Neemrana is a town located at 122 kms from Delhi and is often presented as a weekend getaway for people living in nearby cities of Delhi, Gurgaon and Jaipur but the reality is entirely different. This place can be many a things but one that it is not for certain is a tourist destination or a getaway of any kind.
Most of the people who plan for Neemrana do not actually know what they are in for. Some think that it is a historical site and some people even think of it as some sort of a tiny hill station. It happens to be neither. Neemrana is just a small town in Rajasthan and like numerous other cities and towns in India, It happens to have a ancient fort on a small hilltop that has now been turned into a hotel. And that is pretty much about it.
While approaching Neemrana, the first question that will keep popping in your head is “Are we there yet?” and thats because this place is hardly noticeable. You can quite easily just drive by on the highway without even realizing that you crossed Neemrana. As soon as you enter the small town, you will be greeted with the second question which would be a big “WHAT?” There is nothing eye catching about this place and it just feels like any other village in U.P. or Rajasthan so you wouldn’t even know which way to go. You don’t see any hills around or any historical sites for that matter so you ask around of the locals about Neemrana Fort and they point you towards a narrow and very badly damaged road which takes you to the top of the small hill that the fort is built on. This fort or a palace, whatever you want to call it, was built by the Chauhans in 1464 which means that it is definitely not the oldest standing forts in India but definitely is among the oldest heritage resort hotels.
The question here is of a reason to visit Neemrana and the answer is “None”.
If you want to beat the heat and get out of the city, then this is definitely not the place for you. Agreed that the temperature does drop down a bit at the hilltop, thanks to the greenery around the fort, but you are restricted within that 2 kilometers area in and around the fort. The moment you walk down a bit, you will face the harsh reality of Rajasthan. Even at the hotel, the moment you step out in the sun, it will still burn you.
If heritage and ancient monuments is what interests you (as it was in my case), there is nothing to see here. The only thing ancient and “heritage” about this place is the old standing walls of the fort. There is absolutely nothing to learn about history here and you are better off visiting the other monuments in Delhi or Jaipur. This is not a historical site anymore, It is a hotel and not a very well maintained one for that matter. Even the charge to enter the premises (not to stay but just to visit the fort) is way too much.
Last but not the least, for people who want to take some time away with family in some sort of resort, please avoid Neemrana like a plague. The staff makes high claims of how very well they have maintained such an ancient building but from from the prospect of a hotel, they have done a really poor job. There are historical sites in India better maintained by Indian government. The service provided here does not justify the money they charge for it. I can go on for length but to sum it up,
- No room service : I know. Sounds unbelievable that you are staying in a hotel that is overpriced and doesn’t provide room service.
- No Phone : Of course, they don’t serve in the rooms but even if you want water or a change of sheets or pillows, you got to walk out of the room because there are no phones available to make a call.
- Horrible Food: Terribly cooked food which is way overpriced. No menu to order (surprised? believe me) and a very limited choice on buffet table.
- Small rooms and by small I mean really small for hotel standard and they money you paid.
- Unhygienic : Don’t be surprised if you find seepage in the room and water dripping on your head from the ceiling.
- No Television : Surprised again? Believe me, they don’t even give you a TV in the room.
- Staff focuses only and only on foreigners, so if you are an Indian, don’t be surprised if you suddenly become invisible to them.
Bottom line is, this place is way over-rated and you are better off visiting elsewhere than wasting your time and money at Neemrana.