Rajasthan villages accommodation - Deogarh Mahal
Enormous gateways, hanging balconies, turrets and domes characterise Deogarh Mahal, a fabulous fortified palace surrounded by its own small town on a hill top deep in the heart of Rajasthan’s Aravalli Hills. Built in the 17th century its restoration and care is an on-going labour of love for the descendants of the Rawats of Deogarh who have created a wonderful relaxed and intimate palace hotel.
The lovely owners are happy to tell you about the history of the place (they have enlisted William Dalrymple’s help to make an audio guide too) and you can easily spend a couple of hours exploring the numerous rooftops and hidden nooks and crannies. Lots of steps and steep staircases will give you a good workout and twists and turns keep you guessing about the way back to your room.
Spread randomly around the palace, no two of the 50 rooms and suites are the same, but each retains original features such as mirror work, murals or decorative arches. Lacking large windows they can be quite dark. Fortunately the plumbing is relatively modern.
The hotel has two restaurants but head to a secluded balcony or terrace if you fancy some peace and quiet or a romantic dinner. International cuisine is available but you shouldn’t leave without trying the Mewari home cooking. Based on old family recipes it is absolutely delicious.
It’s worth spending a few days here as there are some super picnic spots in the surrounding countryside to enjoy too - a perfect way to break a day of exploring by 1930’s train on a rural branch line, in one of the family’s classic cars or on an old motorbike. The hills are great hiking and horse riding country and there’s good bird watching on a nearby lake. Be sure to make some time to visit the little town below the palace – it’s a colourful and bustling place and the local people are genuinely friendly.
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