Half way through the journey on our tour in October I have chosen for us to stay in Fort Barli, a 340 year old majestic fort that has been restored into unique guest accommodation. I first visited the fort back in 2013, and I have since had many guests enjoy it's quirky grandeur. I am really looking forward to getting back to the property with my group and for everyone to get the chance to engage in the hotels rich history for themselves.
Staying in Fort Barli will give the group a chance to experience another side of Rajasthan away from the big bustling cities that the state is famous for. There is much to enjoy about staying in such a unique property, including having a tour through the fort with the staff to learn about the enchanting history as well as getting the opportunity to admire the palatial architecture. Along with Dera Rawatsar in Jaipur, Fort Barli is owned by Anirudh Rathore and his extended family, therefore Anirudh kindly chatted to me about the property and what makes it so special.
Aerial View of Fort Barli - Photo courtesy of Window to Luxury
Fort Barli is a unique heritage property located in the heart of the countryside that is sure to be a real highlight during our tour. Could you tell me a little more about the history of the property and how your family came to open it to guests?
Fort Barli certainly has a unique charm as it rises at the centre of the village Barli with the homes of the village folk surrounding it for centuries. The clan belongs to the brotherhood of Jodhpur state from where the descendants arrived and set up base in 1675. The family has been living there ever since . The fort is an imposing property and we knew that it could capture the attention of tourists who are looking for an off the beaten path product. It took us 2 years to renovate the fort as centuries of mother nature took its toll on the ramparts of the fort.
The fort is a calm oasis, far from the busy cities that we would have visited. What are your favourite locations within the property to relax in?
There are quite a few relaxing points in the Fort as the founding fathers designed it for family living . In particular the fort is adorned with "Gokhras" i.e. covered balconies at vantage points on all levels with views of the countryside and cool breeze blowing at all times. These are perfect places to read a book or have a relaxing meal or even just gaze into the fields. The pool is also on a 30 feet high bastion with wonderful views of the village.
What are some of the attractions that guests can enjoy in this rural region of Rajasthan when staying at Fort Barli?
The area is filled with many migratory birds that can be experienced while staying at Fort Barli . After the monsoon rains the countryside lakes get filled with water and offer splendid walks to relax and enjoy the Rajasthan rural landscape.
One of the advantages about staying in small owner run hotels is that guests often get the chance to try out unique activities during their stay. What special experiences do you offer at Fort Barli?
We offer bullock cart rides in the village which are adorned with comfortable seating and decorated bullocks . The ride takes you through the narrow streets of the village interacting with the village locals and visiting cenotaphs and temples as well as the village market. We also offer royal dressing - relive the bygone era by adorning the royal outfits and jewellery of kings and queens and take back memories of a lifetime.
During our stay at Fort Barli we are going to enjoy a delicious dinner served on silver platters. Can you describe some of the signature Barli dishes that we may get to enjoy?
Junglee Maas ( A meat preparation in ghee) done with whole red chillies , indian condiments and spices) , Dahi Baingan ( a cold preparation done with multiple layers of yogurt and aubergine topped with cumin powder).
Bedroom - Photo courtesy of Window to Luxury