With the backdrop of the beautiful yet harsh landscape of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur in Rajasthan, also known as the Sun City, was the destination of choice for EO New Delhi’s mini retreat in March of 2012. This was to be my third retreat, having been to Langkawi and Tokyo in the past; and I was rather excited!
We arrived at our hotel, RAAS, an old haveli converted into a hotel, situated in Jodhpur’s walled city. The area has an aura rather similar to Chandni Chowk in Delhi, though the hotel was equipped with all modern amenities to make our stay comfortable. The highlight of course was the view from our terrace, which showcased the beautiful Mehrangarh Fort which towers 400 feet above the city. After a great lunch on the terrace, we headed to the imposing fort from where we could view the entire panorama of Jodhpur, ancient and blue. The many shops in the area were quite a lure for most of us and the juttis especially were beautiful and comfortable. In the evening, we put up our tired feet and lazed at the poolside. The party at night however, was by far the best experience according to me. We were once again back at the Mehrangarh fort and the night-time views were spectacular. While on one side we could see the glittering lights of the city below, on the other was the beautiful and grand fort itself. In true EO style, we were treated to an experience we would never have been able to have as regular tourists to the fort! The entertainment of folk Rajasthani music and dance was great but better yet was DJ Gaurav, who was flown down especially from Delhi, making sure that the whole gang was rocking it till pretty late. I also want to make a special mention for the delicious Rajasthani food that we were served that night.
The next morning Anant woke up with a fever so we missed out on the experience of Umaid Bhawan Palace, which is where the rest of the group headed. They returned with fantastic reviews saying that it was amongst the best hotels they’d ever seen. In fact, some fellow EOs have decided to book the destination for their 25th Anniversaries! In the evening, we went for flying fox wearing our personalized shirts and the experience was thrilling to say the least. Dinner was at the poolside and at night, the whole group was on the terrace dancing the night away. The most fun parts of the evening was the “all boys” dance contest in which the winner was awarded shots from our “Vodka Devi Shot Mata” also known as Aanchal Bhatia!
The next morning, we came back home, reluctant to end the fun. True to its spirit, the retreat was a convenient and fun way to not only spend time with your old friends from EO but also get better acquainted with new members. Who knows, maybe it’s the start to some of the most amazing friendships! All in all, the whole retreat was very well planned and very all executed. Many thanks to Ashna and Suja!