Publié le 16/01/2020

An Oasis in the Thar Desert

To reach the last destination of our trip through beautiful Rajasthan, India, we headed south of Jodhpur, into the Thar Desert. Rising like a mirage in the sand, we arrived at Mihir Garh, the Fort of the Sun.

An Oasis in the Thar Desert

To reach the last destination of our trip through beautiful Rajasthan, India, we headed south of Jodhpur, into the Thar Desert. Rising like a mirage in the sand, we arrived at Mihir Garh, the Fort of the Sun.

A dreamlike fortress, Mihir Garh was a project built on the passion of a noble family, husband and wife team, Sidharth and Rashmi Singh. They both spent much of their childhood playing in these sand dunes, and were inspired (and crazy enough) to build a luxurious property, from scratch, in the heart of the desert. The design honors local methods and focuses on the use of local materials. 

We were greeted by a harras of Marwari horses, galloping across the field. This ancient breed of horses is best known for the heart shape formed by their ears when they turn them inwards. The grounds of the property are stunning, filled with numerous open areas and a large infinity pool where you can relax and enjoy a sweeping view of the desert. We sat by the pool, basking in the sun and surrounding nature, whilst peacocks, blue bulls, camels and gazelles congregated nearby. Our friendly waiter excitedly told us that he had the pleasure of meeting quite a few celebrities here, including Madonna, who had booked the entire property for a family vacation. 

Each of the 9 exclusive rooms is uniquely decorated with local textiles. The ground floor suites include private swimming pools, while the upper floor suites have large terraces and hot tubs that overlook the property. We enjoyed a quick soak before going on a jeep ride to visit the surrounding villages. 

We stopped at a nearby Bishnoi village, an eco-friendly sect of the Hindu religion which follows 29 rules so as to live in harmony with nature. The head of the household warmly welcomed us inside the village and wanted to introduce us to his family and give us a glimpse of their daily lives. It was impressive to see how everything was constructed by hand using natural materials and without electricity. We continued our visit at the workshop of a talented local potter who mesmerized us by effortlessly making 3 vases on a big, hand-turned wheel. It was wonderful to meet and learn more about the various nearby communities. 

Following our afternoon excursion, we retreated to Mihir Garh to soak in the pool and relax before our dinner. The sunset painted the desert and the fortress as we enjoyed a drink on the terrace. When the evening came, we hopped onto the back of a camel and were taken to a private table, set up in the middle of the desert, with musicians and dancers. Such a special evening, and a memorable way to end our stay in Rajasthan.
 

 

© Joann Pai

 

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