THE HERITAGE CLUB – TRIPURA CASTLE
Tripura Castle was built in the early 1920’s by the then Maharaja of Tripura who came to Shillong and fell in love with the place. It became the summer retreat for the Royal Family of the Manikya dynasty.
Today the main palace is the home to the current head of the Manikya dynasty, Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Kishore Debbarma, who also oversees the hotel.
On the castle grounds is The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle, a hotel nestled atop a hill and spread over 9 acres of green, barely 5 minutes from the city yet secluded and serene. A horse-shoe shaped gate, a symbol of good-luck and a royal tradition welcomes you to the reception. With 38 rooms, each elegantly refurbished, 4 restaurants – bars each serving a variety of cuisine and drinks and club carts to take you from one wing to the other, The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle offers you an ambience that no other in Shillong does.
The Heritage Wing has 10 rooms, and is an extension of the Royal Residence. It reflects the ambience of a Heritage Home with warm wood interiors, brass fireplaces and art deco furniture. The Forest Wing has 6 room and 3 independent cottages and the Valley Wing has 19 rooms.
The Valley View Wing has 15 rooms and is built where once the rose gardens and royal stables were. The rooms have balconies that overlook a valley dotted with colourful rooftops and church steeples.
The Forest View Wing has 6 rooms and 3 single-room independent wood cottages. Overlooking a pine forest, it is built where the Maharaja’s printing press and armoury once were.
The Heritage Club – Tripura Castle is the only heritage hotel in the region and takes immense pride in its Maharaja Suites, each offering ornate mahogany beds used by India’s first the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore during his long and close association with four generations of the Royal family. In fact Tagore’s works “Rajarshi” and “Mukut” are based on the Manikya dynasty.
Not many know that the Tripura Royal Family is considered to be the world’s second oldest unbroken dynastic chain in the world after the Mikados of Japan and can be traced to 186 rulers. It is in Tripura Castle, Shillong that the historic talks on the Tripura Merger agreement in 1949 between India and the independent state of Tripura was held.
Though the Castle does not resemble a ‘castle’ in the British or European sense of the term, it does reflect the regality of a royal home – from its marvelous collection of historical memorabilia, manicured gardens, an underground bomb shelter and tunnel opening out into the rose gardens dating back to World War II, to the old world charm the place exudes. One is immediately taken back to the quiet grace of a by-gone era.