Shatrunjai and Bhavna of Deogarh have moved back to their roots and have built themselves a heavenly home at Deogarh, in the heart of the Aravalli Hills of Western Rajasthan, where they welcome guests with open arms. Being traditionalists at heart and rightly proud of their heritage, they wanted a home that reflected a little of that past. Having involved as many local crafts people as possible to showcase the local architectural styles and craftsmanship in the area the result is Dev Shree and what a triumph it is.
Replete with intricately carved pillars, deep, airy verandahs, immaculate stonework throughout (Nimbahera stone, hand carved over 2 years), stunning, cool marble (from Makrana and Ambaji) floors, state of the art, impeccable bathrooms, a huge roof terrace (ideal for yoga at dawn and drinks at sunset!), the workmanship is outstanding. The 7 bedrooms are large, lofty, beautifully furnished, and wonderfully comfortable.
Beyond the rooms which fan off from the pretty central courtyard, there is plenty of room for people to lose themselves in the bar, the dining room or the light-filled sitting room. Courtyards and terraces abound and all this is surrounded by gorgeous lawns and gardens, set back a few metres from Ragho Sagar (lake). Perhaps one of the highlights of this little gem, however, is the gorgeous, shady pool on the lakeside – ideal for whiling away the hours with a drink and a good book.
Whilst at Deogarh there is a huge amount to do and your hosts will be more than delighted to take you out walking or on drives around the area. Observing the huge array of migrant birds, glorious walking in the hills, picnicking by nearby lakes, possibly spying a leopard, taking a local train ride through the ‘ghats’ (hills), seeing the flame of the forest in full bloom, sundowners up at Gokul Fort are just some of the memorable activities one can do here. On top of that, a walk through the village of Deogarh is a must – one of the cleanest most friendly and welcoming villages in the state and it’s full of goodies to purchase. Return for a sleepy siesta by the shady pool overlooking the lake.
They have a small vegetable garden which provides as much of the produce for the hotel as it can. The family dairy next door also helps keep it all as organic as possible. Menus are carefully thought out and aim to provide delicious, fresh, home cooked food. A combination of old family recipes, some fresh modern ideas and a selection of western dishes create an interesting menu which is sure to appeal to all.
With your hosts full of stories and jokes, conversation will always be fun and animated here. Their dogs and children will be an added bonus whenever they appear and it is very much a place to come and be a part of one of Rajasthan’s most fabulous families and their lifestyle.
The Deogarh Family has a strong social and environmental awareness and loves the community it's a part of. It has supported over 3000 children annually on a rotational basis. They provide infrastructure to schools such as furniture and computers so children no longer have to sit on the floor. Other schools have had extensions, bathrooms and classrooms added. The family help source teachers from the UK and other places to give the Deogarh Village children a head start and they also support gifted children in further education. Each year they raise funds to provide teachers in other, more rural areas and they currently have 15 teachers employed in 8 different villages. With the help of the actor Sir John Standing they provided an ICU for the Deogarh Hospital.
On the environmental side they practice water harvesting throughout the property – all rain is collected in an old well and in large water tanks and used from there. Shatrunjai himself is the game warden of Rajsamund District and spends a great deal of time helping to preserve the local wildlife and its habitat. They grow their own, organic vegetables on their next door farm and dairy products are sourced from the cattle there. Solar power is being introduced shortly.
An idyllic small mansion on the shores of a lake. The small size of Dev Shree combined with its large expanse of lawns, pretty courtyards, lofty verandahs and dining room, and spacious roof terraces lend it perfectly to private takeovers and intimate get togethers. Easily accessed, parties can be arranged in different places on different days, all overseen by fabulously friendly hosts. Limited local entertainment possible.
For reservations please contact your tour operator, your local travel agent,
or the hotel.
A walk around one of the cleanest, most authentic and welcoming villages in Rajasthan; sundowners in the hills or by the lake.
By air to Udaipur or Jodhpur, followed by a 3 hour journey.
By train to Sojat Road, followed by a 1 hour journey.
By road from Narlai, Bera, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Shahpura, Chhatra Sagar, Rohet and Jaipur (longer).