Simple economics says there are popular tourist destinations which become home to hotels. But in the evolving Indian hotel space, there are some hotels that are giving birth to tourist destinations. Malji Ka Kamra, a 15-room haveli located in Churu- a small town in Rajasthan is one such hotel.
While Rajasthan, thanks to its rich culture and history, attracts million of tourists every year both inbound (tourists who come from foreign countries) and domestic, the chances are you wouldn’t have heard of Churu. But Deepak Balan, a young native of this Marwari homeland is bringing Churu on travellers map with his property Malji Ka Kamra.
In 2005 Churu’s Balan family bought this haveli built in 1920’s by Malchand Ji (that’s why the name Malji) and spent four to five years restoring it. In January of 2013, Malji Ka Kamra with its 15 unique rooms opened doors for travellers.
The architecture, murals and fresco paintings of Malji Ka Kamra are awe inspiring and it’s these that make each room different. If one room has murals of gods and goddesses, other has some happy faces of ancient natives. Some murals are expressionless, others look amused. What we like about heritage hotels is that rooms are not assembly line like some modern-day hotels and each room evokes a different feeling.
The hotel has a courtyard restaurant where you can enjoy the authentic flavours of Rajasthan- laal maas (mutton), gatte ki sabzi and seasonal vegetables cooked Rajasthani style. But our favourite was the Dal Tadka… its amazing how the good old dal can taste so good! The food offered at the hotel is delicious and flawless, something you don’t expect from a new small hotel. The service too is prompt and the staff is friendly and will walk that extra mile to please guests. In the evening one can sit on the rooftop of the hotel and enjoy candlelight dinner savouring all the delicacies.
Churu might be a small town, but it will amaze you that it has some great experiences to offer its visitors. Go haveli hopping and you will be surprised how each haveli is different from another. While some have been restored and maintained, unfortunately others are in ruins. There is a haveli which has 1100 windows and looks like Jaipur’s famous Hawa Mahal. If you are a photography enthusiast you can spend an entire day clicking each haveli that is unique. The hotel also arranges organic farm visit, where you can sit with the farmers and have mitthi lassi, sunset watching at the dunes, visit to the market where local craftsmen make laak bangles and artists who are meticulously involved in intricate wood work.
We recommend Malji Ka Kamra, not just for its service, food and rooms but because it creates experiences that probably a city hotel or a hotel in a tourist hotspot can’t offer. Because it has introduced Churu to travellers who like to explore the unexplored.
Our tip: Malji Ka Kamra is for travellers who believe in slow travel or want to get away from the hustle bustle of daily life. If shopping, spa and crowded tourists spots is what you look for in a holiday then maybe it’s not for you. But hey you should slow down, you are the king not slave!