April - June 2009



 The current issue

 Editor's Note

 Cover Story
 Rajmata Gayatri

City Escapes
 Gurgaon's Hidden

 Pataudi Palace



 Tikli Bottom


 Cruising along


 Elephant - icon of
 new style

 Photo Essay

 Elephant Festival
 of Jaipur


 Iqbal Hussain

 World's First
 Climate Refugees
 of Sunderbans


 Most Spectacular
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 Royal Springs,

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 Royal Thimphu
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 Gurgaon’s ‘Peace-at-a-cost’ Retreats

Tikli Bottom, Pataudi Palace, Neemrana Fort, and Piramal Haveli. These retreats are stress-busters – sans TV, sans phones, offering nothing but peace and tranquility – though at a cost.


Pataudi Palace

– Aristocracy, Cricket and a bit of Bollywood


Thirty kilometers from Gurgaon is the Pataudi Palace, a 1930s colonial mansion dripping with cricket nostalgia. Its billiard room and the passage leading from it to the banquet room are virtual cricket galleries of sepia and black and white cricket images, shields and trophies. The palace grounds also have a cricket field!

The palace was home to two dapper and dashing cricket legends - Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi and his son Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi – both cricket heroes in their time and captains of the Indian cricket team. Educated at Oxford, Nawab Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi made it to the Oxford Cricket Eleven and thence to the English cricket team as their star batsman. His son Mansur, at 21, became the youngest ever captain of the Indian cricket team. Given this illustrious cricket lineage, it is only natural to be surrounded with rare photographs and cricket memorabilia in Pataudi Palace. Cricket is the big story here. The more recent story is that of Bollywood. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi is married to film star Sharmila Tagore and two of their three children are actors as well – Saif Ali Khan, and Soha Ali Khan. A corner or two of the walls are adorned with wedding photographs of the stylish couple. This regal mansion still belongs to Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, though it is now leased out as a hotel.

Tucked away in a corner of a sleepy Pataudi village, this mansion stands amidst vast gardens inhabited by all manners of birds – predominantly peacocks. It has been a while since I saw peacocks in such numbers. Most were strutting around the graves of Iftikhar Ali Khan and his wife. In March, just before the festival of Holi, the palace grounds wore a naturally festive look with flowers of every hue - in the colours of Spring.

The Old World charm finds its way into the ten spacious rooms with colonial furniture in the main residence, accessed through wide and open verandahs, and overlooking the vast gardens. There are five additional rooms in what used to be the Estate Manager’s House and now called Garden Palace. The rooms are blissfully devoid of television sets and telephones – for entertainment there are several options – a leisurely stroll in the gardens to soak in the sounds and colours of nature; a game of billiards; or just bond with the people you are with. It is all quality time.

Tariff – Suites Rs 8,000; Rooms Rs 6,500 to Rs 7,000; Rooms in Garden Palace Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,500

Meals: Fixed menus. Per head charges for Breakfast (Rs 250), Lunch (Rs 500), Dinner (Rs 600). Higher rates for non-residents.

Tel: (0124)-2672244  




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