You guys already know about how long we wanted to take a trip to Rajasthan’s Alwar district with one of the best heritage and non-hotel hotels property by Neemrana Hotels. So towards the last quarter of the year, here we are, starting our journey with one of the most strategic entry points to Rajasthan with an iconic fort that was ever built in it’s time – TIJARA FORT PALACE which was converted into a heritage hotel built from the ruins of this humongous fort palace in January 2016. Upon arrival, a friendly smiling face will greet you at the gate and help you to the reception, which is a quaint waiting area. We decided to grab our brekkie at the TV Room, which is right next to the reception and on your left when you enter the lobby. We must admit, the superbly made highways made our 2-hour drive from the Delhi airport a smooth one.
As we stepped out to move towards our room, I could not take my eyes off the majestic property. With clear skies, birds chirping through the corridors and so much of history all in one place, made both me and Salman fall in LOVE with it. For those who appreciate the history and the culture, Prince Balwant Singh, in the name of his mother Moosi Maharani, initiated Tijara Fort Palace back in 1835. She had performed sati when the King (Balwant Singh’s Father) passed away. The architecture of this fort has been so thoughtfully chosen with select stones that keep the palace cool even with the sun in October heat. That is probably why, we felt cooler the minute we stepped inside the Rani Mahal. Balwant Singh had also hired very famous and renowned masons from Kabul and Delhi to work on the Tijara Fort. He had a charming personality and was a ruler that lived for his people and believed in their prosperity. His grand living could be visible from each and every nook and corner of this construction.
Sadly in 1845 he passed away questionably which is till date a mystery to the people of Tijara. Some say he was poisoned but those are all speculations. Since then, the construction of the Tijara Fort Palace came to a halt and the women along with the other family members ran for their lives, leaving behind this historic fort palace in ruins. As time passed by, the entire fort was in a heartbreaking condition till Neemrana’s Chairman Mr. Aman Nath decided to put life back in it.
Tijara Fort Palace boasts of the “Rani Mahal” that consists of 20+ rooms and suites that are designed by the leading and most celebrated artists/painters of our country that are all women. This used to be the residential space back in the 19th century too. “Mardana Mahal” was where Balwant Singh would address all the court matters and listen to the grievances of his people. That explains why there is a huge open space along with a garden that leads you to his seat where he probably went about the day.
It now has 40+ rooms that are all designed by India’s leading designers and brands that share the same brand ethos of rich cultural heritage. Plus, many rooms are still going to be added soon and we are really kicked to see the outcome.
I really liked the “Surya Mahal” suite designed by Surya and Ritu Singh of Jaipur that combine the modern aesthetics with the era of Balwant Singh’s kingdom with so much ease. Their love for mangoes is depicted on all the walls through hand paintings. This suite is ideal for a big family and I love their lounging space here.
This is one of the main USP’s of Neemrana’s heritage Tijara Fort Palace property that each and every room has been designed completely different from the others, so with every trip, you carry another experience altogether with you.
We stayed in “Anjolie Mahal” in Rani Mahal on the first floor and it was a complete experience of how the royals truly lived. Ms. Anjolie Menon is a celebrated contemporary Indian artist who has painted and designed the aesthetics of this room. Be it the murals on the wall or the harmonious colours, this suite is grand in every way. I loved how they combined the sofas and the coffee table next to a marble-topped dining table. Apart from our double bed, our main room also consisted of an additional bed and a special entrance next to the bed that led us to a majestic octagonal turret seating area, which has been again tastefully hand painted. This suite screams heritage, celebrations and has a mela feel to it.
The third structure is “Hawa Mahal” which holds majestic and soothing views to the open fields and greenery all around you. This is where we had all our buffets for all three meals. I liked sitting out facing towards the countryside.
The “Kaanch Mahal” or the “Sheesh Mahal” was just getting some final finishing touches during our stay and this is another mid-point for all gatherings or for meals.
During our 3 days stay here, we feasted on some authentic Rajasthani cuisine along with continental and Chinese dishes that are made to suit different preferences. The papad ki sabji abnd gatte ki sabji and the watermelon sorbet are a must try here!!! Plus, they do they own vegetation and make their own in-house jams as well that come from their Ramgarh property. I am salivating just talking about it and currently, mood is – Food Coma! Another fact that I discovered about Neemarana through Vivek, which I think is rare in the hotel industry and I must share with you all. Neemrana hotels across all properties believe in hiring the locals as their staff and they believe in training them to be professionals rather than only look for degrees or previous experiences. Hats off!! This country needs more thinkers and futuristic individuals like these!!
The Pataal Kund (Swimming Pool) reflects the fluffy clouds passing by and this is a huge space to hang and chill post your swim. The entire fortress boasts of so many open gardens, play area for the children, an underground auditorium, so many verandahs and courtyards that make for romantic evening walks with unending talks about why you should visit places that are rich in history and culture more often.
I must give a special shoutout to 2 wonderful souls both Salman and me met on our Tijara trip, they hailed from Kolkata and we quickly bonded over our common love for Neemrana properties. Thanks to their suggestions, we enjoyed our Kesroli and Neemrana stays even more. <3 This is what travel does to you!!!
They also have cultural performances lined up from 7 to 8 pm for those interested. A special thank you to Vivek for making this trip and our stay so memorable and irreplaceable. Look out for this multi-talented man’s songs and ghazals in our V-log.
To sum this up, I would like to say – Visit Places You Have Never Been To!!! KUCH RAASTEIN APNE AAP PUKAARTEIN HAIN! <3