Adjacent to the Piramal Gate is the Piramal Haveli. It is a huge mansion: the left half of which has been converted into a heritage hotel and is being run by Neemrana Hotels.
The haveli, constructed in 1928, is a beautiful amalgamation of traditional Rajasthani and European architecture. A leisurely walk through its rooms, twin courtyards and pillared corridors makes its once boisterous interiors come alive. I could actually imagine the laughter of the newly-weds, cries of children, cacophony of utensils and stern looks on the faces of the senior members.
It is here that I first saw frescoes of flying angels and gods in motor cars adorning the baithak or the sitting room of the Seth from where he conducted business or received visitors.
Amongst the many styles of architecture of the various Neemrana non-hotel Hotels is The Piramal Haveli – a 20th century Rajasthani-Italianate villa that has been lovingly restored.
It was built in 1928 with a large open garden and two pillared courtyards painted with colourful kitsch frescoes of flying angels and gods in motor cars. The central courtyard which is magical during the monsoons revives a scent of the Indian Marwari lifestyle in colonial India, making it the ideal choice for discerning directors that endeavour to portray authentic period history.
The period rooms dating back to the 20th century – have been refurbished with fine pieces of collector’s art and furniture. The garden that surrounds the Haveli offers opportunities for outdoor shots without any external disturbances and vast opportunities for creative directors who can adapt their locales with an inventive imagination.