I have always wanted to travel to the North of India, but never got a chance until now. Of all the places, that I traveled to this time was Rajasthan. I finally tick this off my bucket list.
Rajasthan is a vibrate state and is one of the largest in India. The land of the Kings, has its rightful place in history. With opulent palaces and forts that are reminiscent of a glorious past. Rajasthan comprises of stunning cities – Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur which are monumental and are the hottest travel destinations.
So here I am in a sleepy little village called Alsisar. In Jhunjhunu district, one of the main districts in Shekhawati, Rajasthan. Alsisar is located in the north-western part of the district. The village is surrounded by a semi arid desert. Established in 1440 AD, by a woman named Alsi, which I have detailed in another blog, about my experience at Shekhawati. This blog post is about my regal staycation at Alsisar Mahal.
– Getting There –
Plane – You could either fly into Jaipur or Delhi airport.
Drive – The distance from Jaipur to Alsisar Mahal, is about 200 kms, which is roughly 3 hour drive. From Delhi its is about 254 Kms which is about 4 hours drive. Before hitting the Alsisar Village, you arrive at Jhunjhunu one of the main districts in Shekhawati. From here its about 23 kms.
Train – Nearest Railway Stations – Churu(73 kms), Kuchaman(175 kms) or Pataudi(190 kms)
I traveled from Bangalore to Jaipur, about 2.5 hour flight. Alsisar Group of Hotels, had arranged for the transfers to and from the airport. It was about 3 hour drive, the drive was scenic and the roads are in good condition. Good road trip, I did stop at a couple of tea stalls along the way, to have masala chai, crazy craving! <wink>
– Alsisar Mahal –
Alsisar Mahal, a 17th century refurbished palace of the Thakurs of Alsisar. It exudes the rich royal Rajasthani hospitality. With grand courtyards, magnificent dining arcades and flattering heritage suites. There are multiple courtyards within the resort. The Alsisar Mahal claimed in 1737, is now run by the current heir Thaukur Gaj Singhji. This royal home, turned luxury hotel is part of the Alsisar Group of Hotels. The Group owns two more resorts. The Nahargarh Ranthambhore, and another ancestral property in which the royal family currently resides, the Alsisar Haveli in Jaipur.
– The Room –
The Alsisar Mahal comprises of 51 air conditioned suites. Each suite exudes luxury and opulence with an old world charm attached to it. From the spacious living area, to the king size four poster beds, to intricate, antique and original art work, and antique rugs used as wall decor. All rooms have been uniquely designed and no two rooms are alike. The window have colored glass that illuminate the room making it look colorful. A separate dressing area along with a spacious bathroom.
The resort is part of responsible luxury, and hot water is available at certain hours of the day. The weather is hot, so cold water is best! But if you do require hot water, the housekeeping can provide on request. There are no TV’s in the rooms, which is good for those seeking to escape the daily routine. The reception or network of mobile phone works perfect, and you get good mobile data coverage, although free wifi is available only at the reception.
– The Pool –
I just spent most of my time lounging by the pool. The weather was quite hot especially in the afternoon. So warranted some cooling off and not moving around to save some energy. I ordered a couple of beers and just lay on the sun beds watching the pigeons as they took turns sipping the water. The soft breeze just sings a lullaby via the rustling of the trees around, and helps you relax.
– The World War II Lounge –
Of all the rooms and places at the Alsisar Mahal, This WWII lounge is the most impressive of all! The interiors, spruced up with WWII relics and memorabilia. A section of the wall has an actual US Army jeep (just the front part). The speakers(hidden behind the hand made US Army rugs), to the lamp shades, the chandelier hung from the roof, to the important books dating way back are all unique and genuine antiques, classic WWII relics. This room contains a lot of fascinating history written all around. You can relax here, smoking a cigar, drinking beer and just soak up the past. And watch a movie if you fancy.
– Food & Drinks –
The Grand Hall, which is the main restaurant in the center courtyard, is where you can dine throughout the day. I had to admit, the food here is lip-smacking and delicious. I enjoyed every meal. The resort offer a buffet style menu, all three meals both continental and Indian(Rajasthani cuisine). Everyday of the week the dishes vary, to avoid repetition.
The striking blue is adds to the charm, the elaborate fresco paintings have a story to tell all hand painted, and massive chandeliers make for an exquisite dining experience.
The other restaurant, which is the talk of the town is Badal Mahal – The intricate designs, the coloured glass work make this a one of a kind dining experience. The restaurant opens up to an open air rooftop. This is open only for dinner.
The Badal Mahal, means Cloud Palace. The blue and white painting give an illusion of floating in the clouds. The entire painting has been hand drawn. The glass couloured window panes give it a rainbow effect.
The food in Rajasthan has more flavours and depth. It was not spicy which is good. I paired my meals with beer and wine. The bartender conjours up some lovely cocktails to0, so take your pick!
– The Dungeon Night Club –
This Palace is unlike any other heritage hotel. The Dungeon Bar and Lounge, is a night club with a surreal ambiance. The most unconventional WWII handcuffs hanging from the ceiling, to the water cans glued to the wall (real water cans used in WWII) make for an interesting conversation starter.
– Reading Hall, Billiards Room & Bar –
This living space, is elegant and tasteful. With a stunning bar boasting some of the finest alcohol. Elaborate and intricate wood work, furniture and lighting that date back to WWII. The entire family memorabilia and history can be found around the wall hangings and paintings. The billiards table at the center adds to the charm, and look more like the ultimate man’s zone!
– My Final Thoughts –
Three days, was just not enough. Walking around the entire palace and soaking up the history was an surreal experience. I wandered around the village for site seeing and enjoyed the various activities that the palace offers its guest. My favorite being the desert safari, watching the sunset, sipping hot tea, which has been detailed on my next blog.
The hospitality was exemplary. Each of the staff member was super friendly. The made sure I was super stuffed with really tasty food. My favorite had to be the pool side. Every evening, Alsisar Mahal comes alive with a royal treat. A couple sign folklore’s, that echo through the walls, immersing guests in Rajasthani culture through their music and dance. There is no mic, the vocals leave you feeling mesmerized and take you back in time to a different era.
Alsisar Mahal looks to create a music school for the kids from various villages of Rajasthan, to keep the art and culture of Rajasthani folklore alive. Abhimanyu Alsisar the Raja of Khetri is the brain child behind this. He is currently touring Rajasthan to collate and revive the music of the past. Abhimanyu Alsisar is also the founder of Magnetic Fields Music Festival. For the EDM lovers and the likes this is one you just cannot miss.
I hope to be back someday again, to savor in this colorful state which is full of life. A lovely place, ideal for solo travelers and families alike. For anyone who wants to unwind and just shut yourself from the daily routine back home.
Alsisar Mahal is home to the Magnetic Fields Music Festival that takes places annually around 2nd week of December. This year its from 9 – 11 December 2016, to know more and how you could reserve your spot – “CLICK HERE”
Click link to know more about Alsisar Hotels
To reserve or book your stay “Click Here”
I had a lot of fun, and by the time I left the entire staff gave me a fitting farewell. It was touching. Hope you liked my review, if you have stayed here feel free to leave your comments below. Would love to get your feedback.
To know more about the experiences about Shekhawati – site seeing and things to do around Alsisar Village , “CLICK HERE”
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**Disclaimer: Even thou the invite was complimentary, all views expressed are my own.