Monsoon Magic in Rajasthan: Part 4 – Secluded Kesroli
If you’re a Delhite and want to escape the jam packed city life for a while to a secluded place away from noise, crowds and traffic, look no further than Kesroli. Kesroli in Alwar district is a secluded village which has one of the oldest heritage forts in Rajasthan. It’s located at a distance of 155 kms from Delhi on the Delhi-Jaipur HN 8 highway. It’s also located close to the city of Alwar (around 10 kms), making it an ideal destination for an extended weekend trip to the twin destinations.
Historians trace the origin of Kesroli to the Matsya Janapada of the Mahabharata times. In Kesroli one gets to see the oldest remains of Buddhist Vihara at Viratnagar where the Pandavas spent the last year of their exile incognito; Pandupole, with the only reclining statue of Hanuman; the samadhi of the ruler saint Bhartrihari and Talavriksha with ancient water reservoirs.
We wanted to escape the madness of the mall crowds during monsoons and wanted to spend time together at a secluded place. Kesroli seemed like an ideal place, located away from all the hustle bustle of the city and also easy to reach by a 4 hour drive.
So on a rainy Saturday, we started early from Delhi and after a pleasant drive through the beautiful landscape of the NH8 highway amidst drizzling rains and cool winds, reached Kesroli just before noon. It took us a bit of time to locate the village as there were no signs pointing to the destination. However, one look at the Kesroli Fort and the surrounding village, I totally fell in love with the place. At Kesroli, the only place to stay is the Kesroli Hill Fort, which is also a luxury resort located atop a hill, overlooking the village and agricultural fields.
The fort is a quaint one, almost nondescript when you approach it; however, once you are inside it, the feeling is a mixture of grandeur and romance. I guess that’s the magic of the fort and also the place, it’s secluded, yet grand and romantic.
Once settled inside the fort, there are a number of things one can do, but the best thing to do here in nothing at all!! Just sit back and relax amidst chirping of birds, cool winds blowing against the skin, clouds swaying over the skies. The views from the fort are wonderful and one can see vast fields and hills beyond as far as the eye can see. The fort itself is a photographer’s delight, with beautifully decorated courtyards, corridors, winding stairways corners and individual rooms fashioned uniquely in typical rajasthani style. I was enamoured by the lovely views and explored the fort at my leisure, clicking pictures of whatever caught my fancy.
Time passed by very quickly and soon it was time for evening tea. The evening tea was organized on one of the fort terraces; it was a romantic affair amidst the setting sun and flocks of birds flying to their nests in the nearby trees.
In the evening, there was a rajasthani music and dance program organized by the resort staff, which was quite enjoyable amidst cool breeze and open sky. After dinner, we spent a long time on the forts’s ramparts watching the pitch black sky, clouds rumbling and thunders flashing across the sky as if tearing the sky with its whiteness; the whole ambience was electrifying and exciting!!!
The next morning, the sky was clear and it was beautiful time we spent on the terrace watching the wonderful landscape all alone.
After lunch, we drove around the Kesroli villlage and visited Pandupole (having the only reclining statue of Hanuman) and Talavriksha (having ancient water reservoirs). It was almost evening when we were finished with our visit to all these places and also end of weekend, so time for a drive back to Delhi.
Kesroli experience was totally rejuvenating for our souls and with pleasant feeling we came back to Delhi.