Khejarla Fort

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Khejarla Fort, Jodhpur Overview

Khejarla Fort in Jodhpur is an ancient monument that has since been converted into a heritage hotel. Have you ever wondered what it must have been like for the royal kings and queens of ancient India to live in their magnificent castles? If so, the Khejarla Fort is an experience worth trying out. Originally built in the 17th century by the Maharaja of Jodhpur, the 400-year old edifice has since been turned into a hotel, with amenities that exhibit contemporary luxury laid out against the backdrop of the royal fortress. The Khejarla Fort Hotel is the place to be for a close look at the rich Indian heritage, without giving up on the convenience offered by modern-day hotels. The royal hospitality provided at the hotel is quite literally the cherry on top of the cake! Khejarla Fort offers an experience far beyond the ordinary!

Situated in the desert expanses of Rajasthan, this fort elegantly brings together the natural ruggedness of its surroundings and the opulence of its royal roots. Modern style décor found within its stone carved exterior is a reflection of this blend. It is built atop granite boulders and made of red sandstone, a signature element of Rajput architecture. The hotel also offers a guided tour of the village for a leisurely evening amongst the meadows and a taste of everyday life in the Indian countryside.

The heritage fort is an ideal destination for those who wish to experience the rich cultural legacy of India while enjoying a laidback holiday soaked in grandeur. The fusion of royal and rural is what this stately fortress stands for.

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The Khejarla Fort offers three types of carefully furnished rooms, designed to produce the ultimate royal experience in modern-day India:

The Luxury Suites
The Regal Rooms
The Royal Chambers

Designed with mosaic marble floors, poster beds and finely woven durries (cotton rugs), the rooms radiate an ambience of majesty and comfort. Some rooms boast of patios with divine views of the surroundings and most importantly, the sunset. Handcrafted ethnic décor, a traditional crafts bazaar, lush green lawns, and a royal Rajashthani welcome for the guests is what defines the time-honoured fort, making it the quintessential destination for luxury, relaxation and a gentle flirtation with history.

The sturdy fortress consists of four separate sections which were built to suit the traditions of that era, but have now been creatively renovated as recreational spaces to complement the heritage hotel -

Entrance: This is an arched gateway mainly used as a public space in those times to hold court, house prisoners in jail, and as a parking lot for horse carriages.

Zenana Mahal (South Block): As per Rajput tradition, royal ladies and gents of the house must reside separately. The Zenana Mahal was where the royal ladies stayed, complete with a lounge, two floors of suites and rooms, and a terrace with a splendid view of the Indian grasslands.

Mardana Mahal (West Block): Originally set up for the male members of the royal house, parts of the block have been refurbished as a dining hall, bar, and garden area. The remaining sets of rooms in this arena have also been spruced up with splendour and extravagance.

Main Courtyard (East Block): Today, this block serves as the common area for guests, including the hotel reception, swimming pool, an Ayurvedic centre, gym and shopping area.

Constructed in 1611 AD, the Fort of Khejarla was conceived by the Maharaja of Jodhpur to honour the heroic services provided by Maharaja Gopal Das Ji in the war against the Mughal Empire. It derives its name Khejarla from a Khejdi tree in the village, which is believed to have protected the fort when it was under attack from Mughal ammunition. The fort was attacked thrice by the Mughal Army, and each time it was built back up again, portraying the spirit of resilience among the Rajputs.

In that era, Khejarla was a prosperous centre of Rajput royalty that included eminent court officials, estate managers, hundreds of servants, several camels and horses for transportation, as well as a large area of agricultural land. Officials at this court were highly regarded not only for their intellect but for the honour, nobility and bravery they exhibited during times of war.

Today, the ancient fortress still exudes an aura of power and strength, a reminiscence of its glorious past. After a part of the Khejarla Fort was leased by Bhandari Heritage Pvt. Ltd (a subsidiary of Bhandari Export). In recent years, it has been intricately developed and made accessible to the public for visits and accommodation. The royal family descendants from Jaisalmer, including the current Maharaja of the fort Thakur Dileep Singh, still reside in a private part of the structure.  

The heritage hotel presents a plethora of indulgences mainly including recreational activities such as henna art, bullock cart rides, camel rides, cycling, and traditional Rajasthani Folk Dances. A library consisting of more than five hundred books was also initiated by the late Thakur Bhairon Singh Khejarla, aimed at promoting as well as preserving the rich history and literature of Marwar.

Dining at the Khejarla Fort Hotel is also a pleasurable affair, with an assortment of Mughlai, Continental and Rajasthani cuisine offered on the menu. The biggest advantage of dining at an age-old fort is that the delicacies are prepared by cooks who have served royalty for generations.

The nearby temple of Goddess Durga brings about a chance to take a walk into the neighbourhood and catch a sunset at the top of the hillock. Several camels, horse and jeep safaris traversing through Rajasthani lands are also available and could be organised upon request if anyone wishes to immerse themselves in the unique culture of northwestern India fully.

Visiting during the off-season months, like August, September, February, and March is better, since it is less likely to be crowded and the heat temperatures are tolerable.

Book in advance if you wish to stay at Khejarla Fort, as this heritage hotel is a highly sought out destination travellers from around the world.

The nearest major city is Jodhpur from where one can hire a cab/taxi to reach the Khejarla Fort, located 85 km from the main city. From the Jodhpur highway, it is only a 15 min ride. The luxury destination is an hour's drive from the Jodhpur railway station, which is well connected with most major cities of India. The hotel also offers the facility of organising transport from the Jodhpur Airport or Railway Station, if informed in advance.

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