Bhainsrorgarh, Rajasthan, India

Tucked away in the far southeast of Rajasthan, Bhainsrogarh Fort is a quintessential ‘hidden gem’ – somewhere that takes a bit of an effort to reach, but which more than repays the effort. Its 17th-century palace rests atop a sheer sandstone cliff overlooking the Chambal River. A handful of royal apartments have been converted into delightful guest accommodation, where you can savour the extraordinary views over the water to the guava orchards on the far bank from the comfort of your own cusp-arched ‘jarokha’ balcony. The best panoramas of all, however, are to be had from the domed cupola on the rooftop, where suppers are served by candlelight in the evening.

The signature experience at Bhainsrogarh is the boat ride on the Chambal at dawn, when the mighty red cliffs and Rajput pile are reflected to spectacular effect in the shimmering river. After an hour rowing around, sipping tea and spotting crocs and kingfishers, you’ll be dropped at a ghat on the far side of the fort, from where you can follow the ramparts back to the palace where breakfast awaits.

Although not as luxurious and opulent as some of the properties we recommend in the state, Bhainsrogarh has a unique atmosphere, where time really does seem to have stood still. It’s the perfect place to relax for a couple of days of aimless wandering and gazing at far horizons.

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