Human lives make great stories. Some find space in pages of life; bright, shining lives hard to miss, documented and preserved in folds of human memory. Some are like hazy reflections, living in spoken words but hard to capture in ink. Some stories go to the grave before meeting the dawn. However, there are tales so determined to be heard that they rise from the ashes. These marvellous forts that found rescue in human hands have similar stories and are now famous heritage resorts, celebrated for their living glory.
Alila Fort Bishangarh
On top of a granite hillock, surrounded by the majestic Aravallis, the 230-year-old warrior fort now stands as a beautiful heritage resort. Built by the members of the Shahpura- Shekhawat clan in Rajasthan, the resort has a restaurant named after the clan named ‘Amarsar’. Owned by Rao Rajendra Singh ( a member of the clan), the restored windows, entrance gates and arches inside resemble the original glory of the fort.The fort is adorned with Jharokha style windows, jaali work and Tarkashi ( brass wire designs inlaid in wood). There is a spa carved out between the granite rocks in the old dungeon.
The 400-year old sandstone fort in the village of Khejarla ( in Rajasthan) was built by the King of Jodhpur in around 1611 A.D to honour the heroic deeds of Maharaja Gopal Das in the war against the Mughals. The fort was named after a tree ‘Khejri’ which had protected the fort against Mughals. Having a rugged exterior and a magnificent interior, the fort is now home to a luxury resort with 69 magnificent rooms and suites, offering a deluxe experience. Leased by Bhandari Heritage Pvt. Ltd , the fort resort was furnished with all modern facilities. Every room of the fort has a unique layout..The fort has been kept unornamented to some extent to give it the rugged exterior it has.
This 18th-century fort is perched on a hillock and is nestled in the heart of Jhadav wadi in the outskirts of Pune (in Maharashtra). The fort was built by Shri Pilaji Jadhavrao, a loyal soldier of the Shivaji lineage. Restored in the year 2008, the fort is now a heritage resort and keeps intact the secret passages, dungeons and escape routes of the golden old days. Submerged in Maratha tradition, ladies dressed in nawari sari welcomes you to the fort and the rooms go by the name ‘kholis’ to keep the culture alive. It provides a beautiful view of the Valley of Jhadhawadi below and the Sahyadri range and also offers a night in royal tents. Covering 25 acres of land, the fort has many suites such as the Maharaja suite and others. Rifle shooting and archery are other attractions of the fort.
The 17th fortress which played a huge role in the Portuguese Civil War is found near the village of Tiracol, near the northernmost tip of Goa. The fort was nearly destroyed in the year 1825, during the war. The fort initially had 12 guns, a barrack and a chapel.Today a magnificent resort, it stands on a cliff and provides a spectacular view of the Arabian sea, Tiracol river and the 17th-century church in the middle. Seven newly renovated rooms have been designed with Portuguese interiors and are named after the seven days of the week. The fort offers Portuguese, Italian, French and Goan cuisines.
The thousand-year-old fort was once a residential camp in the dense forests of Aravalli for a royal family. King Chand had occupied the space after he had to desert his capital Abhaneri (in Rajasthan) after losing everything in a flood. The fort in Dadhikar village of Alwar is now a heritage resort and a paradise for nature lovers. Situated 100 feet above the ground, it provides an exotic sight of Aravallis. It offers 71 luxurious suites and is close to the Sariska National Park. The fort welcomes you with folk songs and dances. Just 2 kms from the fort is a rare sight of primitive rock cave paintings.
The Neemrana Hotels who took the ruins of the fort on lease from the government have transformed it into a magnificent resort. A great weekend getaway from Delhi, the fort lies in Alwar ( in Rajasthan) near the national capital. The fort was a building that was left unfinished in 1845. Adorned with terrace gardens, central pavilion, auditorium and poolside, the fort has many exquisite royal rooms such as Rani Mahal ( rooms with wide arches on all sides), Mardana Mahal built around spacious gardens and Tope Mahal from where cannons would have been fired at one point in time. Once dominated by the Yadava and Meo community, it is known to have been founded by Rao Tej Pal Yadava.
The foundation of the fort was laid in the early 14th century by a Rajput family, a palace was added to its foothill by a great-grandson of Prithviraj Singh of Amer which got expanded over generations. The Thakurs of Mundota were known for exceptional bravery in many notable wars. The property is now owned by the 20th generation of Mundota who had decided to restore the fort. After seven years of exhaustive restoration, the fort is now a luxurious resort having five suites and a jacuzzi in each room. The property also offers its guests with a fresh menu featuring vegetables and dairy products from the property's private farm. The fort retain its original structure with natural rocky face.
Originally owned by a Rajasthani royal family, the 14th century fort has been given on lease to Six Senses group who have transformed it into a beautiful resort and wellness sanctuary. The fort faces the famous Chauth ka Barwara Mandir and also reserves two palaces and two temples within its wall. Designed with Rajasthani interiors, the fort overlooks the lake and provides a breathtaking view of the Aravallis from the terrace. The resort has two royal suites( among the 48 suites) which were used by the celebrity couple, Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal when they tied the knot in the fort.