“India is the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition.” – Mark Twain
If you live in Jaipur and are longing for an escape on a weekend with your family or friends or a short trip to yourself, let us recommend you to take a road trip to glorious Castle Mandawa, now converted into a heritage hotel. Located 167 kilometerses from Jaipur, The history of Castle Mandawa dates back to 1755 A.D. Mandawa is the center of the Shekhawati region and was originally a part of the Silk Route.
Just Last week, we got an opportunity to experience this elegantly restored fortress with other bloggers from Jaipur and here is a sneak peak of all the fun we had.
As we entered the Castle’s giant Dwar (gate), locals dressed in authentic Rajasthani attire welcomed us by performing age-old rituals. The sound of nagadas, men sitting on horses holding flags, marigold garlands, certainly took us back in time into past history when maharajas lived.
Our welcome was nothing short of enthralling experience!
We were then escorted to our suites. The scent of the bygone days could still be felt in the air while we walked through the long corridors of the Castle. The suite had wooden four-poster bed embellished with blue pottery tiles and life-size pictures of the royal descendants on the walls.
Later in the afternoon, we headed towards the Castle’s dining room, Jai Niwas. The entire set-up was perfectly curated, from an arrangement of cutlery to elegantly dressed attendants. The buffet had some mighty fine mouth-watering delicacies of Rajasthan. While everyone else took pictures, I blissfully started eating my meal.
Post lunch we were taken on a tour in camel carriages. Our camel ride was assisted by a local guide who provided us with detailed knowledge about Mandawa and gave us an experience of the town life in its heyday.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, merchants built havelis in Mandawa since this town was their trading base and they employed local artisans to paint the walls of their havelis. We were able to witness and go inside few havelis. As years passed by, the paintings got ruined but some have been restored to their original glory.
While some of the walls had Frescoes which looked fresh and young even after centuries. Frescoes are similar to the plaster on the wall, which was made when the wall was freshly built and it had moisture in it.
In the past, Mandawa has been a host to many of our favorite Bollywood movies, such as Jab We Met, PK, Mirzya, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and much more
Sunset was approaching and there was so much left on the platter for us! Our camel wagons took us to Mandawa’s sunset point for our high tea, horse and ATV rides and as we reached there, we were stunned to see the sumptuous green land and cool breeze, while some areas covered with bright yellow desert sand. After the horse rides, we all were in full swing to try our hands-on the ATV. The dirty and sand-plunging yet comfortable experience makes this ATV ride one of a kind.
And in no time, the sky turned orange.
To make our evening more interesting, instead of a camel ride, we traveled back to the Castle in a robust open jeep, which made its way through the crooked country roads, leaving us overwhelmed. It was quite an adventure!
In the late evening, we all sat and relaxed with a glass of wine under the twinkling sky. After dinner, we all went to our respective royal rooms for much-needed sleep.
Even after an eventful day, we managed to wake up with calm mind and body. As we ate our delicious breakfast, all we could talk about was how incredible the entire trip journey was.
Good things come to an end, but we are unquestionably coming back soon to this splendid property.