No Spooky Experience at Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Kota, Rajasthan!

Ignorance is bliss!And we spent two whole blissful nights at Kota Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Hotel. I call those nights as blissful today, because I now know, that Palace is haunted. Yes, haunted by the ghost of Major Charles Burton, killed by Indians in the 1857 armed revolt against the British. I was ignorant of this fact on the nights of 8th and 9th of Oct. 2008. Probably that is why the nights were blissful.

No Spooky Experience

I try hard to recollect if I felt anything unusual on those two nights I spent there. Nothing, nothing at all! The dining hall was huge and the walls were decorated with stuffed heads of animals hunted by the kings. Of course this collection must have been before the enforcement of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. There was a stuffed lion at the entrance to the dining hall which did give an eerie feeling, everything else looked and felt normal.

no spooky experience

It is said that:

The Burtons arrived at Kota on December 13, 1857, and met with every mark of kindness. All seemed peaceful. Two days later, Major Burton saw a large party approaching the Residency. At first he assumed that some of the troops of the Maharaja had come to pay a friendly visit. But in a moment, the building was surrounded and entered by the soldiers, who had mutinied.

The Mutiny

Abandoned by all their servants, except one camel-driver, Major Burton and his two sons took refuge in an upper room with the few arms that they had been able to snatch and waited for help to arrive from the Maharaja, while the house was looted below them.

After five hours of firing, Major Burton wished to plead with the mutineers for the lives of his sons, offering himself as a hostage. But his sons would not agree. They then knelt down and said their prayers.

A final plea to the Sikh soldiers, supposedly guarding the Residency, to free the boat on the river below, to enable them to escape, fell on deaf ears. By then, scaling ladders had been placed against the wall, mutineers ascended to the terrace and Major Burton and his two sons, who had retreated to the room below were murdered.

The Maharaja of Kota…

managed the same evening to recover the bodies and have them buried. But he himself was now a virtual prisoner in his palace surrounded by his own mutinous troops. It was only in March, 1858, that Kota was retaken by the British.

Two of the Indian leaders of the Mutiny, Jai Dayal and Mehrab Khan, who led the attack on the Residency, were hanged within the grounds of the mansion. Ask the staff and they will tell you that in the still of the night, an English voice has been often heard by the drowsy chowkidars (watchmen) to say, “Don’t sleep, no smoking” followed by a sharp slap. The ghost of Burton still patrols the mansion.


As quoted by Ann Morrow in her book “The Maharajas of India”, page 106-107, the Yuvrani (princess) stated “As far as we know, he (Major Burton) is an elderly man with white hair and a walking stick. I have seen him myself, because he was murdered in the first floor bedroom, which is now my study.”

I am content with my ‘no spooky experience’ with the ghost of Major Burton. But if you are interested in more haunted hotels of India, here is a list: The Haunted Hotels of India.

Taragarh Fort, Bundi
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

93 Responses to “No Spooky Experience at Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Kota, Rajasthan!

  • Your no experience with ghosts is fine, but why the last blurring picture? I am reading this post and looking at that picture at 12 O Clock in the night!! And a link to haunted hotels of India too! I am not going to click that 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  • I think I’d be quite content with no ghostly experiences as well!

  • What a great post! Love the photos — ghostly or not! and the story to go with them! What a delightful, ghostly world!!

  • This was a fascinating post.

  • He must have liked you since he didn’t bother you.

  • Yeah, I agree, whats that blurry picture? Ghostly or not, its quite a experience waiting for that “ghost” to come!

  • With all those dead animals decorating the walls, this can be a very uncomfortable stay for me. Glad you did not experience anything supernatural.

  • Nice photos and an interesting place to stay at ghost or no ghtost.

  • Scary!!!
    Thanks for the story.
    Have a wonderful week
    Mary ElizabethBlog.

  • Interesting, I think I would be more uncomfortable with all the stuffed animals than with the ghost.

  • It was fun reading ghosts or not. The world is very strange as it is.

  • what a fascinating and informative post and enjoyed the photos too.
    have a wonderful week.

  • All those stuffed heads! Ghost or not, they are enough to put people off their sleep.

  • Nice story. I dont think I want any ghostly experience lol.

  • the pics look scary…specially the last one

  • As you know, I grew up in India, so it’s not unusual that there will be a ghost in my next novel.

    Lovely work with this post, Indrani.

  • Great to know that it was a ghost free event ;p I had a very eerie experience once, at the middle of the night, I woke up for no reason and saw the fan switched off and on right on the ceiling at one of the hotels I stayed. It continued for a whole 45 minutes and boy..that was too spooky..you wouldnt want to try it ;p Happy week ahead Indrani.

  • Interesting to see a colonial era palace: the first room looks like it could be a shooting lodge in Scotland!

  • That sounds very excited !!!!
    That was a weekend in a
    horrible hotel… LOL
    Maybe there is something happened
    in your sleep
    but you can not remember 😉
    And the memory comes maybe back
    in a next dream……..

