Although I had heard of Karnal before and had even driven through it a few years ago en route from Delhi to Mori in Uttarakhand, I knew embarrassingly little about the city that seemed to be the pride of the state of Haryana. Gaurav, my rather chatty driver who ferried me from the Delhi Airport towards Karnal two-and-a-half hours away kept regaling me with tales of the Mahabharata as we drove past historical towns like Panipant and Sonipat—the former famous for its epic Battle of Panipat. It was as though he was preparing me for the grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty my final destination— the palatial Noor Mahal Hotel—had in store for me…
Nestled in the mystical land of the Mahabharata, the truly breath-taking Noor Mahal is one of those ‘Incredible Indian Palace Hotels’ that has been built on a monumental scale. And that was evident to me as we drove up to its mighty gates that made me feel like I was entering some sort of an actual palace. But then again, it is a five-star luxury palace hotel that is inspired by India’s rich heritage and one that captures all the grandeur and luxury enjoyed by Indian Maharajas over the centuries. A reflection of Rajputana and Mughal architecture, the grand structure that stands out as a true blend of history, culture and aesthetics, has been designed by one of India’s notable architects, Himmat Singh. Set amid the culturally rich land of Karnal, this palace hotel enjoys equal proximity to both Delhi and Chandigarh. With lush green fields and farms surrounding it, the hotel is situated on the old course of the Yamuna river traversing its way to Delhi.Upon entering the hotel, an impressive lobby featuring beautiful architecture, intricately carved furniture, antique paintings and artefacts welcomes guests like myself with an outstanding first impression. The hotel has two courtyards laid out along the east and west axis. The first courtyard is called the Deewan-e-Aam on the lobby level, providing an access from all four sides. The second is the Deewan-e-Khas on the first floor which is surrounded by rooms and balconies with low jaalis and chajjas.
Speaking of rooms, Noor Mahal offers a selection of 122 heritage-imbued rooms and suites, uniquely designed to provide luxurious royal splendour. Apart from the Presidential suites and heritage suites, Noor Mahal boasts a special royal sleeping chamber called the ‘Khwabgah’ which includes two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, a private bar, an office chamber and a spacious terrace that gives one an overview of Karnal city. From the architecture, design and service to the intangible atmosphere and modern luxury they provide, the rooms and suites are perfect for a royal staycation. They are elegantly decorated with a mix of bespoke furnishings, beautiful antiques and carefully chosen object d’art that underscore an exceptional attention to detail. Special traditional hand-paintings on the wall enhance the grandeur. The bold and impressive
‘4 Hiran Minars’ or 4 golden towers stand
100 feet high with octagonal chhatris at the four corners on top.
Besides a totally separate banqueting kitchen, Noor Mahal takes great pride in its F&B offerings. For a unique dining experience, Frontier Mail has been designed recreating the legendry Frontier Mail train that operated between Mumbai and Peshawar during pre-independence days. Even its menu comprises of dishes from the regions through which the train made its initial journey.And while the all-day dining Brown Sugar offers both buffet meals as well as an a la carte menu showcasing global favourites, the leather and dark wood-finished Polo Bar is the perfect place to unwind as it sets the perfect ambience for evenings with an eclectic collection of fine spirits, cognacs and cigars.
Of Dream Weddings
Spread over 10 acres and 35,0000 square feet of carpet area, Noor Mahal is an ideal venue for that dream destination wedding, offering everything from 13 beautifully appointed banquet halls to an in-house salon, spa, gym and a team of wedding planners who are at your beck and call. No wonder then, Noor Mahal has become a one stop shop for all wedding requirements as the hotel follows an innovative approach in keeping up with the times and offering guests trendy and personalised wedding experiences. The mix of royal grandeur and the rich modern hospitality makes this beautiful palace a dream destination to take those marriage vows and plan those memorable pre-and post-wedding celebrations. No wonder then that earning the title of one of the country’s most splendid option for romantic weddings, Noor Mahal is nothing less than the epitome of intimacy and tradition.