We left Gurgaon early in the morning, around 8AM. And we made it all the way to HUDA City Centre metro station, before getting hungry.
So we stopped at Starbucks and grabbed breakfast.
The route from Gurgaon to Tijara is pretty straightforward. You get on the highway and keep going till Bhiwadi, and then turn towards Alwar.
The first time we visited a Neemrana property, it was our favourite Delhi weekend get away. We didn't think anything could top that, till we went to Tijara fort palace! A 2 hour drive away from Gurgaon, (Google maps doesn't let you down)...
...and before you know it, the palace suddenly appears in the middle of mustard fields.
The elephants at the gates greeted us as we parked our car and were escorted to the reception.
We had arrived early, and they were still preparing our room.
After a quick chat with receptionist we were given a tour of the property in a golf cart!
Tijara Fort itself is spread over 2 living areas called the Rani Mahal and the Mardana Mahal and a dining area called the Hawa Mahal.
Our first stop was the Mardana Mahal. It is named the Mardana Mahal since it was where the kings court was held and the court officials lived.
It had a lawn in the middle, surrounded by rooms. At the far end is where the court would be held. (I would take office space like that, any day!)
Every piece of furniture at the Fort looks spectacular and we admired every chair and table there.
After a tour of the Mardana Mahal, we proceeded to our room located in the Rani Mahal.
The door to our room. It was called Jayashree Mahal.
Later we were told by the manager of the property (Mr. Vivek, who makes it a point to interact with every guest and make them feel at home) that each room at Tijara was named after painters and designers that had been brought in to do the room in their signature style.
Our room was lovely! We felt like royalty as we entered, it even had an little antechamber! We took a minute and sat down.
This is only half the room still!
Our room had another room beyond the main room, the master bedroom.
The room had 7 windows and was octagonal in shape. It was originally a part of the tower at the far end of the Mahal.
The room was located on the top floor of the Mahal and after admiring our rooms we walked across to the spa, spoilt for choice, but we decided on a post lunch chocolate massage, and then went off for lunch.
On the way to lunch we decided to walk around the Rani Mahal which has a little courtyard full of plants and flowers with all the rooms beautifully arranged around it.
We made our way to lunch, where we were greeted with an assortment of scrumptious food as part of the buffet.
I grabbed some papad before the main course.
We had our pick of rice, roti or naan. I went with butter naan!
Luckily before serving ourselves we had spotted the dessert. So we kept that in mind.
And some Chocolate Pie.
After eating an ambitious amount of lunch and dessert, we waddled off to the spa. The masseuse and masseur were really good, if the mid massage nap was anything to go by.
When we finally mustered up the energy to move again, we went for a lovely walk around the grounds.
We found hidden away staircases, windows tucked away in arches and nests full of little black birds.
We attempted to see every possible corner of this magnificent fort.
We managed to find our way to one of the rooftops and we were rewarded with this spectacular view.
A view of the Rani Mahal with the dining hall in front of it, from the rooftop.
The hanging gardens of Tijara, with the Mardana Mahal in the background.
During certain parts of the year, the surrounding area is filled with mustard plants.
A closer look at the dining hall from our rooftoop.
We had spied other guests being treated to tea, coffee and snacks, and quickly made our way down!
We loaded our plates with some chocolate brownies and pakodas. The weather had changed a little and it seemed like it would drizzle. Nothing like some pakodas with the rain!
After our snacks we continued our exploration of the fort.
The fort has some lovely walkways.
This is the reception block.
Above the main gate
The reception block also has the Alwar Lounge which is a common room that has a large TV, a carrom board and a chess set.
Different parts of the fort had sitting areas peppering the corridors.
A sitting area overlooking the gardens.
Everywhere you looked was lovely architecture, intricate details, manicured gardens. After walking around for a while longer, we decided to go for a swim.
The pool was amazingly well designed.
A tree made of tins by an artist.
After our swim we made our way back to our room to laze and get ready for dinner.
As it was getting dark, we were in for a treat with Rajasthani music and dances!
The show lasted an hour and a half where we were told stories of heartbreak and love. The performers were enthusiastic and interactive, and we not satisfied until each of us in the audience had joined in the dancing!
One of the performers had a few tricks up his sleeve and was able to balance things on his head and limbs.
We had a quick dinner where we spoke to the manager of the property again, who told us about how long this fort had been under construction.
Photos like this, that show the forts construction process, can be seen around the fort that give an idea of just how much of the dilapidated monument has been restored, and there's still more left to be done!
After dinner we took a quick stroll around the Rani Mahal.
The Rani Mahal looks mesmerising at night!
We strolled around the grounds, played a game of carrom at Alwar Lounge and day dreamed about life as royalty.
We reclined in the pink chairs in one of the Rani Mahal's corridors before heading up to bed.
At around 4Am we were woken up by a huge thunderstorm.
Our room was in a tower as I'd mentioned, and surrounded by 7 windows, we were exposed to the lightning during the storm that lasted for a couple of hours.
Our room was diagonally opposite this tower, overlooking a cliff.
We woke up a little late and the first thing I saw were farmers taking their cows to graze.
We quickly went for breakfast and grabbed some cake, toast, cheese, and a masala omelette.
Unfortunately after eating breakfast, we had to leave. And with heavy hearts we packed up and made our way to the car.
We admired the little garden art they had placed amongst the trees.
We said bye to these guys and headed on our way.
It seemed liked the donkeys from our Neemrana Fort Palace trip had made it in time to say bye to us as well.
The gateman saw that our windshield was dirty and hosed down the car.
When we left Tijara we knew we were going to miss it. We hated having to go back to Delhi but knowing Tijara is only a short drive away helped, now that we've made the journey once, we will definitely return.