    Give me a regular hotel,
    I do not like ghosts… HEHE
    That lion looks not friendly,
    and those animal heads on the walls,
    I find it scary ;(
    But you have not noticed the ghost
    so you had a nice weekend 🙂
    And now you are completely relaxed!!

    (@^.^@)

  • If everything else was normal then they really tried to “unnormalize” it with those animals!

  • No ghosts just some scary objects there 🙂

  • Yikes! I am creeped out by the animal heads. if a hotel is haunted I am afraid to know in advance!

  • REally intersting … I would love to go to such places… !!

    Kota Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Hotel. now where exactly is this ??? is it in the list ?? lemme check

  • May be, Indrani, his ghost has come to rest at last! I always envy the Anglo- Saxon world for their haunted castles and great houses! Why do the Dutch have to do with ” Witte wieven” ( White Wives), which is nothing more than white wisps of mist on the heather.
    Thanks for your visit! My garden is still very colourless apart from the camellias, I am afraid!

  • I suppose you’re lucky to have not bumped into Major Burton in the dark. Yikes! I wouldn’t want to stay in that hotel.

  • The Maharajas of India…the whole post is fascinating and well done… Thanks for sharing with us…I will be back for more visits

  • I’m glad you didn’t meet the Major…let him keep bothering the night watchmen 😉

  • That photo of motion is the perfect effect for this post. Well done!

  • No ghost of Mangal Pandey? How disappointing! I’d like to find out his real story (as opposed to the “reel” story).

    The last photo is indeed perfect for this post!

  • Interesting post….love your last photo! Brilliant!

    Congrats on your POTD award!

  • I can’t believe you went to a haunted hotel…i would agree to go now but i would never book a date…good on u:)

    Hi, I’m Alicia btw. just saw ur blog browsing through and love your stories…
    Been the to Mysore Zoo in the beginning of the year and thought it was funny….did you see those signs…? i cracked up..they were the best!

  • What interesting tales, and fascinating photos!!! You blend your narrative and photos so well…and do more than just relate a story …you capture a mood!!! Congrats on POTD!

  • Such an interesting hotel, and now the ghostly story to go along with it. Glad you did not have any encounters, and enjoyed your stay. It does look like a unique place to visit.

    I think we will be safe here in Kansas… the odds of a direct hit by a tornado are extremely small. I probably have a better chance of being struck by lightning, or some other such thing. 🙂 But I do not think about these things, I just enjoy every beautiful day I have out here in this awe-inspiring country!

  • I think I would be perfectly happy not to encounter Major Burton’s ghost. But I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Palace Hotel. It certainly looks grand!

  • Loving that last picture..but I must say you were totally gipped (cheap hotel…JK :)If I knew that going in, I think I would have slept somewhere else…well adventure is good, even if it is with the dead right?! tehe

  • Yes, I agree, no ghosts is jsut fine with me, too; those animal heads in the dining room are plenty spooky enough! I wonder if the Anne Morrow you mentioned is the one who married the American aviator, Charles Lindbergh? I think she was a writer.

  • Wow ! a ghost ! I never met one ! I should spend a night there, lol !

  • It’s great adventure being there when you know stories related to that palace. There is saying that old houses, palaces carries many stories in their soul.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Very interesting. You are so lucky to have visited and stayed in these cool places in Rajasthan.

  • wow! that must be eerie on hindsight!

  • This looks like a wonderful place to visit, so glad you enjoyed it. Interesting history too!

  • Some people just don’t have the spirit apprehension gene I believe – I’m also one of them. Although, as you say, that lion is really disturbing, poor creature. Glad you had a happy stay.

  • feel creepy? it seems you have interesting blog here.

  • some great stories attached to this hotel…what a rich place steeped in history…

  • i know you had no ghostly experience there.. but somehow, i had eerie feeling while reading this ..

  • what about the souls of the Indians who met their end there? I’d like to think their souls rest in peace. There are probably millions of historic ghosts waiting to RIP… God bless! 🙂

  • i would so love to be at the hotel and wait for the phenomenon to happen

  • An interesting post. It will be interesting to know how you feel when you return to the place with knowledge of ghosts.

  • I am probably the only one but I would have liked to meet Major Burton.

  • The last photo is scary. I have always wanted to stay in some haunted hotel, minus the ghosts though 🙂

  • Mmmmm, not sure I would have slept so well with surrounded by loads of stuffed animals, lol! It really looked like an old colonial place…

  • Interesting place. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep a wink! All the hunting that the kings did those days is depressing. I detest stuffed animal heads or other parts. Too cruel. This place has much history!

  • Very nice place.

  • Nice post and beautiful place.

    Ghosts work on trust. So if you trust that they are around, then you will find them. Ghosts are there only if you believe in them. I see Burton (guard) in first picture

  • Haunted Hotel aur uski ek list bhi maujood hai !

    Ye to pehli baar pata chala.

  • What a time! Here’s an officer who can’t take a hint and just go home! That looks like a gorgeous place, all the same.

