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Stay: Photo Essay

By Christine Pemberton

“We do not seek to be a big place in the world's map, just a big place in the hearts of those who visit us.”
These words, spoken from the heart, by the people who run Dadhikar Fort in Rajasthan, are guaranteed to make you fall instantly in love with this charming heritage property.
Published: 9th August 2017.

Long View towards Dadhikar Fort

Perched on a little rocky outcrop, backed by wooded hills, Dadhikar Fort has been surveying the surrounding countryside for over 11 centuries. Back in the 9th century, a royal residential camp was set up here in what were then dense forests, when the family of King Chand had to leave their capital - current day Abhaneri - after losing everything in a flood.

View from Dadhikar Fort

Originally known as “derakar” (literally, to make a camp), both the name and the vocation changed over the decades. Derakar became Dadhikar, and the residential camp became military in nature, after the royal family moved to Alwar.

View over Dadhikar Fort

Then, over the centuries, Dadhikar gradually fell into decline and discreet neglect. With no road to connect it to the village below, with no electricity, and no water supplies, life passed Dadhikar by. Until, recently, when a man with a vision, Ram Kaushik, made it his mission to restore this little piece of India’s history.

View inside Dadhikar Fort

Mr. Kaushik’s mantra is a simple one – “Preserving our heritage in every way possible, because it is our greatest strength and never ending treasure.”
Preserving Dadhikar & bringing the fort back to life was nothing short of a labour of love.

Close view of Dadhikar Fort

In 2007, Ram Kaushik bought the fort from the heir of King Chand. “Everybody else saw it as a derelict structure that was devoid of amenities, but I envisioned it as a getaway far from city life, with a breathtaking view.”

Outdoor dining at night

“I always had a keen interest in restoration, so I researched what the original fort must have looked like.”
Recycling stones from rubble, hunting down retired masons who could work with the old style of limestone construction, training young labourers from Dadhikar village - these were all part of the restoration work.

New Gate at Dadhikar Fort

Mr. Kaushik’s labour of love is now a charming boutique property, perfect for weekend getaways, perfect for weddings, perfect for small conferences. His leap of faith has been totally vindicated.

Abhaneri Stepwell

Dadhikar Fort is ideally situated as a base to explore the surrounding areas. It is close to Alwar, to Sariska Tiger Reserve, and, just 60 km away is amazing Abhaneri, the largest step well in Asia.

Cave Paintings near Dadhikar Fort

Closer to home are deep caves with ancient rock paintings, which were, excitingly, discovered by the Fort’s owners. These ancient cave paintings lead one to conclude that Dadhikar village is a part of a thousands of years’ old legacy.

Sunder Van Suite at Dadhikar Fort

With 21 accommodation options, rooms as well as a few tents, Dadhikar Fort remains personalized and welcoming.

Dadhikar Fort garden at night

As evening falls over this 9th century location, you can feel history has been brought back to life, as Dadhikar Fort is once again full of people and festivities.


 

 

 

 

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