The BrijRama Palace sits on the banks of the Ganges, right above Darbhanga Ghat and with sublime view of the Ganges and beyond, in both directions. It is one of Varanasi’s oldest landmarks, having been originally built in 1812 by Shridhara Narayana Munshi who was the minister for the Nagpur estate. It then became home to the Brahmin King Darbhanga (of Bihar) before being lovingly and painstakingly restored and converted into hotel, over 18 years, in 1994. From being a near ruin it is now an architectural gem and resumes its former glory and prime position on the river.
A series of steps and a lift lead up to the first of many glorious inner courtyards and atria. Each replete with beautifully carved pillars and balconies looking down onto the interior, it exudes calm and elegance – a world away from the hustle and bustle of river life going on outside. The light filtering through the sandstone arches and flickering off the mirrored walls at night make it equally beautiful to wander around at any time of day. Great care has gone into the exceptional restoration which has resulted in a mix of architectural styles ranging from Maratha to Greco-Roman to more recent frescoes, mirrorwork and woodwork.
Outside boasts wonderful terraces where one may sit and gaze out over the river, sipping a cup or tea or simply soaking up the sun. The 32 excellent rooms and suites are spread over several floors and look down on the inner atria – some have river views. One in particular has a fabulous 180° enclosed balcony jutting out over the ghats – a river view rarely beaten! All rooms are decorated in an elegant yet traditional style which honours the local style – rich, deep colours of the silks for which Varanasi is so famous.
The magnificently decorated central atrium provides a lovely place to relax during the day and stages live classical music or dance performances in the evenings. Dining here is also a treat in the stunning dining room overlooking the Ganges, or the small courtyard dining room – both serving delicious local cuisine and a range of dishes from around the world – it is vegetarian only and no alcohol is served due to its location on the holy Ganga!
Whilst here you can also enjoy a little pampering at the lovely Kashi wellness Spa which offers a variety of Ayurvedic treatments in their cosy treatment rooms. However, Varanasi is all about being outside and immersing yourself in the colour and chaos of this ancient city, so full of spirituality. Walk along the Ganges seeing life and death unfold before you; take a dawn or sunset boat trip cruising gently down this mighty river; attend the spectacular evening aarti ceremony on the ghats just below the hotel. This ancient tradition goes back thousands of years and is a feast for the senses; the sound of conch shells, the chanting of hymns and the clang of symbols soothe the ear; the sight of lamps and candles and saffron clad priests moving rhythmically to the ‘bhajans’ soothe the eye; and the strong scent of incense, sandalwood and burning lamps soothe one’s sense of smell. It is a memorable moment in every way!
BrijRama Palace is THE place to stay in Varanasi with a location to die for and the only luxury hotel on the gorgeous Ganga!
For reservations please call +91 7390850077
or email or contact the hotel.
Attend the evening aarti ceremony on the ghats below and take a dawn boat ride on the Ganges.
By air to Varanasi followed by a 40 minute car journey.
By train to Varanasi followed by a 25 minute car journey.
By road from Lucknow, Patna, Kanpur.
By air or train to Varanasi. Drive to the city and walk through the old town to the hotel; or drive to the river and take a 20 min boat ride to the hotel.