With Club Mahindra’s invitation on hand, on 27th July 2012, around 4.30 am I left home for Bangalore International Airport (BIA) at Devanahalli. The day before I had booked a MERU cab online. MERU sent the driver’s contact number and cab number a few hours before the pickup time. It took less than an hour to the airport early in the morning without any traffic. MERU is a dependable service when you have to reach the airport during odd hours. It cost me Rs 770 for that one way trip to BIA. The cabs are fitted with GPS and if the speed exceeds 80 km/hr, it raises an alarm.
My flight for Mumbai was at 6.35 am with Air India and then a connecting flight from Mumbai to Udaipur at 12.20 pm again with Air India. I understood that it rained earlier that day in Mumbai. But Udaipur was very hot compared to Bangalore. At Udaipur airport, I was picked up by Prakash, driver from Club Mahindra resort, Kumbhalgarh and we set out on a 94 km drive to Kumbhalgarh. At Club Mahindra I was given a grand welcome in true Rajasthani style. I was allotted a cozy studio apartment. After refreshing myself had lunch which was delivered to my room. In the evening, Club Mahindra arranged a visit to Kumbhalgarh fort. Kumbhalgarh fort is the heart of Kumbhalgarh. The fort is located just 4 – 5 km away.
After light and sound show while returning to Club Mahindra it was pitch dark outside. So know that Kumbhalgarh is peaceful clean village for a good retreat. Next morning a day trip was arranged. The country side road, clean air, sight of Aravalli range ghat section, old buildings, colorful Rajasthani life – what a treat to the eyes! We saw Kalpa birksh, Badal Mahal, Parsuram Kshetra, Ranakpur ghat section, Suryanarayan temple (Ranakpur), Ranakpur Jain temple, Keerthi Stambha, Muchala Mahaveer and Dehsuri ghat section. That night I was scheduled to have lunch with Kaustav, the front office manager here. kaustav was a perfect host. The lunch at Gazebo has the romance and fantasy of the location as well as the ruggedness of a foodie. The Gazebo balcony was setup with the background of Aravalli hills on one side and the club Mahindra apartments on the other side. It will be very fulfilling to sit at the end of Gazebo balcony and have a few drinks. With overload food, I bide Kaustav and retired to my room for good. I could not visit Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary as it was closed then. But it is a must visit. This 600 sq km national forest houses Shambar, Nilgai, leopard, Wolf etc, various birds like Kingfisher, Parakeets etc. Jeep safari is available or one can go on trek with permission from the concerned authority.
The 3rd day at Club Mahindra was very tight on Schedule. I woke up early in the morning and shot the mists kissing the hills. Then I took walk all along the property and captured some shots. Around 9 pm, I was sitting with Biplab Banerjee for interview at Gazebo, the general manager of Club Mahindra resort, Kumbhalgarh. Following this, there was an interactive session with the activities manager, SPA manager and Chef. Kaustav told me how the resort came into being and their motto of customer service with care. Following this I had lunch at the buffet area and then left with Kaustav for Haldighati. First, we saw Chetak’s tomb. Then followed by Haldighati museum, Haldighati hill, Badshah baug, Maharana Pratap’s cave and Haldighati battlefield – Raktatalai. In the last leg traveled through precarious rugged Mewar country side to reach Nathdwara – the abode of Shrinathji. Unfortunately, I could not visit Eklingji temple. It was found by the founder of Mewar state Bapa Rawal (734 – 753). Eklingji, a form of lord Shiva is the royal deity of Mewar royal family.
After reaching Club Mahindra, went on to enjoy ethnic Rajasthani dance which was organized there. Such events are organized frequently by the management for the entertainment of the guests and to give them a true taste of Rajasthani culture. Following this I was scheduled to have dinner with the Chef at the Royal balcony. All food and drinks served on silver utensils and the environment bound to make one feel royal. I had just the night, as next day early morning while it was still dark, I had to leave Kumbhalgarh. My flight was around 7 am from Udaipur.
Rajasthan is so colorful, you cannot miss it anyway. This is evident in their lifestyle, buildings, environment and almost everything. Check one glimpse of that below.
The treatment given by the resort is to make its guest feel important. Kumbhalgarh must be selected as destination because it offers a mix of adventure, peace and history. As you read among them are Kumbhalgarh fort, Aravalli range and country side, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary and ancient temples. If you have time, you can explore some off the beaten trail places like Thiki Maata temple, Amaj Maata temple, Suraj Kund (believed to be built by Arjun) and lakes of Kumbhalgarh like Taladri lake and Lakhela lake.
To view more images visit: Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.