Modern yet classical elegance

Dev Shree

Dev Shree

Near 

Kumbhalgarh
, Rajasthan
, India

Dev Shree may be a newly built home but it is built in the style of a traditional Rajput haveli, with local craftsmen using traditional techniques and tools to carve the stones used in creating this haven.

Wide, airy verandahs; pretty inner courtyards; cool corridors; lofty, spacious bedrooms; state of the art bathrooms; indoor and outdoor dining and seating. It’s all very picturesque, yet feels very much like a home, which comes as no surprise as it is home to the owners, who are your hosts.

Dev Shree is also home to the family dogs, and adorned with family memorabilia from one of Rajasthan’s most affable couples.

Our Rating: Luxury
Property Type: Boutique

Destination

Dev Shree is ideally positioned in the heart of the Aravalli Hills, midway between Jodhpur and Udaipur. It lies on the edge of a delightful village which is fabulous to explore; and on the edge of a small lake (dries up in summer). It is surrounded by lawns and gardens and has an oasis like feel to it.

Accommodation

Comprises 7 suites, 3 twin and 4 doubles. The rooms are large with a cosy sitting area, some have recessed seating areas. Some open out onto a small terrace and others look over the garden. All rooms have air conditioning, fans, tea and coffee making facilities, safes, hairdryers, showers (no bath tubs), bathrobes and internet. Interconnecting rooms are also available. Complimentary bottled water (one bottle per guest per day). There are 3 rooms with easy access for wheelchair users. Plentiful hot water is supplied by hidden geyser. No TV or DVD players.

Dining

One restaurant serving a table d’hote menu, offering Indian, Continental and some Oriental food. Food is decided by guests in discussion with their hosts and most tastes can be catered for. Meals are taken in different places, depending on the weather. If not in the large dining room, they may be on the verandah, on the roof terrace, by the lake or in the garden. Al fresco dining here whenever possible. Guests often end up eating together here as a sort of ‘house party’ atmosphere often develops with guests making friends for life. However, guests may choose to eat at their own tables if they want to. All meals are included in the nightly room rate.

Experiences

Whilst at Deogarh there is a huge amount to do and your hosts will be more than delighted to take you out walking or on drives around the area. Observing the huge array of migrant birds, glorious walking in the hills, picnicking by nearby lakes, possibly spying a leopard, taking a local train ride through the ‘ghats’ (hills), seeing the flame of the forest in full bloom, sundowners up at Gokul Fort are just some of the memorable activities one can do here. On top of that, a walk through the village of Deogarh is a must – one of the cleanest most friendly and welcoming villages in the state and it’s full of goodies to purchase. Return for a sleepy siesta by the shady pool overlooking the lake.

Why we love this place

Replete with intricately carved pillars, deep, airy verandahs, immaculate stonework throughout (Nimbahera stone, hand carved over 2 years), stunning, cool marble (from Makrana and Ambaji) floors, state of the art, impeccable bathrooms, a huge roof terrace (ideal for yoga at dawn and drinks at sunset!), the workmanship is outstanding. The 7 bedrooms are large, lofty, beautifully furnished, and wonderfully comfortable.

Beyond the rooms which fan off from the pretty central courtyard, there is plenty of room for people to lose themselves in the bar, the dining room or the light-filled sitting room. Courtyards and terraces abound and all this is surrounded by gorgeous lawns and gardens, set back a few metres from Ragho Sagar (lake). Perhaps one of the highlights of this little gem, however, is the gorgeous, shady pool on the lakeside – ideal for whiling away the hours with a drink and a good book.

About your host

Shatrunjai and Bhavna of Deogarh have moved back to their roots and have built themselves a heavenly home at Deogarh, in the heart of the Aravalli Hills of Western Rajasthan, where they welcome guests with open arms. Being traditionalists at heart and rightly proud of their heritage, they wanted a home that reflected a little of that past. Having involved as many local crafts people as possible to showcase the local architectural styles and craftsmanship in the area the result is Dev Shree and what a triumph it is.

With your hosts full of stories and jokes, conversation will always be fun and animated here. Their dogs and children will be an added bonus whenever they appear and it is very much a place to come and be a part of one of Rajasthan’s most fabulous families and their lifestyle.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

The Deogarh Family has a strong social and environmental awareness and loves the community it’s a part of. It has supported over 3000 children annually on a rotational basis. They provide infrastructure to schools such as furniture and computers so children no longer have to sit on the floor. Other schools have had extensions, bathrooms and classrooms added. The family help source teachers from the UK and other places to give the Deogarh Village children a head start and they also support gifted children in further education. Each year they raise funds to provide teachers in other, more rural areas and they currently have 15 teachers employed in 8 different villages. With the help of the actor Sir John Standing they provided an ICU for the Deogarh Hospital.

On the environmental side they practice water harvesting throughout the property – all rain is collected in an old well and in large water tanks and used from there. Shatrunjai himself is the game warden of Rajsamund District and spends a great deal of time helping to preserve the local wildlife and its habitat. They grow their own, organic vegetables on their next door farm and dairy products are sourced from the cattle there. Solar power is being introduced shortly.

Our Recommendation

A walk around one of the cleanest, most authentic and welcoming villages in Rajasthan; sundowners in the hills or by the lake

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