Robert Louis Stevenson once said: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign”, but there is a place, hidden in Rajasthan, where any traveler feels at home.
Well, there is one place in India which offers all this culture and heritage along with silence and peace. Many tourists -even though it is not the appropriate word to describe those respectful visitors who approach Rajasthan as a treasure – did not believe such a place existed.
But Amanbagh – once the site of the Maharajah of Alwar’s hunting lodge – is today a hidden and lush oasis, an escape from hyper-mediated reality, where only a handful are able to enjoy a very special getaway. Visitors are welcome by the manager, smiling staff and a very friendly dog, music is played in the courtyard and all attentions go to this friendly and unique welcome ceremony. The moment you set your feet in the property you can feel time slowing down, priorities being shuffled in your head and heart, all the energies devoted to relaxation and appreciation of the reality around you. It is indeed a very special feeling.
The attention Amanbagh tributes to the local culture will never make you feel foreign. While walking to the nearby village in the morning, or enjoying yoga and a pique nique among the fascinating remnants of local history, lounging by the splendid pool that lays in the center of this relic palace, or in the spa hidden amongst eucalyptus and frangipane trees, quietness and peace envelope you throughout your entire journey in this wonderland.
At Amanbagh ‘no’ is never uttered: a private dinner among the ruins can be arranged, a horse ride in the valley is not a problem, a special yoga session while the sun is rising, a jeep ride to an historical site, a morning walk with a guide that slowly tells you about the local flora and fauna…
Big hotel chains with identical rooms and décor mean you could be visiting New York, Manila or Bombay. The Amanbagh, and Aman resorts in general, take great care to pay a tribute to and incorporate the local architecture, culture and nature.
The Amanbagh truly captures the gem that is Rajasthan with perfect balance and a fresh interpretation of the Indian grandeur and style. Remember to well plan your trip, as distances in India are quite an issue: from New Delhi to the resort it takes up to six hours by car, so do ensure you have enough time to enjoy the trip as well as the destination.
With pink marble and inner courtyards of pale sand stone, monkeys hanging around the garden, a hidden flute delicately played by a local old man make leaving Amanbagh an impossible task.
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