Luni Fort, JodhpurFort Chanwa of Luni is an exceptional example of elegance and symmetry in Indian architecture of the last century. The entire fortress is carved out of the famous red sandstone of Jodhpur and with itsornately carved lattice work friezes and intricate "Jharokas", it exquisitely captures the romance and grace of a bygone age.
The fort is composed of a lyrical complex of courtyards towers, water, wheels, stables, passages and unexpected stairways to secret pavilions and panoramic roof tops spanning the village below and the Thar horizon beyond. The traditional paintings on the walls harmoniously reflect the skill of the master craftsmen and the bygone days.
The village of Luni nestles in the shadow of theFort walls and is a hub of activity with its many artisans fashioning metal, clay or wood into intricate forms and demonstrating the skills passed down over the centuries by their ancestors. The village elders solemnly reflect the changing times under shady trees, while the children enjoy running around narrow carefree streets. The women, swaying in their brilliant Rajasthani colours go about their daily chores to give water and sustenance to the village.
The Fort has been beautifully restored to its former glory by its owners Maharaj Dalip Singhji, ( The youngest son H.H Maharaja Umaid Singhji) and his wife RaniMadhu. Each room has been created and decorated with its own particular charm and the many courtyards, verandahs and gardens all offer a setting and ambiance set tocapture your heart. Fort chanwas's courtyards are peaceful havens where guests can unwind for the day and spend the afternoons leisurely reading or relaxing in the sun.
There is a beautiful pool to cool off fatigue and refresh oneself. The fort has a bar which is well-stocked to suit different tastes and an evening bazaar to pick up gifts and nick-nacks. The family takes pleasure in organizing gala lunches and Dinners (upto 150 Pax) with traditional or made to order menu. The guests can enjoy their meals as well as witness local dances at the same time and get the true taste of Indian hospitality and culture.
Maharaja Jaswant Singh II Ruler of Jodhpur Marwar from 1876-1895 A.D is remembered as the benign Monarch who steered the administration and economy of Marwar away from chaos and instability to a period of sustained development and security and justice for all.
Amongst the prominent civil servants in this Ruler's coterie of adminstrators, was a young Charan by the name of Kaviraj Muraridanji. He was an astute politician and a farsighted adminstrator. In 1894 Kaviraj Muraridanji received in Jagir the little known hamlet of Chanwa. There he build an exquisite little fortress Palace today known as Fort Chanwa.
In 1941, however the village of Chanwa became "Khalsa" ( belonging to the State ) as, ironically Muraridanji fell victim to a law introduced by him in the best interest of Marwar,whereby feudal estates lacking a male successor and without a recognized adoption in the life time of the deceased Jagirdar were automatically resumed by the state, after his death.
In the year 1948 Chanwa was granted in "Jagir" to Maharaja Dalip Singh, the youngest son of Maharaja Umaid Singh, However over the years the Fortress sank into years of neglect and decay. In 1992 inspired by a wave of successful restorations to heritage properties and encouraged by the burgeoning tourism traffic into western Rajasthan Maharaj Dalip Singh, the 24th generation of direct descent from RaoJodha, ruler and founder of Jodhpur in the 15the century decided to throw open the gates of Chanwa to these new 'invaders".
Today FortChanwa restored to its pristine glory and charm by its proud owners Maharaj Dalip Singh & Rani Madhu Devi, warmly welcome travellers from distant lands offering princely hospitality in an inimitably enchanting setting- a Heritage Hotel in the finest traditions. Fort Chanwa has Thirty one authentically renovated rooms ( with attached bathrooms) each different from the other. Ourhonoured guests can relish traditional Rajasthani cuisine which is specially prepared by cooks who have served the family through the generations. Candle-light dinners with folk musicians singing in the background brings in nostalgia and old world charm.