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Aul 754219 India
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Aul 754219 India
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Rocky SB Khare wrote a review 24 Jan
Lucknow, India
The serenity and the calmness of the House was enlightened by chirping birds in the morning and evening. The Host surprised us by giving us a plethora of options like swimming, kayaking and boat ride, other than overloading us with local dishes. Trip to Bhitarkanika and the Sea Beach organised by the host will always be a memorable one. The place was so calm and peaceful that, i wish to see it again in March, when thefe is plenty of Olive Ridley turtles hatching and rushing back to sea. The locals were very courteous and took great care of us. Diversification undertaken by a ninteenth generation Raja is worth a mention as his actions and gestures gel with the spirit of the letter.
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Date of stay: December 2022
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Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: If you are more in numbers, please plan with the host for pick and drop using a mini bus which is...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Vignesh Balan wrote a review Dec 2022
Bengaluru, India84 contributions26 helpful votes
Tuck in the shores of a calm river, this place gives you the taste of staying at a royal abode. We were upgraded to the larger room and thoroughly enjoyed it. The food needs special mention, the cook dished out some delicious local delicacies. She made sure no dish was repeated. We had a good relaxing stay. They also helped in booking us on a boat ride through the Bhitakarnika mangrove forest.
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Date of stay: April 2022
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RSAG wrote a review Nov 2022
Kolkata (Calcutta), India403 contributions82 helpful votes
+1
We spent 2 nights at the Fort-palace at Killa Aul. Our host, Braj Keshari Singh Deo, wants to treat his (paying) guests pretty much how his father entertained his personal guests. The hospitality is expansive and attentive without being obtrusive. The food was a high point. The rooms could probably do with a slightly closer look at maintenance but are comfortable enough. The location of the property is brilliant - with a wonderful river frontage and the wonders of Bhitarkanika nearby. One hopes that this enterprise will succeed and will lead to sensitive restoration and preservation of the complex, rather than demolish and re-create which has happened to some of the buildings (unfortunately).
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Rajeev Soman wrote a review Mar 2022
9 contributions
+1
Fantastic hospitality, genuine warmth, lively conversations at meals & by the fire, awesome cuisine. My friend & co- traveller has already written, I added my bit. A picture is worth a thousand words. I have attached 7 pictures.
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Date of stay: February 2022
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Anand Patkar wrote a review Mar 2022
Mumbai, India6 contributions2 helpful votes
Aul is now a town in North East of Orissa but had been a Princely State since 1559 ruled by the Deb dynasty till merger with India at independence. The fort residence of the Royal family is an over 4 centuries old complex of independent structures within a strong boundary wall set on a riverfront – a Killa or Garh. The current descendent of the Royal family, 19th in the direct line, is Raja Braj Keshari Deb. Rajasaab and Ranisahiba Himantika have converted it into Killa Aul Palace Hotel, well, actually a homestay facility or call it an intimate retreat, currently with only 5 rooms available for guests’ stay. The rooms are splendidly furnished with antique furniture, (nothing granite, steel and glass of a present-day hotel) four poster beds and have large bathrooms befitting the size and ambience of a royal palace. The tranquil grounds, exquisite gardens and walkways and riverfront location add oodles of charm to the place. But above all is the warmth and largehearted hospitality of the Royal couple themselves. We reached the place a little after 1 pm, checked in and freshened up and were ready for lunch when we were advised that the Rajasaab was waiting for us in a different building in the complex which was the lounge. The Royal couple personally received and welcomed us, joined us for a lavish lunch and left us free to rest and relax for a while. At around 5 pm, we were escorted to a short cruise across the river that took us to a sand bank. Tea and refreshments were set up there for us to spend time, watch some bird activity and enjoy the sunset all by ourselves. At 7 pm the royal couple invited us for drinks and chat by open bonfire and regaled us with their ancestral royal history in a lively conversation. The unassuming friendly chats continued over another lavish dinner. The next day they joined us for breakfast and saw us off to our visit to Bhitarkanika with a basket of packed refreshments. We returned almost at 2.30 pm only to find them waiting to join us over another grand lunch. More fireside conversations and dinner later and after breakfast on the third morning we departed for our return journey. The conversations had by now covered Orissa history and specialities, Oriya food, Shivaji Maharaj and Marathas history, Lata Mangeshkar, Hindi films and music and off course the Russia Ukraine situation. The Royal couple was uptodate on all subjects and eager to share. Two more things that stood out: As a policy, they don’t mix guests. So in our stay, we were the only guests. And the last thing of course was the food over 2 breakfasts and 4 meals. All authentic Oriya cuisine dishes, with local ingredients, nothing greasy or excess spicy, easy on digestion and yet supremely tasty. Some of the dishes and ingredients included the following Breakfast items: Chakuli (rice pancakes) with ghugani (white peas thick gravy) and Lacy Chilla (soaked and ground rice batter) with santula (dry vegetables mix), Main course veggies: Kosila (a green vegetable) Ghato (mix veg with optional dry fish), Dalma (dal with veg mix), Ponos (jackfruit), Pui (malabar spinach) bhajias, Pakhal Bhat (watery curds rice), Dahi Ambula Rai (dried mango raita), badi chura (powdered grainy side dish) Fish: Jalango fish kofta, Fried Pabota (small silvery fish), bhekti fry, chingudi (ordinary size prawn) masala as well as super king size prawns which can put lobsters to shame Sweets: Chenna Poda (paneer based) Arisa Pitha (like Anarasa in Marathi) Ras bali (like Malpoa) Treated like their own family members, we felt like royalty ourselves. Truly the crowning piece of a memorable holiday.
