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October 2019

Issue: October 2019

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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
 
 
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Fortress of fancy

1 October 2019

A restored fort, located far from the madding crowds on the conventional Jaipur to Jodhpur trail, offers a cultural experience steeped in luxury

As you approach Alila Fort Bishangarh from the main road connecting Jaipur and Delhi, you could be forgiven for assuming there is much ado about nothing.

The surroundings are beautiful, for sure. This far out of Jaipur (90 minutes to a cou-ple of hours, depending on traffic), bustling street markets and majestic palaces are replaced by verdant pastural land, which spreads out on either side of the bustling freeway. Pocked with rolling green hills and little villages, this is rural Rajasthan in all its lucid, earthy glory.

It comes as quite a shock to the senses, then, to come upon Alila Fort Bishangarh in the Aravalli hills. Its imposing structure, after farmland for miles, is a site to behold.

The hotel is cloistered within the walls of a 230-year-old defensive fortress which took more than seven years to restore. The trans-formation is astounding and, in the vein of other Alila properties around the world, plays to a sense of indigenous authenticity, both in its sensitive design and its culturally relevant, off-the-beaten-track location.

Guests are encouraged to experience local village life, with workshops on pottery, carpet weaving and silversmithing available. The all-suite heritage hotel comprises 59 guest rooms – all uniquely designed – and is located in the fort which is built in to a granite hill with 360-degree views of the Rajasthan countryside.

There’s a separate structure below which houses an arrival pavilion, a sump-tuous swimming pool, a kids’ club and a casual Mediterranean restaurant.

Another couple of restaurants are lo-cated within the fort including the all-day-dining Amarsar and the impressive Nazaara. At the latter, guests can enjoy de-licious Rajasthan hunter cuisine cooked in traditional sandpits or over a live fire, while dining under the stars.

Words: Gina Johnson

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