Kasturi posted on 12th June

Hold Down These 11 Forts for Your Next Weekend Getaway

Sometimes all you need for a good vacation is the thrill of history {and the comfort of luxury}. These 12 forts have been converted to hotels and resorts and we just can’t get enough. AND they’re close to Delhi, so book away!

Dadhikar Fort

Why would you not indulge in the history of a thousand years and the heritage of an old fort that has been restored to its former beauty? Built in the 9th century, a residential camp was made here, amongst the Aravalli Hills by Kind Chand. Much later, this became a military camp. There was no road leading to the fort until very recently, till Ram Kaushik restored the place. With quaint rooms and tents, Dadhikar has wooden furniture that somehow manages to feel luxurious. They also have a pick up and drop service, so worry not!

Driving Time: 3.5 hours {approx.}

Nahargarh

Built in a 16th century fortress-style, the place is a traditional Rajput hunting palace complete with a vast Char Bagh. Close to the Ranthambore National Park, this is a prime location for spotting tigers, deer and monkeys. The settlements around the resort date back to the eighth century. Be it a morning jaunt through the kikarbushes or a tiger safari, Nahargarh will add to it their swimming pool, conference halls, four posters and puppet shows.

Driving Time: 7 hours {approx.}

Alsisar Mahal, Shekhawati

Known for hosting Magnetic Fields, Alsisar Mahal in Shekhawati is a ‘battle-hardened fort’, right on the silk route. It used to be the residence of the Thakur of Alsisar and has now been refurbished into a heritage hotel. In the middle of an arid desert, you can have the pleasure of checking out frescoes, the Rani Sati Temple, the large number of ruins around the place and gorgeous Rajasthani interiors. The architecture, antique furniture and carved poster beds spell lavish like nothing else.

Driving Time: 5 and a half hours {approx.}

The Fort Unchagaon, By Aspen

A gorgeous heritage hotel, Raja Surendra Pal Singh acquired the fort during the early 1800s. Close to the temple of Amantika Devi, we are also pretty excited about the dolphin sighting expeditions they have. Bullock cart rides, golfing, horseback riding notwithstanding, it is the river and the Kumaon hills that have our heart. They have special deals during long weekends, so look out for those. Fort Unchagaon also gives you great deals on yacht rides and treks.

Driving Time: 2.5 hours {approx.}

Mud Fort

The fort was captured in 1763 but recovered by Jat rulers by 1782. Thereafter it was leased by the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam in 1790 and then by the British in 1807. It was built with seven turrets as an anti-cannon attack fortification. The banks of the Brijghat {about 25 kms away} are perfect for a spot of picnicking, grilled tomato {or ham and cheese} sandwiches and family time. The mango orchards nearby are open for bullock cart rides.

Driving Time: 2.5 hours {approx.}

The Hill Fort

Dating back to the 14th century, the hill fort is close to the forests and birds of Sariska. Under the banner of Neemrana Hotels, they have large spaces to relax and unwind, and if you’re a fan of sunsets, this is a trip you must make. This place offers tours of Kankwadi fort, Neelkanth temples, Jaisamand Lake, Talvriksh hot springs, Bharatpur and more. The Naruka Burj is easily one of their best rooms.

Driving Time: 3.5 hours {approx.}

Khimsar Fort

This is a unique 16th century fort that has centuries of history written on its walls and hallowed ramparts. Perched right across the great Thar Desert, this is an old-style fortress haveli that has lawns that go on and on, stunning sights and rooms that will leave you awestruck. In fact, the 20th generation of rulers still reside within the fort. The Khimsar Village nestled in the dunes are enough to make us get up and book that desert safari. This is slightly cut off from civilisation, but we suggest you enjoy the remoteness and the cultural extravaganza that the place is.

Driving Time: 9 hours

Ramgarh Fort

The Ramgarh Fort was owned by the Chandel Rajputs {of Mahabharata times}. The tallest gate in India {37ft} secures the fort, as do the walls {18ft thick} and also gives way to the zenankhana {women’s section}. Try out their multi-cuisine restaurant, Dastarkhan, for its tandoor. The place also arranges day trips to Morni Hills and Kasauli. We love that the tree mansion is an air-conditioned treehouse. This is perhaps the only heritage hotel that has completely vegetarian food and doesn’t serve any alcohol.

Driving Time: 4 hours {approx.}

Fort Ramshehar

The Ramshehar Fort Resort has a set of structures that are built in the Mughal style, but elements of Hindu and even British architecture are very apparent. Close to Shimla, we love that the fort is located on a hillock at the foothills of the Himalayas. This gives you a panoramic view of the Shivalik Hills, beyond the Sirsa River. Rooms are based on regal themes and have Wi-Fi access. Also, don’t tell anyone that we told you about their in-room spa services.

Driving Time: 6 hours {approx.}

Tijara Fort Palace

Constructed over the course of 13 years, Tijara Fort was a labour of love for Maharaja Balwant Singh. Built in 1836, the restoration has been taken over by the Neemrana Hotel group. You can see some rare artwork in the rooms at Tijara and the architecture has a unique blend of Rajputana and Afghani influences. The fort has two palaces—Rani Mahal and Mardana Mahal, both of which have rooms that will floor you completely.

Driving Time: 2.5 hours {approx.}

Neemrana Fort

One of the quickest getaways near Delhi, Neemrana is super convenient and gorgeous to boot. The 15th century hotel brags of hanging gardens, two swimming pools, an Ayurvedic spa, and India’s first zip-line. If the adventure isn’t enough, the romantic surrounding make it perfect for a weekend date.

Driving Time: 2.5 hours {approx.}