The Belgadia Palace in Odisha : Palace in India to Stay

Belgadia Palace Mayurbhanj Odisha

The Belgadia Palace is a 200 years old palace in Mayurbhanj in Odisha which has opened its heart for travelers. This palace in India will help you to transform to the bygone era and experience Royalty. Staying at the Belgadia palace in Odisha will help you to understand the beautiful art forms of Sabai Grass, Dokra Art and Chhau Dance. The Belgadia Palace in Mayurbhanj is one of the palaces in India which offers boutique homestay. The palace promotes sustainable tourism and engages with local tribal and village community to promote local handicrafts. You will get an insight into the art and crafts of Odisha. This palace in India is just 5 hours drive from Kolkata and situated extremely close to Simlipal National Park.

I got to experience my royal stay at the Belgadia Palace in January 2021. As soon as I entered through the gates of Belgadia Palace, the majestic beauty peeped through the green cover inside the palace premises. Soon I was welcomed by the staff at the Belgadia palace with a smile and open heart. Within 2 minutes I was transformed into the royal and bygone era of the Belgadia Palace. As soon as you enter the Belgadia palace the first thing which will catch your eyes is the monogrammed staircase with the letter M and the walls adorned with trophies of animal heads and horns. One noticeable trophy is the huge skull of a crocodile which was almost 50% of my height ( I am 5’11”) as soon as you start climbing the staircase.

Belgadia Palace architecture

Before we get into the details of the Belgadia palace and the experiences which you can enjoy here, lets understand the history of the Mayurbhanj dynasty and the Belgadia palace.

Video of The Belgadia Palace : A Beautiful Palace in India

Before we get into the details of the Belgadia Palace, check this quick 2 mins video to get a glimpse of this palace in India.

History of Belgadia Palace and Mayurbhanj

Mayurbhanj was ruled by the Bhanja dynasty since 9th Century AD and as the historical records say they have never been defeated by any enemy since then. There is a folklore that the ancestor of the Bhanja dynasty was born from the eye of a peacock hence the word Mayur, meaning peacock in Hindi, and the word Bhanj came from Bhanja dynasty, and hence the place is called as Mayurbhanj.

However the state under the Bhanja dynasty was earlier called as the Khijjinga Mandala named after the Capital Khijjinga Kotta. Khijjinga Mandala was a huge territory that encompassed Keonjhar districts and Singhbhum districts in Bihar and Mednipur district in West Bengal along with the current Mayurbhanj district. During the Mughal period the capital of the Bhanja dynasty shifted from Khijjinga Kotta to Haripur. I will share the details of Haripur in a separate blog post on Mayurbhanj.

History of Belgadia Palace Mayurbhanj

Now once you have understood a little history of the Bhanja dynasty let's shift back to the Belgadia Palace. The current Belgadia Palace was constructed as a guest house for the royal state visitors and the construction began in the year 1804. The Bhanja dynasty used to stay in a different Palace which is currently a school and the Bhanja dynasty donated the actual palace and shifted in the current Belgadia Palace. The current Belgadia Palace in Mayurbhanj was designed on the orders of Sri Ram Chandra Bhanj Deo is also known as the Philosopher King and one of the most famous kings of the Bhanja dynasty in recent times. The Palace was later refurnished keeping in mind the taste of the second wife of Sri Ram Chandra Bhanj Deo, Sucharu Devi who was the daughter of the famous founder of Brahmo Samaj movement Sri Keshab Chandra Sen. Sucharu Devi used to stay in The Belgadia Palace when she used to visit Mayurbhanj from West Bengal. There is an interesting love story which you should listen to and I will write about it more below when I describe my room where I stayed in Belgadia Palace.


Architecture of Belgadia Palace – A Palace in India

The Belgadia Palace is one of the few palaces in India which is a living example of Greek & Victorian architecture. The architecture is majestic yet subtle. The Belgadia Palace in India has Doric-Corinthian columns and is made with brick and mortar.

As soon as you enter the palace courtyard you will be able to see the Hathi Baramdah or the Elephant Porch. The porch is high arched so that when the ruler would enter the palace on elephants he could easily get inside the palace without bending his head.

Palace in India

Stay at Palace in India

Once you get through the main door of the palace you will be welcomed by the majestic monogrammed staircase. This was one of my favorite places in the palace as I would stare at the various trophies of hunted animals which adorned the walls of the palace around the staircase. You can see huge oil paintings of the erstwhile kings of Mayurbhanj from the Bhanja dynasty on the walls near the staircase.

Palaces of India

If you head straight from the doors you will be greeted by a huge hall filled with antique furniture. This hall was once the Ballroom of the Palace and the royal’s guests would be entertained here. As soon as you enter the ballroom don’t forget to look on your right-hand side for a huge Patachitra which is an intricate artwork from the state of Odisha.

