, celebration as well as a place to discover Bengal all at the same time.
The Rajbari is open throughout the year and offers different experiences in different seasons.
The heritage preservation story of The Rajbari is a personal story of commitment for Ajay Rawla and his years of painstaking work to create an experience that is a retreat, as well as a reflection of Bengal and its many sentiments. Taking in and training local ladies and young men in hospitality and services, discovering young talent, showcasing regional folk art and everyday traditions of Bengal by curating experiences for discovery contribute to the Bengal Tourism landscape. Bawali is not the same today and is known better even to those in close proximity and is visibly thriving, with local initiatives for restoration springing around the estate.
by Sudipta N on 05/23/2022
Rooms were upto the mark and cosy. Staff was very helpful, all the food including bengali traditional, Chinese and the tandoori was amazing.Ambience at the “Verandah” bar was fantastic. Live singer...
by Rini_Basu on 05/22/2022
The whole experience was wonderful. The ambience, the service, the food, the stay, all of it. We stayed overnight in one of the Dak Bungalows with out pet Shih tzu. The location is what can only be...
by khokons2015 on 05/22/2022
The highpoint of our stay was the Jomidari Lunch. Authentic Bengali cuisine. Mouthwatering dishes prepared just right. Surprisingly light on the stomach. Charming and rustic background. Maintenance...