Friday, 5 April 2013

The Metropole Hotel, Nainital



It was at Nainital, a scenic hill-station in the then State of Uttar Pradesh, that HH BHOLA NATHJI, along with HIS son, HH PRIYA NATHJI,  stayed at the Metropole Hotel, which had a distantly beautiful view of the lake and being at a height afforded peace and quiet to the casual as well as regular holiday-makers consisting of  dignitaries, business magnates and 'captains' of various Industries, who used to make this vast hotel, with spacious rooms,  their 'Summer Home' with their families, where children played around on its vast grounds, carefree of their safety, which was always assured, while the Hotel and its Management was renowned for its overwhelming hospitality and delicious food for more than three decades, while being managed by the Tavadia couple, along with its 'sleeping' local partners. (Baji Tavadia photo given bellow is from the time when he took over the affairs of the hotel)
However,  though HH BHOLA NATHJI had become 'fond' of his 'newly-acqired' children, Zarin and Baji Tavadia, both in their twenties, HH disapproved of  the pompous and reckless style of living of the overtly-modern hotel guests, in general, whose 'loud' life-style was in sharp contrast to Shri Nathji’s reserved and cultured style of living and this had become quite apparent to this young Parsi couple, who were well-aware of the gracious presence and powerful divinity that 'overflowed' from the presence of HIS HOLINESS.  Almost everyone that met HH, mistook Shri Nathji for a Maharaja and acknowledged his 'divinity' with a bowed head and in a respectful manner.
 Hotel Metropole, as the story goes, belonged to the Nawab of Mehmoodabad, Raja Amir Ahmed Khan (Whose Photo is given below). 
Baji and his Partners, (who acquired it from a previous lessee), had taken it on lease from the Custodian of Enemy Properties, to whom its 'possession' was vested by the GOI, since  the actual 'Owner' of this Property, the Nawab of Mehmoodabad,  after partition had chosen to reside in Pakistan and thus,  all his properties were taken over by Govt. of India as Enemy Property, as per rules that were enforced in the country at that time. However, the Nawab's foreign-educated son returned to India and was known to reside in Lucknow, having undergone a long  and arduous legal battle with the GOI a decade or so ago, after which, temporarily, it was commonly known that he would  'inherit' all the properties of his father including the Hotel Metropole at Nainital, which, however, is not clearly known to have happened. 
(The Photo of the right reflects the current state of the unused property.) This property is scenically situated at a height surrounded by hills and conifers from where the beautiful Naini Lake is distantly yet clearly visible. It is 1 km away from the bus stand.  Built by the British in 1880, this is one of the oldest hotels in Nainital, standing on 11 acres of prime land in the heart of the hill resort, reachable on foot and by road with one of the largest grounds available for cars to be conveniently parked by the residents. The Hotel is nestled amidst pinewood trees, home to lively birds during the seasonal time of the year, when the climate is not too cold.  It is one of the most expensive and huge properties of the present State of Uttarkhand. A stay at Hotel Metropole, Nainital used to make holiday, a sweet memory for tourists. All rooms and suites at the Hotel offered a beautiful scenic view from the huge balconies on each floor of the Hotel, with rooms bearing bay-windows at which guests used to sit sipping their morning tea, breathing in the dew-drop fresh and clean air, while admiring the scenic beauty of  Naini Lake, famous for yatching and boating during seasonal periods. This was one of the largest hotels that had become famous in Nainital, with 75 comfortable rooms accommodated in main hotel and annexe building. It had 5 tennis courts, which used to become the venue of  several Tennis Tournaments which were organized by the Local Authorities, in conjunction with this Hotel (and others) becoming very willing 'sponsors' of different matches.

1 comment:

  1. Incidentally,our family mostly stayed there during the summer break and the Hotel,till 1977/78 if I'm not wrong, was run/owned by Mr 'Kaka' Luthra .His daughter,Preeti,was studying at the Ramnee Convent of St Mary's and would have been our batchmate though their school opted for ISC XI.

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