Architecture of Palace in India

This ballroom in Belgadia Palace is a treasure trove of antiques and handicrafts. In the morning you can listen to old jazz vinyl records playing from an old gramophone. The morning looks extremely beautiful with sunlight peeping through the huge windows. Morning with a book and cup of coffee will set your day for the perfect royal experience. The ballroom is dotted with beautiful chandeliers and Persian carpets. Also don’t miss the taxidermied heads of Bison and also deer horns which are displayed on the wall.

Belgadia Palace Odisha

stay in belgadia palace

The library connected with this ballroom is a treasure trove of books. The library at the Belgadia palace has a collection of extremely rare and limited edition books. If you are a voracious reader then you can spend months going through the collection and yet have a huge collection of these jewels left for you to explore. The study table in the library of Belgadia Palace is adorned by stuffed tigers on both sides which will give you a feel of a Maharaja.

Library of Belgadia Palace

Palace in India Library

Palaces of India


The corridor of Belgadia palace makes you feel energized with lots of positive energy which peeps through the huge Victorian-styled windows. While you move from the library to the corridor don’t miss the hidden rotating door. A small push on the glass and wooden finished wall will surprise you with a rotating door through which you can access the corridor. The walls of the corridor are filled with oil paintings and the deer horns are hung from the top of the door.

Palaces in Odisha

The circular staircase is the star of the palace and you can take many Instagram-worthy photographs here.

Palaces in India

Indian Palace

Once you go to the first floor climbing the mahagony staircase you will be welcomed by chequered floor. I stayed in the Bengal Renaissance room on the first floor. There are suites on the first floor and the current royal family stays on the first floor which is connected to the guest area.

Belgadia Palace architecture

The first floor is again filled with antique furniture, interesting antiques which have been collected from across the world by the family members over the centuries. One interesting item which you shouldn’t miss is the memorabilia of the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. There is another room that connects to the private wing. You can see various intricate ivory artifacts here.

Experiences at Belgadia Palace

The directors of Belgadia Palace Akshita & Mrinalika believes in sustainable tourism and also does a lot to promote local handicrafts & culture. As such there are bound to be many activities and experiences that the Belgadia Palace offers. If you want to book any local experiences you need to inform the staff at the Belgadia Palace or else if you have your own car, you can drive by yourself and experience.

The following are the recommended experiences which Belgadia palace recommends.

Experiences at Belgadia Palace

Experiences at Belgadia Palace

Let's start with the experiences inside the Belgadia Palace where you needn’t go venture out.

Chhau Dance of Mayurbhanj

Mostly people relate Chhau with Purulia and mask dance, however Chhau dance of Mayurbhanj district is quite different. Chhau Dance is arranged inside the Belgadia Palace in the evenings.

Chhau Dance of Mayurbhanj

Mayurbhanj Chhau dance is originally a tribal war dance that has its origins from the forests of Mayurbhanj. There are no masks or ornate dresses in the Mayurbhanj Chhau. The dancers wear local dresses which depicts the earlier lifestyle of the warriors. They use swords and shields to perform acrobatic martial arts moves to the tune of the music.

Chhau Dance in Odisha

Chhau Dance of Mayurbhanj

Chhau Dance

Project Chhauni is trying to revive the Chhau dance of Mayurbhanj and bring back the lost glory of Chhau of Mayurbhanj. I will describe the Chhau dance of Mayurbhanj in detail in a separate blog post along with videos. In fact a Big thanks to Project Chhauni who helped me document the art form.

Sabai Grass Handicrafts Village

Sabai grass handicraft of Mayurbhanj is a beautiful art form that uses the Sabai grass to make various products. A visit to the Sabai grass village is a must if you are a lover of handicrafts and if you would like to decorate your homes with beautiful handicraft items. You can buy handbags, basket/trays, flower vases, etc from this village and see the artisans creating these beautiful products by hand.

Sabai Grass Handicraft

Guhaldiha is a tribal village that is home to the Sabai Grass community where women weavers use Sabai grass to weave the products.

Sabai Grass

Haripur Temple in Mayurbhanj

Haripur was the capital of Mayurbhanj, however, the place is in ruins today. It is a heritage site under the Archaeological Survey of India. There was a massive fort in the earlier days, however today only a terracotta temple of Rasika Raya stands on the grounds of Haripur. There are unground chambers connecting to tunnels that were built so that the royal family can escape through these tunnels in case of an attack. The curvilinear form of roofing in this temple is believed to be the Gaudiya style of architecture of Bengal. This style of architecture was later adopted by the Delhi Emperors in all architectural designs and in course of time adopted in different parts of the civilized world.


