10 Royal Palaces Turned into Hotels

10 Royal Palaces Turned into Hotels.

The enormous and magnificent residences of Indian kings and queens in princely states of India are nothing but a hint of the grandeur of their heyday. These palaces are the marvel architecture of engineering and the historical monuments of India. Although after independence in 1947, India’s royalty lost its power but the palaces were not left in vain. They still serve a purpose. The large castles and mansions of the kings set the trend of becoming luxe hotels and give the lavish experience a guest can get in a royal ancestral home. We present to you a spectacle of heritage hotels.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur

Giving a picturesque view, Umaid Bhawan Palace, built in the 1930s is situated in Jodhpur. The megastructure has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family. Today, a part of the palace has been turned into a hotel, managed by the Taj group having 70 guest rooms including the luxurious "Regal and Vice-Regal Suites" and the fabulous "Maharaja" and "Maharani suites".
Rambagh Palace, Rajasthan

Rambagh Palace is known as Jewel of Jaipur. Built in the year 1835, the mansion was renamed Rambagh after the then reigning Maharaja, Sawai Ram Singh II. The Royal family of Jaipur stayed at Rambagh as their home until 1957, when it was first converted into an upscale hotel managed by them first and later in 1972, managed by The Taj Group of Hotels, Resorts and Palaces.
Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur

Located on the banks of Lake Pachola, the crescent-shaped building of Shiv Niwas Palace is a former residence of the Maharana Fateh Sing of Udaipur, Rajasthan. The hotel is run by the HRH Group of Hotels, itself owned by the current Maharana. Shiv Niwas was converted into an income generating luxury heritage hotel in 1982. The famous attraction consists of19 deluxe rooms, 8 terrace suites, 6 royal suites and 3 imperial suites.
Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad

Falak-numa means "Mirror of the Sky" in Urdu. The Taj Falaknuma Palace was built by Nawab Vikar-ul-Umra, prime minister of Hyderabad in 1893. It belonged to Paigah Hyderabad State, it was later owned by the super-rich Nizam of Hyderabad. In 2000 Taj Hotels started renovating and restoring the palace. It consists of 60 elegant bedrooms, the Aada restaurant which specialises in Hyderabadi slow-cooking, world’s longest dining table with 101-seats.
Raj Palace, Jaipur

Thakur Mohan Singh Ji, ruler of Chaumoo and the then prime minister of Raj built the first Palace of Jaipur in 1727 which is today known as “The Raj Palace”. The Palace is still being inhabited by his 16th generation descendant and current owner Princess Jayendra Kumari. The hotel After restoration of the palace with 50000 sq ft of hand painting and 8000 sq ft of gold foiling, the palace opened as a grand heritage hotel in 1997. The Government of India awarded Raj Palace as "the best heritage hotel of India". Raj Palace of Jaipur has been voted as "The leading heritage hotel of the world" consecutively for seven times by World Travel Awards.
Ahilya Fort, Maheshwar

Guests are now hosted by the descendant of 18th-century warrior queen, Ahilya Bai Holkar in the Ahilya Fort of Maheshwar. It is a magnificent structure that is around 250 years old. From the ramparts, you can watch life along the holy Narmada River far below, it is perched-up high on a hill and thus offers an amazing scenic view of the ghats below.
Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur

With the blue waters of Gaibsagar lake on one side and a cove of private reserve forest on the other, this beautiful 19th-century palace stands on the lakeshore in the historic town of Dungarpur near Udaipur. The history of Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur, Rajasthan dates from the mid-19th century. Its owner, the Maharaja of Dungarpur, renovated the rooms preserving many of the original art deco furnishings in the 20 guest rooms, including the 'English’ bathrooms, exquisite rajput anchitechure, fine murals, miniature paintings and stone carvings.
Samode Palace, Jaipur

Samode Palace is heritage monument built by the noble feudatory with the hereditary title of 'Maha Rawal' or 'Maha Saheb’ of the Amber and Jaipur principality in Rajasthan, India. Samode Palace was initially built in the sixteenth century as a Rajput fort. The Samode Palace is located 40 kilometres north of Jaipur city. The interiors of the palace are composed in the ancient architectural style of Rajasthan: marble floors, intricately ornamented pillars, mosaic walls, with luxurious carpets, and decorated with old wall paintings.
Ramathra Fort, Sapotra

Ramathra Fort currently is owned by Thakur Brijendra Raj Pal and his royal descendants Ravi and Gitanjali Rajpal. This 17th-century fort stands high on a hill in rare wilderness. The Royal Fort was given as a fiefdom to Thakur Bhoj Pal by his father Maharaja of Karauli in the year 1645. Now it has been converted into an accommodation facility for tourists. The hotel’s walled vegetable garden and a whirlpool tub in a turret.
Ranvas, Nagaur.

