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An ode to Rajasthan!By Virasat Heritage Restaurant Team
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The beauty, Jaipur exudes truly validates the ‘royal’ prefix which seems to have stuck to the place ever since one can remember. Adding yet another master of architecture and splendour to Rajathan’s capital is the Virasat Heritage Restaurant. Aptly sited in the heart of the city the imposing three-floor quaint structure catches the eyes of every passerby. Known for its uniqueness, this only heritage restaurant of the city gives you a regal treat. Its extensive contribution towards preserving the heritage of the royal state of Rajasthan, taking the legacy forward and giving people and travellers the regal experience cannot be matched up.
Virasat, as the name inspires visions of a pedigree that is royal and held with honour and pride, the restaurant intricately takes care of this to core. As you enter the premise of Virasat you are greeted with a breeze of fresh air albeit the welcome rituals you are received with are centuries old. Auspicious tilak anointing and garlanding kick start your experience tour. You step in here coming from a bustling road of the city and the next moment you are transported to the golden era of Indian History where every detail, each nook and corner speaks volumes about the grandeur and luxury the rulers of this part of the country lived with. Laced with paintings and embellished with interiors resembling the armaments the way that takes you inside ensures your next couple of hours are going to be a royal treat.
First up as you step in this royal haven is Swarn Mahal. Seated at the ground floor this spacious setting of dining is so inviting that you couldn’t resist but set your feet here. While a visit to Rajasthan can be overwhelming for many especially when you have been to places that are packed with visitors and leave you looking for the real calm experience, Swarn Mahal’s serene ambience gives you the right mix of vibrancy and tranquillity. While the city is famed for its tales of bravery and valour, Swarn Mahal shows you a side of Jaipur which offers incomparable hospitality and warmth.
Conceptualised on the decade-old dining concept it defies the modern traditions of eating. Ditching the table-chair sitting it encourages you to unwind yourself over the low-level sitting aasanas and bask in the royal glory. Caprisoned in lustrous furnishings and placed over a cushy platform, the aasanas are a perfect replication of the maharaja’s dining style. If you are one of those overwhelmed visitors especially, the ones who are now looking for a calming and closer-to-life experience of the life and times of Rajasthan, Virasat makes sure to weave a story for you. The paintings on the walls depict the tales that reminisce the regal heritage and offer a window to look into the lavish lifestyle of royal families. The flickering lights at the chandeliers illuminate the hall and accentuate the roof with elegance and sophistication. Experience the old ritual of feet washing through herbal water before you are offered the best food you will ever relish in your life in thals made of silver.
Set as a grand assembly, Swarn Mahal looks and feels like a courtyard of a Rajput ruler with intricate decor, well-lit ambience and an embellished roof that keeps one busy while relishing over delicious Rajasthani food. And if that was not enough you are left spellbound with eclectic energy, vibrancy, passion and expression of the lilting music and the magical beats of the folk dancers’ feet as they take on the floor on the live croons of singers and musicians. The artists who have travelled world over spreading the message of culture and tradition take you to a journey of the era that is undiscovered. Add to your thrill and closer to life experience, as you witness the untouched history of Rajasthan with the live audio and visual show. A treat to the visitors the captivating show unfolds the unheard stories of the golden times of rulers of Rajasthan and lay before you a montage and pictorial presentation of the life and times of kings and queens through a narration that touches the culture, colours, festivals, weddings, struggles, war, love, deceit, generosity and many such emotions.
The ambience keeps soaring as you take yourself ahead to the next floor to Deewaan Mahal – the banquet hall. The area recreates the sense of grandeur of Rajput era, one that’s welcoming and keeps calling you back to spend your hours here during your visits. The banquet service here takes care of your needs when you look forward to hosting a get together in royal style. It has been a melting pot for royal lovers who have opted to tie nuptial knots in auspicious Rajasthani manner. Many foreign couple weddings have been organised here following every ritual and custom in full bloom and letting them live the experience of a traditional Indian wedding.
If you are just in to soak the flavour and feel of the elegant lifestyle of Rajasthan and running a little short of time, the next floor is up to serve you. An a la carte set up, Rajwada caters to the lot who are looking for a fine-dine arrangement. You will feel happy to discover a comfort seating with plenty of covers with a menu that encompasses multifarious cuisine. It will surely be a relief to your overwhelming taste buds if they have gone overboard with heavy tasting sessions during tedious travel. The extensive menu also keeps space for Rajasthani fare and a quick and responsive service staff ensures your every need is taken care of promptly.
While you comfort your contemporary needs with the multi-cuisine dining space Virasat is ready to surprise with yet another tradition. The age-old concept of dining in clay thals, sitting down on the floor is revived at the Bajot Shivir. Situated on the third floor, Bajot Shivir is a kind of extension of the feast you had so far. Get to discover the best of both the worlds as you sit down to experience the royal flavours of Rajasthan. Relish your taste buds with the authentic Rajathani delicacies presented in the earthiest manner under the Swiss Tent set up as you soak in the splendid ambience and live performances of the Kalbelia dancers and renditions of folk artists. Set in the backdrop of majestically traditional interiors it takes you away from the extravagant humdrum of the royal city and luxurious lifestyle and introduces you to where the grounded roots of the tradition and values belong to. The USP of the place is the quaint and basic dining set up that brings to life the old-world charm and reminds you of the cultural festivities of small towns. Indulge in the mouth-watering array of Rajasthani food served in thals of earthen-aroma and dip yourself in the world of this desert land with a turban over your head tied by the special artists. The varied styles of turban tying belong to the different princely states of Rajasthan. The good old welcome anthem Padharo Mahare Des takes you back to the rustic desert days and compel you join the folk performers and shake a leg in traditional style. The heritage dining experience here is to capture and remember for life.
After a conjunction of luxury and traditional hospitality, Virasat offers a befitting finale to your tour. Besides taking care of your every need of comfort and food Virasat aspires to recreate a marvel that makes for you the most beautiful memory to be taken away from the city. The Sheesh Mahal at the top floor of Virasat weaves the perfect ending of your royal experience at the heritage restaurant. Reminding you the tales of kings and the history of Kachhawa Dynasty, Sheesh Mahal is a proclaimed replica of the world famous Sheesh Mahal of Amer Fort. As you enter the palatial assembly you feel like stepping into a princely mansion. An epitome of unprecedented beauty the mahal has artistic and innovative arrangements of sheesh that is mirror over the walls and roof in a manner that they accentuate the lights and images to create an illusion effect. The striking feature of it is the splendid ambience, antique décor and the classic feel of being treated as the reigning king/queen of the land of valiant when you are offered the world’s finest Rajasthani fare in pure gold thals. The walls all around depict the beautiful Tanjor paintings that have been painted with real gold that ensue magical fables of the lives of kings and queens of the royal era. Done up with gilt in vivid inlays this could easily be counted among the most elegant and accurately proportionate structures of craftsmanship. From beautiful arches to domed roof it brings the classic and world famous Rajasthani architecture to life. The opulent decor lives up to the rustic feel of a fortress, sparkling chandeliers light up the top highlighting the intricately done carvings, luxurious furnishings and beautiful paintings. The superlative food and impeccable service it comes with can be experienced only at Virasat.
Believed to be the most authentic recreation of historical dinning and opulent lifestyle of the royal legacy, Sheesh Mahal becomes a must visit for everyone who lands in the royal state of Rajasthan.
A fabulously colourful, traditional experience spotlighting the royal and ritual life of Rajasthan, Virasat as a destination is a must for every visitor and gives you one of your life’s most novel experiences.
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