One of the privileges of being a blogger is meeting interesting people!
And, I did meet a Maharaja!He is not a typical Maharaja that you normally see in the various coffee table books.This one is a good 25 year old, dressed as normally as you and me and enjoys good life.He speaks earnestly and in a friendly manner and you cannot help but reaching out and saying, what is you mobile number, mate! That!
I met him when, I was travelling to Chhattisgarh, one of the states of India.I have blogged a couple of times on Chhattisgarh and this is the third post that I am putting up on this state.Hope, you guys have been enjoying these posts!
So, here he was with his family and welcoming me along with my gang to his family mansion located in Kanker. Kanker is on way to Dantewada from Raipur and is located thick in the ancient jungles of Chhattisgarh. Reaching Kanker is easy as the roads in Chhattisgarh are well laid.
He owns a lovely palace that he now lets out for travellers wanting to travel to the south of Chhattisgarh and, he was gracious enough to show us around !
Ashwani’s family is quite ancient , it claims to be at least 900 years old.He even showed documents to prove this claim, which is not surprising because a lot of royal families in India are that old.
There was a surprise in store for us. We met Henry, the resident tiger.
Mr. Henry lived more than 70 years ago and had a jolly time having humans as its lunch and dinner before Ashwani’s father gunned him down.In short,Henry was a maneater tiger!
India had more than 100,000 tigers in the nineteenth century but most of them were killed by the Britishers and the Maharajas of the time. Some tigers turned into maneaters before being shot dead by hunters. And some of the maneater tigers had interesting names , like Henry and Bachelor!
Bachelor was the famous maneater of Kumaon and he was killed by the famous hunter, Jim Corbett.
Do you want to have a look at how the palace of a Maharaja looks like?
This is the sitting room of the palace.Heads of game prominently displayed on the walls!
It is illegal to hunt wild animals today but, nearly 60 years back, it was perfectly ok to hunt them down Reckless hunting of animals, especially, of tigers has led to a severe decline of the tiger population. Today, in Chhattisgarh, you will find a healthy population of bisons, leopards, deer and bears.
The palace turned hotel has well appointed rooms, have a look!
And, believe you me , you would be treated like a Maharaja should you stay here !
And, if you are wondering how the outside facade of the palace turned hotel is, here is the pic;
So, there you are; this place is a heady combination of wild life, royalty and old world hospitality.
Amazing isn’t it?Should you want to know more about the Kanker palace, do let me know, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to meet the Maharajah directly? Write to him at email@example.com
Best way to reach Kanker is take a flight to Raipur from Delhi and Mumbai and take a road trip to Kanker. The trip is of 200 kilometres but you won’t feel tired.
Best time of the year to travel is from October to February.
Happy to help you ;)))