The Kathiwada royal family can be traced back nearly 700 years to 1434. The erstwhile principality is a flat land valley situated in modern day Madhya Pradesh covering 181 sq. kms. of dense forest surrounded by the Vindhya Range of hills. The Raaj Mahal offers spectacular visuals in every direction.
Once the erstwhile royal family’s hunting lodge commissioned by Rana Onkar Sinh in 1895, the Mahal was bequeathed to late Yuvraj Bharat Sinh and Sangita Devi Kathiwada at the time of their marriage.
Inundated with memorabilia, art deco furniture, precious books and family photographs collected over generations, Raaj Mahal encapsulates the regal era gone by.
Having fallen into decay from being uninhabited for years, Sangita eventually took up the great challenge of restoring their home in 2007. She invited Professor Rabindra Vasavada, conservation expert of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to preserve the noble structure of the building. Skilled artisans from West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan were brought in to fortify the Mahal.
An expert in the field of textiles and design, Sangita lent her aesthetics to the interiors and specially commissioned hand-woven fabrics for the upholstery. She painstakingly framed the family photos with different textiles denoting the character of each royal family member.
Each room has been tastefully done up with great thought and care. The rooms retain an old-world charm while offering modern amenities and fixtures.
The present day members of the Kathiwada family considers themselves to be privileged custodians of such rich culture and heritage and invite like-minded individuals to come and enjoy a royal experience woven with tales of an era gone by.
The Kathiwada family is spearheading social development in the region through the Kathiwada Foundation.
The Foundation aims to be the catalyst and facilitator of progress in the region through its various projects. They have collaborated with Amaachi Labs, a division of Amrita University from Kerala to initiate vocational training of the tribal population in Kathiwada.
The Foundation has also teamed up with the Authors Cricket Club of England led by historian Tom Holland. The BatAid initiative supports sports and empowers the youth.
The family also works with the local schools to create sustainable programs such as tree plantation drives, organic farming, preservation of tribal culture, awareness of healthcare and education to name a few.