Friday, February 1, 2008

A day of fun and frolic at the Mud-Fort - Kuchesar

Bored of meeting in coffee houses and Malls, we ( Alam and Afshan, Little Alam, Anushman and some cousins, Vishesh and I ) decided to instead combine a nice long drive to a historic place with some good sight seeing. We wanted to go to a place that was close enough to Delhi, yet far away from the crowds.
Neemrana was too snooty with advance reservations and payments. Other places, were either too far off or were in our ‘been there’ and ‘not again’ list. Finally, we all voted for the Mud-Fort at Kuchesar.
After a rather rough ride on the roads of UP, we arrived at the 18-th century Jat Fort cum hotel. Per various web-sites, the fort had seven turrets as a defense against possible cannon attack and a wide moat was dug to form the ramparts (you can see the empty moat in the picture below) .

There were tons of activities to do. Alam and Vishesh immediately pounced upon the TT table in one of the verandahs. Afshan and Anshuman were playing badminton with Junior Alam in the patio while I went off to explore the fort and take pictures.
The rooms of the hotel reminded me of old British houses, with high ceiling, ventilators on top and large sweeping fans (a lot of Hotel reviews seem to euphemistically call this the ‘colonial charm’). Cane armchairs (the variety from our grandparents times) offered a comfortable perch. In fact, the hotel gave me an impression of living quarters in a government guesthouse with concomitant pricing of a civilian hotel. There was not much to see around the Fort per se as a large section of the fort has been cordoned off by the owners as their private residence (refer adjacent picture). However, even with the limited space, one can enjoy a balmy evening on one of the rooftops of the fort, which offer a picturesque view of the sugarcane fields in the surrounding area. A serene quiet place without the bustle of typical touristy resorts.

An old-fashioned buttermilk-churning machine made out of wood caught the attention of everyone in the Dining room as we waited our turn. Lunch looked very homemade, however, it was a low value for money. Even in the dimly lit dining room I could make out that the cutlery and dining tables had not been cleaned for quite sometime.

Bored of having explored the Fort in a few hours, we proceeded to laze in the gardens adjoining the Fort. Sitting in the Jhoolas made of Jute under a Banyan tree, we ordered ‘ganna’. Soon there was a competition as to who could eat maximum ‘gannas’. Before we realized, it was dusk and time to go home. Over tea, I could already hear chatter about plans of our next visit to another historic place.

(Note: for the next article, people pictures will be taken specifically for this blog.)

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