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“Wonderful Hospitality at an Historical Fort”
Review of Fort Rampura

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Fort Rampura
Ranked #6 of 128 Lucknow B&B and Inns
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Our stay at Fort Rampura was simply an all-round superb experience. Despite being well off the beaten track (it's about a 5-hour drive from Lucknow), it is well worth the journey. Nestled away in the heart of rural Uttar Pradesh and sitting on 600 years of history, the fort itself is beautiful; the rooms are tastefully done, and - despite being a homestay - all the usual hotel-style toiletries and towels are provided. This is, however, where comparisons with hotels stop. What really set this place apart for us were our gracious hosts, Keshavendra and Padhmini Singh. Extremely welcoming, hospitable and generous, they really went above and beyond what was expected of hosts at a homestay. Padhmini's cooking was wonderful; the activities they arranged (tour of the fort, a visit to a nearby fort, sunset row across a nearby river) lovely; and Keshu's anecdotes from 16 generations of family history at Rampura over games of billiards and foaming tankards of Kingfisher entertaining and fascinating. I think I speak for all of my travelling companions and myself when I say that I couldn't recommend this place enough.

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely, but the one at the top of the fort affords a great view of the surrounding...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank ORWMR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (26)
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14 - 18 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2013

I with my family had a memorable stay at Fort Rampura early this month. While going there our expectations were low keeping very offbeat and rural location - approx 450 kms south of Delhi near UP & MP border. Even from Lucknow it should be approx 250 kms. Host Mr. Keshvendra Singh and Padmini Singh are very nice and looked after us very well. Food is USP here. After excess monsoon this year surroundings were lush green. We travelled furhter to Dholpur from here via Gwalior, which took us only 3 hours 30 minutes. We recommend this place to tourist who would like to relax, spend some quality time togather. Ideal place to read and write.

Room Tip: Rooms at the level of Dinning room and Drawing room are good if you have small kids or elderly perso...
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Malayanil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2013

Rampura Fort is the future of tourism in India. The oft visited beaches, resorts, would soon be passé as they get boring beyond a point of time. Rampura is the perfect getaway from Delhi, very easily accessible (6 hours) and exceeds expectations in every sense. The rooms, ambience, surroundings and the FOOD is just exceptional. A visit to an old temple, surrounding forts, village visits, boating in a scenic surrounding and visit to the ravines makes this an unique offering. 4 great rooms and a lovely sitting room takes one back several centuries. The entire experience is made possible by the detailed attention given by King Keshu and his charming wife Padmini. A must for discerning tourists who can get a first hand experience of the real India.

Room Tip: Being a old fort all the 4 rooms are unique and charming.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank adatta01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

I often wonder why people don't ever get enough of the ubiquitous resort-kind-of-vacation. I get a sense that in a world that is fast becoming homogenised, city dwellers looking for breaks often seek a 'standard' hotel or resort with a 'standard' star-rating, facilities and a standard list of things-to-do. Places where they won't run into surprises.
What amazes me even more is that people pay top dollar for plastic smiles and make-believe luxury when they can have the real deal (and more) for far less. I mean, why pay for a royal-looking hotel with royally-inspired hotel crests and royally-liveried staff when you have the choice of sharing the personal world of erstwhile royalty itself?

