The very first feeling that you get, the moment you reach the brinks of Lakshman Sagar is the feeling of slowing down and doing nothing. I barely found myself doing anything, yet I happened to experience so much. The idea is to take in the bucolic life around and savour the rustic charms, coated with the luxury and royalty left behind by the Thakur of Raipur, Lakshman Singh.
I was instantly mesmerised by the pinks used on the exteriors of the zanana (women quarters),which promised a time of leisure. As I walked towards the mardana (men quarters),I was impressed by the blues painted on its exterior and the traditional charm it exuded. I felt transported to the era of the ancient Rajputs and their culture of mehfils and baithak.
Well, moments of surprises don’t end so soon at Lakshman Sagar. As I was being ushered to my cottage by Tejinder, the manager at the resort, I also got a chance to soak in the rustic fragments of Rajasthan -each and every corner of the property had something to grab your attention. There is no way one will be able to ignore it.
I checked into Cottage No. 9, which offers beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. Everything about my cottage reflected the soul of Rajasthan – ethnic décor, colourful cushions, rural artefacts, an olden-style fireplace and walls made of mud and stones. Even the bathroom was tastefully done with gorgeous stone walls and woodwork.
But, what really swept me off my feet was the private little pool just outside my living room. I’d say that was my most favourite spot for simply doing nothing. It’s the kind of place where you are woken up from a trance only when a peacock or two prance around to greet you.
Lounging on the zanana’s rooftop to watch the sunset was an experience that I can’t recover from. I simply didn’t know where to settle my gaze, as every bit of the landscape around me looked straight out of a painting – farms and fields on one side and the lake on the other, with the Aravallis fencing the far end.
The Bonfire and Stargazing
After being totally spellbound by the hues of the sky, I had an evening of conversations with my fellow travellers around a crackling bonfire.And of course, some amazing Rajasthani delicacies coupled with a glass of wine or two made it even better. Our manager, Tejinder, knew a great deal about the galaxy, which rubbed off on us as well. I woke up at around 5:30 in the morning just to observe the array of planets in the sky.
A Day of ‘Doing Nothing’ at Lakshman Sagar
My morning began with a sumptuous breakfast, which comprised of fresh fruits, yoghurt, locally produced porridge, honey, and different kinds of jams. In fact, whatever I ate at Lakshman Sagar was locally produced and very healthy. Although Rajasthan is known for its excessive use of fiery red chillies in their food, the dishes that came from the kitchen of Lakshman Sagar were quite mild and retained the real flavour.
As the day progressed, I got a chance to try my hand at pottery followed by a mehendi session. The only agenda I had on my mind was to surrender to the idea of ‘slow living’.
I enjoyed lounging around my private pool and looking across the lake. It was the perfect excuse to catch up on some unfinished novels and even get lost in a reverie once in a while.
The Cooking Class Along with Rajasthani Folk Music
As the sunlight faded, Rajasthani folk singers settled down to entertain us. We gathered around the fire to enjoy our evening drinks and snacks, while the singers infused our ears with beautifully haunting melodies.
Well, the best part of the evening was yet to come. It was the cooking class where we learnt how to make rabadi, a Rajasthani-style pasta, and mogriki sabzi. What I truly admired was the fact that the manager, Tejinder, was so actively involved in the kitchen. He knew about each and every dish that was prepared. He gave us insights on each dish, but refused to reveal any recipe. So when I got a chance to learn a recipe or two, I couldn’t resist the idea.
Breakfast in the Fields
The following morning we had breakfast in the fields! The naturalist at the resort, Mr. Dayal, walked us through the fields and ushered us to a village home where a couple of Rajasthani women prepared breakfast for us. We had a treat, which included a variety of breads – bajra and makai,along with a special tomato veggie. The meal smelled fresh and I had a feeling that it had come straight from the fields.
A Blissful Foot Spa
Before I could bid adieu to this beautiful property, I had my last bit of indulgence at my cottage. Amul, the masseur, ensured that I got a nice and relaxing foot spa.
So yes, my stay at Lakshman Sagar was one of my most favourite experiences so far. Besides the obvious opulence and comfort that you experience as a guest, the excellent hospitality that you are bestowed with is beyond comparison.
Highlights of my stay at Lakshman Sagar:
- Watching the sunset from the zanana rooftop
- Lounging by my private pool in the afternoon
- Sitting by the lake and watching dozens of peacocks prance around
- Locally produced vegetables and the simple way of cooking
- The ethnic and rustic look and feel of the property, which is finely blended with world-class luxury
To experience a spot of slow living yourself, click here.