North India and Rajasthan camps - Mihir Garh
This wonderful ‘Sun Fortress’ rises from the desert edge like an exquisitely crafted sandcastle little more than an hour from Jodhpur in western Rajasthan. Designed by the royal family of Rohet, Mihir Garh is a very chic but rustic desert retreat. Eco-friendly practices are at its heart, there’s genuine warmth from the staff, a stable full of some of the best horses in Rajasthan and access to some tempting adventures in the countryside beyond.
The scenery here is more scrubland and tumbleweed than classic desert dunes. On a jeep safari you can track blackbuck antelope and get closer by quietly approaching on foot, but when they skitter away your mustachiod driver will take you a Bishnoi village where the inhabitants hold them and all other living creatures sacred or to the home of a Brahmin where visitors are welcomed with opium tea. Alternatively, amble along to a picnic laid out in royal style by the lake or gallop across the plains on a Marwari stallion before returning to Mihir Garh for a soothing massage in the spa or swimming a few laps in the infinity pool.
Back at the fort, painted peacocks dance on the mud plastered walls of the airy sitting room, shocking pink bougainvilleas bloom in the immaculate garden and the nine gorgeous suites with traditional local fireplaces as their focal point lead on to a courtyard or balcony with your own private plunge pool or Jacuzzi.
Flooded with sunlight during the day and the warm glow of flickering candles at night the restaurant offers a choice of freshly cooked Rajsathani, other Indian and continental dishes and there are culinary workshops for those who are interested. For something special, ride a camel to the Shikaar camp set up in the desert. Lanterns light the way to a central fireplace surrounded by charpoys (string beds) made comfy with cushions, and a procession of thali dishes and barbequed meats are served beneath the stars.
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