DeviGarh: Fort of the Goddess

DeviGarh: Fort of the Goddess


We arrive at Devi Garh after a death defying drive in the dark from Udaipur airport in which the driver negotiates (drive left) speeding mopeds loaded with families heading against traffic, meandering cows, people carrying huge loads on their heads, top-heavy painted trucks, madly honking motorists, and zigzag speed bumps.  Passing through the multiple gates announcing Devi Garh – an 18th century palace and fort high on a cliff surrounded by a pitch black valley and lit up in imposing and slightly creepy fashion — we are met by a variety of guards in flamboyant uniforms and turn over our passports as we look around in stunned silence.  Have we arrived in Transylvania via India?  


As we are introduced to the vast grounds and multiple levels of suites and public rooms it becomes apparent that we may be the only people here. The creepy factor ratchets up but the place is too gorgeous to get the better of us.  By the time we enter the empty dining room decorated with 200 year old frescoes and bowls of marigolds, the overhead speakers are whispering the overture from Phantom of the Opera (seriously) and we escape to the bar where we meet the lovely Nahal who rescues us with gin and reassurance that Rajput vampires are not on the loose. 


In the morning we walk the property and the pictures will have to speak for themselves.  It must have taken years to restore the palace and it is often used for movies and large weddings; be aware that with no elevator you need strong legs to hoof up and down the dozens of staircases to inspect the stunning public rooms – terraces, viewpoints, private dining nooks, and original antique furniture.

IMG_6270No elevators? Really? (totally worth it)

IMG_6319Sunset from the terrace bar.

IMG_6325Frecoes in the dining room.

IMG_6288The gold room. One of the many public “nooks”.

IMG_6281A private dining nook in one of the towers.

IMG_6304Private dining set up on one of the many terraces.

IMG_6197Please take a dip. 

It’s about a 45 minute drive to Udaipur – (always hair-raising as you negotiate wild world of animals who do not give a crap how big your vehicle might be or how loud its horn) – but worth it to return to the spectacular solitude (yes, we got used to it) and the competing calls from the surrounding village Muezzin and ringing bells from the Hindu temples.

IMG_5967 Tower view looking west.

IMG_5968Village school, Delwara  

And now from the official blurb: “Nestled in the Aravali hills of Rajasthan, the 18th century Devi Garh Fort Palace, in the village of Delwara commands one the three main passes into the valley of Udaipur. The actual construction of the fort palace started only in the 1760s, under Raghudev Singh II, with further additions being made to the structure by the rulers who followed. The fort, surrounded by lush green fields and mountains on three sides, overlooks the village of Delwara and is close to the temples of Eklingji and Nagda. The combination of a traditional Rajasthani village, the towering fort and the temples makes for an fabulous mix.”   Amen.  
“Devi” means Goddess and “Garh” means fort.  Fortress of the Goddess — good enough for me.

IMG_6189Sunrise. Wow

IMG_6309The billiard room – if you are so inclined.
(Check out the rug).

IMG_6314Holy book and rose petals.

IMG_6287A little teapot short and stout…

IMG_6312The gold room. There is also a silver room. And a black and red room. In case you can’t find a room with a view.

IMG_5966The bar. Not to be missed.

IMG_6169Welcome to the dining room. Tonight it’s red roses and matching tablecloths. Tomorrow saffron and marigolds.

IMG_6283 Green parrots swoop from the rooftops – view through terrace frieze.

IMG_6326Morning flute swami.

IMG_6201 Through the gates. Transylvania in Rajasthan?

IMG_6272View from the garden suites. Ground level.

IMG_6271Garden suite room with towel swans and rose petals.

IMG_6279View looking out over village and vegetable gardens.

IMG_6321 Sunset over the Aravalli Hills.

IMG_6336Private pool adjoining two palace suites.


Having a fabulous time: wish you were here!