Neemrana Fort Palace – My Travel Experience
Well, if it comes to Neemrana, the place doesn’t need an introduction as such. Many of you out there must have heard about the place, maybe on your random facebook post, or through someone’s Instagram pictures, or in a music video. I also heard about this beautiful heritage through one of such ways and decided to pay a visit soon. Also, what else you want when your city has such an amazing weekend getaway with scenic beauty, rich history, and can simply give you a reason to celebrate.
So, luckily we (two people) have been to this place recently and spend 2 of the most amazing days of our life. And I decided why not share our experience with you all to make you understand what the place is all about and to tell you how we made the most of this trip. I believe that the post will be helpful for both, those who just want to enjoy reading and learning about the place and those who were actually wishing to be a part of this palace. Come with me and I will take you on a drive to Neemrana Fort Palace.
So, that’s how we reached the place.
First of all, if you’re a Delhite and looking for an idyllic getaway, in order to take a break from your normal routine, Neemrana Fort Palace is the solution. The place is around 130km from Delhi that will take you around 2 hours to reach the palace. The best part is that the way to Neemrana is pretty straight so won’t get frustrated with a lot of twist and turns. Wondering how to reach this breathtaking beauty?
We took the NH48 to Jaipur route and drive ourselves to reach the palace. And I believe that it was a quite sorted way. And even our way was quite blissful as we witness some amazing views on our way and click some pictures as a return ticket to the moment otherwise gone.
Also, if you don’t live nearby and still want to explore that beauty, reach Indira Gandhi International Airport (if you’re coming by flight) and make your way to Neemrana, which is around 106km.
So, right after we reach the palace on 21st April 2019, we went to the reception and confirm our bookings. We were allotted the Parvat Mahal, our room on the 10th level, where we finally entered by 4 in the evening and took some rest. Around 5:00 pm we started exploring the fort and what we got to experience by the end of our last day is pen down right there in the next section.
Neemrana Fort Palace
Our first day was quite simple as we relaxed for some time and roam around the property while clicking some insta-worthy pictures. After all, you want your profile to look worth noticing, right? To not to make our first day go wasted, we make our way to an area where cultural music show was going on. After that, we had our food and some beer and then went back to the room to get our beauty sleep because the next day was going to be very busy.
Since we were really excited about our second day, we quickly had a tasty and light-weight breakfast that included toast, sandwiches, idli, sambhar, tea, coffee, and many other options. Then we made our way to the giant swimming pool that was surrounded by greenery and mind-blowing views. Trust me, there’s nothing better than getting soaked in such pleasing moment.
Around 11:30 in the morning, we contacted Mr. Satish Bhargavh, who has been working there for 21 years. A really humble, intellectual and uncomplaining personality, he took us on a tour of the entire property and told us each and every detail of the fort. Well, big thanks to him as well, as he patiently waited for me to jot down important things and took pictures.
Coming back to the point, I can bet you that even if you have visited the place, you didn’t know this much about these beautiful mahals and other places. So, shall we start?
Also read : Best time to visit Rajasthan.
The First and Main Entrance Gate
Let’s get started with the main entrance, also known as the Suraj Pol. The reason why the threshold of the palace is called so because during the ancient times, Maharajas used to believe that the main gate should be in the East direction and first rays of the rising sun should fall on it. Also, there’s one entrance named as Chandra Pol, where moonlight first falls on the door.
Then on our way to the next stop, we were shown how those big doors were made (you’ll see thick sharp needle-like structures on it). And the reason behind why there were built in the same way thinking that even if a giant elephant tries to push the door, it won’t break. Besides this, we were shown the big lock and keys, Palki that was the medium to reach the top, and letterbox of that time.
The Reception Area: You must be wondering, is a reception area actually a place to explore. Definitely not, but when you go there for the paperwork catch a glimpse of the old sword of Maharaja Prithviraj Chauhan, his amazing portrait, and the beautiful flag that says in Hindi “सर कटा सकते है लेकिन सर झुका सकते नहीं” that means “We can let our heads cut down by the hand of enemies but will never bow down in front of them.
