Set on over 6,000 acres of a mix of forest, lake and desert, Gajner Palace is an oasis in the Thar Desert of northern India. Built by Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh and nestled between Ganjer Lake and a wildlife sanctuary, this heritage hotel is the ideal desert escape for visitors to Rajasthan.

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Lose yourself in this majestic palace, with its distinctive terraces and balconies, revered for its fabulous setting and unhurried way of life. Used as a hunting lodge for esteemed guests of the British Raj, the palace was expanded with the addition of a railway station in 1922, connecting it to the nearby town of Bikaner. In 1976 Gajner Palace was converted into a heritage hotel and has since been intriguing guests with its colorful past and beautiful location.

The palace contains 45 resplendent rooms separated into four wings – Dungar Niwas, Mandir Chowk, Gulab Niwas and Champa Niwas. The 13 historic suites, quarters of the British dignitaries in bygone days, are located in the fully-restored Dungar Niwas wing. Rooms in Gulab Niwas were formerly used by railway officers, a beautiful courtyard surrounds Champa Niwas, and Mandir Chowk was once part of the reception area for guests arriving by train, accented by impressive Banyan trees. The colonial styling of the palace has been preserved in the hotel’s decor, with four-poster beds, antiques and period artwork.

Dine in the Mirage Restaurant, the former palace ballroom that now serves traditional Indian, Mughali and continental dishes morning to night. Live entertainment performs on the Imperial Terrace, invigorating the candlelit lakeside setting by evening. Unwind with a fine wine or cocktail at the Mrigtrishna Bar, enjoying the breezes from the lake.

Explore a world of nature walks, boat rides, sanctuary dinners and desert safaris as you discover what many consider Rajasthan’s “best-kept secret” in the Thar. The Maharaja’s hunting grounds, now converted into a wildlife sanctuary, are a haven to endangered antelopes like the chinkara, black buck, blue bull as well as other rare animals. Migratory birds flock to Ganjer Lake each winter – the multitude is a stunning sight from the palaces expansive lakeside terrace. Take day trips to Bikaner to tour several other palaces and historic temples, or visit camel farms and meet the stock that is the pride of the region.

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