Shatrunjai Singh Chundawat, a scion of the Deogarh family decided to re-build heritage by the way of a home for his family . There were many discussions on the style and design.
But a couple of things that he was sure of was, that it had to have plenty of room for a regular flow of friends ,he wanted to showcase the local craftsmanship in his home and provide an opportunity for the local boys and girls to learn the tenets of hospitality.
Deogarh being a principality of Mewar he wanted influences of Mewar heritage architecture to suffuse his home and so he looked to Udaipur and drew elements of inspiration from the charming Bagor ki Haveli at Udaipur , the City Palace of Udaipur and the artists who worked on these properties. And that’s how Dev Shree came to be.
Built of Nimbahera stone the local artisans clinked away at blocks of stone for almost 2 years , transforming them into intricately carved pillars which adorn the deep veranda overlooking the Ragho sagar lake. An ideal spot to relax,read a book or watch the local migratory birds on the lake.
Sitting in the verandah with the lawn stretching out to the shore of the Ragho Sagar lake infuses a sense of calm. An ideal spot to watch the daily ‘going-ons’ of the migratory birds that are our annual winter visitors.
Central courtyard — “Feels like a Moroccan Kasba”as one of our friends called it— is an open to sky courtyard which is ideal to soak in the sun as well as to lounge and read.
The accent is to serve meals as prepared in Indian homes and an effort is made to keep away from Dishes as served in restaurants.The menus is drawn up daily taking guest preferences into consideration.
We try to offer local produce which is seasonal and fresh. We even have a small kitchen garden and our farms which supply most of the vegetables and food grain.
Verandah with a view – Sitting in the verandah with the lawn stretching out to the shore of the Ragho Sagar lake infuses a sense of calm. An ideal spot to watch the daily ‘going-ons’ of the migratory birds that are our annual winter visitors.
Other local birds and peacocks frolic around in the garden all day long. Central courtyard — “Feels like a Moroccan Kasba”as one of our friends called it— is an open to sky courtyard with is ideal to soak in the sun as well as lounge and read the newspaper.
Bedrooms– 7 spacious and well appointed suites with large luxurious bathrooms offer views of the surrounding flower gardens.
Kitchen and kitchen garden — Friendly staff are willing to cook up a nice homely Indian meal with local Mewari specialties to treat your taste buds. The kitchen garden and farms provide for most of the local produce.
The accent is to serve meals as prepared in Indian homes and an effort is made to keep away from restaurant –style preparations. The menus is drawn up daily taking guest preferences into consideration. We try to offer local produce which is seasonal and fresh.
We even have a small kitchen garden and our farms which supply most of the vegetables and food grain. Start the day with a hearty continental breakfast a choice of cereals, fruit, juice, toast, muffins, pancakes, eggs to order and the house special “Mothers’ omellette “ served with bacon and an Indian selection.
Lunch could be enjoyed in the lawns overlooking the lake. Soak in the sun while enjoying an Indian mini meal of chicken Biryani and raita, Aloo paratha, tomato chutney and yoghurt, OR pasta and grilled sandwiches and salads are served.
Dinner is usually an Indian fare with some of the traditional specialities served in a thaali in the dining room. Beverages on offer are aerated soft drinks , tonic water and accompaniments , lemon soda, local chachh and lassi( yoghurt based) , local rose sherbets and accompaniments.
Hiking in The Aravallis
Ideal for those keen on hiking , the Sand Mata trail provides an exhilarating morning trip. Set off early morning around 7:30 a.m. to the base of the hill in a jeep from where you start the climb up to the temple at the peak.
A 10 km walk in all, through scrub forest for about 21/2 hours ( up and down) and you return to Dev Shree for a late breakfast.
A drive with a family Member though Villages and Rough Country going past some farms and village huts, you may visit the cave temple largely depending on the season but each day a drive goes out ending on a lake side with Tea and Biscuits.
Dev Shree offers a train ride – a magical experience to traverse down the Aravalli hill section in a small meter gauge train. The journey begins after breakfast when your guide will meet you at Dev Shree at 10:00 am and take you to the charming Kamblighat station.
He will purchase the tickets and help you board the train which arrives at 10:30 am.It’s a local train and one is seated on wooden seats alongwith the locals who can be a wedding party, pilgrims, daily travelers.