The Neemrana Shop
Right in front of the reception area, you can pay a visit to this little shop of Neemrana, to grab some antique jewelry of Rajasthan, bright and colorful clothes, household items, books, paintings, tasty jar of jelly and jam that comes fresh from their Nainital’s property, perfume, bags, and related stuff at a really affordable price. According to them, people usually prefer to get those shiny antiques. See if you also find something worth buying.
After this, we head towards the mahals of the Neemrana Fort Palace and some other really beautiful places. You would be amazed to know that the palace has 74 rooms and each and every room is different from the other in terms of bedroom, sitting area, decoration, interiors, and views from the Jharokas (window). Every Mahal is designed amazingly by none other than Aman Nath, the co-founder and co-chairman of the Neemrana Hotels chain, Bhoop Singh who takes care of the interiors of all the rooms, and Vivek Shukla, the GM. Though every room was excellent in its own way, we picked a handful of mahals we found very captivating.
- Surya Mahal: So, this was the first guest room of the fort palace, actually the very first room of Neemrana. The reason why we really liked the room because of its spacious rooms, separate bathrooms, study area, sitting areas, and the old style fan. The room is quite near to the entrance, thus you won’t face any issue.
- Chandra Mahal: Also known as the “Moon Palace”. If you’re opting for this room I am sure you’ll get mesmerized by the interior, its two rooms, where one of them has a unique kind of bed and distinctively designed chairs in the sitting area.
- Hindola Mahal: Next in the line comes this beautiful Hindola Mahal that is full of big swings. Though you cannot stay here, the reason why we are adding it to our list is its beauty and a beautiful story attached to the room. In the earlier days, they used to hang Khas-khas chick on the big jharokhas and water used to run over them continuously. The fresh air then makes the entire room cool and pleasing. There’s no such thing nowadays but the mahal has a charm of its own.
- Sheesh Mahal: Here comes one of the most beautiful mahal of the palace, the Sheesh Mahal, also known as the Queen Palace. The interior of the mahal is designed really amazingly with great artwork on the ceiling. You might know this that in the earlier times, queens were not allowed to make direct contact with the third person and used to talk in parda. To give this room a similar feel, it has a U-shaped terrace from where Panch Mahal and Hawa Mahal can be seen easily including what activities are going on there.
- Aranya Mahal: Yet another gorgeous place where you cannot stay, but the beauty of this mahal will leave you spellbound. The mahal has an old style fan, which is basically a wooden scale and two big fans are attached to both the sides of the scale. Back in the times of Maharaja, this scale was moved back and forth with the help of a rope to make it work. Also, from there you can catch a glimpse of natural spring water.
- Sheela Vilas: This was one of our favorites due to a few reasons. One of the prime reasons was that the Vilas has a big jhoola inside, then it has quite big rooms, the terrace area was so beautiful that you can just sit outside and enjoy the entire view of the place, and also it has one cute little study area where you can have a seat and peacefully.
- Aman Vilas: For those who want something different where a big group of 10 people can stay together yet separately, Aman Vilas is the option for them and Ram Ji Vilas is the duplex of the same, which is right there in front of Aman Vilas and have a connecting terrace.
- Gajendra Mahal: Gaj in Hindi means elephant, thus the interior, decoration, and theme of Gajendra Mahal is related to the same as the hands of the chair is given a touch of an elephant’s trunk. Then the room is really spacious, has two big Jhoolas inside it, and a big veranda like area that makes it yet another one of the best rooms of the Neemrana Palace.
- Pasaan Mahal: The unique part of the mahal is that one side of the room is left in the original form i.e. you can see a mountain wall inside the mahal. In fact, the bathroom too has the same kind of interior. If you’re a couple or a group of three, you can certainly try out this unique place.
- Deva Mahal: Last but not least, here comes the biggest room of the Neemrana Fort. Deva Mahal has two big enough rooms, a beautiful dining area at the center, and separate bathrooms. Just for the information, Vashundhara Raje, former Chief Minister of Rajasthan also picked this mind-blowing room for her stay.
So, these were some of the rooms or mahals we found really interesting and worth sharing about. It took us around 2.5 hours to explore all these stunning mahals. All in all, there are a total of 74 rooms that are available for the stay and each room is different from the other whereas, a number of rooms are still under construction.
