Nestled deep in the Chambal ravines of Bundelkhand, stands the more than 600-year old Fort Rampura – proud and stoic, as if defying the ravages of time.
After being in the family for fourteen generations, Raja Samar Singh and his family now offer Fort Rampura as a unique homestay destination for guests who wish to experience the true-blue feudal and country life of the erstwhile nobility of Bundelkhand. Well-connected to Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Gwalior, this six- hundred year old ravine retreat provides an ideal getaway if you’re looking for a short weekend break. For travellers who like to enjoy wild India at their own pace, it’s a place to relax, unwind and discover a rich rural landscape that has been given a miss by distractions of modernity. And we are not complaining.
The Rampura family traces its lineage to the Kachawaha clan of Rajputs from Narwar, Madhya Pradesh. The history of the Kachawaha clan is over 900 years old and Fort Rampura bears testimony to the glory of a greater part of these years. The Kachawahas who moved from Narwar, settled in Rampura after defeating the Meaus, the original inhabitants of the region. The original fort of the Rampura Kachawahas was built at the edge of the Pahuj River, now in ruins, but still houses the family deity. If legend is to be believed, a goat was seen chasing away a wolf at the spot where the present fort stands. This was seen as a sign of strength and valour and an appropriate place to build a fort. The fort dates back over six hundred years and takes it name from Raja Ramshaha who first built the fort.
Fort Rampura was initially built as a fighting fort, with its various crenellated walls and moat designed to deter intruders. Successive generations, however, made the fort livable, specifically adding ‘zenana’ (ladies) enclosures, stables, granaries, godowns, temples, etc. The building has managed to endure six-hundred years of wear and tear. Today, a portion of the fort is still being used by the family. It is this part of the private residence which is offered as the Fort Rampura homestay.
The fort houses a treasure trove of maps, coins, armour and documents of historical value, dating back centuries. Not to mention old hunting photos, trophies and myriad tales from a colourful past.