Martand Singh, PR head of Karan Mahal, Srinagar joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as a part of NewsX India A-list. In the exclusive interview, he spoke about Karan Mahal in Srinagar, the history behind it and much more. Read excerpts:

Talking about his and his family’s decision to open Karan Mahal for the tourists of J&K, Martand said, “We opened up Karan Mahal for select and discerning tourists and travellers to Kashmir, about a year ago. It is a very unique property. It has been the royal residence of my great grandfather and my grandfather. It is a heritage property. We have about eight guest rooms. I think, to do justice to the place and allow people to have the same experience from such a unique location in Kashmir, that would probably be one of the main reasons for opening it up.”

When asked what sets it apart from other properties and the history behind the Mahal, Martand responded, “When our guests enter Karan Mahal, the first thing they do is, they run to the front lawns, which is overlooking the private orchard in the state of the forest and after that the Dal Lake and the snow capped mountain range. The first thing they do is they go there and they start taking pictures, videos and face-timing their family members to show where they are. I think the main USP would be the unmatched location the property has in the valley. Coming to the history, it was built for my grandfather Maharaja Dr. Karan Singh Ji. He moved there when he was four years old. It was built by his father Maharaja Hari Singh ji and then he grew up there. His entire childhood was spent there. Subsequently, he became the crown prince of J&K princely state. Thereafter, he became head of state and governor. Subsequently he was cabinet minister in Former PM Indira Gandhi’s cabinet.”

He further added, “He has had an illustrious career as many would know in public life and in public service, so that was his residence and he conducted all his activities from there. We have had many distinguished visitors including heads of state of the Soviet Union. Many illustrious personalities of our country as well, have visited and stayed with him there. Coming to the property itself, it has a lot of heritage elements as well. In a way, it is a testament to Kashmir’s arts and crafts and all the famous things it is known for- from the carpets to the handcrafted wooden ceilings. It has a European element as well with the art deco furniture. All the rooms are very unique. Each room has its own special traits. There are some suites opening up to balconies, verandas and private gardens. It is a very unique property within Kashmir itself and, as you know, Kashmir has a lot of fabulous properties.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube: