[Photo Sparks] Heritage, entrepreneurship and design: The Neemrana Fort-Palace in Rajasthan

By Madanmohan Rao|30th May 2015
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PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this week’s photo essay, we showcase the vibrant design and artwork at the Neemrana Fort-Palace in Rajasthan!

In the earlier 45 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fairworld music festivalpainting fairtelecom expoart museummobile showcasemath museumsocial hackathonbookstoreco-working spacesensoriuminternational design weekflower showoutdoor adsstartup roadshowcomputer museumstartup T-shirtsbusiness cardsart therapystartup festivalDiwali rangoliVesakjazz festivalmodern art galleryecopreneurspainter-poetshealth activistseNGOs and digital innovators.

Thanks to UNESCO and the Digital Empowerment Foundation, I spent a memorable weekend at the Neemrana Fort-Palace in Rajasthan as a jury member for a mobile awards competition.

India’s inadequate preservation of much of its cultural heritage is widely lamented, but the Neemrana Fort-Palace shows how restoration, design, modernisation and tradition can be effectively blended with a creative entrepreneurial touch. Co-founded by Aman Nath and Francis Wacziarg (who passed away in 2014), Neemrana has spearheaded around 28 such cultural revitalisation projects in 10 states of India.

In the hospitality world, this group is counterintuitive - a rare quality, but one that is critical to create a unique identity in a crowded sphere, writes Subroto Bagchi, Co-founder of MindTree and author of ‘The Elephant Catchers.’

The Neemrana Fort-Palace in Rajasthan began with the identification of a ruined fort and its purchase for Rs 6 lakhs in the 1980s, and is now an iconic 70-room resort calling itself a ‘non-hotel’ heritage destination. The Fort-Palace also promotes regional tourism, creates jobs in the neighbourhood, and nurtures local artisans and performers via the Neemrana Music Foundation. Here is a photographic sampling of its astonishing architecture, scenic views (including the nearby step well), colourful interiors and even two mind-boggling swimming pools (see more photos in the online gallery).

Much of entrepreneurship tends to focus on future trends and technologies; the Neemrana Fort-Palace shows how countries like India offer a world of opportunities for ‘heritage entrepreneurship’ as well!

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Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.