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HOME / HISTORY
We the Jojawar family welcome you to our very special place, and the second property built after the Rawla Jojawar in the true tradition of Rajput hospitality – Kesar Bagh

Though the word ‘Bagh’ literally means a Garden in Hindi, but here in rural Rajasthan it also denotes a huge Hacienda like property in the country of the once ruling feudal families. Kesar Bagh is one such oasis where time and weather had taken a huge toll on the old buildings and the orchards. The rain water gushing down from the Aravallis Hills in the monsoons had breached the lake’s earthen dam on the banks of which once stood the old and grand Kesar Bagh. The present Rao Sahib of Jojawar – Maharaj Singh ji eager to restore the old traditions of the land and his family, recreated the new Kesar Bagh right where the old buildings once stood, but incorporated a few changes seeing to the modern times. Forest is allowed to take over what was farm and orchard to give the visitor a feeling of harmony and fulfillment by being in nature.

A stay at Kesar Bagh is a throwback to the laid back and indulgent life style of the bygone era. The reversal of time feels so complete with vintage cars taking you for spontaneous drives, mustached butlers waiting by you in their starched bush coats, their turban tails flapping away in the evening breeze, the entire estate with its fruit trees and forest set amidst rural Rajasthan – and so far, far away from any major roads or development, that one cannot help but relax and rejuvenate in its charm. The warm sun, conversation and relaxed sundowners punctuated with impromptu excursions, is the call of the day here.

YOUR HOSTS
We are Nagendra Singh and Amitvikram Singh Jojawar. The Rawla Jojawar in the Jojawar town has been home since 1780. Our parents Rani and Rao sahib Maharaj Singh ji have been the inspiration in our venture. These family run hotels are also our homes, Vedehi and Kirti, our wives are the ‘Operation Heads’ at both the places. We all hope that you would give us an opportunity to serve and show you our land and its people, and that you take back pleasant memories of Jojawar with you.

The two residences of Kesar Bagh and Rawla Jojawar are our labour of love, and lots of different people besides our family have come together to make the Jojawar territory a destination and not merely a place to stay for the tourist. Inspired by our father Rao sahib Maharaj Singh ji our endeavor is to connect more and more people and communities living in the country around Jojawar, in isolated homesteads and hamlets and are living a dying lifestyle and practicing old professions like sheep and camel herding, but with a culture so varied and colourful that it would have been a pity to see them change. We have been successful to a great degree to encourage them to continue to live on there and carry on their ancient ways by sharing the profits of one of our major attractions – Jeep and Horse rides into the country.

All the staff here are locals and their employment here has helped them decide to stay on right at home rather than follow the crowds of job seekers to the cities. The entire staff is from the town and its neighbouring country. They are all trained in various fields of the hotel and are constantly transferred so as to keep the job interesting.

ACCOMMODATION

With 10 air conditioned guest rooms, each lavishly appointed with its own balcony and luxurious bathrooms, having views of the stunning forest covered Aravalli Hills and the surrounding countryside, satiates your craving for harmony and balance.

Complete the feeling of relaxation here by indulging yourself in our spa treatments. The Spa is equipped with a stem bath, Jacuzzi, beauty salon and a gymnasium. Besides, you have choice of venues for the treatment of your choice – by the poolside, on the terrace enjoying the views, in the massage room itself or maybe in the shady grove by the water. We offer international massages with lovely perfumed oils.
Or just take a relaxed swim in the pool with its terrace overlooking the hills.
Meal times are celebrations here - accompanied by the haunting melodies of Ratno Jogi the local devotional singer who is usually asked to sing all night long at the shrines of folk deities, or by the gusty drum beats and the uplifting love songs of a Langa band – a tribe dedicated to music from the deserts of western Rajasthan, the atmosphere is defiantly vibrant. Added to that are exotic recipes from the family kitchen like khad murgo or the bajre ro soyhito (?) – totally unheard of and simply heavenly. A few western dishes are blended in for those not too adventurous. After dinner coffees or drinks can be enjoyed on the terrace by the water, where the gentle sounds of nature take over the musicians entertaining you earlier in the evening. Sounds of crickets and frogs form a background to calls of Jackal, or Lapwings rising up in alarm from one dark side of the lake probably at the sight of a Jungle Cat, or maybe a distant haunting ‘laugh’ of a Mottled Owl.

RETURN TO NATURE
Kesar Bagh is a total effort to respect our environment. All of us here being wildlife and nature enthusiasts, this ‘effort’ was but pleasure. A natural forest is allowed to take over the estate creating a natural habitat although small, to the local fauna, we’ve coordinated with the Forest and Wildlife Services in planting the estate with grass, herbs, and trees found in the neighboring forests. The water that the earthen dam holds after the monsoons recharges the ground water in the dry months.

