The best part : Distance from Delhi is 162 km. So a two and a half hour drive from Gurgaon took us there.
The Drive: Pleasant, short. Road was good . From NH-8 we took Bhiwadi road to Alwar. Switched on GPS which announced we had reached the wrong place after we just reached. Apart from Mc Donald,s near Maneswar no place we saw for food. Lots of ads about some restaurant which was barely spottable. The stretch after Alwar town gave way to serene quite roads between the forest and the final stretch was unpaved to the fort. The roads do give a feeling of thrill..the unknown waiting at the end...
The Place: Striking at first instance. Nestled between the forests and hills, cowshed and village a fort some king built up to take refuge after his capital was attacked ( So much for my knowledge of history). And the sheer thrill of staying at a fort is what keeps one at the edge after reaching.
The stay: Comfortable. Rooms were well done considering the remoteness of the place. And since we visited in the month of May it was a miracle the ACs actually worked in the severe heat and thanks to the management for the excellent power back up. We hardly could visit the terrace adjacent to our room ( for which we paid extra bucks), the heat was severe both in early mornings and late evenings.Even posing for pics was an impossibility. But our choice to visit at that particular time of year was entirely responsible for that. Still the feeling in the terrace would be lovely in monsoons or any pleasant weather, with Aravallis bare bold staring wildly and a big moon in a clear sky.Several rooms to choose from with lovely names like Mahavan, Kadamvan, Kadlivan ( ours was Kadamvan). We were happy with our room.... spacious and a functioning AC.
The food: A let down. Our spirits were dampened beforehand as it was a ' pure veg' place. I consoled my husband we,ll have eggs in the morning to which he remarked that he had already enquired even eggs were not allowed!! After we reached lunch was served to us after a long wait. Food was homely, normal and in no way looked or tasted worth Rs 500 a plate. Roti, paneer, baigan , some boiled veg and strangely some macaroni, which went well with my daughter though. Evening tea was a huge let down, with a sweet tea served with tasteless cookies. Dinner was served in the lawn kept cool by ' fan coolers' ( sprinkling cold water) , a mix match stuff but much better than lunch. Live pasta counter was good, i loved the gatte ke sabji and dal bati churma as expected.
Breakfast was mundane, ' bajre ka chila' was greasy and tasteless, ' chole bhature' a dim version of the flamboyant Punjabi stuff and needless to say we missed the 'egg'.
Places to visit: Owing to severe weather we did not have any other intention other than relaxing. Though Sariska forest reserve was a few hours drive, we were content with visiting the Bala Qila in the evening when the glare of the sun was a few degrees cooler. The drive was again picturesque but gives an eerie feeling as the roads are lonely with loads of Sambars, peacocks, langoors. Top of the hill gave a spectacular view of Alwar city and the fort Bala Qila though discarded was worth a dekko.
Evening was not a bad time pass, watching the cultural show put on by locals with the quintessential ' Padharo Maro Des', Kalbeliya Dance with all the visitors shaking a leg, waist as well....a tough time for someone like me with two left feet and sitffer waistline!! Barring the horror of the thing called ' dance' i could enjoy myself therwise.
The Bottom Line: A nice pleasant stay for a day and night, expenses almost worth the trip , peace and quiet...Aravallis , the forest and the fort,hospitable stuff.. exotic combination worth a stay