Neemrana fort-palace is believed to have belonged to the 15th century to the rulers who were of the direct lineage of the great Rajput ruler Prithvi Raj Chauhan. The fort was lying in ruins since many centuries. However in 1986 Neemrana Hotels Pvt Ltd decided to renovate it and converted it into a luxury heritage resort hotel. One can stay here with all modern amenities and at the same time this fort-palace offers an old Royal ambience. You actually feel like a royal living luxuriously in the royal palace surrounded by history and heritage of the Rajput rulers.
I too had heard a lot about it since this fort-palace was ideal for a weekend getaway from Delhi. Since my childhood I too was very fascinated by the Royal heritage of the Rajasthan state of India. Those Royal havelis, palaces and forts of Rajasthan had always allured me. So last Saturday I decided to feel those magnificent days of royalty by giving a visit to the Neemrana fort which was just about 100 km from Delhi. We decided to just give it a day visit and return back to Delhi at night. We started from home and took the Delhi-Jaipur national highway NH8 to Neemrana.
We reached Neemrana in about 2.5 hours. There is a small fruit market in way and just after the market was the the way to the fort. In few minutes we reached our destination....the Neemrana fort which I had been longing to see since a very long time. We parked our car in a small parking up the slope, just outside the entry of the Neemrana fort.
The first time I saw the fort's entry I was totally in awe of it. I said to Myself, " So finally I am here to drown myself in the history and heritage." We bought the entry tickets to the fort which included the cost of a lunch buffet also.
Since part of this fort had been converted into a resort hotel and we were the non-resident visitors, we could see only those portions of the fort which were not reserved exclusively for the hotel resident guests. The entry was through a grand door that looked many centuries old. The door was arch shaped made of old wood and had metal spikes all over it.
On entry there was a small garden and a souvenir shop. We decided to proceed further and walked upslope for few metres, to be stunned by a beautiful view of the Neemrana town. Here you can just sit, relax and enjoy the view of the town.
After that we came across another grand door that leads you to a hallway inside the fort-palace building. While going through the hallway you can spot some antique furniture and lamps. At the end of the hallway, there is a room with many arched windows from where you can enjoy the view of the Aravalli hills and the town. You can just easily lay yourself on one of the swinging sofas and feel the gentle breeze through the arched windows, caressing your face. It was so soothing that i almost felt like sleeping. But how could I do that. I was here to explore the fort after all.
After lazying for some time we decided to see the other parts of the fort too. I loved how they had retained the antiquity of the fort without letting it dismember also. The fort-palace had some beautiful parapets and balconies to keep you buzy with the surrounding views. What caught my attention was a beautiful lotus pond near the hotel guests rooms.
The fort has two pools Raj Kund and Surya Kund. Raj kund pool is good for families but Surya kund pool is not suitable for children as it has no shallow. The fort also has a lot of green beautiful hanging gardens.
Since we reached around noon, we were hungry too. So we decided to first lunch and then go about seeing the remaining portion of the fort. The lunch buffet was included in our entry cost. We proceeded to restaurant Jalgiri Mahal near the Surya Kund pool for our lunch.
The restaurant had a decent setting and looked good. Since it was lunch time, decent number of people were already enjoying their meal when we reached there. There was an option for vegetarian and non vegetarian food. We opted for non-vegetarian since I am such a lover of chicken. So no matter where I go , I make it a point to include chicken in my meal. Hence this was no exception. Like always I went for the non-vegetarian food.
The lunch buffet was limited and had few dishes to lay your hands on. Not much options in chicken particularly on that day when we visited. Moreover the food was not hot and inspite of telling the staff about it the food served there was still cold. This is what turned me off and the foodie in me really cribbed. Moreover the food was just average in taste, nothing extraordinary about it.
The only thing that I liked there was the desserts. There were few good options in the desserts. And I decided to give all the desserts a try after my bad experience with the starters and main course meal. And I must say it was a good decision. I relished the desserts which included a pistachio ice cream, fruit salad, banana pie and a chocolate pastry. Now that was something good for a foodie like me who has an incurable sweet tooth too.
After the lunch we stood in the balcony outside the restaurant where you get a lovely view of the fort, the Neemrana town and nearby small hills. The balcony overlooked the swimming pool Surya Kund on the lower level and offered a beautiful view. We sat idly besides the pool for sometimes, enjoying the view.
We also came across the hotel rooms but going there was reserved so couldnot explore that area much. We just went from one corner to another enjoying the awesome view that the fort offered.
This fort-palace offers not only the captivating beauty of the antiquity , but you can also indulge yourself in many facilities and activities that is being offered here on a nominal charge. It has a Spa where you can rejuvenate yourself. The fort resort also organises cultural music performances for its guests in the open air Roman amphitheatre lit by torch lights. Here you can also go for vintage car rides, camel cart rides and zipping tour. So there are a plethora of activities to keep you buzy.
I must say this was one of my really memorable visits to a fort. And its a must visit for all the history buffs especially who want to get a feel of the royal life of the Rajput rulers of the medieval India. The serenading beauty of the old Fort definitely is charismatic. This fort-palace lingers in your memory even long after your visit...!!
My overall ratings for this place:
Beauty and visit worthiness of place- 5/5 (Especially for lovers of Indian Royal history)
Food availability-3/5 ( Because of the mediocre food taste)
Neemrana fort-palace is located on a hill in Neemrana, a small industrial town in the Alwar district of Rajasthan state of India. It is at a distance of about 120 kms from Delhi and can easily be reached by road.
How to Reach Neemrana
Best time to visit this place
The weather here is tropical with hot summers and cold winters. So best time to visit will be during winters from October to March, when the weather is cool and pleasant.
What to wear
Carry woolens if visiting between November and February. For remaining months of the year carry light summer clothes for days and very light woolens for nights.
Where to eat
There is a couple of restaurants like Maha burj restaurant and Jalgiri Mahal restaurant within the fort premises. Here you can savour vegetarian and non-vegetarian authentic Indian cuisine. Outside the fort within a radius of 2-3km too there are some good restaurants like Sagar Ratna serving some good food.
Other Tourist attractions near Neemrana Fort-Palace
Tips for the Non resident guests