Some years ago, Jitendra Singh Rathore, owner of the HRH group of hotels chanced upon a conversation where he was told that the Ravla Koshilav, a Rajput palace at the foothills of the Aravalis close to Jodhpur was about to be demolished. Passionate about the restoration and preservation of the Rajput heritage, he decided to intervene – and how!
Having been in the hospitality industry for long, he knew that even if he restored the palace to a fantastic condition; its location would prevent it from being a profitable property for his group of hotels. He therefore decided to transport the palace 50 kilometres from its original location to the small town of Ranakpur, amidst orchards and on the banks of the seasonal Maghai river.
Most medieval palaces and havelis in Rajasthan followed the “joggled voussoirs” method of construction, wherein pieces of stone are interlocked together, using grooves and struts alternately. The entire palace of Ravla Koshilav was thus made of pieces of stone enmeshed together in the manner of 3D jigsaw puzzle.
Architect Mohan Kumavat, familiar with Rajput architecture, was successfully able to identify the different components that went into the construction of this palace. These components totalled to a mindboggling number of 65,000. Over three months in 2002, each of these components were painstakingly and carefully dismantled and transported to Ranakpur.
The resulting hotel at Ranakpur came to be known as the Fateh Bagh in Ranakpur. It has 11 deluxe rooms and 7 suites, making it a total of 18 rooms as well as a multi-cuisine restaurant. Along with a yoga and ayurvedic centre, the hotel is equipped with all modern facilities. Like all HRH properties, the Fateh Bagh, Ranakpur offers great service and reasonably good food (especially the Rajasthani cuisine). The arresting architecture, period furniture and ethic decor is reminiscent of the romantic days of Rajput royalties.