Friday, June 15, 2012

Palace Utelia Gujarat

Palace Utelia Gujarat
[Utelia] [Reservation]

Location: The Palace Utelia is situated at a distance of 150 kilometers from Baroda, 78 kilometers from Ahmedabad and en route to Bhavnagar. It is a grandiose turn-of-the-century haveli (mansion), which is specially imposing when compared to the hutments that crowd its high walls.

Description: The architectural style of the Palace Utelia is predominantly Indo-Saracenic, and includes domes, pillars, arches and Gujarati haveli style facades. The portioned entrance archway leads to a row of columns on a high pedestal and from here one reaches the twisting staircase to the main dining hall, which is illuminated by chandeliers and spanned by portraits

Accommodation: A total of 14 double bedrooms have been renovated to match the grandeur of the building and feature attached baths with running hot-and-cold showers, and dressing space. Some of the beds are real period pieces inlaid with mirrors and ornate decorations. Each of the rooms open onto private balconies or common verandahs with splendid views of the River Bhugavo where demoiselle and common cranes gather. Even if you are not staying here, it is worth dropping in for lunch on the way to Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar or Palitana.

Facilities: The Palace Utelia has its own stable of horses and bullock carts for rides in the village or the surrounding countryside. For more accomplished riders, 3 to 5 cross country horseback safaris can be arranged by the owners with tented camping arrangements along the way. You can also hire 4 - wheel drive jeeps for trips to Velavadar National Park, a 36 square kilometers tract to Savannah type grassland, where you can see the largest herds of blackbuck antelope in India today and one of the worlds greatest harrier-hawk roosts. Jeep excursions can include a picnic lunch if you propose to spend a full day at the Park. Another sanctuary near utelia is Nalsarovar, which mainly comprises a 100 odd square kilometers lake and its surrounding marshes. There are country boats here for trips on the lake and you can see flamingoes, pelicans, ducks, geese, cranes, storks, ibises and herons of myriad species at reasonably close range.

Dining:Both Indian and Continental meals are uniformly good, and buffets in the dining hall are reasonably priced. Courtyard barbecues, enlivened by folk dances and music of the Padhar fisherfolk or Bharwad shepherds can be arranged on request.

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