An erstwhile hunting lodge, Amanbagh is a lone oasis in the stark and hauntingly beautiful landscape of Sariska

By Manisha Rao
An erstwhile hunting lodge, Amanbagh is a lone oasis in the stark and hauntingly beautiful landscape of Sariska
ROYAL RETREAT | Set in a landscape worth exploring, Amanbagh allows one to go back in time with private dining laid out by the lake

Amanbagh, with 24 haveli suites and 16 pool pavilions, has the palatial grandeur of the Mughal era

The serene resort of Amanbagh lies in the middle of the Golden Triangle of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra. This verdant oasis of palm, fruit and eucalyptus trees stands amidst the Aravalli hills. It was the hunting lodge of Maharaja Jai Singh of Alwar who stayed here during his trips to hunt big game in the forests of Sariska. Amanbagh, with 24 haveli suites and 16 pool pavilions, has the palatial grandeur of the Mughal era. The five-hour drive from Delhi gets bumpy towards the end but dipping energy levels soar at the sight of the resort.

SPRAWL IN STYLE | At Amanbagh’s gorgeous courtyard pool, you are cocooned amidst beauty

SPRAWL IN STYLE | At Amanbagh’s gorgeous courtyard pool, you are cocooned amidst beauty

You are welcomed by Rajasthani women clad in orange sarees at the entrance. While one ties a thread around your wrist, the other sings a welcome song in Sanskrit. Thereafter, you are escorted to your villa. The three-level building designed by Paris-based American Ed Tuttle is a fusion of old and modern architecture. The reception area and the inner courtyard with high ceilings, large verandas with sandstone marble and graceful columns look regal in the lush surroundings. The swimming pool in the middle of the garden stands out like a blue gemstone in a sea of emeralds. Blockquote Border

“The swimming pool in the middle of the garden stands out like a blue gemstone in a sea of emeralds.”

Blockquote Border The reception leads to a raised terrace which has a library whose reading porch offers breath-taking views of the mountains and the garden. The boutique, library, restaurant and the bar are located in the main building.

CRAFTED FOR LOVE | The Terrace Haveli Suite has stairways leading to tall doors and spacious interiors

CRAFTED FOR LOVE | The Terrace Haveli Suite has stairways leading to tall doors and spacious interiors

The restaurant complements the elaborate yet minimalist interior. The seating flows out into the terrace, which overlooks the swimming pool. Dining outdoors is one of the best experiences at Amanbagh. Live performances in the evening include a unique collection of traditional Rajasthani music. You can have a private dinner outside the resort by the lake or enjoy your drinks as the sitar plays in the background. Follow it up with the fabulous cuisine arranged by the resort.Among the quartet of courtyard, garden, terrace and pool pavilion suites, the terrace and the pool pavilion suites are preferred. Some like the terrace for a better view, while others go for the pool pavilion for its sheer grandeur.

ROYALLY RESPLENDENT | The Pool Pavilion suite, with its own private swimming pool, opens into a lovely garden courtyard

ROYALLY RESPLENDENT | The Pool Pavilion suite, with its own private swimming pool, opens into a lovely garden courtyard

The pool pavilion at the resort’s periphery starts with a private walled courtyard making its way to the foyer passageway. The foyer overlooks the garden and private pool. On the left of the foyer is a well-furnished bathroom suite while on the right is the grand bedroom with a domed ceiling above the king-sized bed. The suite’s bathroom has a green bathtub carved out of just one block of marble. The dome above it allows natural light to flow in.

CALL OF THE WILD | Excursions on a cultural trail within a 30km radius of Amanbagh include visits to the Ajabgarh Fort & Temple, recalling a lost era

CALL OF THE WILD | Excursions on a cultural trail within a 30km radius of Amanbagh include visits to the Ajabgarh Fort & Temple, recalling a lost era

Amanbagh has something for everyone. The picturesque surroundings are a photographer’s delight. The Meenas, a small community known for its colourful dresses and jewellery, reside near the resort. Those wanting to experience local culture can explore these villages in the hills on a jeep.   As far as outdoor activities go, the resort provides horse rides, camel polo and shikara boat trips. Early morning walks to the surrounding villages are also extremely popular. It is a trip, which will leave you invigorated and you would want to come back again to enjoy the serenity of nature.

Pool Pavilion starts at USD 1,492.70 / Night

Terrace Haveli Suite starts at USD 1,168.20 / Night