Sunday, May 31, 2009
Neemrana Fort - 1494 A.D.
If I was able to combine my love of history, architecture and my profession, my dream would be to own a place like Neemrana Fort....or something similar....
Hotels like these are known throughout India as "Heritage Hotels", and most of them are found in Rajastan.
Old forts like Neemrana have been turned into some of the most beautiful hotels that I have ever visited. Neemrana falls somewhere in between authentic and restored.......it is certainly not Rambagh Palace! It is quaint, charming, romantic, rustic, .....a "work in progress" that began in 1986......
Here is the story:
Neemrana became the third capital of the descendants of Prithviraj Chauhan III, who was killed in battle by Mohammad Ghori in 1192 AD. This picturesque site was chosen by Raja Rajdeo and Neemrana derived its name from a brave local chieftain Nimola Meo, who when defeated by the Chauhans, pleaded that his name be given to his lost kingdom.
Built in 1494 and having gone through various stages of ownership, it is still alive and well some 500+ years later.
Something drastic in my life would have to change in order for a dream such a Neemrana, or any of the other hundreds of places like it, come into my possession.....so that I could undertake the restoration of a place so steeped in history and be able to share it with guests who would appreciate it.
This has certainly become a "favorite" of mine.....and in the meantime, I will come back one day, rent a room with Linda, and sit on one of the balconies overlooking the two billion year old Aravali hills.....and dream!