The tiny rural village of Ajabgarh is approximately 100kms to the north-east of Jaipur and is nestled in the world’s oldest mountain range, the Aravelli Hills. It’s so small it’s almost not on the map. You’ll find little information about it trawling through Google. So isn’t it all the more intriguing that one of the finest luxury hotels in India have chosen it for their base?
Well… there are many reasons actually, the most obvious of which is the spectacular scenery. An Ajabgarh holiday takes you back in time. Life here hasn’t changed for generations. Within the local tribe known as the Meena, the men still tend to their goats and sheep and the women, dressed in ornate, colourful saris, carry bundles of firewood on their heads. Children smile and wave when they see foreigners who are still very much an unknown quantity.
A Maharaja’s hunting lodge
A holiday in Ajabgarh, located on the site of a former hunting lodge of the Maharaja, comes with a notable history for such an unassuming village, stretching back at least as far as the Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, who is rumoured to have stayed in a tented encampment nearby.
Perhaps, though, Ajabgarh is best known for the ruined fort, dating from 1635, which bares its name. The word ‘garh’ means fort in Hindi. And the word Ajab is derived from the founder of the fort Ajab Singh Rajawat, one of three brothers all of whom built forts in this small corner of Rajasthan.
If you only do three things in Ajabgarh…
- Discover your inner yogi with an early morning session at the atmospheric Bhangarh fort, sister fort to Ajabgarh.
- Experience the great outdoors. This is a rural Rajasthani village in which time has stood still so go out and explore.
- Go on an early evening walk past the Hindu temple and listen to the tiny bells being rung in all of the shrines.
Amanbagh run small but important community projects mostly associated with education and employment.
Thoughts on a postcard
The village and its people are enchanting. Anil, our guide, took us to the local school where we saw smiling kids enthusiastically learning English and maths whilst others played cricket in the dusty yard.
OUR FAVOURITE PLACESAndaman and Nicobar Islands / Ranthambore National Park / Jaipur / Jodhpur / Udaipur / Agra / Delhi / Chennai / Ajabgarh / Nagaur / Narlai /
Ajabgarh : The map
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