The building is built on a low technology platform using recycled wood and stone material wherever possible, minimum machines were used during construction which was done by local masons and labour, thereby involving our community in the venture. Built on the principles of Vaastu, the building makes most of the sun and wind to control the temperature and reliance on air-conditioning & heating is reduced.

Kesar Bagh is committed to being chemical & plastic free and we use natural products wherever possible. We source all our food locally to support the community. A bio gas plant, solar power for water heating and lighting in public areas has successfully saves about 35% energy. All this is done in an effort to Go-Green so as to leave a minimal impact on the surrounding farmland and forests.

All gray water is recycled through soak pits and then used for the garden.

WILDLIFE
The 150 acre farm has been returned to the wild. Wild trees and plants have been planted in the entire estate in the hope that it’ll create another habitat although small for wildlife from the nearby Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Preserve, boundary of which is barely a mile away. The earthen dam is restored but the height considerably reduced to allow most of the run off to flow on to the farmlands downstream, but hold enough water to attract birds, waterfowl and animals to it. The very common Nilgai Antelope, Indian Jackal, Wild Boar have made the estate their home and can be seen quite often. The Indian Striped Hyena, or an occasional leopard make their nocturnal visits to water here.

With over two hundred species of birds in the area, Birders would be enthralled by the sheer multitude of avian wildlife just within the estate, thickets in the nearby Wildlife Preserve would further yield rare species like the Blue Throated and the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, varieties of White eyes and Red Starts, Silver bills and Prinias are there in good numbers. Water bodies there host a multitude of water fowl in the winters and if you are lucky you can even spot the very rare Indian Skimmer as it gently skims the water surface feeding.

One can go hiking into the forest with one of our staff guides for assistance or take a jeep to cover a bigger area.

JEEP SAFARI
Explore the country around the Bagh in style in our Chevy 1934 or a vintage Land Rover. The territory around boasts of very interesting landscapes, with the picturesque Aravalli Hills in the east, and broken rocky hills interspersed with farms and scrub forests all around. The Pre- Cambrian Aravalli Hills are one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world, and a geologist’s paradise. The camel herding Rabaris are an ethnic group only to be found around Jojawar. All this makes our Jeep Safaris the most popular excursion. Our specially designed late afternoon tours take you to homesteads of these Rabaris, into farms, through pretty little hamlets where time seems to have stopped, and we take a break under the shade of a drooping acacias next to a very beautiful small shrine dedicated to a folk deity – Mamoji, where terracotta horses are offered in return of divine favours. Some routes had to be excavated so as to see as much in the given time. Our endeavor is to make your excursions interactive and not merely a drive in the country. Unlike any other, our jeep safaris are undertaken in our own fleet of classic vintage vehicles – which makes the whole experience very special. Longer rides to your taste and ability are recommended for people staying longer.

TRAIN SAFARIS
The train route between the cities of Jodhpur and Udaipur goes up the scenic Kambli Ghat Pass. One of our favorite excursions is this daily train service from the station at the start of the hill section to the highest station in the Aravallis – the Kambli Ghat station, or the other way round. The engine laboriously and slowly pulls the train through the most beautiful forests and hills that you get to see in the state, this one hour ride is really unique as you even get to interact with the locals who’ll readily share their seats with you and try their best to make conversation with you while trying to suppress their surprise and excitement of sitting next to a foreigner from far away lands! The drive to and back from the stations in your resplendent vintage Chevy, taking a break for tea and cucumber sandwiches at a tiny Forest Rest House. The entire excursion is escorted by one of our staff guides who’ll fill you in with all the stories and legends of the land, and if you are able to dig deep - even the latest gossip going around his village!

HORSE RIDES
We are proud owners of several prized Marwari Horses – this indigenous breed of the desert is endowed with sublime beauty and an honest and a bold spirit. Known in the annals of history for its magnificence and loyalty onto death to its master – it was the true Rajput warrior battle charger. It was capable of ripping through the enemy with the same fiery energy as the Rajput warrior he was carrying. Individual horses have saved their injured and unconscious masters by taking them out of the battle to safety in spite of being mortally injured themselves. These horses were as famous as the people who rode them. Even today one feels the hot rush of blood in his veins as he mounts a ‘Marwari’.

Riding one of these legendary steeds from our stables is a way to get into areas where no vehicle can go, accompanied by one of us family members you’d not only be guided but introduced to the land and its people. Half a day to Full day rides are recommended to the visitor. We specialize in organizing long distance horse rides of 2 to 7 days