Have you been to a Hollywood set of a medieval palace depicting scenes from the Arabian Nights in a dream like fashion? Have you visited the real Queen’s chambers in such a set? In the 21st century, I have been to a place like that, a Real Life experience of a real palace, set in the midst of Rajasthan, seen the Queen’s chambers, met the folks who own and run the Palace, done some incredible visits around that place and eaten truly Royal Meals! I am talking about the Deogarh Mahal Palace.
This is real life. Not make belief Hollywood. And it is not a temporary structure. This structure has been standing on that hill in the midst of the small village that grew around it since nearly 4 centuries. There is more historical depth here than all of Hollywood put together!
It is such a pity that in all my travels to #NorthIndia, I have not discovered these places earlier. But then everything has a time. And this place is timeless. You can discover it anytime of your life and it is better if it is at a time when you have achieved a level of maturity to understand… like aged wine or vintage cognac; they are not meant for everyone.
I reached the Deogarh village riding on the back of a Heritage Softail Harley Davidson Motorcycle, how apt, in the middle of an afternoon of the Indian Independence Day! Gosh, can it get any more auspicious than this. It seems that it augured well for my stay.
I was stunned out of my wits when I saw the fantastic façade of this magnificent edifice. As I stared at the building for a while in awe, I truly understood the meaning of the expression, being speechless in amazement.
Then began my endless discovery of the endless corridors, the maze of rooms, the centuries old paintings of rooms, of the halls, the corridors, all in their original state, some fading, others still persisting through the sands of time surviving and speaking a long lost history, every nook and corner, every dome on the rooftop recounting tales… the owners, the Royal family that I soon met, who showed me around told me beautiful stories of how this place rose and then fell and then rose again like the phoenix!
If time permitted, I could write a book on this place. I made a short video commentary on the wonders of this place. You can see the video here. This indeed is a museum. And this is possible only in a country like #IncredibleIndia.
The 2nd coming of this historical palace was in the 1990s when restoration works began in some of the rooms to turn this place into its original shape without too many intrusive changes and renting out this place to select travellers; and it was showcased initially by some travel channels of French television. Little wonder that the primary travellers who stay here are the French. I being a Russian, I had no idea that such a place could exist in India where I could spend several nights. And most importantly that it can be affordable; thanks to Maavalan Travels!
The next 2 days were spent in calming my awe taking baby steps of discovery and gradually unfolding the multiple layers of intrigue that comes inherent with a place of such great depth and height.
The Royal Owner, the King of Deogarh, CEO of Deogarh Palace, or whatever you choose to call him, Mr Veerbhadra Singh, he is a dashing handsome man, took me on the first afternoon, along with his wife, who fitted the description of the perfect beautiful Royal lady that I could have imagined in my dreams, to a beautiful lakeside on a 4×4 machine through incredible terrain for a wonderful sunset.
I finished off the evening in Royal Company with red wine and excellent intellectual exchanges with the Royal family and their friends.
As morning broke, I had difficulty believing that I was waking up in a medieval palace with my room overlooking the Lotus shaped swimming pool. Everything seemed so unreal and dream like! I walked out of my room and looked at the pool. I would be going to the pool in the afternoon.
Breakfast was waiting!
I spent the day walking around the narrow streets of Deogarh, seeing the people working, strangers who do not seem like strangers smile at you and the ice breaks even though we were separated by thousands of kilometres of linguistic and cultural barriers.
I went to have a look at their beautiful vintage cars. These cars, Jaguars, Dodges, Desotos from nearly a century ago are not just for show. They can be taken out for a drive by us, the clients.
Later I went to discover the neighbouring villages on the Harley. Post monsoon, the undulating hills of the Aravalis looked like a lush green carpet. These hills are dotted with small villages. It is such a joy to see these people. They all look happy and content with life. Nobody looks stressed. And being in such surroundings naturally relieved my stress.
I came back to the Mahal. The Lotus shaped pool of the Palace has been tempting me for long. And I decided to give in to the temptation. The cool waters soothed me in the summer afternoon. What a setting: a lotus pool inside a palace. Truly a dream!
About the food: twice I had romantic dinners on the rooftop. Just the ambience would make any food taste good. That said their cuisine is very innovative. They have a good choice in their menu and also good buffet spreads. And within this menu, they have a good selection of Deogarh Signature dishes that are quite unique and I highly recommend them. I will not go to the details of everything. I will leave you to discover a few things on your own.
This is a dream; a LIVE dream. Arabian Nights maybe a fantasy. Hollywood is the proof of that. But my experience in Deogarh Palace is a real life dream. Thanks once again to Maavalan Travels for handling my bookings, reservations and making sure that I enjoyed my trip without any hiccups. They understand subtle luxury! And now I let them take care entirely of my travel plans. They understand my needs better than I do. Even though I have been an entirely independent traveller all my life!