Jhalawar: Living like Royalty at Prithvi Villa Palace

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Asia » India » Rajasthan
November 24th 2018
Published: December 14th 2018
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The day arrived that we hadn’t exactly been looking forward to and we broke one of our cardinal rules of travel. We left Camp Bliss before the Pushkar Fair ended and we traveled to another part of India. And the crazy thing? We actually chose to do this!

I had heard about this other fair in Rajasthan that was supposed to be as exciting or maybe even better than Pushkar and for years had wanted to check it out, but it never quite fit in our itinerary. Until now.

Dad and I said goodbye to our friends from Indian Moments. We said goodbye our camel herd and our new Raika cameleers. We said goodbye to our Aussie friends. And then there was the hardest goodbye of all...we said goodbye to Camp Bliss! Ok, I am teasing, but only a little bit.

We drove around 6 hours to Jhalawar and arrived at our new home, the Prithvi Villa Palace. I know how it sounds...we left tent living to stay in a Palace! What’s the problem? Despite our initial apprehension, it was a beautiful estate that housed a gorgeous palace and all the amenities fit for royalty.

From the pool complex to our gigantic suite and veranda to the open bar to room after room of history, we were quite comfortable.

We developed a routine that was quite different from how we spent our time at Pushkar and Camp Bliss. We ate breakfast in the formal dining hall, checked on the monkeys who visited each morning and then went to the fair. We returned for a late lunch in the garden. The afternoon was spent relaxing at the pool or on our veranda, which was followed by high tea and then we walked the grounds until cocktails in the great room and another formal meal in the dining hall. If sounds like we pretty much just ate and lounged, it sounds about right.

Until the last night of our stay, we were the only guests in the palace. There were politicians that stayed in the guest house, but we really only crossed paths with their large security detail. Apparently the owner of the palace is active in local politics and we were visiting India on the cusp of a heated election. On one night of our stay, one politician was staying in the guest house while the palace owner was hosting the opposing politician for dinner in the palace. Awkward to say the least.

One of the things we had to get used to was the 24 hour butler service that included bringing us tea service at whatever location we desired, delivering beer to our room and serving every bit of food from a silver platter. We didn’t dare lift a plate or pass a dish, as that was unacceptable. And when we ate in the garden, a hand washing station was set up and water poured on our hands so we could clean up after eating.

Think British occupied India and that is what our days looked like. It was as if we were in a movie and everyone played their historical role perfectly, except for the two yankees.

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