The charmingly restored and renovated Karni Fort, in Bambora village, Rajasthan is a destination in itself, as well as a good base for visiting Udaipur.
The Fort has everything a self-respecting fort should have – crennallations and towers and panoramic views over the beautiful countryside it dominates, and – oh joy of joys - there is even a secret, underground passage. There are balconies and staircases and marble terraces and a tiny zenana. And yet, despite all this, Karni Fort remains supremely live-able.
Let me explain.
The Fort is impressive and dramatic, but it is on a small enough scale that you are not overwhelmed and could even – in your day-dreams – even imagine living there. It isn’t intimidating, and because of the very friendly staff and management, you really do feel as though you are in a home rather than a hotel.
Sitting on the terrace with tea and a book, watching the sunset over the village, is a real treat.
A few minutes stroll down the hill brings you to the pool, which is beautifully laid out, and surrounded by the ancient walls of the Fort.
You can use Karni Fort as a base for visiting Udaipur, which is a good hour’s drive away, but through gorgeous countryside and then on a good wide road, which isn’t too congested, so it’s not a difficult drive.
Or you can base yourself there, and relax, read, explore the village, have a massage – all very unwinding. There is a little museum explaining the Fort’s history and showing how it was lovely renovated and re-built by the owners.
Each room is different and furnished in a traditional Rajasthani style. Meals are served in the restaurant, and are based on Rajasthani food, though the staff is more than happy to cook something special for you, should you wish. I was very spoiled and was served delicious local vegetarian food. There is the most charming bar you can imagine - a little room all covered in mirror-work designs and with comfy cushion-strewn settees.
Rates are Rs 5900 B & B for double occupancy & Rs 4150 B & B for single occupancy.
Their wesbite is http://www.karnihotels.com