Holidays for Couples Holidays for Couples Apr-Sep 2017 - Page 51

india // asia

Top left : Strategically perched on top of a hill in the Aravalli Range , the grand RAAS Devigarh overlooks the village of Delwara . Above : RAAS Devigarh ’ s impressive green marble pool . Far left and left : Impeccably restored to its former glory in 1999 , the RAAS Devigarh showcases decorative interiors and opulent landscaped gardens down the highway , taking up the entire left lane . The one road rule in India is there are no rules .
Our arrival at the historic hotel Chanoud Garh ( chanoudgarh . com ) coincided with a celebration of some sort , the village ’ s main street blocked by colourfully dressed locals making their way to the square where loud music added to the festivities . As our car crept beside them I lowered my window to say hello to the smiling children and snap a photo . What happened next was simply amazing – the villagers swamped me with garlands of marigolds and feathered necklaces , and every man , woman and child tried to shake my hand and give me blessings . Namaste – only in India !
Chanoud Garh is a magnificent heritage hotel , built almost 400 years ago by a Rajasthan royal and furnished with great attention to historic detail , with suites as big as a two-bedroom apartment . The extraordinary story behind its restoration is the stuff of fairytales . The once-grand palace started falling into disrepair decades ago when the present owners ’ grandfather lost interest in it , selling off tracts of land while allowing the palace to decay and its great treasures to be ransacked by errant servants . The artworks and artefacts that once graced the vast rooms simply disappeared . Extraordinary history curated by 11 generations of local rulers was wiped out .
But , like all good fairytales there ’ s a happy ending . The grandchildren – 14th-generation owners – decided they would leave the world of high finance in Mumbai and return to their roots to take on the task of conserving their heritage for future generations . They also wanted to rebuild the family ’ s connection to the village , and as we walked through the well-ordered streets the following day we felt the respect and love they have quite obviously earned . Once again , the locals came out to say hello and to shake our hands . It was this interaction with the locals , who have so little but seem so happy , that defined our stay and gave us an insight into the character of the people of India .
Leaving Chanoud we took a challenging ( think herds of cows and goats ) four-hour drive down one-lane roads through rural Rajasthan to our next destination , Delwara , and our
holidaysforcouples . travel 49
india // asia Top left: Strategically perched on top of a hill in the Aravalli Range, the grand RAAS Devigarh overlooks the village of Delwara. Above: RAAS Devigarh’s impressive green marble pool. Far left and left: Impeccably restored to its former glory in 1999, the RAAS Devigarh showcases decorative interiors and opulent landscaped gardens down the highway, taking up the entire left lane. The one road rule in India is there are no rules. Our arrival at the historic hotel Chanoud Garh (chanoudgarh.com) coincided with a celebration of some sort, the village’s main street blocked by colourfully dressed locals making their ^HH]X\H\HY]\XYYH\]]Y\ˈ\\\ܙ\\YH[HH\Y^B[^H[HZ[[[[[ۘ\H˂]\[Y^\[\H[X^[8$H[Y\œ[\YYH]\[وX\Y[X]\YXX\[]\HX[X[[[YYZH^B[[]HYH\[ˈ[X\H8$ۛH[[XHB[Y\\HXYۚYX[\]YH[ Z[[[ YX\YHHZ\[X[[\\Y]ܙX]][[ۈ\ܚX]Z[ ]Z]\\Y\HXYB\\Y[ H^[ܙ[\HܞHZ[]\ܘ][ۈ\BYوZ\][\ˈHۘKYܘ[[XH\Y[[[™\ܙ\Z\XY\Y[H\[ۙ\&Hܘ[]\[\\[] [[ٙXو[[H[[B[XHX^H[]ܙX]X\\\H[XYB\[\[ˈH\ܚ[\YX]ۘHܘXYH\\[\H\\X\Y ^[ܙ[\H\ܞB\]YH LH[\][ۜو[[\\\Y] ] ZH[Z\][\\x&\H\H[[ˈBܘ[[[8$ M Y[\][ۈۙ\8$XYY^H[X]HHܛوY[[H[][XZH[]\Z\ZHۈH\وۜ\[Z\\]YB܈]\H[\][ۜˈ^H[[YXZ[H[Z[x&\˜ۛX[ۈH[YK[\H[YYB[ [ܙ\YY]H[^HH[H\X[ݙH^H]H]Z]H؝[\HX\Y ۘHYZ[H[˜[YH]^H[[ZH\[ˈ]\\š[\X[ۈ]H[]H]H]Y[Hš\K]Y[Y\^H[]H\[[Y[B\X\وH[Hو[XKX][[YHH[[[ [\ق[]H\Z\]HۈۙK[[HYY\[Z\[\^\[][ۋ[\K[\Y^\ٛܘ\\˝][