written by - Shivani Garg
There are times when all of us need a quick break from life and what it has to throw at us. This road trip was born from one of those weekend wanderlust.
We just wanted some quality time together away from the busy life of Delhi and not in the midst of another ‘touristy’ spot. We instantly thought of exploring one of the Neemrana properties and the first option for a weekend getaway from Delhi that comes to your mind is of course the Neemrana Fort Palace. We made the calls and figured out that they were already fully booked that weekend. That was a good thing in hindsight because had we gone there, we would have not gotten the peace and quiet we required on this weekend getaway.
So the next option we zeroed down to was Neemrana’s Hill Fort Kesroli, just about a 3 hour drive from Delhi ! It was a great decision as this boutique hotel was not swarming with people as Neemrana Fort Palace would have been. The route we took was from Delhi – Bhiwadi – Tijara – Alwar as illustrated below.
We drove a Maruti Suzuki Swift with CEAT tyres and why I mention this is because this trip taught us the importance of driving a well maintained and well serviced vehicles at all times. This was a last minute trip and if we were not in the habit of getting our car serviced regularly, getting the tyres rotated and making sure the spare tyre’s alright, we would have not have had the time to do these things and would have just left anyway.
This was one of the easiest weekend getaway from Delhi but it was full of adventure for us. On our way to Hill Fort, Kesroli, we encountered a toll gate where the line we were about to get into was jammed for some reason and the vehicles were not moving. We stopped short of that line and just when we were contemplating about which line to get into, WHAM ! we get hit by a scorpio reversing in full speed. The driver must have been blind to not have seen us standing behind him and a moron to have reversed at that speed on a highway ! So that was the ominous start of what was supposed to be a peaceful weekend retreat ! It was a hot summer’s day and the AC stopped working after the accident and the huge dent in the front of the vehicle. Thankfully, the car could still be driven. After a whole scene at the toll with the drivers and the locals, we went about our remaining journey.
We had another 50 kms to drive in our dented car before we reached Hill Fort Kesroli and by this time we thought our holiday was ruined before it had begun ! But Hill Fort Kesroli turned out to be such a delight when we finally reached that we forgot how tired and sweaty we were, immediately. We checked in and found the property an extremely soothing retreat for a summer holiday. Will share my review about Neemrana’s Hill Fort Kesroli in the next blog post. Till then, you can enjoy the pictures below.
Our room has a summery interior with beautiful Rajasthani block printed curtains. We spent the evening in the room, relaxing and soothing out spirits. Dinner time was quite pleasant as well with a huge spread of buffet dinner with cold spinach soup (I loved it). The next day was the give-your-car-for-servicing day and so did the hubby. I relaxed in the room and read a book (there are no TVs in the rooms). He got back in time for lunch which was followed by a nap and then some cooling off in the beautiful pool that overlooks the mustard fields. There was no mustard growing at this time but it was lovely view, anyway.
After another lovely dinner, a stroll around the property, some future planning and some deep sleep later, it was the end of our weekend getaway. We had our breakfast and checked out.
On our way back, we decided to take another route back to Delhi via Nuh. This route was almost the same distance and would take the same time and what’s better than an unexplored road !
So we took the new road and encountered lots of camels on the way, we stopped at a roadside dhaba and tried a new dish called ‘tamatar sev’ with roti. This dish was quite interesting and something that we had never had before – it is namkeen sev cooked in onion and tomato masala and absorbs the juices to give that gatte-ki-sabzi kind of Rajasthani influence. After some more driving and following google maps, of course, we reach a place where the road ends ! Seriously, it just ended just like that. And what we saw ahead of us was sand and more sand. We thought that we had made a mistake taking this route and now will have to turn all the way back but we decided to ask a local instead. The man told us to off road this stretch which would join a proper road in 5 km. 5km usually is not such a big distance but you realise how long it can be, when you’re driving on sand in first gear. But thankfully we had just gotten our car serviced and has the trusted CEAT tyres to rely on for the required grip. So we decided to take on this adventure. After all, adventure was what we were hoping for right?
So we drove the dreaded 5 kms, came out on a good road but by now we had worked up an appetite for some more ! So when we spotted a little tomb kind of structure from the main road, we decided to off road again and get into the village and go see it. We did and we encountered the local life and a forgotten protected monument called Lal Masjid in Tijara.
It was supposed to be a last minute weekend getaway from Delhi but what we ended up getting was much more than we has hoped for. Adventures like these are what make a road trip memorable !
NOTE: If you have another day or an extended weekend, you can also take a trip to the Sariska National Park which is just one and a half hour drive from Hill Fort, Kesroli.