Neemrana Fort-Palace is in a sleepy village Neemrana in Alwar district of Rajasthan, off the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. Approximately 100 km’s from Delhi. It has a centuries-old fort, built sometime in the 15th century by the descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan. It has become a popular weekend gateway from Delhi, as it is one of the closest places one can visit for a weekend. Apart from Neemrana, there are not many weekend gateways close enough from Delhi/NCR. If there are any please do let me know, and my definition of the weekend gateway is a radius of 100 km’s or so.
Neemrana Fort-Palace – Weekend Getaway from Delhi
Neemrana Fort is spread across eleven vertical levels, intertwined with each other, making the place look like a maze for a first time visitor. As you take the diversion from the Jaipur Highway into the Neemrana village, you do not see the fort till you actually reach its gate. Probably the way it was designed on top of a small hill. As you reach the fort, you go through its circular walls till you meet the huge gate. The huge gate stands almost as it would have been when it was originally constructed. You climb a few levels through the ramped pathways. Pathways that are surrounded by walls adorning the various artifacts from the times and era seen by the fort.
There are about 55 rooms in this property which calls itself a non-hotel hotel. All the rooms are named as ‘some’ palace and the staff refers to the rooms as a palace only. Not by some impersonal number, which for a moment can give you a feeling that you are actually living in the palace. Get ready to be treated royally.
The rooms are nice, have an aura that ports you to another era or at least takes you away from the current era where only gizmos surround you. There is basic lighting in the room and there are no phones or televisions. After all, you do not come to live in a fort to be watching the same idiot box. The upholstery in the rooms and elsewhere in the fort carries the essence of Rajasthan. Sanganeri prints and typical bright colors from Rajasthan.
Food served is a combination of Rajasthani and continental and is served exclusively for the people who live in the fort. They serve evening tea on a terrace with the fort as the backdrop. You can enjoy the tea sitting on the colorful cushions on the parapet of the fort overlooking the Neemrana village. Enjoying the tea while the sun is getting ready to retire for the day.
There is Rajasthani Folk Music in the late evening by the local artists, which repeats itself and can probably have some diversity. Artists try to involve the guests in the music and dance and a lot of people do enjoy being involved. Dinner is set in a romantic setup with light music and the staff taking care of all your needs. The fort gives an entirely different look at night with interesting lighting highlighting some parts that you may overlook otherwise.
If you pay some attention, you would see the photographs of the fort as it was before restoration. Anyone would appreciate the work that has been done to restore the fort. The fort actually is proud of various awards it has won for the fantastic restoration.
The legend is that the king who owned the fort wanted to sell it for mere one lakh Rs sometime in the 1980s. It was ultimately bought by the current owners for about 7 lakhs and then restored to its current state.
There is another wing that is being added to the fort. The amphitheater that is hidden inside the fort makes a perfect picture from the poolside. The design of the fort is intricate and intriguing. You would enjoy going up and down through its pathways, stairways, ramps or just the walkways. You can look at various views from the holes in the walls and windows from the rooms. From the parapets and the beautiful rooftop Arches. Some of the loo’s, too have views.
This nonhotel resort is available for personal stays, banquets, corporate events, and music & art events or as a wedding venue. They actually have a complete brochure explaining the exotic and fairytale weddings that they have arranged. No need to say, all the weddings were hosted by the ultra-rich. Like a well-managed tourist place, the fort has an audio tour, swimming pool, and a health spa. A high-end shop selling handicrafts & artifacts from India. They have a tie-up with an NGO that supports the local community.
Things to do
- They have a tie-up with an adventure company which takes you for light treks, camping or flying on a wire (aerial zip line). The place is usually sold out, so you have to plan a bit in advance especially if you plan to be there on a weekend.
- There is a Baoli or Baori or heritage stepwell nearby to visit if you are a heritage enthusiast. We could not visit it during our stay. Read more about a Stepwell and the most photogenic one in India Chand Baori at Abhaneri.
- They organize Camel Ride and Vintage Car rides for the visitors.
- Watch Sunset from the arches of heritage structures.
- Listen to Rajasthani Folk Music and live performances.
- Relish Rajasthani Food and beverages.
- Take a tour of the centuries-old Fort and admire the design/architecture.
- Learn and admire a bit about the planning that goes into fort locations and defense strategies etc.
Neemrana Fort-Palace is a good example of heritage that is not only restored and preserved but is also well marketed to sustain itself. And the people who take care of it. Definitely worth a visit and stay.
Visiting the Fort
- It is private property and not open for public visitors.
- However, one can book lunch in advance there and visit the common areas.
- Best way to reach the place is driving down to the place or using a cab from Gurgaon, Delhi or NCR.
- It is located just off the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway 48. About 90 KMs from Gurugram, 125 KMs from Delhi and 140 KMs from Noida.
Recommend you to read the following Places to visit in Rajasthan.