A stylish, award-winning retreat in the Thar Desert

Mihir Garh

Mihir Garh

Khandi
, Rajasthan
, India

Mihir Garh, literally ‘Fortress of the Sun’ is an oasis standing tribute to the land swept by desert winds. It seems to emerge from the desert and complements the rugged beauty of the landscape at the edge of the Thar Desert. Everything about the property exudes understated luxury from the silk cushions in the three lounges to the sumptuous suites designed with an eco-touch and richly decorated with the best art and craft from Jodhpur. Numerous alcoves and common areas commanding spectacular views have been designed to experience intimacy – with yourself and another. The team at Mihir Garh is handpicked, motivated and eager, ensuring the highest level of service and hospitality that complement the magnificence of Mihir Garh.

Our Rating: Premium
Property Type: Boutique

Destination

About 75 minutes-drive south of Jodhpur lies the village of Khandi at the edge of the Thar Desert. With far reaching views of the of sand dunes, semi-arid shrubs and a stellar night sky, this is a place to retreat and relax in luxury. Explore indigenous flora and fauna on either horse back or jeep and interact with tribal people like the Bishnoi’s whose home this has been for centuries to learn how specific customs and ceremonies govern their lives rooted in tradition.

Accommodation

Nine magnificent suites form the accommodation at Mihir Garh, each offering over 1700 square feet of private space and named after fine Marwari Stallions from the Rohet Stables.

Alishan is the name given to the suites on the ground floor which come with private plunge pools in a personal courtyard. Suites on the first floor are called Shandar and have an exclusive open air jacuzzi and private terrace. Both come with the promise of fulfilling guests needs of solitude or intimacy, opulence or meditation or indeed all.

The suites combine the best of local craftsmanship with furnishings fit for royalty. The flooring of each room has been done using a special plaster technique known to only one man in the entire region. To ensure absolute comfort, each suite is equipped with all modern amenities like flat screen TVs, DVD players, Tea & Coffee stations and a mini bar. Hand crafted fire-places created by women from neighbouring villages add a touch of tradition to the contemporary chic.

The owner’s sense of design and decor ensures each suite oozes royal comfort and design. Glance across any suite and you will see bespoke furniture, brightly coloured furnishings, beautiful hand-made rugs and mirrored fireplaces as well as curvaceous stone bath tubs. All suites have antique teak beds, air con, TVs, DVDs, minibars and tea and coffee stations.

Bedrooms open into striking sitting rooms with desert views with comfortable seating and a coffee table and writing desk. The bathrooms have all the mod cons, with separate showers and freestanding/embedded baths, double wash basins and a range of toiletries, and are a symphony of mellow sandstone, dappled light and rounded edges.

Social spaces throughout the hotel include peacock-painted and colourful open-sided lounges, a princely drawing room with library, and a sunset-viewing roof terrace.

Dining

Traditional Rajasthani delicacies take centre stage at Mihir Garh, there is also a wide selection from the barbeque and a variety of international options. The dishes from the all-day dining menu are inspired by recipes that were lovingly created, over the years, by the lady of the house, Late Thakurani Jayendra Kumari, a well-known local culinary expert and author. In addition to the restaurant, one can dine by the poolside or in the suites as well. For a special occasion, a magical bush dinner under a star lit sky or royal picnic lunches in the desert promise a memorable experience.

Experiences

Mihir Garh is family friendly and there are a number of activities for children that mostly include immersions into the surrounding countryside either on horseback or in a jeep. Village Explorations, Bird Watching walks, Cooking Classes, board games and books ensure that the young (and the not so young) are kept interested and engaged. Pop in to see the tiny working temple at the entrance of the property where ‘puja’ is performed every morning. The curvy, infinity swimming pool set at one edge of the property offers sweeping views of the wilderness at any time of the day or night. Relax in one of the comfy couches and cushioned loungers with a beverage of your choice as you listen to the sounds of the desert.