You can check out other rooms on their website and pick one according to your preferences and budget.
After exploring such a massive palace and going up and down the stairs, all you need is something relaxing that can not only bring peace to your mind but to your body as well. We chose spa treatment over there and trust me, that was one of the best things happened to us in 2 days. Let me start with the staff that welcomed us warmly, smilingly took us to the spa section, and gave the best full-body massage to us. They took care of our comfort very well, from quality products to the ambiance, and shower arrangements.
Another therapy for everyone after a tiring day or for a kickass morning start. Neemrana Fort Palace has two huge swimming pools surrounded by mesmerizing and lush greenery. Just put on your swimming clothes and enjoy at the pool on the plateau and rejuvenate your souls. So, take a dip in the pool and spend some precious moments with your loved ones.
Damn! What should I say about the food over there? Well, it’s actually a bit hard to explain how we felt after eating their tempting food, still, I will try.
So, all the meals of our 2 days trip used to be organized at the Jalgiri Mahal, where we were served pure and authentic Indian food. By the way, Rajasthani food is their specialty. And evening snacks at Hawa Mahal that included biscuits, matthi, coffee, and tea. After trying such luscious food, I decided let’s have a talk with their head chef, Rakesh Negi and know more about the whole process.
The reason why their food taste so good and fresh was pretty clear after the chit-chat that everything they serve was grown in their own farms and some locally available things, thus organic food. Vegetables like beans, carrots, broccoli, parsley, cherry tomatoes, celery, and lettuce are grown in their farms according to the respective seasons. There are around 8 chefs over there who are working for more than 10 years and some are even there for around 23 years. Isn’t that so amazing?
Camel Ride and Vintage Car Ride
When in Rajasthan you cannot afford to miss a camel ride, right? The hotel has made arrangements for this as well. We took a ride from the fort palace to Bawri, which is just 1km from the palace. This is without a doubt, one of the good memories to take back home. Besides this, one can even hop on to the vintage car and take a 5km ride around the Neemrana Village. It certainly feels like you have entered the 70s or 80s era.
This is the place where all the cultural programs are organized. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to see any of the programs, but if you’re lucky enough you can enjoy the show. During summers, from Sunday to Friday, Rajasthani songs are performed and on every Saturday, Rajasthani dance is performed. Whereas, during winters, different forms of dances like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, or Kathak is performed on every Saturday.
Are you planning to get hitched soon by any chance? Why don’t you try out this heavenly place for your special day? Well, they can provide you with every possible facility and can do the best arrangements to make your day worth remembering for a lifetime. There’s Shatranj Chowk in the fort palace that has enough space to host your guests and a big takhat (platform) for the Jaimala (ceremony). Just remember, if you really want to pick up this place, you need to make bookings at least a year before while during the offseason, it can be 6 months prior. The package usually starts from 45L and can go high according to your respective budgets.
Before I end my post, a few more things that might help you get fully convinced about the place.
- If you’re planning to visit the place on any National Holiday, keep one thing in mind that the palace remains full of a large number of people. So, for you, if a big crowd is not a problem then there’s no problem.
If it is between Mondays to Friday, you need to pay Rs.1700 per person (only for the visit and lunch). If it is about Saturday or Sunday, charges will be Rs.2000 per person (for the visit and lunch). One has to pay extra for the room.
- If you want a room that should not only be spacious and beautiful, but also have a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, select from Sheesh Mahal, Uma Vilas, or Sheela Mahal.
- Also, there’s a good market place near the fort, you can get every basic thing you want or maybe forgot to bring, but make it before 10 pm.
- And don’t you worry about the safety because the surroundings are safe enough to wander around during midnight.
In a nutshell, if you wish to turn your boring weekend into a happening one or maybe you simply want to peace it out, Neemrana Fort Palace can be considered without any second thoughts. This was all that we experienced from our trip and I tried my best to pass on every useful piece of information to you through my experience. Be a guest of this lovely palace and let me know if I was right or not.
You can Book you room from Neemrana’s Official Website.