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Nalagarh Fort - A weekend getaway

Posted By laveenadiaries 299 days ago on Travel -  During the summer vacation(2018), we decided to take a break from the maddening crowd of cities and indulge in the bliss of hills. While visiting my parents, who live in Kalka, a small town situated at the foothills of Himalayas, I, in company with my spouse and my two sons stopped at Nalagarh Fort.Nalagarh FortNalagarh is a scenic gateway to Himachal Pradesh in North India. It is 300 km north of Delhi, 40 km from Chandigarh, 20 km from Ropar, and 40 km from Kalka. The fort is located on a hillock at the foothills of the mighty Himalayas affording a panoramic view of the Shivalik Hills beyond Sirsa river. It is centrally located and is easily accessible from Manali, Dharamshala, and other hill stations in Himachal Pradesh. Being close to NH21, it is an ideal haven for a weekend getaway.There is no direct train or bus route to Nalagarh. One can take a flight to Chandigarh or reach Kalka by Shatabdi trains or Himalayan Queen. We traveled by car and took the route Beas – Jalandhar – Nawanshahr – Ropar- Nalagarh. We reached Nalagarh by noon. We entered the ‘Garh’ through a huge gate. The ‘Garh’ embodies several structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. It has undergone several renovations and now functions as a premier heritage hotel – the ideal place to unwind, away from the heat and dust of the plains. It rises above a 20-acre estate of forest and orchard built on five levels, three of which have well-manicured green areas. The property offers a good view of Nalagarh Town. It is a perfect place for a laid back holiday where one can just laze around, swim, and enjoy the sun in winters. There is no entry ticket.Nalagarh is the capital of the kingdom of Hindur founded by Raja Ajai Chand in 1100 AD. It was ruled by Chandela Rajputs who emanate from Chanderi in the Bundelkhand region of Central India. The fort was built during the reign of Raja Bikram Chand in 1421. The present Raja of Nalagarh extends a Royal welcome to the guests.Portrait of Chandela Rajput rulerThe hotel offers a total of 35 rooms. All the modern amenities are provided within the rooms to ensure a luxurious stay to the guests. 25 Deluxe rooms and 10 Suite rooms all are mesmerizing. Since we had planned to stay at the fort for one night, we booked two deluxe rooms. The ornamentation of each room is different. Each room has a different name. The rooms that we chose were Rajmahal and Ashiana. Other rooms were named Sawan, Bhadon, Shiv Niwas, Veena, etc.Interior of one of the roomsWe rested for some time and then decided to take a round of the fort. The fort has three tiers or layers. It is adorned with antique and contemporary pieces of art. You can also see the photographs of the royal family in all rooms. The interior is magnificent, and the ambience luxuriant.Lobby of guest roomsWe saw children playing badminton. The elderly people were sitting in the lawn on the benches and, enjoying morsels. Some families were having a whale of a time in the swimming pool. We also decided to beat the heat by spending some time in the pool.Swimming Pool at FortThe fort also has a dining room, well-appointed bar, and recreation rooms. All the meals are served in the restaurant “Daawat Khaana”. So, after relaxing in the pool for some time, we went for dinner. The buffet was spread in a small room attached to the restaurant. There were several Indian dishes, including a non-veg dish. The food was sumptuous. After dinner, we again went around the fort which looked enthralling in the lights. Then we all enjoyed a good sleep as we were not worried about getting up early in the morning.Balcony of Fort ReceptionStairs outside one of the rooms.Stairs outside one of the roomsVeranda outside the roomsThe next morning after getting ready we went for breakfast. South Indian, Continental, and even North Indian dishes were served. My kids enjoyed the food. After breakfast, we decided to take another round of the fort and clicked some photographs.There was a wide variety of indoor and outdoor plants that were very well maintained and added to the beauty of the fort. We met the gardener who briefed us about the species of plants & flowers. We also inquired whether they had their nursery, but he denied. At around 11 am, we checked out.Fort GardenFort EntranceOur stay in the fort was comfortable. The uniform of the staff was white kurta pajama which revived the folk customs. Overall it was a rich experience.How to reach Nalagarh fort:By Air: The nearest airport is Chandigarh (60km).By Train: The nearest Railway Station is Ropar (20km)List of Facilities: Bar, Restaurant, Conference Hall, Wi-Fi, 24hrs Reception, Travel Help Desk, Free Parking, Power Back-Up.Recreation: Swimming Pool, Pool Table, Gymnasium, Badminton Court, Tennis Court, Herbal Massage, Pitch and Putt Golf, Nature Walks, Trekking…Which is the last fort that you visited and share your experience? Comment below!

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