The cool breeze from the river, the open terrace and the French windows together make the guesthouse of Quila House, on the banks of the Ganga, in Patna City a quiet, calm and lively place. t2 goes on a trip
Slice of history
“A small but a very delightful guesthouse overlooking the Ganga” — wrote the first Prime Minister of India, Jawarharlal Nehru, to his daughter, Indira Gandhi, after his first visit to the guesthouse. It was constructed in 1934 by Radha Krishna Jalan. The guesthouse is spread over an area of 1,600sqft with four bedrooms (two single and two double), three balconies and a drawing room. Apart from the servant’s quarters, kitchen and a storeroom, the guesthouse has an open space. It is made of Italian marble and with the river flowing by the side, it gives the feel of a houseboat. Apart from Nehru, the building has played host to Anand Mai Maa, Kanchi Shankracharya, King Tribhuvan of Nepal along with Prince Mahendra and his son, the future King Birendra, G.D. Birla, K.K. Birla and B.K. Birla and Raj Kapoor with his family spent some memorable time at the guesthouse.
Beauty in bricks & wood
The plants, the flowers and the steep stairs give the building a beautiful look. The old electrical wires and the switches speak of the years the building has been standing tall.
The masks and the paintings in the drawing room add to its beauty. The gates have wooden carvings with paintings engraved on them. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee and the scenic beauty of the Ganga standing near the French windows. The open balcony at the back of the guesthouse is a place to relax. “We have put up iron nets to ensure safety,” said Aditya Jalan, the man taking forward the legacy. What really makes it different from the rest of the guesthouse is the courtyard and the open terrace where people can sit and have a bird’s-eye view of Quila House and the Ganga.
The best part of the building is that it is accessible to those who want to spend some memorable time with friends. School students can visit the place for a picnic and check out the art collection. “The place is open to the children under the supervision of their parents or teachers for picnic and parties,” Jalan said.