Cycling at Dev Shree – The und ulating Aravalli hills provide for the most beautiful backdrop for cycling enthusiasts.
Winding roads through undulating hills, passing by cattle grazing communities is the ideal way to encounter this part of Rajasthan. Dev Shree offers you a couple of cycling packages: Day of Cycling for a Couple.
Explore the arts of crafts of the Deogarh village folk – just step out of the gate and your local guide will show you the work of the local potter and you could try your hand at the potters wheel.
The flag maker, the lady with the henna cones , the miniature artists all make for interesting aspects in the walk. Ending at the main street one sees the locals going about their daily business of trading spices, groceries, rations and bangles etc. There are also some antique and silver shops where one could strike a bargain
Traditional Mewari dishes and age-old recipes are shared. Take a guided walk to the vegetable market and purchase fresh, local produce from the village vendors who are also eager to share their methods of preparation with you.
We then plan a menu around the purchased vegetables and demonstrate the cooking styles, smoking styles and even slow cookery styles. An insight into the recipes of the past , but presented today.
A seasonal activity around the lake – and from the garden of the house – spotters scope and guidance is available with the family for spotting birds – must watch a fly- past of over thousand parakeet in the evening over the garden followed by flight of fruit bats over the lake .
Available on prior booking – A great way to commence the day. A morning yoga class by the palm tree lined pool or on the veranda with the sun rising in the foreground is great to cultivate mental focus, serenity and positivity.
Let the stresses of life fall by the wayside as you breathe into a yogic posture . Yoga is suitable to all ages and levels of fitness and the yoga session can be tailored to suit the practitioner. Book your yoga session in the evening or after dinner with the Manager.
Tea at a local tea stall Shatrunjai may often accompany the guests to a local tea stall and invite the villagers on a random basis for a cup of tea and a tete-a tete. The conversations range from interesting, to enlightening and sometimes outrageous!
It’s interesting to realize that the locals have as many queries about the lifestyle of the guests as do we about them. And yet there are commonalities too, of lifes challenges and joys, which weave a common thread across all countries and cultures.
Visit to a local school
We recommend a trip to the local Government school during school working hours wherein you meet the school teachers and children . You can support them by providing school uniforms, sweaters, exercise books, dictionaries which you can personally procure from our village shops.
Romantic dining experience; Renew your wedding vows, celebrate a birthday or a wedding anniversary or just a quiet meal with a loved one: we can offer an exclusive candle – lit dinner served by the lakeside or on the roof top with special Rajasthani cuisine served in a silver thali.
Special floral decoration, musicians, cake and gifts can also be arranged on prior intimation.
Dev Shree kitchen and Rasoda
Meals and menus are tailored to suit the preferences and dietary restrictions of our guests. Our Farms and on-site vegetable garden provide for most of the grains and vegetables and the menu is decided upon what is fresh and of the season.
Family recipes and meal favourites are offered to the guests who can get a flavour for the foods that we enjoy ; be they the local “dal,bati and lal maans” , the Indian-Chinese food or Burmese Kaukswe.
Learn about the local village farming practices like drip irrigation and solar powered water pumps as also about the crops in season when you walk around the Dev Shree farms . A bush walk over rolling hills reveals a lot about the flora and fauna of the area.
Desert shrub and flowers attract local birds like the partridge and quail and one can chance upon the antelope and hare. The solar powered farm has drip irrigation and water harvesting. A leisurely picnic lunch on he farmhouse rooftop is a good way to spend an afternoon
Embark on a Spiritual Journey
The Aravalli hills with their rock caves and cooler climes provided the environs for priests for times immemorial. Old shrines and caves where priests meditated and followed yogic practices still exist.
The Cave temple at Anjana inside a huge rock is one such resident shrine which houses a Shiva temple. A trip to this famous shrine is a memorable experience for the Morning or evening Prayer services ,for meditation and understanding the Nath culture.
Extensive Horse Safari
Horse riding tours can be arranged between Dev Shree And Rohet/ Jodhpur. We have an in-house specialist who will arrange a tailor- made itinerary for you. Local Marwari horses are used and one traverses the country-side on “off the beaten track” trails.
Mewar was the land of horses and we even have venerated our famoushorses like “Chetak” – the horse that belonged to Maharana Pratap – the Ruler of Mewar Thakur Khem Singhji is our expert who does extensive rides from Jodhpur to Kumbhalgarh – he does rides for us.