Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif’s recent big Indian wedding to actress Vicky Kaushal has been hailed for its dream location and stunning setting.
The couple’s secret nuptials took place at the lake-facing Six Senses Fort Barwara, a 14th-century property located three hours from Jaipur, the capital of the desert state of Rajasthan.
Ahead of the December 9 wedding, local media ran commentary and minute-by-minute coverage of the event. Only 120 guests – including the who’s who from Bollywood – made the guest list.
Guests were accommodated in suites costing approximately $ 1,000 a night. The couple, meanwhile, stayed in the exclusive $ 10,000-per-night suite, which is equipped with a private pool, hot tub and landscaped gardens. Once owned by a Rajasthani royal family, the property consists of two palaces, on-site temples, three restaurants, an exclusive spa and water features.
From a sumptuous banquet of Punjabi and English cuisine concocted by 100 cooks who came especially for the wedding, to a personalized glass gazebo in which the duo shared their vows, a horse-drawn cart for the groom and a palanquin for the bride, everything was royal.
Six Senses Fort Barwara isn’t the only venue to host large-scale celebrity weddings. Many other well-known Indian hotels and resorts have also hosted the nuptials of Bollywood and Hollywood stars.
Here are some of the best:
Actor Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas got married in a sparkling ceremony at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. More than 1,500 guests from around the world, many of whom arrived by private jet, for three days of celebration.
Home of the royal family of Jodhpur and currently the sixth largest private residence in the world, the palace was built between 1928 and 1943 from the same palm courtyard marble used in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Perched on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, the property offers stunning views of the Blue City, rolling sand dunes and historic Mehrangarh Fort, while Balsamand and Kalyana Lakes are nestled nearby.
A heritage walk around the palace provides an intimate glimpse of this fascinating royal residence, which once housed Jodhpur’s Maharani Badan Kanwar. The last of India’s grand palaces, the hotel is set amid 10.5 acres of lush gardens and is home to a family museum, an underground Zodiac pool, and 70 Art Deco-inspired rooms and suites.
Liz Hurley and her ex-husband, Indian businessman Arun Nayar, also stayed here before their wedding in 2007, which took place at nearby Fort Meherangarh.
The magnificent 19th century Baradari Palace, located in the middle of the culturally rich town of Patiala in Punjab, is an architectural marvel transformed into a heritage hotel by the Neemrana Hotels.
Dotted with vast courtyards, the 30-hectare property has hosted many large-scale weddings, including those of royalty and Bollywood stars. More recently, this is where Simran Kaur Mundi, former Miss India for Miss Universe, married her husband, Bollywood filmmaker, Gurickk Maan. He has also been featured in blockbuster Bollywood films such as Bodyguard, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Phillauri and Raazi.
The palace was commissioned by the King of Patiala, Maharaja Rajinder Singh, in 1876 for his pregnant queen, one of the reasons it is dotted with oxygenating trees. He defended women’s rights, implemented reforms and defied taboos by marrying an Irish woman. He was also known for the ease with which he integrated various cultures. Reflecting the Maharaja’s love for syncretism, the property refuses to conform to a single architectural style and merges elements of Hindustani, Mughal and colonial design.
The heart of the palace is its pavilion with 12 doors – the baradari which gives it its name. With all of its suites named after former Maharajas of Patiala and featuring portraits of kings and queens, the hotel transports guests to a bygone era.
Exquisite period furniture, large four-poster beds, and other relics of the past, including engravings of the Maharaja’s coat of arms on glass doors, lean on the regal vibe. At night, the 12 cuspid arches of the Baradari are illuminated, reinforcing the noble past of the palace-garden.
The wedding venue of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan Arpita Khan’s sister and actor Aayush Sharma in 2014, Taj Falaknuma Palace in the southern city of Hyderabad has been in the spotlight for weeks. The wedding brought together the who’s who of Indian and international cinema, as well as businessmen and politicians.
Salman reserved the entire palace for the two days of the $ 2 million wedding, which included horses, chariots, lavish banquets and processions. Located five kilometers from the 16th century historical monument of Charminar, Falaknuma Palace (Falakunma means mirror in the sky) has more than 60 sumptuous rooms and a dining table that seats 100 people.
The Marble Palace, which once hosted guests such as Tsar Nicholas II and King George V, has exclusive rooms that cost over $ 20,000 per night. The palace was once the residence of the Sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan, after he purchased it from the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad State, Nawab Viqar ul-Umara.
A heritage hotel in Gwalior, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Deo Bagh is dotted with 17th and 18th century Maratha temples, two cenotaphs, and a pavilion with 36 arched doors. Its landscaped gardens and lawns have hosted many celebrities and royal weddings, with drummers, dancers and classical music concerts entertaining VIP guests. Delicious Indian and continental specialties are prepared by the establishment’s fifty or so chefs.
The hotel’s 15 sumptuously decorated suites span the palace’s five wings, preceded by a Nau Bagh, or nine-part garden. In medieval times, important state meetings of the kings of the Punjab were held here. The garden complex is home to exquisite temples, a hathikhana (elephant shelter) and stables.
Legend has it that in AD 1500, the Mughals were camping on the lawns of the Deo Bagh Palace, which features a chhattis dari, or pavilion with 36 pillars. The queen and her entourage gathered in the palace’s underground chamber during the summer to escape the catatonic heat of the city, as there was a water gap on all four sides. In the evening, the ladies wandered through the lush, landscaped lawns where the peacocks still preen themselves in all their feathery splendor.
Neemrana Fort Palace is said to have been the first property in Rajasthan to host a secret royal wedding in 1992, involving a chartered plane, an artificially created chapel lit by 1,000 candles, white and orange oriental lilies hanging from baskets in the courtyard central followed by a black-tie dinner. But the hotel staff are far too discreet to share names.
Since its inception in the 1980s, the fortified palace has hosted many celebrity weddings, including wealthy Indians who are not residents of the UAE. History murmurs from all corners of the palace as it was the center of power for the descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan III, king of the Rajput Chauhan warrior dynasty. Left abandoned for much of the 20th century, it was meticulously restored in the 1990s to restore it to its original medieval glory, making it one of the most unique hotels in the world.
Built in 1464 AD, the property sits on a hill with panoramic views of the Indian countryside. The 55-room hotel is built on 2.5 hectares of land with 12 separate levels and palatial wings bordered by manicured gardens teeming with traditional flora and fauna. The rooms are inspired by Indian antiquity or the British colonial heritage. Bursting with antiques, they come without modern gadgets such as televisions or phones, allowing guests an immersive experience in a rich past.
Updated: December 21, 2021, 04:01