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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

BrijRama Palace Hotel: the palace on the River Ganges

BrijRama Palace is a heritage building made of sandstone and looks like an imposing fort standing guard over the Ganges…

By Rajeev Kumar
Head of Development and Operations, Brij Hotels and Resorts

Stay in one of Varanasi’s oldest buildings, which has sat on the banks of the sacred River Ganges since 1812. Built by the minister of the Nagpur estate, BrijRama Palace is a heritage building made of sandstone and looks like an imposing fort standing guard over the Ganges. It was later bought by a Brahmin King, Rameshwar Singh Bahadur, who made it into a palace. In the 60s, the royals moved on and the palace fell into ruins until we took it over and began a painstaking 18-year renovation project, which involved sailing materials in via the Ganges.

Today, the property looks the same as it did 200 years ago, with the addition of some modern features like a spa and fitness centre. Our rooms celebrate Banarasi design, with hand-painted ceiling art work, silk furnishings, antique furniture and gold and silver touches. The inner courtyard is surrounded with graceful arches; this is where flute players serenade guests in the morning after yoga sessions, it’s a beautiful sound to wake up to. Other unique experiences we offer include a history walk of the palace, a pottery class and evening folk performances. Of course, we also have amazing views of the Ganges and guests love sitting on the terrace and watching ceremonies on the river below.

Aside from our two restaurants – Chota Angan and Darbhanga – you can enjoy experiential dining in private areas of the palace with views over the river. I’d recommend having a meal on our traditional Bajra, a two-tiered wooden boat that sails down the Ganges. Varanasi is famous for its street food and we serve up some local classics for guests, as well as a complimentary afternoon high tea. Many of our ingredients come from our farm in the city and we’re a zero-waste property so our organic kitchen waste is turned into compost. We’re committed to making BrijRama Palace as eco-friendly as possible to help protect the beauty of Varanasi, so we have our own treatment plants too and a zero-plastic policy.

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Alfred & Rajeev Kumar

Rajeev Kumar is from Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management in New Delhi and has over 27 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Rajeev’s career highlights include working with Hyatt, ITC Fortune Hotels and the Piccadilly Hotel Group. In his current role for Brij Hotels, Rajeev oversees the BrijRama Palace in Varanasi.
Rajeev Kumar, head of operations Brijrama Palace