The haunting history of the Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Heritage Hotel

The haunting history of the Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Heritage Hotel
31 May 2024 J.W.H

After he was killed many years ago in the Sepoy Mutiny at the Brij Raj Bhavan Palace Heritage Hotel in 1857, the ghost of the British Major still haunts his aged palace.

Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel, a magnificent palace converted into a luxury hotel in Kota, Rajasthan, India. But this hotel is not just ordinary accommodation; is steeped in a memorable story that will send shivers down your spine.

Once the residence of the Maharaja of Kota on the banks of the Chambal River, this opulent palace has witnessed some of the most gruesome and blood-curdling events in Indian history. From the massacre of British officers to the brutal execution of a faithful servant, the walls of this palace hide many secrets.

History of Brij Raj Bhavan Palace

The colonial Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel is housed in a historic palace dating back to 1830, which served as the residence of British officials. It was built by the East India Company and was initially called Agency Bungalow.

The building was taken over by the Kota state in 1900, and the current Maharaja of Kota took it over in 1956 and, together with his family, transformed it into the hotel where it is located today.

Indian uprising comes to Kota

The Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel has a dim history steeped in violence and bloodshed. Many people believe that the ghosts of those who died in the palace still haunt its rooms and corridors. One of the most renowned ghost stories associated with the palace is that of Major Charles Burton, a British officer who died during the Indian Sepoy Mutiny in 1857.

Sepoy rebellion: Triggered by various complaints from Indian soldiers (sepoys) serving in the army of the British East India Company, the rebellion quickly spread across northern and central India. What began as a rebellion within the military ranks soon grew into a general rebellion against British authority, with civilians joining in. Although the rebellion was ultimately crushed by British forces, its legacy still resonates as a symbol of India's resistance and struggle for independence.

He belonged to the 40th Native Bengal Infantry Regiment. He and his family lived in the palace for 13 years, along with his wife, four sons and teenage daughter. While staying in Neemuch with his entire family, the Indians rebelled and the Burtons fled to the petite fort of Jewud.

Dissatisfaction with the British had been building for some time, but rumors that the British were planning to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christians by mixing cows with flour and lacing weapons with cow and pig fat led to a full-blown revolt.

However, the Maharaja of Kota told him to return, and with his two younger sons, Arthur (21) and Francis (19), he returned to Kota in December. It seemed peaceful and there were no signs of rebellion. Then he saw the horsemen approaching and thought that his good friend Maharaja had visited him.

But it wasn't a affable visit, it was a rebellion. A group of Indian soldiers broke in and attacked the palace. All the servants left and only he, his sons and the camel driver stood against the soldiers. It was a 5-hour fight before Burton began begging him for his son's life.

However, their prayers were not answered and the soldiers found them in the room where they were hiding and killed them all. After the murder, the body was handed over to the Maharaja of Kota and buried in the Kota cemetery. Although rumor has it that they were actually buried in the central hall of the palace.

Kota itself was recaptured by the British only in March the following year, and two years later two leaders of the rebellion, considered martyrs of the Indian freedom movement, were found and hanged in the residence.

Visiting the Brij Raj Bhavan Palace

According to legend, it wasn't long before the haunting began, and Major Burton's ghost still wanders the palace, wearing a red cloak and wielding a sword. Some guests claim to have seen him in the corridors, others claim to have heard his footsteps in the middle of the night.

He's said to be a harmless ghost, despite how brutal it all ended, but he's supposedly very strict about discipline inside the building. It is said to hit guards who fall asleep on duty. There are also guards who claim that they were massively reprimanded by him when they did not guard their positions well enough while on duty.

Spirit in the room

In the 1930s, Iris Portal came to Kota with her family. Her father was loaned by the Government of India to assist the Maharaja of Kota settle land in the state. At the age of 17, she spent her summers at the Old Residence, which had been transformed into a state guesthouse. The room assigned to her was located on the first floor and had a characteristic layout, with four separate entrances, one of which led to the balcony on the first floor, and the other two led to the roof.

This is the exact room where the Burtons placed their last resort. On this particular night, although there were no apparitions, for Iris the Portal was fraught with an eerie, blood-curdling feeling that left her too terrified to sleep. The next day she told her mother to move her to another room.

It was only after returning to Delhi that Iris Portal discovered the haunting story of the Resident and his sons. In 1857, it was said that they came down from the rooftops and tragically died in the same room she occupied during her stay in the Old Residence.

Haunting in the 1980s

The alleged hauntings are said to have continued into the 21st century. The Crown Princess of Kota, Yuvrani, was quoted by British journalist Ann Morrows in her book The Maharajas of India:

The question is, is the haunting still going on at the historic Brij Raj Bhavan?

Haunted stay at Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel

The Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel is a magnificent palace steeped in memorable history amidst regal furniture and decorations, as well as stunning terraced gardens. Despite its dim past, the palace has been transformed into a luxury hotel that attracts tourists from all over the world.

If you are brave enough to stay at the Brij Raj Bhavan Heritage Hotel, prepare for a spooky experience, but also prepare to be transported back in time to the opulent Rajput era.



Kotah Uprising in 1857 | INDIAN CULTURE

Would you dare to stay at this palace in Kota, known for its harmless spirit? Brij Raj Bhawan Palace in Kota | Haunted hotel in Kota | India travel times

Image Source:

  • J.W.H

    About John:

    John Williams is a Reincarnationist paranormal Intuitive freelance writer...he is living proof of reincarnation existence, through his personal exploration, he has confirmed its authenticity through visits to the very lands where these events transpired.

    Through guided meditation/s using hemi-sync technology he has managed to recollect 3 previous lives to his own, that go back to the Mid to Late 19th century.

    JWH - "You are the GODS! - Inclusion of the Eternal Light of Love and you shall never die”.

    “Death is Just the Beginning of Life”