See Sandur in September -- Mahatma Gandhi
Shiv Vilas palace sandur
27 th July 2019
Travelled to the the little town of sandur which is 350 kilometres from Bangalore and a driving time of seven hours .
very few people know about sandur. sandur was the princely state of the Ghorpade who were basically from Maharashtra.
It is very rich in mineral deposits such as manganese and iron. it almost accounts to 90% of manganese and iron in Karnataka.
the last ruler of sandur was Yashwantrao ghorpade who started the mining business and it was never a commercial affair as he was benevolent to the local people of sandur.
His son is M Y Ghorpade, former minister in the Government of Karnataka. He is an award winning photographer and even he had cultivated the same idea of never commercializing the mining activity in and around sandur.
we stayed at the shivavilas palace which was the residence of the Ghorpade. it is managed by the trust of SMIORE and managed by the welcome Heritage group.
we had taken a double bedroom with air conditioning. the palace only has 10 rooms to offer to its clients and it's a very nice property surrounded by lush green landscapes and overlooking the mountains.
everything in the palace is exactly the same as the royal people had used it for example the furniture inside the rooms, cutlery in the kitchen , bowls used in the dining hall and books in the library and not to forget the artifacts in and around the palace.
our room adjoining balcony which just given rough idea is as big as a room in a modern day apartment which is overlooking the swimming pool.
the whole city is built around the palace
we reached sandur at lunch time on 27th and were welcomed by the staff and given a royal treatment at the reception .we then headed to our room and not to forget the centre table which had the legs of an actual bison which was hunted by the maharaja back in the day.
after checking into the rooms in getting freshened up with and headed to the dining hall and were treated to a very sumptuous meal. the plates , bowls and the cutlery were the same which the royal family had used when they were staying at the palace. it gives you a royal and supreme feeling.
we were taken on a tour of the property by Mr Praveen and was shown the maharaja and maharani suite .the library ,bar ,billiards room, indoor games and not to forget the car museum which had a collection of the vintage cars.
some of the cars that were there on display was imported to India by the maharaja .the second car was a four wheel drive which was used by Ghorpade for photographic expedition. there was also willys Jeep which is used for hunting and the last vehicle was a Mercedes Benz s class . all these cars were in mint condition and even till date are running .
the hotel is generally full on the weekends and very few people know about the place as well as the palace. so it gives you very private feeling.
there was also a room which housed the artillery and the armoury of the maharajas such as their guns, knives and throne.
since the maharajas were fond of hunting, the bust of deer cheetah are all placed in the trophy room. which even till date looks fresh because a taxidermist takes care of them once a month .you can also find the skin of a bear as well as a tiger
We retired for the day after dinner.
the next day we got up at around 8 o'clock in the morning and since we are the luxury of a large balcony adjoining the room the views of spectacular does a very misty morning the mountains are all covered with fog .
palace also has two temples which till date are visited by the royal family .the one temple is a Subramanya temple and the other temple is their family deity. we are very lucky that the priest performed the special Puja for us and we got the blessings of the almighty.
After breakfast at the palace , then we back-to-back to leave towards Bangalore.
it's an excellent property because it gives you the feeling of royalty and secondly is the town of sandur which is got so much of mineral wealth
the drive from Hospet to sandur and sandur to kudligi is very scenic because on one side got the mountains and on the other side if got the Narihalla river.
we checked out of the palace at 12 in the noon and then headed towards the highway to make a journey back to Bangalore.
must visit to sandur to experience the palace the nature around and most importantly the drive from Bangalore to sandur and back Bangalore.