Churu, in the modern context is within reach of time and distance. Standing as a gateway to the Shekhawati region where every wall and ceiling of a building, home or temple tells its own story through its fresco art. Painted cherubs with a bindi, gold leaf embossing and pure vegetable colors speak of a time when prosperity was equated with time and money spent to embellish homes was tinged with an artist’s vision. The town boasts of some of outstanding buildings, some of them belonging to India's famous business houses. Churu's buildings stand vacant and forlorn as silent sentinels of a glorious past; your visual journey has to be juxtaposed with an imaginative narrative and your own sense of romance. Churu, Mehansar, Ramgarh. Now more than ever Churu needs your attention.
Accommodation and Services:
Malji ka Kamra has been restored diligently following the same lines and look of the rang Mahal, hence the mint green façade. The rooms and suites with in Malji are high and large, save for a couple of rooms made into the rounded sides of the building giving it’s a cozy and doll house feel. The five rooms of the Haveli category that face the front of the building open into private balconies, are large high and airy. The two suites exemplify the haveli design with frescoes and figures made into the wall, supposedly to give a sense of company to lone travelers. All rooms and suites are well furnished, with ensuite modern bathrooms, air-conditioned and Wi-Fi enabled. Tea/ Coffee stations, a writing desk and four poster beds spell comfort.
Malji may be your base to access all of Shekhawati, but within the rooms and traditions laid out at Malji one can decode the past and see history living beyond its time. The photos of the restoration, some of the relics discovered during that time, the meals that have been curated as a part of Malji all come together to help you understand the significance of Churu.
Dining in Malji is in the central covered hall with the rooms on the first level, arranged around leading to columned walkways. Cuisine is a combination of local Rajasthani and recipes from Deepak’s home and is served at the tables. Alfresco dining options are available on request, one of them being a terrace dining experience. Outdoor dining options are also available and can be pre-arranged on request.
Amenities and activities: At Malji, one can pre-book three important activities. One of them being the Haveli walk, an hour long walk through the lanes of the older part of the city which ends in an alley surrounded by old buildings, abandoned now or occupied by caretakers. This area is kept clean by the hotel, and by the time the walk ends, seating is organized and tea, coffee and cookies are served. A regular morning activity is breakfast served out in the country followed by leisurely explorations of the water reservoirs built by merchants to help the farmers. A half day excursion is to explore the Havelis of Fatehpur, Ramgarh and Mehansar followed by a train ride between Ramgarh and Churu.
Important Things to Know about Malji Ka Kamra: This is a work in progress and Malji has over the last two years steadily worked on services and the look and feel of the property. Malji is moderately priced and is a perfect fit for those looking to explore the Havelis of Shekhawati. Also note Malji is kept open every day for the residents of Churu to look around the public areas of Malji Ka Kamra, as a kind of museum to educate them on preservation of old buildings.
On one hand Churu is engulfed within the vicious ring of commerce and on the other hand are people like Deepak Balan, born here, educated to be aware of the mine of history and architecture that is a part of the city, wishing to come back and begin a passionate crusade to conserve a legacy of architecture and art that people neither have the time nor taste for. This is precisely why Malji Ka Kamra, its story and its conservation history is relevant to MECH.
The story of Malji is intrinsically linked with the story of Churu. Deepak’s grandfather worked with Malji Kothari a wealthy trader in Churu at the turn of the century. Malji ka Kamra was called Rang Mahal, then a ‘party place’ used for visitors to host them and spoil them with elaborate banquets and entertainment. Hard times resulted in a sale and dispute over the building, which Deepak’s father, an advocate fought and won. He bought it off the owners and Malji Ka Kamra was conceptualized as a heritage hotel with a story to tell and a mission to revive Churu.
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Indian Association of Tour Operators (National Apex Body of Tour Operators)