Monday, May 14, 2018

Fort Kesroli - A Queen-size Holiday

As the summer see-saws between mind-numbing heat and raging storms, I yearn to escape the dusty furnace that this big, jammed-with-traffic city has become. 

I want to go to the hills with its lush forests and slower pace, bright sunshine and rolling breeze. We live in a huge apartment society with too many flats and lots of concrete; an island set amidst rivers of busy roads. If there’s anything I crave right now, it’s to sit on a patch of fresh green grass, listening to the birds (the only birds here are flocks and flocks of pooping pigeons) and the rustling of leaves.

But I’m not sure whether a holiday, even a teeny-tiny one, is on the cards. Not everyone in our house works from home, and so, out of the schedule holidays are hard to come by. So, the best I can do is escape into photographs of faraway lands that we traveled to this February, and create an imaginary holiday for myself.

Earlier in the year, we traveled to Fort Kesroli, right outside Alwar. Set on a small hillock, amidst dwellings of the local people and surrounded by a patchwork quilt of fields, Kesroli is designed like a fort, but is small enough to pass of as a haveli. Once upon a time it belonged to a jagirdar, but now it’s under the luxurious care of the Neemrana Hotels.

A heritage hotel that retains all the panache and flavor of its yesteryears, but with an added shot of plush, Fort Kesroli with its pinkish brown sandstone walls, is like your fairytale fort. As a writer, I spent a good hour scribbling all kinds of historical story ideas into my notebook. What if a princess still roamed the fort; what if history came alive for a night. This place can be great for my new fiction writing career J!

We stayed at the Tota Mahal – the Palace of Parrots, a charming little room scooped into the fort wall. Decorated with everything parrot – parrot-themed artwork and wooden sculptures of parrots, and soft furnishings & linen the color of a parrot, it truly was a cozy nook to unwind in.

The meals, served at another corner of the fort, right by the open-air turquoise swimming pool, overlooking emerald and jade fields, were sumptuous. I particularly enjoyed our breakfast, under a clear, sunshine-swathed sky, soaking in the quaintness and quiet of this piece of landscape.

I love unhurried holidays, where it’s all about spending time with your family and relishing the slow pace that the destination offers. And I’d really like to scoot off to a calm and cool place right now, away from the honking horns, the mad traffic, the heat that jumps off from the tall buildings and doubles in intensity.

But for now, photographs and memories must be enough.

On Twitter? Follow me @chandanawriter

 Photographs: Sandeep Banerjee aka Smokey Bandit

#travel #rajasthantourism #rajasthan #fortkesroli #familytravel #Indiatravel 

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