The Paris of Punjab, as Kapurthala is called, has no dearth of historical and cultural places to visit: as the seat of the throne for the princely state of the same name, it has two French-influenced palaces, a glorious Mughal-style royal garden, a mosque with Moorish design, a museum dedicated to Bhagat Singh and even a Rail Coach Factory you can visit. It also is the site of Jagatjit Industries — India’s first distillery, purveyors of the Aristocrat brand — established by the Maharaja himself.
People flock to Kapurthala for its distinctive blend of Indian and French architecture from miles away, and it’s so worth a visit. And where better to stay than — how shall we put it? — the aristocratic home turned resort of Hamira Lux?
Along with the Jagatjit palace in Kapurthala, the erstwhile ruler of Kapurthala, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh, also maintained a residence in Delhi. During the Second World War, the British requisitioned this beautiful property and the Maharaja had to leave #3, Mansingh Road. He chose to stay a few streets over with his favorite niece, Surjit and her husband LP Jaiswal. It was at this time that they hit upon the idea of opening India’s first distillery.
The Maharaja set the young couple up with 300 acres in the hamlet of Hamira, back home in Kapurthala. The distillery was a massive success, and the family settled back into its roots.
Today, the ancestral home of the Jaiswals and its annex are open to the discerning for a charming, very royal stay.
The very essence of your stay is steeped in the personal touch of the family; each object d’art has been tastefully collected through the years. Feast your eyes on famous works by internationally renowned artists, scattered through tastefully decorated rooms. Take your pick of where you’d like to relax — your room? The spa? The manicured gardens? Or perhaps the library!
There’s a lot to do in Kapurthala, but chances are you’ll want to sink into the luxury of the moment, and never leave. The heavenly Élysée Palace? The Moorish Mosque? Well, maybe a few quick outings wouldn’t hurt.
Make the Hamira Lux your base and relax — the whole experience is geared toward helping you unwind, deeply and completely. If you never make it to the mosque and palaces, we won’t blame you — and we won’t tell!
The tranquil silence is probably what stands out the most once you’re at Hamira Lux.
Peacocks stroll past the fountains in the terraced lawns, where you can have coffee or do your yoga. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, you’ll want to take a dip in the pool.
On winter evenings, you can request a bonfire or if you’d rather not brave the elements, you can curl up near the fireplace with a glass of wine and a good book. And whatever the weather, a massage is welcome at any time.
Getting there: Hamira is a half hour from Jalandhar and about 1.5 hours from Amritsar; charter flights can be arranged to the Beas Airport on request.
Cost: Rooms are between INR 16,500 (USD 245) and INR 29,500 (USD 435)
#ProTip: If you’re traveling in a large group, the entire property can be booked for a private party.