The author visits Neemrana, a fort resort.
Rarely does one get to live in a fort — a real-life one that has seen centuries of living. And what’s more, a fort fully restored and refurbished in luxury. Neemrana, about 110 km away from Delhi, on NH8, is a fort resort that has made the village of the same name famous. One finds aesthetic art objects all around. There is an old throne-like chair, painted with tiger stripes, life-size Rajasthan warriors in stone, old Thanjavur paintings, idols, figurines, copper and brass vessels.
A bit of a climb, some passages bring us to the rooms in Chini Mahal, called so for its display of old china. Old carved beds, a desk and chair, pictures and artefacts make one forget the fact that there is no TV in the room. All other mod cons give one the needed comfort.
The adventurous can try zipping, safely fastened to steel wires that pulley one along between the hills, above the resort. A vintage car ride into the village or a slow camel cart ride, both for a fee, are novel treats organised if needed.
The village below is small, with a few touristy shops — nothing much, but one can pick up silver ornaments quite well-made in the local fashion. A 16th century step well is a local attraction. There is no water now, even seven levels below. Local sources said that the Chief Minister had sanctioned money for its repair and maintenance but there is no evidence of any such activity. Even the approach to look into its depths is dirty, and precarious.
Dusk falls and the place becomes magical, the full moon taking its place just above the fort. Lit up with many fairy lights, Neemrana is ready to celebrate the evening with live performance — local dancers and singers take the stage, in the open air. After dinner I take a walk along the ramparts to soak in the glamour, the luxury, and a feeling of being on top of the world.