Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In Praise of Devi Garh

Few places on earth have the extraordinary power that Devi Garh does to remove you completely from the here and now, and transport you into a dream state, an alternate reality where everything is exotic and different, strangely calming. Set in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, India, you are certain to enter a fantasy, a window into the past, or perhaps a time machine into a timeless present. Words cannot express the sensation. This isolated resort set in one of three main passes approaching the valley of Udaipur has been constructed in a restored 18th century palace and fort, presiding over the village of Delwara. True to the architectural style of the region, the resort centers around five courtyards, peaceful yet intriguing, which combine a fusion of modern and classical motifs rendered in traditional materials. There are even some lower-priced luxury tents at the base of the ancient walls, for the heartier traveler. In the hours before sunrise you can hear the chanting from the Hindu temple below. Later in the day the call to prayer from the local mosque echoes through the valley. Fairytale views surround all ramparts of the fortification. Sunset, seen from the breathtaking swimming pool terrace, summons magical visions. Goodbye modernity.

Devi Garh’s extreme staff to guest ratio and a truly welcoming team guarantees a high-grade service experience. There is not much to sightsee in the area, mostly 12th and 14th century Jain temples, and scenic landscapes. Local quarries are the source for the signature milk white and deep green marble, available in immense slabs and carved form from local vendors, of which there are a multitude. But this resort is best used as a complete getaway from the acceleration of modern life, an opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. A stress-free oasis. Spacious rooms and baths, comfortable furnishings, a complete health spa and a fine kitchen add to the equation. If you can, book the excellent Dr. Muthu for a private yoga class on the terrace at daybreak; he is also a skilled Ayurvedic physician. Take your dinner in a private dining room on one of the upper floors, with a thousand small mirrors on walls and ceiling reflecting the candlelight. Every suite on the modern wing fronting a long courtyard has its own terrace, perfect for room service, lounging, or passing a leisurely afternoon immersed in a favorite book.

Don’t go rushing around Devi Garh- there’s no place to rush to. There are no trendy little restaurants, discotheques, jewelry stores or loud music. There’s only a nice little gift shop by the front gate, but you haven’t come for shopping. You’re here to stop time, to rest and reflect and that is truly enough. Highly recommended.

Devi Garh

Delwara, N.H.8, Near Eklingji, Nathdwara

District Rajsamand, Rajasthan - 313202

Ph:+ 91 2953 289 211

Fax:+ 91 2953 289 357