Reviving the 18th century spirit

Reviving the 18th century spirit

Project: Rajbari Bawali, Kolkata
Architects: The East India Design Co

Once a palatial home to an aristocratic Zamindar family, this property has been skilfully restored to reflect in ambiance, feel and experience a typical 18th century Zamindar mansion, integral to
Bengal’s glorious history and culture. The mansion is replete with antiques, rich tapestry and traditional architectural influences, and in addition is the fabulous service and hospitality. This 300-year-old palace was once the home to the famous Mondals of Bengal who had land grants, which go back to the time of Akbar. Recently, the magnificent but the crumbling mansion has been taken over by the businessman client Ajay Rawla who has taken up the initiative of turning up the ruined mansion the into a heritage hotel.

There are 30 rooms and suites and the high ceiling and romantic four poster beds make perfect setting for idyllic getaway. A pool, spa, library, conference room and private dining rooms are a part of the facilities. This 3.5 acre estate has two ponds and is lushly green. Presently four rooms have been renovated and are open to public. The open area consisting of a dining hall and two drawing rooms have also been renovated but keeping the old rustic look alive. The terrace above the courtyard has also been modified. The building is inspired by the regency period of British architecture, constructed in its present form in the mid 19th century with almost no iron and steel parts. The furniture and fixtures maintain the old look and numerous photos of Hollywood dot the walls along with beautifully decorated mirrors. The courtyard which doubles up as an open air theatre hall has been decorated with potted plants and cast iron benches.

Almost all the material used is recycled and bricks were specially made and brought from Murshidabad. Burma Teak from old colonial homes has been sawn and used for all the flooring and other wood work. Cast iron pillars and railings were located from all over North Kolkata. Old DC fans were converted to AC. All the floors have been re-laid with Italian marble retrieved from mansions that were being brought down all over the city.

Project Gallery

Fact File

Consultants: The East India Design Co (Structural,
Mechanical, Electrical, Interior, Landscape & Plumbing,
HVAC, Landscape); Saent Engineering
Contractors: The East India Design Co (Structural and Civil)
Built-up area: 118356.876sq ft
Cost of project: Rs 15 crore
Year of completion: 2017

The Rajbari Bawali is a member of RARE India, which is a community of the finest boutique, ‘conscious luxury’ hotels –