It was a four-hour drive to Palace Kawardha and we met John Ash, of Green Gondwana Adventures, in Raipur for a wonderful lunch of Chinese food. We were very impressed that John took the time to see how the trip was going and find out if we had any comments or suggestions. An excellent tour operator.
The Palace Kawardha was much bigger than Kanker Palace and had an entirely different history along with its surroundings. This was Maharaja Vishwara Singh’s 1930’s Palace and had six spacious suites, magnificent rooms, grounds, lots of servants, etc., and this was to be our home for the next two nights. Such a home…
Palace Kawardha in Chattisgarh, India
The Palace Kawardha, is still a private, royal residence. Our hosts were Yuvraj Yogeswar Raj Singh of Sawardha and his wife, Yuvrani Kriti (a member of the Tripura Royal Family). The principality of Kwardha is the ancestral home of the Maharaja (“Yogi”), who was away on business for the day, and his family. It is located in the heart of the area which is home to the Baiga people and the Gond Tribal.
The evening called for some familarization with Kawardha’s history, meeting the other guests, a welcome drink, traditional Chattisgarhi dance entertainment and dinner.
As great as the dancing was, I really enjoyed watching Kriti (the Rani) sitting in her chair directing her servants. Whatever we may think when hearing the words…”Maharaja” or “Maharani”…the people in India still pay homage to them and consider themselves loyal subjects. Kriti is a very warm, charasimatic person and we never felt uncomfortable in her presence, or Yogi’s when he returned from his business trip.
Palace Kawardha had three guides to take their guests on excursions in the area. Our guide was Satyendra Upadhyaya (“Sunny”), who was also in the process of starting up his little, remote Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat, in the secluded Baiga forest region.
Tomorrow, this new area to explore…