A Princess of the Hills and Other Royal Women
Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayan mountains is the royal House of Nirwa. This feature is all about its Princess Ambika and other members of her extended family from the royal houses of Khajurgaon and Khandela.
The occasion for this gay abandon is Dusshera Festival, an annual event when the Nirwa Palace opens its sprawling courtyards and lush-green gardens for colourful folk dances and music and food. The royal family of Nirwa plays host to people from the villages and hamlets of the area famous for ancient temples of Goddesses and now increasingly its apple and pomegranate orchards. All those who come to greet the family – and many trudge through hilly terrain from far-off places are greeted warmly by Ambika, fed well and given a small gift in appreciation of making it to their doors.
Princess Ambika is dressed up in heirloom jewellery handed down to her through generations. A mountaineer, horse rider and expert at slow cooked food, she leads the prayers on Dusshera with a visit to the family deity and then to the cenotaphs of her ancestors to seek their blessings.
On an occasion such as Dussehra the Palace bustles with activity and much conviviality. During the last celebrations the Nirwa Palace hosted the ladies from the royal houses of Khajurgaon and Khandela, seen in the accompanying photo.
About KV Singh
K V Singh Your host in India in your journey through this fantastic land !
Tourism Planner since 1976, Singh is widely traveled, a wild-life enthusiast, horseman, mountaineer, environmentalist and gourmet. He & several of his relations from royal families own & operate lovely boutique hotels & resorts in India where you would be warmly welcomed and personally looked after. His wife is a social entrepreneur and conducts study tours in India for volunteers, students and teachers from all over the world. Singh is a scion of the royal family of Khandela. The photographs displayed along side are some of his ancestors in regalia. They were great patrons of music & dance, paintings, culinary arts and were themselves gracious hosts.
The tradition continues.