Mihir Garh’s Vilasa Spa is the perfect luxury indulgence in the Thar Desert. The Spa comprises of two treatment rooms with interiors that pay tribute to the rural arts and create a sense of well-being set within a walled garden. A diverse menu of therapies includes rousing reflexology, cleansing scrubs and relaxing massages guaranteed to sooth aching muscles. Yoga lessons are available on request.

The Village Safari is one of House of Rohet’s signature experiences, that allows guests to feel the very pulse of rural Rajasthan. Visit homes of the villagers to learn about their lives, like the Bishnois often called the ‘premier ecologists of the world’ who enjoy a special relationship with the black buck antelope and a rare and protected species. One can also encounter Raikas (shepherds) with their glorious costumes, and the Paliwals and Meghwals, the Brahmin farmers and weavers.

Learn how to make Laal Maas, Ker Sangri, Lasan (garlic) Chutney, breads made from millet flour and other Rajasthani delicacies in a culinary workshop conducted by the trained chefs at Mihir Garh and inspired by the Late Thakurani Sahiba Jayendra Kumari’s cook books and hand written recipes. You can choose to observe or partake in the cooking itself but either way sample the delicacies at a special dinner.

Perfect for
anyone looking for an idyllic retreat deep in the desert, miles away from other habitation. Individuals, couples, groups of friends will love the luxe atmosphere. Families with children of all ages are also welcome. The property is particularly suited for celebratory occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and equally for a rich equestrian experience.

Why we love this place

Tucked away in a rural hamlet, Mihir Garh is a multi-award-winning boutique hotel built like a small mud fortress. Built atop a sand-dune, it is stylish, luxurious, earthy and traditional all at once. Expertly curated immersions with an emphasis on equestrian themes and a delectable culinary experience make Mihir Garh uniquely unmissable.

About your host

When Mihir Garh opened in 2009, it was the culmination of a dream and vision of owners Sidharth and Rashmi Singh, who at the time ran the charming Rohet Garh, an hour south of Jodhpur. As a child growing up in the area Sidharth fell in love with Mali Nathji ka Dhora, a sacred dune dedicated to the Warrior God Hero of Marwar. And he would keep going back. On one golden evening driving around with Rashmi inspiration struck and the idea of creating a luxury residence ensconced in a mud fortress was born. They found themselves guided by intuition, rather than reason and driven by emotion, rather than rationale and slowly but surely with the help of hundreds of local carpenters, craftsmen and artisans, they created Mihir Garh as a very special place to stay where the glorious past rubs shoulders with contemporary chic promising an experience of a lifetime.

Along with Mihir Garh, Rohet Garh, a 400-year-old residence, Rohet Wilderness Camp and The Rohet House – a stylish city residence in Jodhpur, are all operated under the brand House of Rohet, ably headed by the young and dynamic Avijit Singh, a trained hotelier who has interned in prestigious hotels around the world. Along with his parents, Sidharth and Rashmi Singh, he expertly manages all the properties

The family is passionate about their heritage and culture and meet each guest in person. Conversations with them reflect stories not only of their ancestry and link to the land but also promise to regale with tales of expeditions and horse riding and breeding as well. They ensure the locals play an intrinsic part of the village experiences and interact with guests. Several have been employed in their properties as well and benefit from a village welfare fund, eye and medical camps and the development of local schools as well.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

The House of Rohet family has had ties with the region and community for generations, and there are many ways that the House of Rohet work with and support them. This is in the form of employment, supporting local businesses, supporting local artisans, organising medical camps, supporting local schools and giving back to the community. The story of heritage permeates not just to the buildings but also in showcasing the traditional family recipes as well as village walks allowing a glimpse in to rural Rajasthan. The family were the pioneers of the concept of The Village Safari that created a perfect example of how responsible tourism involving the local community creates shared value. The family continues to be active in the upliftment of the community with various projects undertaken annually.

Our Recommendation

The Equestrian Program at Mihir Garh is among the finest in the country. The stables in nearby Rohet Garh house the best specimens of the Marwari breed of horses and one can get a sense of their sheer strength and freedom in the vast, virgin wilderness around Mihir Garh.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

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