Dhaulpur - Its truly a hidden gem. Just off the Agra - Gwalior highway, 55 kms from Agra is the Dhaulpur Palace... a great weekend destination to soak in luxury as well as to explore the " behaads" of Chambal. Dhaulpur, a small town of Rajasthan sandwiched between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is roughly midway between Agra and Gwalior, approx 1 hr drive to reach either one. Dhaulpur was a protectorate of the British East India Company from 1779 on wards. In 1949, it merged with the young Indian nation and in 1956 the princely state ceased to exist.
The Raj Niwas Palace or dhaulpur palace , as it is popularly known, was built to welcome HRH Albert Edward, when he visited in 1876.
Accomodation options in the property are 1) the huge suites in the main palace with high ceiling rooms, period furnitures and intricately designed tiles 2) the modern garden villas with private pools in the well maintained garden area.
We had opted for the garden villas ( a more economic and affordable option :-) )
At present, a young couple is in charge of the maintenance of the property.... and they do their job quiet well. The environment and the staff really make you feel pampered and royal !!
Things to do - Just 4 kms from the property is the Chambal Gharial Sanctuary . You can go for a motor boat trip on the chambal river. We could spot a large no. of gharials , crocodiles, tortoise and migratory birds. The nearby Machkund temple surprised us. Built in the style of Pushkar, the place has 108 temples scattered around a central lake. So beautiful but so little known.
We also did a bit of chambal village and " beehad" walking.