Travel writer Akanksha Dean visits Deobagh for a Covid-era vacation.
By Akanksha Dean
Gwalior is about a five-hour drive from Delhi, but reaching the 17th century Deobagh via the Taj Expressway makes it absolutely worth it. The experience starts with the drive into the estate, stunning garden views set in acres of lush green landscape and woodlands.
As we check in and after the New Normal’s sanitization and temperature check process, I finally see the view that my friend was telling me about. Through the day, the gardens look pretty from the room, rising behind a cover of thick lush green. But now, there is real drama unfolding. Slow Pitter Patter of the rain covers the entire Deobagh in front of me — it is a sea of green, like the ocean. There is far-reaching silence, save for peacocks dancing. It is like drifting into a painting. Such gorgeousness is best prized just once. And, then, it’s always in your memory. This seems like the best way to spend my Covid-era vacation.
Food and views
It’s time for the sunset, which is leaving streaks of orange, purple and red all across the sky. I am sitting outside my room, just to admire the gardens from here. I am also awaiting the crisp vegetable pakoras, and other appetising treats that predictably emerge from the kitchen, freshly made, for tea.
Food is definitely the highlight, after the views at Deobagh. The service is another plus. You can eat what you want, as long as you inform them a little ahead, whenever you want it — wherever you like.
I request for my breakfast to be set up at the Baradari the next day. As I leave for a history walk the next morning, I spot many birds. And the landscape is stunning. The icing on the cake is the view across the delightful temples from the Baradari. It’s really difficult to concentrate on the meal though with a panoramic view of peacocks dancing in the vicinity. Every dish from the humble Indori Poha to the Bhopali Mutton curry with pooris does not disappoint — a consistency of standards that add to your dining pleasure.
People make a place
With just 15 mini cottage-like rooms spread through five wings, you can, if you want to, either mingle with other guests and make new friends, or go to the gardens to admire nature. The aesthetic of Deobagh is pleasing, but it’s the people who make this Neemrana non hotel special. Narain, the manager, chats away, never letting me get bored, discussing activities of the day and the possibilities of tomorrow. Just the way evenings in a getaway should be.
What: 17th century Deo Bagh
Where: Jadhav Kothi, Opposite Janaktal, Agra – Mumbai Highway, Bahodapur, Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior – 474012
Tel: +91 93 0067 0011 | +91 93 0027 0011
(Delhi-based Akanksha Dean is a writer and photographer with a background in Culinary Arts. A young and hardworking young adult, she has been on various travels in search of food and culture to various destinations across the world and in India.)
Read more from Akanksha Dean:
Living in at the Fairy-tale Tijara Fort Palace (August 24, 2020)