Castle Bijaipur,

Castle Bijaipur is simple, basic and rustic. A stay here is less about the property and more about the experiences one can have around this area. So Iam going to dwell more on the experiences possible while staying at Castle Bijaipur. I stayed and would recommend a minimum 2 nights here.

Driving through the forest and quaint villages, looking at happy smiling faces greeting me I came across the ruins of a very old hunting lodge situated in the middle of nowhere. It was interesting to see a number of small windows from where one can shoot from different angles. During this drive one comes across many small villages. Cattle rearing and farming are the main occupation of the villagers. This 45 minutes’ drive from Chittorgarh to Castle Bijaipur is about the pristine nature of South Rajasthan in its full glory just after monsoon. Can Rajasthan be this green? – I wondered.

Bijaipur village is a mix of different communities which makes for an immersive experience. One can meet the Gadia Lohars, the Gujjars, the Bhils, Kanjar and Dhakad communities all in one area. The Gadia Lohars are a nomadic community of Rajasthan. They are Lohars (ironsmiths) by profession who roams around from one place to another on bullock carts locally known as “Gadi”, hence the name “Gadia Lohar”. I met a Gujjar family where I happened to reach their home early evening when dinner was getting cooked. I got a chance to interact with the family and even tried making rotis (bread) on the chulha (earthen hearth).There was a fairly big gathering of curious yet warm, welcoming people. We all had a good laugh when I told them that I have zero cooking skills and my husband is an excellent cook. Some were actually shocked to hear that. I ended my day in the house of a Bhil family. Bhils are the largest tribal group of South Rajasthan and is known for their archery skills. Fiercely loyal, the tales of their bravery are legendary and the Bhils have fought side by side with the Kings of Udaipur as their ally. Every February, Bhils from Rajasthan, Central India and Gujarat congregate at Baneshwar, 3 hrs South of Udaipur, to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. This is a major tribal fair of Rajasthan and considered the Maha Kumbh Mela of the Bhils. One can stay at Udai Bilas Palace in Dungarpur (2 hrs east of Baneshwar) – a 19th century heritage property - to witness the gathering.

Next morning I went exploring the country side on Marwari horses from the stables of Castle Bijaipur. This can be done on a Jeep too. In the constant drizzle, I started the journey through the village, rode to the countryside, crossed rivers and climbed mountains. In an absolute first I crossed a flowing river while I sat on my brave Marwari horse. It was so exciting. I had lunch by the lakeside. There was an enormous banyan tree and temple ruins scattered all around. I arrived at Pangarh Lake Resort – another property of Castle Bijaipur- by 5 in the evening and ended my day with a boat ride on the lake filled with lotus flowers. Later I took a quick peek into their personal gardens and enjoyed a cooking demo by the host himself. One can head back to Castle Bijaipur like I did or stay at the tented accommodation of Pangarh Lake Resort to enjoy a night under the stars.

Castle Bijaipur, Bijaipur

Castle Bijaipur, Bijaipur