– The Alila Fort at Bis­hangarh is an amal­ga­ma­tion of her­itage and moder­nity

If you wish to ex­pe­ri­ence lux­ury in the lap of na­ture with an amal­ga­ma­tion of her­itage and moder­nity, Alila Fort at Bis­hangarh is where you need to head to

MillionaireAsia India - - Contents - By Anish Ar­ju­nan

Nes­tled among the magnicent Araval­lis and the ham­let of Bis­hangarh lies the fort of won­ders - Alila Fort Bis­hangarh, a 230-year-old de­fense fort atop a gran­ite hill, which has been re­stored into a lux­u­ri­ous her­itage prop­erty with 59 fab­u­lous suites, keep­ing in­tact the Jaipur Gha­rana ar­chi­tec­ture. The walls, tur­rets and arches are re­tained from the orig­i­nal struc­ture, an ideal amal­ga­ma­tion of yes­ter­year glory with mod­ern grandeur. The fort was built in the late 18th cen­tury by Rao Bis­han Singh of the royal fam­ily of Shah­pura.

As I en­tered the Haveli - the ar­rival court­yard, I was wel­comed with freshly pre­pared, re­fresh­ing lime juice, a must af­ter the four-hour drive from Delhi. The fort is con­ve­niently lo­cated 6 kms off the Delhi-Jaipur high­way, and is hour’s drive to Jaipur.

Soon I re­tired to my room, the Her­itage King Suite, which fea­tured a king-sized bed, had a blend of mod­ern and vin­tage fur­ni­ture, huge mar­ble bath tub, a tele­vi­sion cabi­net, which was like a cas­ket that you had to open as though re­veal­ing the mys­ter­ies of the fort. The touch of royal lux­ury is every­where, care­fully crafted to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of a mod­ern trav­eller.

The sun went down and our evening was marked with cock­tails at Mad­hu­veni, a well-stocked, in-house bar a ci­gar room. Disc shaped chan­de­liers with sub­tle light­ing, jazz mu­sic all in for a per­fect evening, as I sipped my glass of gin and tonic.

Din­ner was served at Nazara, an al fresco din­ing area with a panoramic view of the vil­lage snug­gled be­low the hills. Can­dles were lit and the food was served, a mouth­wa­ter­ing plat­ter of ex­cep­tional tra­di­tional culi­nary, spe­cially cu­rated by renowned celebrity chef Ran­veer Brar, hand­picked from the royal kitchen of the Raos.

The prop­erty, one of its kind, and among the few de­fense forts to be con­verted into a lux­ury- her­itage re­sort pro­vides unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, with var­i­ous state-of-the-art F&B out­lets like the Amarsar, a spe­cialty restau­rant with Ra­jasthani Thikri work and hand-painted wall art, which serves a fu­sion of Ra­jasthani Con­ti­nen­tal dishes. One can dig into freshly baked cakes, as­sorted bev­er­ages and cham­pagne at the Kach­hawa lounge. Ad­ja­cent to the lounge is a mini li­brary with an ex­clu­sive col­lec­tion of clas­sics from around the world.

The ho­tel, be­ing a des­ti­na­tion prop­erty, has enough within the premises to keep you busy, such as a gym, kids zone, a swim­ming pool and a ma­jor at­trac­tion, the Spa Alila, which of­fers ser­vices rang­ing from Eurasian to Ayurveda ther­a­pies and other beauty treat­ments. One can even cus­tomise the treat­ments and se­lect from the wide range of treat­ments. The spa also con­ducts yoga classes.

Away from the hus­tle of the city life, it will be a miss if you don’t ex­plore the vil­lage of Bis­hangarh. I tried my hands at the pot­ter’s wheel, fol­lowed by a glass of de­li­cious but­ter­milk from ‘Daya ki Ra­soi’, an ex­pe­ri­ence con­ducted by the ho­tel, where one can in­dulge in tra­di­tional cook­ing on the chal­lah (hearth) and grab a bite of the tra­di­tional vil­lage cui­sine. The camel cart ride through nar­row lanes of the vil­lage is an ex­pe­ri­ence to be­hold. The tour con­cluded with a visit to the lo­cal jew­ellery out­let, where one could buy tra­di­tional Ra­jasthani or­na­ments and wit­ness the craft of mak­ing th­ese ne pieces of jew­ellery.

The sun was set­ting in, with a re­fresh­ing hint of cool breeze, as I sipped my hot green tea and lounged by the pool. I looked over the ma­jes­tic fort en­gulfed in the golden dusk. The back­drop served as a rare sight with green Aravalli hills. Here, be­fore my eyes, was the an­swer to ev­ery trav­eller look­ing for an off-beat lux­ury ex­pe­ri­ence, full of sur­prises – Alila Fort Bis­hangarh.

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