It’s been a while since I’ve written any travelogue, something that I’ve seriously missed sharing with you. I’m lucky that I get to travel around as much as I do, so I have made it a point to share all those travel stories with you right after I get home. This time it’s about the Neemrana Fort Palace.
Neemrana is about 120 km from Delhi, along the Delhi-Jaipur highway. The fort was built in the 14th century and has now been transformed into this five-star hotel – but more on that later. Consider this place for your next holiday, as it’s a must-go for these reasons. It is the best choice for weekend getaways or a city stress-buster.
My Neemrana Fort Palace Travel Tips For You
- Best Time: October end to start of March
- How to Reach: 120 km by road from Delhi
- Dent on Pocket: Budget travellers can hide out in local home stays and boutique hotels.
If you’re planning on a quick weekend getaway like me, then go for the Day Trip option for the Neemrana Fort – this works for sightseeing as well, if you’re a tourist in Delhi. Usually, it’s about Rs. 500 but on certain weekends it can shoot up to Rs. 750. What I can suggest here is that you be prepared with extra cash, just in case.
Staying the fort is like a dream come true, as you are surrounded by rustic luxury, great entertainment, those ziplines, cobbled pavements, gorgeous pools and flower gardens everywhere you look. But, it can get a bit pricey, so check out the Air BnB or Oyo listings.
Things to Know
1. No minimum stay requirement
2. Take swimming and trekking gear with you
3. No room services or TV in rooms due to heritage USP
4. Book your room in advance from the official website of Neemrana
5. Zip-lines, hiking, and treks advisable with a trained instructor
The History Of Neemrana Fort Palace
Built-in 1454, a major part of the fort is still standing and part of it has been restored, so the actual property’s bigger but still has the heritage status. This also makes it one of the oldest resorts too. The restoration was undertaken by the Neemrana group, who had initially started with just 12 rooms back in 1991. The story goes that Francis Wacziarg, a French diplomat and Aman Nath, a Delhi University post-graduate in medieval Indian history were researching wall frescoes for a project.
They stumbled on Neemrana Fort Palace in Rajasthan’s Aravalli range that was in ruins and bought it for just Rs. 700,000! And that was way back in 1986. The restoration was undertaken by the Neemrana group, who worked on it managed to build just 12 rooms back in 1991. Today, they’ve got over 55 luxury rooms across ten floors, 2 massive pools, a spa, amphi-theater, and a zip line system! It’s also the site for weddings, Mastermind India and the International Festival of Indian Literature in 2002. So that’s why I went, for this historic site and the fun!
There aren’t any direct trains, flights to the Neemrana region, so you need to get there by car, either a cab, rental or your own and drive down. But, if you can’t get a car or cab, then you can take a train up to the Rewari junction, and then catch a cab. It was better to get these train tickets online.
We checked in at noon and went for a relaxing walk to explore the pretty labyrinthine palace, with these cobbled steps and pathways. This was till we reached our spot; a little balcony with a bathroom shaped like a cave. After some R&R, we went over to the Hawa Mahal for evening chai, mathi, and aachar and ended Day 1 enjoying a dance-off with my friends in the room.
Morning breakfast was laid out for us like a buffet and all North Indian and ALL GOOD! We couldn’t get over the colours, spices, and fragrances. Served that day, was MirchBada, Dal-Bato-Churma. Neemrana serves veg & non-veg thalis, just make sure you have papads and pickles with them. So after this divine spread, we headed off for some much-recommended trekking and zip line activity.
Managed by the Flying Fox tours, these operators cover the entire Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort and the Neemrana Fort. The network of steel zip lines was strong, attached via the pulley-harness system and relies on gravity to pull your forward. It’s the cure for fear of heights, and once we go over ours, the sights of the valley, hill slopes, and fort were spectacular.
We had our breakfast in the morning as soon as it was served. Our last day here, we thought we would stay in the hotel and most of the time we had left. That’s when we jumped in the pool and swam around splashing water all over the place, practically annoying the other guests. We took a lot of photos, savoured this fantastic morning view of the valley, the hills and how the light bounced off the many bougainvillea shrubs that line the fort.
But, like all of my other travel adventures, Neemrana Fort Palace one came to an end too, and we started our car trip back to Delhi after checking out at noon. It is hard to imagine that just outside Delhi’s busy city life and crowded roads lies this beautiful slice of heaven that one can escape to. Almost like another world.