The Baradari Palace Neemrana Patiala – A Review

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The Baradari Palace or Neemrana Patiala was the only hotel in Patiala I could think of when I was planning my trip to the city. There were a few reasons for this. Neemrana Patiala is located at Rajinder Kothi of The Baradari Gardens in Patiala – a place that I had visited as a kid. It was like a dream come true to go and stay at a place that you have seen with awe as a child.

The Baradari Palace - Neemrana Patiala
The Baradari Palace – Neemrana Patiala

Secondly, I have stayed at Neemrana properties earlier at Neemrana and Ahmedabad and I love their heritage-soaked experience. I always say that Neemrana fort is the best example of living heritage. So, I was keen to experience another of their properties.

History of The Baradari Palace – Patiala

The Baradari Palace Corridors - Neemrana Patiala
The Baradari Palace Corridors – Neemrana Patiala

The Baradari Palace is a 19th CE building. It was commissioned by the then king Rajinder Singh and hence bears his name and is locally called Rajinder Kothi. The architect was his younger brother Ranbir Singh. Some legends say that the king built it for the queen when she was pregnant and planted oxygen-giving trees all around it.

Over the years post independence, it has served as state guest house, has been a part of Punjabi University campus and houses the Punjab archives before becoming Neemrana’s heritage property.

Baradari Palace used to have its own Cricket Field, a skating rink, and a monorail.

Architecture of The Baradari Palace – Neemrana Patiala

Baradari - the heart of Neemrana Patiala
Baradari – the heart of Neemrana Patiala

The Baradari Palace is a rectangular structure in pristine white standing in the middle of sprawling gardens. From its entrance gate, it looks like a pile of rectangles standing on each other like a jigsaw puzzle.

An arched corridor runs around the property on the ground floor. A semi-circular balcony overlooks the public garden part of Baradari. A vast wooded area has old trees at the back. This is where I saw lots of birds. I wonder if hotel management has thought of birding walks or bird watching activities here. On a short walk, I could see Grey Hornbills, Doves and Rose Ringed Parakeets.

Grey Hornbills in the gardens of The Baradari Palace - Patiala
Grey Hornbills in the gardens of The Baradari Palace – Patiala

The heart of Baradari Palace at Patiala is the 12 door pavilion that gives it the name. Now what is different here is that unlike most Baradaris that are open pavilions, here it is the heart of the building. The 12 doored pavilion is at the center and it looks like the rest of the building came around it. The thickness of the walls is to be seen to believed.

Phulkari Cushions
Phulkari Cushions

Neemrana Hotels team has put lovely Phulkari cushions in the 8 of the 12 doors with long bolsters to sit and chat. To me, this was the perfect place to sit and read or gather for a family function or a small reunion.

Rooms at The Baradari Palace – Neemrana Patiala

There are 18 rooms at Neemrana Patiala spread across 3 floors. The rooms on the ground floor have a high ceiling. I stayed at Room No 2 on ground floor named after Raja Sardul Singh. It is a big room with very high ceilings. The bathroom was bigger than rooms in average hotels. To go from bed to the bathroom took a small walk of sorts.

The curtains were 2-3 times the height of normal curtains and it made us look so small.

I requested the Neemrana Patiala staff to show me other rooms as well. Interestingly, all the rooms are named after the Maharajas of Patiala. They all have some portraits of Kings and Queens along with portraits of Sikh Gurus. I liked a full wall outside our room with Sikh Gurus’ portraits. Then there are scenes from everyday Punjabi life like women embroidering the colorful Phulkaris or churning the milk to make the famous Punjabi Lassi.

Punjab

In all, you can never forget that you are in Punjab. Every wall and every frame on it will introduce you a bit more to the food bowl of India.

Check out their other rooms on the Neemrana website.

All rooms have a four-poster wooden bed. I loved the one at Baba Ala Singh Room.

Period furniture adds to the old world charm.

Remember there is no elevator as the building was built before they became fashionable. So, if you have trouble climbing up and down, choose the rooms on the ground floor. Bathrooms are large on the ground floor but relatively smaller & more modern on upper floors.

Neemrana Patiala and Bollywood

One of the recent claim to fame that The Baradari Palace at Patiala has is its connection with Bollywood. Besides many Punjabi films, some prominent Bollywood films have been shot here. Ask the staff, and they would proudly tell you the room where the ghost scenes of Phillauri were shot.

