Fort Ahilya defies description…

…nevertheless, I will try.

Inner Courtyard

At our sojourn in Ahilya Fort, we were once again wined and dined by royals – this time by the scion of the Holkar royal family of Indore, Prince Richard Holkar.

After a hectic sightseeing “chakkar”, the 15th c fort – a Relais and Chateau property – was a welcome oasis of calm on the banks of the Narmada. Walk the ghats and not be hassled for a single rupee – priceless.


Prince Richard crunching out the masala for Laal Maas (Red Meat Curry)

A palace and homestay in one, time stands still here. In rooms dotted with palace antiques to the sunset terrace where evening cocktails are served; from an age old revived handloom fabric weaving initiative to an evening boat ride to the accompaniment of hundreds of lit diyas on the water, mirroring the stars above. After, seated maharaja style, we picnicked on a tiny island. Flares illuminated the feast: mouth-wateringly delicious mutton biryani, pomegranate raita, kachumbar and simple steamed spinach (much appreciated by Liz who has been missing her rapini) from Prince Richard’s organic gardens.

Each day brought fresh delights. Each day brought murmurs of “pinch me, am I dreaming?”

Incredible India, indeed.


About Shila Desai

Conceptualiser of Unpackaged Travels ( Writer. Culinary diva when someone else does the dishes.
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2 Responses to Fort Ahilya defies description…

  1. Cynthia M. Wilson (Campbell) says:

    I am SO excited to have found thru a Conde Nast article on interesting hotels, the name of the Prince Richard Holkar of Indore. As I searched farther, in a Wikipedia article, it listed Usha Devi Maharaj Sahiba Holkar XV Bahdur. I believe I knew this woman when we were children in the early 40’s when she came to Santa Ana, CA with her father, on occasion. It was thru my father’s cousin Catherine Howell that I first met Usha and was brought to a birthday party of hers and we had a grand time. If memory is correct, I was in their home 2 or 3 times back then, probably when they were just in town temporarily. I have thought of Usha MANY times thru the years and once even saw a newspaper article with her name in it.
    Is there ANY possible way that I could be put in touch with Usha, or Prince Richard, to learn of her whereabouts and to see if we could correspond. I am 77 years old and the time of the last Maharajas reigh coinsides perfectly with the time that I knew her. Could Prince Richard be a son, or even her brother???
    I now live in Sedalia, CO about 40 miles from Denver and very close to Castle Rock CO.
    Please can you help me connect with them ~ Cynthia Wilson nee ~ Campbell

    • EYHOtours says:

      Hello Cynthia, what an amazing coincidence that you know Val McDonald who joined us on this tour to India and Fort Ahilya!I will write to Richard and forward your address.


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