For last few weeks, you must be seeing various interesting things to explore around Churu region of Rajasthan. During our weekend trip to Churu, we stayed at Malji ka Kamara which is located in the middle of Churu town and this property was a Haveli of Kotharis and now converted into a Heritage Hotel. This Photo Journey shares some of the photographs from Malji Ka Kamara and some details about The Hotel, services they offer and relevant stuff.
After a tiring drive from Delhi to Churu, we reached Malji Ka Kamara which is located in one of the streets near Churu Market. Ater reaching at the place, we parked our car. There is space for parking 5-6 vehicles inside the campus and few outside in the street. So Parking can be an issue is Hotel has decent bookings. But the good part is that many of the folks come to Churu by Trains, so it's highly likely that you will get parking inside the campus. Anyways, staff helped us in taking the luggage to our room and offered a welcome drink.
Malji Ka Kamra has Solar heating system to get hot water which effectively means that in morning, one may need to wait for hot water. But if needed, staff provides hot water in rooms. Malji Ka Kamra has installed geyser in two of the rooms on top floor and we were lucky to have one of them, so more freedom in getting Hot water whenever we wanted :) , although the fitting were wrong.. The Cold point was giving hot water :) ... After having bath with hot water and a quick nap, we headed towards the restaurant for lunch.
Above Photograph shows the Restaurant of Malji Ka Kamara and the view is from first floor. Like the Havelis we see in Bollywood movies, Malji Ka Kamra has very high roof in the middle and first floor of the Haveli ha visibility to the ground floor through lobbies in all four directions. This corridor gives a royal feeling of being at a haveli. Some parts of the Haveli are kept intact to make visitors feel about the older look and feel of the place. It seems Foreigner tourists like that style, which don't even understood by Indian visitors. This is a common sentence you would hear or experience in Rajasthan. Folks from Rajasthan Tourism industry understand the foreigner tourists better and plan things accordingly. Let me stop here and write a separate post of the behavioral and strategic decision making of Rajasthan Tourism Stakeholders.
Malji ka Kamra was built long time back in 1920, which was use by Kotharis for many years and then turned into ruins for a significant duration. Restoration of this Haveli started in 2006.. Haveli was in very bad shape when restoration started, because it was locked for more than 20 years and condition was very bad, which is happening with many of the other Havelis in Churu. Kotharis used to have this Haveli only for guests. Their family Haveli is just across the street which was again a huge building with colorful paintings. Malji Ka Kamara has mint green extiriors and there are different personalities sculptured on the walls, although these creations look very odd :) . It seems that original color of the Haveli was almost same and restorers attempted to retain those hues of this building.
Here is view we get on seeing up from the Restaurant of Malji Ka Kamara.Malji Ka Kamara is considered as one of the well maintained Havelis (palaces) in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan State in India.
Food served at Malji Ka kamara was nice. The Hotel has trained local chefs who are really good at cooking Rajasthani as well as other cuisines. During our stay we were were some of the famous rajasthani delicacies and we loved them. Staff was very polite, although they may need more training with time. The good part is the local folks are hired by Hotel which is a good way of ensuring that local communities also grow along with local tourism and the business of these Hotels. Local folks may not be that trained but with time, things can be changed and we have seen that happening in many of the other properties across India. So I personally like such properties which take responsibility of their own localities one or the other way.
The Staff at Malji Ka Kamara offers some of the cool activities which make your stay experience more memorable to cherish for longer period of time. Two days for me were very tight and I wish to visit Churu again with at least 3 days in hands. I love to spend time with local culture, place, people at my own pace. During the stay we had Heritage Haveli Walk in Churu Town, Desert BonFire with lot of shooting stars around us, High Tea at Sethani ka Joahara, Visit to Golden Jain Temple in Churu Town, Royal Lunch at Prem Sarovar, Haveli Tour in Ramgarh, Visit to another Heritage Hotel in Ramgarh, Meeting National Award Winner Family of Wood-Carving Artists and some shopping of hand-made lacquer bangels. This list is never-ending and we missed lot of things which will be covered during our next visit. And here I would like to thanks the staff at Malji Ka Kamara who arranged all of these for us.
Churu is not very popular destination among majority of the tourists who visit Rajasthan State of India, but it's definitely a hot off-beat destination and many of the foreigner tourists visit Shekhawati region and Thar Desert. Churu which is gateway to Thar is another special destination for those visitors. Due to seasonal and lesser inflow of tourists, local hospitality industry is not that mature but that gels well with the local atmosphere. So if you plan to visit this region, expect some hiccups and some non-touristic things.
Above photograph shows one of the few rooms which are in their original form. But there are only very few such rooms which are maintained like they were earlier and reason is that it was very difficult to restore major parts of the Haveli. Arrangements in all the rooms are quite comfortable and if you feel something missing, staff is ready to help you on a call. Staff at Malji Ka Kamara is quite co-operative. Some of them had some language problems, but it was manageable. This Hotel has some of the selected folks from the region like Mr. Lal Singh, who is acclaimed guide in Shekhawati region. He took us to the Haveli tour in Churu. Since most of the Haveli Owners/Caretakers know him, we got access to go inside and see some of the beautiful Havelis in town. Likewise, Malaji Ka Kamara is associated with some historians who visit the hotel to share some facts about the history of Churu and Shekhawati with tourists staying there. Although we had our own doubts on some of the facts shared by Mr. Bhanwar Singh Somour, but he looked a passionate and knowledgeable person who has high regards for his land, culture and the way different families of this region has influenced various things in our country.
Most of the rooms at Malji Ka Kamra look just like any other Hotel and don't have any old paintings on walls of roof, expect the few which are mentioned above. But Malji Ka Kamra Management tried to give Rajasthani touch to the rooms by using some of the local crafted stuff. The rooms are large and comfortable with basic facilities and bathrooms are also very basic. To know more about the place, checkout their original website which has appropriate contact details as well.
We enjoyed being there at Malji Ka Kamara, it's humble staff and moderatelycrowded lanes full of old Havelis around it...