Palatial living

India''s Devi Garh offers one of the region''s great contemplative retreats.

A cool evening breeze drifts through the village of Delwara and carries with it the sound of bells, of chanting, of children laughing and playing cricket in the last light. Up above the village, in the grounds of the fort, a flautist is playing. Beyond the Aravali hills the sun is setting and as its pink glow fades the night sky darkens to reveal the constellations. At Devi Garh every night ends this way a conspiracy of perfection.

This eighteenth century fort palace is a recent addition to Rajasthan's impressive roster of heritage hotels, though to describe Devi Garh as a hotel hardly does it justice. For 250 years it has...

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