It is a small hotel on the edge of the Thar Desert. It is inside a breathtaking500-year-old Ahhichatragarh Fort restored by Maharaja of Jodhpur. What makes this place so appealing is the special access, outside of public opening hours, to wander through the exquisite painted pavilions.

Taj Group acquires Lutyen’s Delhi hotel in NDMC auction

NEW DELHI: The Connaught, a premium hotel in Lutyen’s Delhi, was successfully acquired by Tata’s Indian Hotel Company Limited (IHCL) in an e-auction conducted by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Wednesday.

“The successful bidder is the Taj group which will pay 31.80 per cent of the Gross Turn Over (GOT) or Rs 5.868 crore per annum, whichever is higher. This current auction has yielded more than the double revenue that the NDMC was getting from this hotel,” a senior NDMC official said.

The licensing rights have been granted for a period of 33 years.

The property at 37, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg has about 85 rooms, 3 banquet halls and one swimming pool and is situated adjacent to Connaught Place.

“The licence fee out of this public property will help in boosting the revenue and financial potential of the NDMC which will help in financing the public projects,” the official added.

The NDMC had last year decided to auction The Connaught and re-auction Asian Hotel, after they were sealed by it in 2015 due to non-payment of license fees dues.

In January last year, the Asian Hotel was e-auctioned fetching Rs 45.5 lakh per month as licence fee, the highest-ever for the agency. But, the bidder later refused to take the property necessitating a re-auction.

DDA approves amendments to Delhi master plan 2021

Liquor shops, pubs, discotheques and clubs cannot be opened on any floor of buildings falling in residential areas in the city, according to the DDA, which today approved the proposed amendment in the Master Plan for Delhi 2021.

In February, the urban body had processed the modifications, seeking to bring relief to traders from a sealing drive. However, the Supreme Court had last month issued a directive to the DDA to invite fresh feedback from the public over a period of 15 days on the amendment.

“As many as 814 objections and suggestions for shop-cum-residence category and 115 for godowns category were received within this stipulated time period. People objected to the earlier proposal of allowing liquor shops, pubs, discotheques and clubs in residential areas, and so the Authority factored it in and incorporated it,” a senior DDA official said.

Besides this, a number of other public suggestions were also incorporated into the amendment, in the Authority meeting of the urban body at the Raj Niwas here, chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is also the chairman of the DDA, he said.

“Liquor shops, bars, discotheques, pubs and clubs shall not be allowed in residential premises as mixed use (residential-cum-commercial),” the DDA said in a statement.

The senior official said, it meant that an owner of a multi-storeyed building cannot open any such recreation facilities on any of its floor or in any part of the building.

The proposed amendment in the Master Plan 2021 for Delhi, includes bringing a uniform floor-area ratio (FAR) for shop-cum-residence plots and complexes at par with residential plots.

Some areas developed prior to 1962 like Lajpat Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar, Kamla Nagar, having concentration of commercial activities, may continue subject to conditions prescribed under the mixed use regulations. Shop-cum-residence complexes shall be allowed to continue with the activities permissible in local shopping centre, subject to few conditions, the statement said.

However, activities which are non-polluting, non-hazardous and not prohibited by law in residential areas shall be permitted, it said.

Among other proposals, it was also approved that “amount collected on account of various charges will be credited to a designated fund (escrow account) to be used exclusively for augmentation of infrastructure facilities and amenities (parking, public toilets, water supply) of capital nature”.

In order to promote parking, the owner of the plot will be allowed to amalgamate the plots up to minimum plot size of 1,000 sqm, to provide additional parking on the amalgamated plot, the DDA said.

“Such plots shall be entitled for a rebate of 50 per cent in conversion charges. In case, there is no parking facility available in the vicinity, local body concerned may declare such areas as pedestrianised shopping streets or areas. Public transport authority shall ensure last-mile connectivity to these areas,” it said.

Proposed norms for redevelopment of godowns clusters existing in non-conforming areas are to be inserted as part of a new paragraph in Chapter 6 — Wholesale Trade as a modification to MPD – 2021, the DDA said.

“Stand-alone godowns having direct access of minimum 30 m road and having storage of non-polluting and non-hazardous materials, shall be allowed,” the DDA said.

Some decisions related to draft Regulations for Enabling the Planned Development of Privately Owned Lands were also taken.

These regulations shall apply to the land parcels having activities or uses that were already in existence before the notification of MPD-1962, among other types of land.

