Animating Fort Rampura is Keshavendra Singh, grandson of the last Rajah and a modern 'rajah' himself, in every way. When you visit, he is there for you, full of good talk, happy to show you around his district, presiding over wonderful meals, and including you as he directs the many enterprises that make his restoration of the Fort possible. You don't just go for the place; you go for the in-depth rural experience and amazing insights your visit offers. Our three night stay in late February 2016 was the highlight of a four-week trip to Northern India.
Important Note: TripAdvisor persists in locating Fort Rampura 'in' Lucknow. It is a four hour drive south of that city; leave Lucknow at 8:00 am to arrive for lunch. The last 20 miles are single-lane road, much under repair. The journey is totally worth it.
The charm of Fort Rampura goes far beyond its origins as a Rajput castle in the Chambal Ravines of Southern Uttar Pradesh. The romantic in you will delight in the weapons on the walls, the hunting trophies, and the archives your host shares with you. You will learn about local politics, commercial real estate, how fairs and markets are organized, how sugar is refined, what the Jamuna fishermen catch, how privately run schools are strengthening Indian education, and how a town of 20,000 can be the almost feudal preserve of the heir to a great tradition. Keshavendra brought us to visit the family temple and its ever-praying priests. We visited a neighboring rajah's palace and saw how the moats, winding entries, and spike-studded doors of Rajput castles could foil attacks by elephants and men.
Fort Rampura offers guests three very good meals per day based on their tastes; for us lunch and dinner included two flavorful vegetable dishes, a meat dish, dal, rice, breads, and a sweet. We enjoyed drinks with our host in the bougainvillea draped courtyard, and special appetizer treats like spicy new peas in their pods, homemade potato chips, and Jungli Maas (the Rajasthani hunters' dish made only of meat, oil, salt, chillies, and water). How could it taste so good?
The four double rooms are generously sized with ensuite baths created in the 1990's - very comfortable. The beds are firm - Indian style, and there are screens on the windows and AC if needed. I stayed in a rooftop pavillion with views out over the countryside.
Fort Rampura is a brilliant addition to the tourist options in expanse between Agra and Allahabad. Be sure to stay three nights - you'll love it.