Haripur Odisha Teracotta Temple

Haripur Temple of Odisha

Staying in a Palace in India: My Experience at Belgadia Palace

If I have to sum up my experience of staying in Belgadia Palace in two words then it has to be – Royal & Homely.

I stayed in the Bengal Renaissance Suite or which is also fondly called as the Red Room. This room is in the memory of Sucharu Devi. This is a love story that we could only read in novels and fictions, however, this played a century back in the Belgadia Palace in Mayurbhanj. This love story is between, Maharaja Sri Ram Chandra Bhanj Deo and Sucharu Devi who was the daughter of the founder of Brahmo Samaj Keshab Chandra. The Maharaja fell in love with Sucharu Devi at the age of 18 and wanted to marry her who was then 15 years old. Since Sucharu Devi was not a Hindu , the royal family didn’t allow Maharaja to marry her. Maharaja Ram Chandra Bhanj Deo got married to Lakshmi Devi who was the princess of Porahat. However, the princess dies due to smallpox.

Room of Belgadia Palace

As luck would play its game, the Maharaja met Sucharu Devi at an event in Calcutta and found that she never married as Sucharu Devi was still in love with Maharaja. Hearing this the Maharaja asked Sucharu Devi to marry him. It is said that on returning to Mayurbhanj said that a king has two important tasks “Karma and Dharma”. He said that due to Dharma he married earlier and now its his turn to fulfill Karma.

Bengal Renaissance room of Belgadia Palace

Sucharu Devi never came and stayed in Belgadia Palace, however, the palace has furniture and artifacts which were commissioned by Sucharu Devi herself.

Rooms at Belgadia Palace Odisha

Now back to the Room where I stayed – The Bengal Rennaisance room. The Bengal renaissance room has a full-length mirror which was used by the Sucharu Devi herself and an antique bathtub which stands are shaped in like a Claw.

Vintage Furnitures at Belgadia Palace Odisha

I would wake up early in the morning and sit on the corridor with my cup of coffee and would pick up a book to read. Later I would go for a walk among the mango orchard which is inside the Belgadia Palace premises. After breakfast, I would wander in the palace like a kid looking and enjoying the century-old artifacts which are dotted across the palace.

The food which is served here is extremely homely and you cater to varied tastes. You can get continental as well as Odiya food. Nepali food is also served.

I stayed there for 3 days 2 nights however it's simply not enough to enjoy every nook and corner of this living museum – The Belgadia Palace.

The staffs here especially Rashida and Ranjit took extra care of us and my 1-year-old daughter and made us feel at home.

How to reach Belgadia Palace

It will take approximately 5 hours to drive from Kolkata. The road is buttery smooth and you can easily drive on your own. From Bhubaneswar its approx 6.5 hours drive to Belgadia Palace.

How to Book Belgadia Palace

To book your stay at the Belgadia Palace you can send a mail at

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Shoestring Travel


  1. The palace looks quite majestic and its tariff is not likely to be in the 'shoestring' category!

  2. The Belgadia palace seems quite historic and interesting and this is definitely a helpful blog for people to travel and have all their queries sorted

  3. I love the rich history that our country has. The Belgadia Palace definitely brings a large span of its history to life with all the artifacts still preserve within the palace. These royals definitely lived immaculately. I would love to stay at Belgadia Palace Palace. It sounds like a lovely palace!

  4. I didn't know about this palace. It's quite a heritage structure and so well maintained. Must have been such a nice experience.

  5. A stay at the Belgadia Palace looks like a perfect amalgamation of knowing the history, having a royal experience and getting insights of the local culture. The chau dance seems really interesting to witness. Saving this for future reference.

  6. The Belgadia Palace comes across as a vibrant and classy place. Your pictures bring out its vintage and old world charm so well. I also like the fact that the place is promoting sustainable travel and does its bit to keep alive the culture and heritage of the region.

  7. The Belgadia Palace looks stunning and beautiful. I would love to visit the 200 years old palace and see it in person. There is so much history. I have been to Odisha only once but I did not visit the Belgadia Palace. Hopefully next time.

  8. Odisha is a rich in heritage and culture and must say the detailing of palace in the post is making me visit it in visit to Odisha.

  9. The palace looks like incredibly stunning and classy. I would love to visit this palace because of it's rich history and royal heritage. I think whenever I will plan for Orisha I will plan this for my stay.

  10. Belgadia Palace just looks so beautiful and so rich in history. I would love to visit this place some time to get a glimpse of the art, architecture and history there. After see Chhau earlier, I am also particularly interested in the Mayurbhanj Chhau.



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