Somewhere in the heart of Gwalior, just a 4 hour train-ride from Delhi, stands an exquisite heritage 17th century landmark – open for lovers of nature and solitude. A place where trees sway, butterflies frolick, peacocks dance and friendships flourish with every step! Where silence is a spoken language and playful winds breathe fresh life into the walls that once provided shelter to the revolutionaries fighting under the reign of Rani of Jhansi. Our combined lives will fall short in summarizing the countless stories these lawns have witnessed or the many historic conversations these arched doors have eves-dropped on. And that’s the beauty of the Neemrana philosophy… a chance to live and love (pseudo ही सही) the royal life!
As an ardent admirer and advocate of slow travel – which automatically directs you towards budget and solo travel; this staycation was very interesting for me because it broke all my travel stereotypes. Not only did I get a fresh taste of luxury (and boy, did I love it!,) but this was also a trip where I was, for a change, not alone – and that sure made me very nervous at the onset! Two months ago, as a birthday present for a dear friend in Delhi, I planned a short staycation at Neemrana Deo Bagh in Gwalior. All my pre-travel jitters and anxiety went galloping back to Delhi the moment we stepped foot inside the Deo Bagh campus. I remember reaching our room and the first thing we both said to each other was “let’s not go anywhere!” It was that moment when I knew that traveling with Carly was the best decision and this staycation was going to be amazing!
And while it was definitely her awesomeness that made this trip so memorable, I cannot not mention the charm and beauty of the place that was just the perfect icing on the cake…or as we fondly say in Hindi: “सोने पे सुहागा”
The sheer grandeur of Deo Bagh combined with the impeccable hospitality of their staff made us dream and think of princesses and life as royalty; and that’s exactly how we felt during our short but overwhelmingly serene stay at Neemrana Deo Bagh! The staff went out of their way to make sure we had a good time. The way they took care of us, looked after everything we wanted, pampered us with so much love and attention – it truly felt like we were living the royal life! So much so that we specially went to the market to buy anarkalis just because we wanted to walk around the gardens acting like the princesses we felt we were. And the FOOD!!!!!! How can I not mention the food… hands-down the best meals I’ve ever had! The lovely (color-coordinated) staff and impeccable hospitality mixed with the beauty and serenity of the property made our staycation just what we wanted: calm, relaxing and very very indulgent.
My dearest Carly,
Here’s to you, your charismatic personality, your beautiful aura, your uncanny sincerity and your heart-warming conversations. I remember and cherish every moment of these 3 days with you: The messages from the green tea-bags, the picnic in the garden and “two girls and two bananas. Wonder what you’re up to!”, the beggar on the street asking you for a cigarette, the royal photoshoot, being the only two people who loved seeing the bats at the fort, you giving yoga lessons to Narayan ji, the walk on a super sunny afternoon and not getting a ride back, the butterfly viewing and the peacock chasing….and that thing we did that night dressed in all-black with our torch lights on? I can’t say it here but you know what I mean *wink wink* ! You’re the girlfriend I never had and the girlfriend I always needed …and given a chance I’d turn back time and take a trip with you several years ago! I’m so glad you came into my life and you inspire me to be a better person and a better friend with every small thing you do. Here’s to you, to our ever-growing friendship and to a never-dying love! 🙂
Details of my stay:
Neemrana’s Deo Bagh – 17th Century, Gwalior
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