History & Philosophy - Hill Fort-Kesroli - 14th Century

Alwar, Rajasthan

The 14th century Hill Fort-Kesroli is one of the oldest heritage sites in India where one can stay. Sited atop the rare, dark Hornstone Breccia rocks, it commands splendid agrarian views from its ramparts which rise to 50-65 metres/150-200 feet. Kesroli makes an ideal base to visit the neighbouring palaces, museums, natural sites and sanctuaries of Alwar and Sariska.

Hill Fort-Kesroli - 14th C, Alwar Kesroli Hill Fort-Kesroli Resort in Alwar Resort in Rajasthan
Hill Fort Kesroli Kesroli Facade Hotel Hill Fort Kesroli Alwar Rajasthan 2

The origins of the seven-turreted Hill Fort-Kesroli are traced back to over seven centuries. It is believed to have been built by the Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who claim descent from Lord Krishna, but converted to Islam in the mid-14th century to be called Khanzadas. It subsequently changed hands, being conquered first by the Mughals and then the Jats, before reverting to the Rajputs in 1775 when the princely state of Alwar was founded. It saw its golden period under the Ranawat Thakur Bhawani Singh (1882-1934) who was renowned for his equestrian skills.   

The restoration process started in 1995 and the Hill Fort was opened to guests in 1998. Its interior gardens- both in the Mardana and the Zenana quarters are refreshing and intimate, framing the tent of sky above.

Hill Fort-Kesroli - 14th C, Alwar Kesroli Hill Fort-Kesroli Resort in Alwar Resort in Rajasthan Mountain view terrace
Hill Fort-Kesroli - 14th C, Alwar Kesroli Hill Fort-Kesroli Resort in Alwar Resort in Rajasthan Pool view restaurant

The Neemrana restoration philosophy of not overdoing the re-vamping exercise for use as a ‘non-hotel’ keeps its architecture as original and authentic as any film director would like. Between the exteriors and interiors, a host of patinas, furnishes and backdrops can be found, besides a variety of furniture both indigenous and colonial with authentic period props.