Travel is all about discovering the Hidden gems and losing yourself in them. One of the Places when travelling through the state of Rajasthan in India is “Shahpura Bagh”
Located in the middle of the Tourist triangle of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur, it is easily accessible and makes for a perfect 2 night halt for those who are seeking to experience a Stay with the erstwhile nobles in their garden retreat residence.
A gentle family consisting of the present Raja and his two sisters, with his two nephews and their wives and children live in this garden retreat and are more than happy to entertain and swap tales with their guests. However, by living in a separate residence, guests may enjoy their privacy as much as they wish, and may choose to dine alone if so desired. Your normal Evenings are spent mingling with other guests at the formal drawing room or under the stars around a flickering fire nursing your favourite poison.
In the early 1900’s, Rajadhiraj Nahar Singh of Shahpura mortgaged the family’s private property and jewels to bring water to his people. Today, the lakes he created, form the heart of a verdant wetland refuge – historic, picturesque, tranquil – an idyllic setting where man and nature have come to understand each other.
If you choose to add Shahpura Bagh to your Itinerary while travelling through Rajasthan, it is recommended to stay for a minimum of 2 nights to recharge yourself and to experience the Innocence of this region and enrich yourself with what this region has to offer. The recommended activities at Shahpura Bagh are
- Visit to the Dhikola Fort which is located around 30 minutes away is a family-owned property, this military fort once served as the first defence against invaders. Post Independence, it was given to the Dhikola village for a token sum of `1 Rupee. For years, the fort hosted a primary school in its premises. But the decaying structure could not sustain it and once the school moved out of the decaying structure, the fort fell into ruin. In 2005, the Royal Family rented it for a period of 60 years and are now in the process of restoring a couple of its rooms along with a host of facilities. The idea behind this is create a Truly Royal holiday by enabling adventurous couples to ‘rent a fort’. At this moment however guests of Shahpura Bagh are hosted for a champagne dinner atop a lookout tower here. As the sun drowns behind the horizon, birds leave the seven surrounding lakes for the comfort of trees, flame torches light up the fort’s empty halls, and history rises from her slumber to greet you on the ramparts, if you choose to include this evening experience or maybe you could just visit it in the day and explore this magnificent area.
- Bird Watching. With 7 surrounding lakes and around 250 water bodies in all, Shahpura is host to around 180 species of Birds and for the Bird Watchers would be an absolute paradise. Ideally you should choose to spend both your Mornings (if staying for 2 nights) exploring and watching birds here.
- Lake and Farm Visit: Another great option is to start in the morning after breakfast to go explore the largest lake, Nahar Sagar, visit quaint villages en route and relax in the shade of century old trees at the 140 acre orchard farm of the Hosts. If you are wanting a feel of authentic rural India with all its charming idiosyncrasies you should not miss this excursion. As they say “The charm lies in seeing Rajasthan the way it was decades ago”.
- Visiting the Ram Dwara Temple. What would India be without its religious practises and it’s places of Worship. The ancient Ram Dwara Temple (Ram Dwara means doorway to Hindu God RAM) is a place of worship for the people who believe in Ramsnehi Sampradaya, which advocates chanting of ‘Ram’. Ramsnehi means “People who love God”. Their way of worshipping God is simple. People of all faiths, castes, sections etc. visit the Ramdwaras. The Shahpura Ramdwara was sponsored by the then King of Shahpura, Maharaja Amar Singh, and his brother Chattra Singh. It was built by constructors named Jarror Khan and Kushal Khan. This is also a great example of the relations between the Hindus and Muslims in India at that time.
All the marble stones used in construction were sourced from a place near the north border of nearby village named Kanti. There is a speciality in all used marble stones that each marble stone has a picture and stone mark on it. The whole structure reveals the integration of Rajput & Mughal traditions in architecture while the geometrical symmetry of the baoli (stepwell) inspires a serenity that lingers with long after you have visited.
The Family is also known for the Food they offer, Rajadhiraj Umaid Singhji was a foodie. Shahpura is a food-lover’s haven. Take your pick from authentic home cooked Rajasthani food prepared over wood fire or continental and traditional meals, tempered to suit your palate. One of the best tables in Rajasthan with refined homemade recipes collected through several generations. The Head cook has cooked for three generations of the family and has been trained in some of the best hotels of Jodhpur.
Travelers, since time immemorial, have always stopped to rest and refresh themselves at this oasis and the Shahpura family is famous for their warmth and hospitality.
Described as a reinvigorating respite for fugitives from a hectic life, and coupled with the personalised care that the family lavishes on each guest, Shahpura House creates an environment, one that is more a home than a hotel.
You can book the Hotel via your Travel Agent or by visiting the Hotel Website (Shahpura Bagh)