Fort Rampura is that refreshing break from the mundane that your average travel agent will never tell you about. Simply because the average travel agent is interested in meeting quarterly targets rather than giving you the time of your life. Fort Rampura is a really old fighting fort bang in the midst of the famous Chambal Ravines and badlands, known for their river biosphere and unique topography of Bundelkhand. It may sound like it's far from Delhi but it's actually very accessible as I discovered on a road trip with old college friends. the new Taj Expressway makes it a smooth 5 hour journey till Auraiya crossing from where you turn right to Polise Station Kathaund and onward to the fort through quiet village inroads with vast farms on either side. I don't want to be repetitive but Keshavendra Singh and Padmini Singh, along with their delightful little boy Avinendra (fondly called Avi) make for very warm hosts who will make you feel like a member of their family. The interesting thing is, Keshavendra is a man who went to public school boarding house and inspite of the lure of a 'safe' career in the city, chose to make his way back home and take charge of the eight-hundred year old fort, hoisting the family colours and crest from the ramparts. This was my second trip and I have already planned my third and fourth trip in the festival season of Dussera and Deepawali (two of the most important festivals in north India, especially for the Rajputs clans, to one of which Keshavendra belongs). I was there a day after Holi, the festival of colours, and boy, it was nothing short of a riot of song, dance and good cheer. A sharp departure from the way Holi is celebrated in the cities (people wait for it to get over before its even started in the city), the village folk at Rampura stretch it like a well-chewed gum for four or five days. The day we reached, the folk came to the fort and waited for their patriarch, Keshavendra Singh (they still call him Raja Sahib or Lal Saab, the young master). There was dholak, jhika (a local instrument made with rows of mini cymbals which the singers move with the gradually increasing tempo of the 'Phaag', or songs of spring. I was sitting there and thinking how ol' Jimi Hendrix and Robert Plant would have loved to use this back then n those days. It's got a life of its own, the JHIKA cymbal. Like it's on some quality Himalayan stuff or something. The young Raja Sahib Rampura, after a suitable interval of keeping them waiting, ambles down the fort ramp way and come out to greet the village boys and men even as they pay their respects by touching his feet (some go down just till the knees) and apply tilak (vermilion or some Holi colour, known as gulaal). He makes quite a character, holding his cigarette in one hand and acknowledging the greetings of his people with a wave of the other hand. (Will be posting videos on my Facebook page soon...watch that space). This was followed by an incredible session of Phaag singing, with a rendition of 'Aalha' folk song thrown in. (Aalha is a bard-style song that the people of Bundelkhand sing in praise of the brave deeds of their kings and kinsmen). The evening was spent over black rum, scotch and soda on the fort terrace (we carried our own liquor as was advised). The evening was the highpoint of the day in the scintillating company of Keshavendra and the lady of the house, Padmini. A spirited conversation ensued, in-between which Padmini would supervise her staff for arranging snacks and dinner. Well-educated and articulate in English, Hindi and the local dialect, Keshavendra regaled us with old stories of how things were when he came back as boy from and English-medium boarding school. (Personally, I think it takes great courage/nuts of titanium to come home and start life from scratch in a fort that lay in disuse for decades). I would rather that you hear the rib-tickling and hair-raising tales from the excellent raconteur himself. The couple have put together four well-appointed rooms in the fort near their own residential quarters. The bathrooms are spic n span. The windows are large. And if you're warm, there's airconditioning. Next morning either a cool breeze will awaken you or the parakeets will. We went for a surreal boat ride the next day. then Keshavendra took us for a walk to his other fort which lies in ruins now. He was happy to take us to the village and help some of our curious lady friends buy local stuff. In the evening, while lounging in the large drawing room filled with game trophies and armoury (swords, knives, muzzle-loaders, muskets, sabres, shields, daggers and I can go on and on) Keshavendra showed me an old collection of miniature (like really miniature) Shakespeare. Almost thumbsized little books with full plays!! cabinet after cabinet contains a treasure trove of old rifle cartridges, cameras, royal seals, dog-show medals, sterling spoons, gold-filigree scabbards with damascus steel swords once worn on the person of his forefathers. A big fan of old armour, I was on a roll and tripping good.

Far away from the makings of men, Rampura has the power to show you the mirror. It strips you of all the precepts that you hold dear in the city scheme of things, designation, label, SUV and the Louis Vuitton that gets you get a foot in the door. You're pretty much on your own when the last drink is downed and everyone retires to their chambers. If something comes between you and the reverie, it will have to be jackals calling in the far distance. There's no where to run and nowhere to hide. Only you and the fast corroding beauty of the rural outback of India.

If you've not sold your soul to the resort, softy machines on the mall and cable car rides,
go...go live in Fort Rampura.

As for me, I'm heading back to the fort as soon as my new
saddle and winchester repeat-action arrives.

Room Tip: The terrace room is the best by far. It's not to say the others aren't good. But if you'...
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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11  Thank Villagebum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

On first sight Fort Rampura doesn't look very different from similar erstwhile "fighting" forts in Bundelkhand or in Rajasthan but a dramatic entrance involving a steep plunge to the level of the moat followed by an equally steep incline to enter the fort proper, gives the first hint that this place is unique.

The rooms are simply & tastefully done up, squeaky clean and have some of the best in-suite bathrooms that I have ever seen in an old fort, and I have seen plenty.

There are two huge drawing rooms crammed with the memorabilia of an age long gone but not forgotten. A well appointed library also has a full size snooker table (and there is a badminton court in one of the courtyards) for those who would rather not read.

The food is very unhotel like, which means it's home cooked, generous and yummy with some delightful local touches to boot.

There are several terraces and courtyards where one can lounge around with an apéritif and enjoy a view of the town on one side and the famed Bundelkhand ravines on the other.

You don't have to be confined to the fort during your stay, there are striking ruins and an old palaces(some in ruins) in nearby Tihar & Jagmannpur. But the pièce de résistance for me was a boat ride at sunset on the sparkling waters of the Yamuna River.

As for the hosts, Keshavendra & Padmini Singh; little more can be said other than the fact that they will redefine for you that much misunderstood and misused term known as "the personal touch"!

Here's a link to some of the pictures I took:

https://plus.google.com/photos/112200877306554930708/albums/5862961549097097521

If you drive down the Taj Expressway to Agra, hang a left onto NH 2 near Agra and then a right onto a state highway at Auraiya, you can reach Fort Rampura in just 6+ hours from Delhi (400 odd km)

Room Tip: The lone room at the top of the fort is smaller than the rest but is airy, has good views and access...
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
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6  Thank MBhuyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fort Rampura

Address: Lucknow, Lucknow 285127, India
Region: India > Uttar Pradesh > Lucknow District > Lucknow
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 128 B&Bs / Inns in Lucknow
Number of rooms: 4

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