Nestled amidst a lush green backdrop of rolling hills and sparkling waterfalls of the rich and diverse Eastern-Indian countryside is The Belgadia Palace. An 18th-century victorian brick-built double-storey structure in the classical Western style of Doric-Corinthian column, a mixture of Greek and Victorian architecture.
Home to the erstwhile royal family of Mayurbhanj, this boutique homestay invites guests to take a trip down memory lane and introduces the idea of purposeful travel by engaging with the local tribal community and through curated tours to truly explore the state of Odisha, the soul of incredible India. This unique blend of old and new is encapsulated at this off-beat location which is an adventure lovers paradise a few hours from the Simlipal, an Elephant and Tiger UNESCO Biosphere, the second largest national park in India.
The palace’s restoration to its former glory included landscaping of its surrounding, fruit and flower orchards and an organic farm for a fresh array of local cuisines served on embossed cutlery. The careful restoration of its interiors was done in stages keeping in mind the unique pieces of furniture and furnishings handcrafted for the family. Additionally, the rooms have antiques and collections of artwork belonging to the royal family from their travels around the world. The modern and lux design of its interior contrasts the ancient and ornate architecture of its exterior making the property and its surroundings a walk through the annals of history.
The Belgadia Palace Mayurbhanj has the following tours to offer:
Tribal Tourism: Visit a tribal village and witness age old art forms with them such as Dhokra and learn dying arts such as chhau (martial arts dance form).
Arts Tourism: Visit villages and learn the different art forms such as black stone carving with visits to famous temples to understand the intricate architecture native to Odisha (Khiching). The temple of Kichakeswari at Khiching, built entirely of chlorite slabs is unique of its kind in India. A plethora of other temples also dominate the place some of which are still in active worship. The small museum situated here boasts of highly important historical specimens of sculpture, art and architecture.
Wildlife and Nature Tourism: One of India’s most famous wildlife parks, Barheipani Falls, Simlipal National Park, Jaranda Falls are the must see attractions of this place. It is highly distinguished for its intensively dense forested lands, green vegetation and unique wildlife. Deokund, a beautiful scenic spot amidst green forests, has a picturesque waterfall. The hill top temple of Goddess Ambika is a special attraction of the place. Bhimkund a waterfall is a place of pilgrimage and is a scenic tourist spot.
Colonial Heritage Tourism: Visiting building and structures that were constructed before the British entered India and pre-independence such as the railway, air strip, Rani’s Dharamsala (old hotel built in 1904 for pilgrims and tourists), a palace temple built in the 1930s, original royal palace with a 106 rooms and multiple courtyards, Haripur which was the original palace of the Bhanja kings.
Events or Festivals: Rath Yatra, also known as Car festival of Lord Jagannath is a very prominent festival of Simlipal city. Rath Yatra is popular for its distinctive culture and feel. One of the unique customs of this Yatra is women pulling the Ratha of Maa Subhadra and the devotees gather from every corner of the country to enjoy this festival.
Belgadia Palace is 3.5 hours from Kolkata, 3.5 hours from Bhubaneshwar and 4.5 hours from Jamshedpur.