Over four and a half centuries old, Qila Tatarpur looks more like a glorified haveli than an actual fort. It’s imposing location atop a hill, overlooking the bustling and colourful, both in looks and personality, village Tatarpur sneaks up unexpectedly if you’re not looking for it.
We came across Tartarpur fort, entirely by chance, while driving from visiting the magnificent stepwell of Neemrana towards Alwar. Turning into the village, it was a typical big city car passing through small lanes situation, as we went around an algae green water body and past multi-coloured houses with ornate doors.
Qila Tatarpur is a Chauhan residence that has been passed down through the generations till recently when it was leased out to a company who is now in the process of converting the fort into a heritage hotel.
Undoubtedly, a prime property that shines because of its location, architecture, and visible art, Tatarpur Fort is destined to be amongst one of the premier ancient-luxury residences that are cropping up across the country. However, having the opportunity to observe and admire its stunning beauty, before all the renovations, is a remarkable feeling.
Entering the fort through its massive wooden door and then the blue gateway is just the beginning, for it is inside that it’s maze-like rooms and corridors enthral the most ardent of photographers, and history buffs.
While the views of Tatarpur village and the Aravalli’s in the distance are stunning, it is the art on the walls of the Sheesh Mahal (room of mirrors) that strikes the most, even in its somewhat tattered state. On the opposite end of this gloriously beautiful room is the equally fascinating Deep Mahal (hall of lights) with cubby holes to put in hundreds of diyas. Oh! What a sight would that be!
Reminders of the past are all around Tatarpur fort; on the engravings that adorn the walls, in the old horse cart that lies casually in one corner, and in the many stones lying in the central courtyard. It’s rustic, quaint, and mysterious. It’s history, rediscovered.
A short trip, but one that calls for a revisit someday, we headed back hoping that the future of Qila Tatarpur will see luxuries of modern-day life amalgamate seamlessly with its ancient past. It would be a shame to see the raw beauty of the place disappear, and if left as it is, could be a significant draw for people wanting to visit the heritage resort.
Now, before you rush towards packing your camera in the hopes of making it to the fort, remember that entry is not guaranteed. You can try asking the locals who might guide you through to a side entrance, and maybe the guard is in a good enough mood to let you in. Please avoid going in large groups, since that will most likely discourage him from letting you in. There is also a local pandit ji who goes up to the mandir inside the fort regularly, and approaching him might just work in your favour.
The Qila also still has a strong monkey presence, and the animals are possessive about their territory. With no proper railings to safeguard a fall, walking around needs to be done carefully.
In case you do not get to go up to the fort, the village of Tatrpur is eccentric enough to keep you occupied for an hour or so.