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Date of stay: February 2022
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Room Tip: Ask for river facing rooms
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Siddhartha Singh Deo wrote a review Jan 2022
Noida, India18 contributions3 helpful votes
+1
Being an Airline Pilot having flown for 2 leading airlines of India and one in the Middle-East, I’v travelled far and wide. It has been my observation that Odisha is indeed India’s best kept secret. And Odisha’s best kept secret is perhaps the Aul Palace. On the Banks of the Brahmani river and a stone’s throw away from Bhitarkanika, stands the quaint and solitary Aul Palace (pronounced aa-lee). The abode of the Deb dynasty for four centuries, the palace is now home to the present Royal Family, who-with much warmth-have opened the gates of this spectacle to wayfarers like me. If you’re looking for peace, raw nature, rich oriya history and royal hospitality, Aul is the place to be. * Accomodation - each room was unique, though equally spacious and very regal. Mine overlooked the river so I loved it. * Activities by day - The palace itself has a beautiful embankment with hammocks, beach umbrellas and recliners. Grab a book, enjoy the breeze(and perhaps a Beer). The only sound you’d hear would be of Brahmani Ducks. Kayaks and life-vests are also available for those interested in paddling around the sand-bars and islands. The hosts pamper you with a picnic basket if you chose to hop on to one of their motorboats for a beautiful sunset cruise. Try and spot jackals staring at you from the islands. * Activities by night - Drinks / Barbeque / Bon Fire by the river with some great company. Dont miss the Prawns on the menu. The hosts happily pulled out old books from their library and narrated some rather interesting stories of the place. * Food - expect nothing but the best. Its a homestay, so enjoy whatever is made. Everything was delicious and served with warm hospitality. The Prawns were my favourite. * Duration- 3 to 4 nights is recommended. The Bhitarkanika cruise and trek itself takes a whole day. Be well rested and start out early. Dont forget your treking shoes, binoculars and a camera. You’ll love the motorboat cruise, the trek and ofcourse the many creatures you sight. The forest is a birdwatcher’s paradise and will remind you of the Amazon or the Everglades (if you’ve been there). Try and spot the different varieties of Kingfishers. There are 8. I’ll let the rest be a surprise. Our 3 day trip began with a warm welcome at the palace by its guardians - Raja Braj Kesari Deb and Rani Himantika Kumari. We left with a warm feeling and great memories of having met a wonderful family at their remarkably unique Aul Palace.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Ipsita wrote a review Jan 2022
Bengaluru, India43 contributions31 helpful votes
+1
We reached the property in the evening and felt transformed into a different era. Right from the welcome the host, made us comfortable. The bonfires, the conversations and wonderful food made you immerse into the surroundings and visualise the property in its glory. In the morning the scene was so beautiful. The royal couple, our host made every moment memorable. Starting from the food to be served, and helping us capture every moment to the fullest with their stories and suggestions just made the trip so memorable. Honestly one must plan at least 3 nights to just absorb the essence of the place. I think it is perfect getaway to connect with the nature and yourself. Something which is very needed at this hour. Lovely stay and would surely want to go back. Wonderful property and spectacular hospitality by everyone in the property.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Try reaching the property before sunset to view the beautiful scene while sipping tea. Also at...
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PeeyooshP wrote a review Jan 2022
6 contributions4 helpful votes
First mesmerising view is the location of the kila Aul palace, right on the bank of river.The royal couple , their hospitality, the anecdotes about the history and the personalised culinary experience make this sojourn a life time memory. The property has retained the historic character and make your stay a comfortable one. The boat ride to the nearby island adds charm to the sunset. Words can’t do justice to the gratitude felt towards the hosts.
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Date of stay: January 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
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Ambcool wrote a review Dec 2021
New Delhi, India19 contributions6 helpful votes
Truthfully we were a little apprehensive when our daughter suggested Aul Palace, but thank god we made the right decision!! If you want to understand the true meaning of “royal” hospitality, this is the place to visit!! The hosts go out of the way to ensure that the meals are unbelievable and the evenings around the bonfire are something to look forward too!! Here is wishing you all the best for this new endeavour.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Charudutta P wrote a review Nov 2021
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Birds croon, alligators shack, deer flirts, and your soul springs here. Life comes back to you. Almost like an island is left behind for you to tete-e-tete with nature and assimilate. The palace is home, the culture is human (not cosmetic) and the spirit melts on the river beach. In the food, the reception, the rooms, the books, the portraits, the family heritage, and the persimmon daybreak or the indigo twilight (godhuli), it is a pristine "Odisha treat". Our guitar and the birds were in a duet, the full moon blessed the beach and we came back resuscitated. If you want to make "life happen" come here. Aul Palace is cathartic.
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Date of stay: November 2021
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Room Tip: Don't choose, there is nothing to choose. All are good.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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IndiaOdishaKendrapara DistrictAul
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