>  Explore   >  To the Manor born – The Dev Shree Deogarh, Rajasthan

The phrase “to the manner born” is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet “Though I am a native here and  to the manner born it is a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance.

My wife & I had a long standing invitation extended to us by the scion of the Deogarh family  Shartunjai & his charming wife Bhavna. In February 2021 we were headed to Udaipur to attend a wedding celebration and decided to spend a few days prior to the wedding at Dev Shree Deogarh which is only a 2.5 hours drive from Udaipur airport- Deva is the “Shining one” and Shree is the name of Lakshmi the consort of Lord Vishnu.

The Rawats of Deogarh territory once expanded to a little over 200 villages and one of the Forts built solely to defend the land was located 100 kms/60 miles from Deogarh.

Fairly new,  Shatru & Bhavna’s home, a Relais & Chateaux resort,  overlooks the Ragho Sagar lake and a 14th century Fort perched on top of a hillock and has been built with love & care. It seems much planning has taken place to blend the architecture with certain elements of the principality of Mewar, the use of local stone, craftsmanship, wide open verandas, Moroccan style courtyard, 7 comfortable suites, flowery gardens and lush lawns. It didn’t take too much time for us to feel at home and soon after check in we were driven to the family’s farm in a nice rural setting where a picnic lunch was setup amidst desert shrub and rolling hills with vistas of a lake where migratory geese from faraway Mongolia had come to spend the winter months.

We later returned to our mansion for a short nap and soon thereafter tea ,coffee & cookies were served on the front lawn prior to our departure on safari to look for Leopards that roam the rocky Aravalli hills not too far from Dev Shree. While our hosts build the excitement their hospitality surpassed our wildest imagination when we discovered our safari vehicle had an inbuilt well stocked bar and sundowners were served a little before the sun went down behind the valleys of the distant hills. We were told by our hosts that they took a conscious decision to accommodate only few guests and create surreal Dining and excursion experiences.   

There are many day return travel options available whilst at Dev Shree – Apart from a walk in the “ downtown area” in the  village, visitors can take a stroll around the lake, attend a culinary workshop, hike in the Aravallis, spend time watching the birds and their myriad colours, cycling and a hike to the ramparts of the fort at sunrise which I chose to do for the most brilliant views of Dev Shree, the lake, town and the surrounding countryside.

The other sightseeing options are visits to the Kumbalgarh Fort whose massive battlements stretch 36 kms/21 miles and is believed to be the second largest wall constructed after the Great wall of China, the 15th century 1444 marble pillars Ranakpur Jain complex is a “Must see” and so is the Chittorgarh Fort. In non Covid times visitors could experience a ride in a local train through the tunnels in the Aravalli hills and over bridges, enjoy  the local feel and return to the Manor for lunch in about 3 hours.

There is also the possibility of a day trip combining visits to Kumbalgarh and Ranakpur – 75 kms/45 miles and 1.5 hours to Kumbalgarh and almost similar distance and time to Ranakpur and from Ranakpur to Dev Shree the return journey of 220 kms/130 miles could take 4 hours.     

Since we had visited these awesome monuments on earlier trips to the region we chose to visit two schools, met the students, teachers and distributed footwear and pullovers. To see the excitement, smiles and hear the laughter of India’s Gen next brought much happiness and a sense of realisation that we haves do take the various aspects of our lives for granted.  One morning we spent with our Yoga teacher which was arranged at our request by the pool under the palm trees and experienced requisite positivity in the midst of serenity. We also thought it was well worth the effort to cut short one’s sleep to watch the sunrise whilst enjoying a hot cup of coffee on the spacious verandah.   

Each evening was special- It always begins with cocktails by a bonfire followed by Dinner on the Terrace or Verandah or in the formal Dining room while Shatru keeps you entertained with almost non stop banter with his knowledge of history of the region and in raptures with his wit and humour. Bhavna’s recipes and the cuisine served is delectable and whilst here one must not worry too much about the waistline.

It is always hard to say goodbye specially when everything around you brings happiness and joy- our warm hosts Shatru & Bhavna, their delightful dogs Maikey, Bhavan, Ladlee and Jack russle,  the friendly staff and the ambience and I wouldn’t blame you if  you chose to reserve dates for your next visit prior to checking out.


Getting there

Udaipur airport – 145 kms/85 miles – 2.45 hours

Jodhpur – 145 kms/ 85 miles- 3 hours

Kumbalgarh Fort- 72 kms/43 miles- 1.5 hours

Ranakpur temple complex- 100 kms/60 miles -2 hours

Chittorgarh Fort- 140 kms/84 miles- 3 hours

Signature dishes

Dekchi Sula

Mutton 2 Piazza

Junglee Maas

Dev Shree Souffle omlette    



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