Sandur – Shivavilas Palace

I’m doing something I have not done on my blog. I am going to tell you about a hotel! Before you roll your eyes and start wondering what’s up with me, let me tell you – the “hotel” was an erstwhile palace, now operating as a hotel since 2012. Though Shivavilas Palace now a hotel, the place retains the grandeur and charm fitting of a palace!

Sandur, as a place, is bit of a surprise. On the otherwise barren, flat areas typical of Ballari district, Sandur stands out as a mini collection of hills and a valley between these. More about Sandur later…

Shivavilas Palace was home to the erstwhile Ghorpade royal family. Built in 1941, the royal family maintained control of the palace till 2012, at which time, it was carefully and tastefully converted into a hotel, welcoming travelers to this little gem of a place. The feeling of royalty can be felt immediately upon entering the gates.

The pillared corridors with furniture that does not take away the erstwhile looks of the place, adorned by numerous images depicting the history, flora/fauna of Sandur through the years is a treat to watch. The high ceilings offer an airy ambience.

The place has 12 rooms and 2 suites (Maharaja and Maharani suites). Since the place was fully booked, we could not get a glimpse of the suites. But, I can imagine them vividly, given that our own simple room was grand beyond my imaginations.

Beautiful paintings and Lambani artworks are embellished liberally in the room. While the place retains its old-world looks, it still offers every amenity and service that a modern hotel has on offer. And all the staff are uber-helpful and go above/beyond to get things done for the guests. All this, done with genuine smiles on their faces!

Once the sun goes down, the palace REALLY comes alive!

I highly recommend a stay at the Shivavilas Palace at Sandur – check out their website. In Sandur itself, there are not many options for stay. Also, given that its a bit far from Hampi (about 40 kms), fewer people choose to stay here to explore Hampi – though, Hampi can be a perfect day trip from here. While Hampi takes all the attention, Sandur is picturesque in its own way. Its hard to imagine stunning green landscapes dotted with hills in the Ballari area. But, that’s exactly what Sandur is – a paradise, especially after the rains.

Stay tuned to see some stunning landscapes around Sandur – coming up in a subsequent post!

What do you think of the Shivavilas Palace? Would you fancy staying here? Do let me know in the comments below.

Cheers.

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