    My daughter and I just visited a few purportedly haunted battle sites. Creepy….

  • I couldn’t sleep there, with all the stuff animals, brrrrr,
    Nice told story, and just fun to see a part off your daughter. Best wishes from jeany

  • I was reminded of a particular hotel in Lucknow that was once a glorious palace. just cant get the name..

  • Thank God we do not have to see anymore of those animal heads… people have now started removing them from their walls..

    even if one does not blv in ghosts I guess your ignorance indeed gave you a blissful sleep..trying to console the children would have been the hardest part..

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    HI TO ALL OF YOU, ON MY TRIP TO INDIA I WILL STAY AT THIS PLACE SOUNDS GREATWOULD LOVE TO SEE THE GHOST OF THE MAJ.FROM THE SWAN.

  • Howwww could you miss a chance of a life time and reaching the hall of fame in not taking a picture of Major Burton…?????? 🙁

  • Wow thats one hell of a experience !

  • Very interesting and informative, Indrani. And thank God, you didn't have bad ghosts experience 🙂

  • How true that Ignorance is bliss Indrani!!!

  • Interesting post…and interesting pictures esp the last one 😛

  • If somebody had mentioned it while you were staying there, it just might have been thrilling. 😉

  • Hair raising indeed!

  • What a story!! HEhe i wonder how you managed to sleep there after you heard this story :-p

  • Eerie, Indrani 🙂
    Historical reality!
    There's so much that we know & we don't know!!!

  • A very interesting story Indrani ! Glad you didnt encounter the Major 🙂

  • Indrani i have been living in Kota for the last 44yrs but this history is new to me.We often dine at Ummed Bhavan Palace and yes the dining room is almost out of the last century.

  • Nice collection of itineraries…
    Next time before planning any trip I need to refer to your site..

  • Interesting! We have a haunted hotel here in Winnipeg where I live and people love to stay in the “haunted” room, hoping they will have an encounter. This time of year, I’m sure the ghosts are more active than usual!

  • It was nice to read your post.. Glad that you did not have any bad experience.

  • I don’t know if I would be able to stay in a haunted hotel. Just the thought already terrifies me. That’s a sad story of sacrifice. I guess all places have a history and some are just too haunting. I guess when you seek a haunting experience the opposite happens…

  • I can imagine you bolting your doors from inside…. :D. I would be a little spooked but I still would have stayed on.

  • What a place to stay!! I am glad that you didn’t have any such experience..did you bribe the major for maintaining the peace?

  • Good thing you didn’t experience anything spooky, though I gotta say the place looks a little bit creepy to me. I would be scared to stay somewhere with a “haunted,” reputation but then again, you didn’t know and nothing scary happened so all is good. I must admit though that the back story adds a certain appeal to the hotel.

  • Spooky! I always look out for unusual places to stay…thanks for sharing this!

  • Ghost hotels!! Don’t know if I’m as brave enough as you! I’ve actually never heard of these types of hotels- pretty interesting!

  • Amelie Gagne
    7 months ago

    Haha, whew! Would be happy for that too 😀

  • I’d like to think I would be brave enough to stay there but I’m not sure after reading all the detail haha! I think I’d love to experience it regardless and at least have a meal here or something because despite the gruesome history it’s still fascinating isn’t it!

  • I’m with you! Ignorance is bliss. I could’ve never stayed if I knew the story beforehand. Fascinating history, though! It would make for a great tour…during the day when the sun is high in the sky!

  • There is nothing like a good ghost story, sounds like an interesting place, I definitely wouldn’t have stayed if I knew about this tale ( historical or not)

  • Geez!!! I’m one scaredy cat. It will probably make me cry. I’m not a fan of scary things at all! What more if it’s my hotel. Indeed, ignorance is bliss! You are one brave soul. My mum was once told me that I should be scared of the living and not the dead ones. True, but I’m still scared of the ghost!

  • Vicki Louise
    7 months ago

    What a fascinating history (whether true or not!) – and a lovely place to stay. However, I don’t think I would have stayed here had I known, I’m not a bit fan of ghost stories!

  • stacey veikalas
    7 months ago

    OH I would have been bummed not to have a ghostly experience! I love hunted places and the stories behind them! Looks like a wonderful place!

  • Yogi Saraswat
    6 months ago

    the pics itself look scary , specially the last one .

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    3 months ago

    Very interesting read. It was good that you were not aware about the spook story as this enabled you to have a pleasant time. Indeed ignorance is bliss in this case. The story of Major Charles Burton and his sons is so sad. One shudders to think of how they must have felt, trapped in their own mansion with hordes baying for their blood.

  • I have seen ghosts in that hotel, let me be upfront. The late British officer was wandering in the palace ground with a walking stick, and a long white beard flowing in the wind. I am not fibbing. If you have not encountered the ghost, then you are plain lucky )))

    • Indrani Ghose
      2 months ago

      You are the first person telling me this… 🙂 and what did Major Burton tell you? 😀

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