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Weekend Goals: Retreat To Lake Nahargarh Palace In Rajasthan & Unwind

    What Did I Like?

    Ever thought of leaving the world for a few days and living on an island? Or in the middle of a lake? No, no, nothing fancy like The Blue Lagoon, Castaway or George in the Jungle, something simpler and closer home. There is a private lake in Rajasthan that offers some ‘me’ moments. Even I was surprised to find water and privacy in the state which is known for its sandy and rocky terrain. Disembarking at Udaipur, we had a green drive to the little village of Parsoli which is about 50km from Chittorgarh, off the Udaipur-Kota highway. The southern part of Rajasthan is lush and shows no sign of the dry desert. Through the little village and we came to the edge of a lake, which is when I came to know that this is a man-made lake and the hotel stands in the middle. Its only connection to the world is the boat and an erratic network. Lake Nahargarh Palace is managed by jüSTa Hotels & Resorts. Originally, a hunting lodge, remnants of which can be seen on the shore, it was made by the royal family of Salumber and Parsoli. Later, the late Maharaj Nahar Singh of Ralavata bought it and his son Raja Jitendra Singh Rathore of Ralavata developed it into a palace. Much like a chapter in a book, the hotel seemed like an oasis in the desert {it was all in the mind, the region has a good yield of crops}. We were there for the annual art residency programme, Chitrashala, in which artists from across the world and India were hosted for a week. They were showcasing works made in the idyllic surroundings and then gifted to the hotel. With the sun setting on the lake, the ripples shimmering, the pigeons finding their space in the turrets, the evening becomes almost surreal. Comfortable beds and modern amenities, the hotel offer a peaceful retreat from the humdrum of life. In the distance are the Aravalli hills and dense forest. The locals do tell tales of hyenas and wild dogs, but then they are not coming through the water. I explored the hotel in the morning, when the world was asleep, except for the chirp of the few birds who rested there. The 40 rooms make it an almost private space and a green courtyard is in the centre. The hotel has a swimming pool by the lake and prides itself on a multi-cuisine restaurant. My vote goes for the traditional Rajasthani cuisine though.

    What Could Be Better?

    I should have taken more books and some painting work with me to enjoy this quiet place. More time by the lake watching the sun rise and sun set would have been nice.

    What's My Pro Tip?

    It has become a wedding destination, I was told by the staff. While jharokhas and arches are reminiscent of the Rajasthani roots, the simplicity reminds one of the ‘lake retreats’. Watch the paintings on the walls, the tiles on the floor and the large pots in the corridors. The network plays truant in some areas, but then why do you need it on a holiday in a lake? Folk dance and musical performances are organised for the guests too.

    Anything Else?

    The hotel can organise trips to the Taragarh Fort in Bundi and the living Chittorgarh fort. And as these are not bustling with tourists, the days are well spent finding ‘me’. I also enjoyed a walk in the village, talking to the farmers and watching the birds. There is the choice of horse riding and boating too. Sometimes, ‘me’ time can be the best time to find yourself once again. I have lost myself many times in the daily grind. But clean, green spaces with calm souls around you, no phones to mar your day and lots of sunshine helps me retain my spirits. Hopefully, it would do that to you too.