They shall not applicable to land parcels in the ridge, regional park, reserved forest areas, land parcels in monuments regulated zones, among other categories of land, the DDA said in the statement.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) welcomed the approval by the DDA to various amendments to be made in Master Plan 2021 and termed it as a “positive step” by the central government to resolve the sealing issue in Delhi.

CIDCO gets Rs 181 crore bid for 3.4 acre Nerul plot

MUMBAI: The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the city planning authority for Navi Mumbai, has received highest bid of Rs 181 crore for a 3.4 acre land parcel in Nerul.

The plot was auctioned by CIDCO with reserve price at Rs 95,000 sq meter and was finally sold at Rs 1.33 lakh per sq meter, CIDCO spokesperson said.

Realty developer Moreshwar Group emerged as the highest bidder out of total six bidders the plot in Nerul’s sector 19 A had attracted. The plot has Floor Space Index (FSI) or permissible development of 1.5 times.

Legal factors NRIs should keep in mind while investing in real estate in India

According to the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999, an NRI is a person resident outside India who is either a citizen of India or a person of Indian origin (PIO).
Documents Required

Under KYC norms NRI must submit passport copy and relevant pages of passport having name, photo, date of birth and address and copy of PAN should be submitted. Overseas address is mandatory. Either the permanent or correspondence address must be an overseas address.
Payment Modes

NRI can open, hold and maintain different types of accounts with an Authorized Dealer (bank authorized to deal in foreign exchange) in India without the permission from the Reserve Bank.

NRIs can maintain NRO account for transactions in rupees without any approval from Reserve Bank of India. Payments for investments in real estate must be made only through the NRO/NRE Accounts and cannot be made through travellers’ cheque or foreign currency notes.
Modes of Acquisition

NRI may acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural land /farm house plantation property, by way of purchase and/or gift from a person resident in India or from a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or from a person of Indian origin resident outside India.
Documents of Title

Such documents under which the NRI will derive his title to the property including the earlier title deeds, revenue records, land records, no dues certificate and title certificate from a lawyer. Additionally the NRI may seek advise of a Chartered Accountant and a lawyer so as to rule out any legal glitch.
Financial Assistance

NRI may also avail a housing loan in Rupees from an Authorised Dealer (Bank/ Financial Institution).

YEIDA report shows how officials flouted rules in the Rs 126-crore land scam

GREATER NOIDA: There is little headway in the police probe into the Rs 126 crore Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) scam, in which former authority CEO P C Gupta and other former and current officials are involved.

Meanwhile, a report by Meena Bhargava, the current GM (planning), who probed into the purchase of 57 hectares of land, reveals how YEIDA officials, under the then CEO, had bypassed rules to purchase land in seven Mathura villages. The report was handed over to YEIDA chairman and Meerut division commissioner Prabhat Kumar on December 8, 2012.

Of the 57 hectare purchased by YEIDA in 2013 from seven villages – Madaur, Seo Patti Banger, Seo Patti Khadar, Kolana Banger, Kolana Khadar, Sotipura Bangar and Nauhjheel Banger – the purchase of only eight hectares “seems relevant” – to build ramps for the Bajna-Nauhjhil road.

The report says the land purchase was done for three reasons — to build exit/entry ramps on the Yamuna Expressway and Bajna-Naujhil road — and for allotment of 7% developed land to the farmers, in lieu of land acquired from them for the construction of Yamuna Expressway.

The report notes Gupta had formed a committee for demarcation of the 7% of abadi land. “The committee, formed by the then CEO on October 1, 2013, recommended demarcation of plots in three villages — Seo Patti Banger, Seo Patti Khadar and Kolana Khadar. But, apart from that, purchase of different plots of land was also sanctioned in all seven villages”, the report states.

The probe revealed officials publicised only one of the land purchase deals (Seo Patti Banger) in two local newspapers – Insaf Kalyan and Deshratan – which don’t even fall in the category of regional newspapers. Further, although government files mention all plot-related documents, including ownership documents (khatauni, khasra and benama) of all plots purchased, the annexures include documents of only a few of these plots. “Due process has not been followed in the purchase of land,” reads the report, accessed by TOI.

It has also come to fore that the minutes of YEIDA’s 46th board meeting mention a provision in the concession agreement which says the Jaypee concessionaire will have to bear the total cost of acquisition. “Hence, there will be no additional burden on YEIDA, in case 7% abadi land is given to farmers whose land has been acquired, as the cost will be borne by the concessionaire. However, there is no mention of recovery of costs from the concessionaire,” reads the report.

The land has still not been used up by YEIDA. Since the land was purchased by the Authority from 19 individuals/companies at higher rates, it indicates these people have benefited from the purchase.

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