The Neemrana Patiala is featured in the blockbuster film Bodyguard and numerous other films. It looks like when the Bollywood thinks of Punjab they think of Patiala. And when they think of Patiala the obvious choice is Neemrana Patiala.

Food at Neemrana Patiala

Vintage Dining Hall at Neemrana Patiala
Vintage Dining Hall at Neemrana Patiala

Our food experience in Patiala began the moment we stepped inside the Baradari Palace Hotel. Our welcome drink was a Haldi Wali Lassi. And that set the tone for the next two days that we spent in Patiala.

The dining room of Neemrana Hotel in Patiala has lovely wooden furniture. I only wish they played the classical Punjabi music instead of loud modern music. But, I know, they must have figured out what the majority of their clientele likes. I was told that the restaurant is very popular with locals who love to come here for dining or for family celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries.

Breakfast with a View - Neemrana Patiala
Breakfast with a View – Neemrana Patiala

They offer primarily Punjabi food – and why not when the place as a whole celebrates Punjab. However, the menu does have options for other cuisines like Chinese and Continental.

I was all nostalgic about Punjabi food so I requested Makki ki Roti & Sarson Ka Saag. In breakfast, I had my fill of Paranthas with white butter.

Rooms at Neemrana Patiala come with free breakfast. The view of the gardens from their breakfast room gives a refreshing start to the day.

Staff at Neemrana is helpful and always with a smile. We were lost and they promptly sent a person to fetch us. They enthusiastically shared information about places to see in Patiala, especially some hidden gems.

Thank you for being such wonderful hosts, as always, Neemrana Hotels.

Read more about Patiala Heritage Walk – Discovering the Royal City of Punjab

23 COMMENTS

  1. Too awesome post! Baradari palace has lot to explore. actually the images are so captivating that my eyes stuck at some points to allure its beauty. Also the Neermana Patiala feels the same emotion driven experience to travel in India.
    Excellent Job!!

  2. Although I have always stayed in hostels, I’d definitely want to try the heritage soaked places once.. I’m sure it must be a different experience in itself!

  3. I love how beautiful Baradari Palace is! That’s crazy that it used to have a skating rink, monorail, and cricket field! You’d never have to live if you lived there. What a fun experience to stay there.

  4. Wow! GRAND is the word! I totally loved the splendors. Makki ki Roti & Sarson Ka Saag – I am craving for it now after reading it. 🙂 The birds around are a visual treat. Never seen a grey toucan before.

  5. Love that image of Baradari – the heart of Neemrana Patiala. And the grey hornbills on that wooded area is a great photo from your walk. Probably those lovely Phulkari cushions reflect the variety and color of Punjab food!

  6. Thanks for taking us for a walk around Baradari Palace. So many of the palaces in India are stunning. I was interested to hear that this one had inside furnishings. If you now watch any Bollywood films, you will be looking for this palace as a setting!

  7. Looking at the pictures I can very well understand why you opted to stay at the Baradari Palace in Patiala. The hotel is indeed steeped in heritage. I am sure the experience was really royal in every sense. After all not every day does one wake up in a place that is a slice of history.

  8. Baradari Palace looks like such a beautiful place to stay. I love when a place you stay is an experience in itself. I love that there is so much culture and history in the hotel itself and I would love to get that royal treatment!

  9. Baradari Palace looks like a gorgeous place to stay. I love that there are so many heritage hotels in India and such a priority is put on restoring these wonderful buildings for new use. So much culture and history to preserve!

  10. How incredible it must have been to fulfill such a childhood dream! The Baradari Palace sounds like a spectacular accommodation experience, I’ll have to remember Neemrana properties when I visit India (I’ll get there at some stage), because I too enjoy seeking out experiences which prioritize heritage. I can’t stand cookie cutter hotels and would much rather accommodation like this which is an experience in history at the same time. Amazing that it used to have it’s own Cricket Field, a skating rink, and a monorail! My husband and I really love wildlife, so we would probably be spending most of our time snapping away at those Grey Hornbills!

    • Megan – Neemrana hotels specialize in restoring old heritage properties and making them living heritage. Wherever they are present in India, I prefer staying with them. Do let me know when you come to India, will help you identify such places to stay.

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