Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Chhatra Sagar",Nimaj,an Eco friendly Tent Camp

Who doesnt love being Ecofriendly?
Ecofriendly ways and Ecofriendly manners are loved by all of us.Come enjoy with me to the vast land of ecofriendly tents ,the mini mobile palaces...

Chhatra Sagar, an eco-friendly tent camp in Rajasthan, India, summons to mind the motto of Hoshi Ryokan, a Japanese inn located outside Osaka, Japan, first opened in 718 and today run by the 46th generation of founding family: 
‘Take care of fire. Learn from water. Cooperate with nature.’ 

In many ways Chhatra Sagar is a living illustration of that quality of enlightenment. The camp lies a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the city of Jaipur. It’s a lifetime project of the Rathore family, direct descendents of the Maharajah of Jodhpur, owners of this land for 17 generations. 

   Originally in 1890, great-grandfather Thakur Chhatra Singh decided to dam a seasonal stream flowing through his estate and changed the face of the valley, turning arid scrub into lush farmland.  His vision was to create a water reservoir which would harvest the monsoon rains. It was an ambitious project and a great drain on his resources but Thakur Chhatra Singh remained true to his vision. The reservoir was named Chhatra Sagar in his memory.

By early twentieth century Chhatra Sagar had developed into a lush green oasis. With its wide open spaces and enchanting views, it became the entertainment venue of choice. To capture the outdoor “big sky” feel of the place, permanent construction was deliberately kept to a minimum. A fresh luxury tented camp was created for each party. For many dignitaries visiting Nimaj, “Camp Chhatra Sagar” was the highlight. Legendary sporting parties with high tea and exotic dinners became a regular feature. 

Over the years irresponsible farming, well-drilling and animal grazing damaged the water table. In 2001 the family decided to give the land back to nature, and established this eco-resort of 11 camp-style tents overlooking 365 protected acres on the east side of the dam, which fills with water from October to March. 

The famed “Camp Chhatra Sagar” has been recreated by the great grand children of Thakur Chhatra Singh.

Luxury tents have always been an important part of Rajput lifestyle. Constant campaigns in far flung lands meant long stays in tents under inhospitable conditions. Tents were the only luxury available and soon these “homes away from home” evolved into mobile, mini-palaces.Chhatra Sagar captures the essence of this romance.

Following their conservation effort, over 200 varieties of wildlife have returned, egret, heron, kingfishers, antelope, wild boar, small jungle cats, all easily observed from the ramparts of the dam or on nature walks into the habitat. The sustainability quotient is optimal—the camp serves all locally sourced food, has intense community involvement, and is furnished by indigenous craft. The property employs 30 local families from the nearby village of Kheda Deogarh, sponsors teachers, provides medicine, classroom furniture and brings specialized educators who address subjects ranging from family planning to recycling to soil conservation. 

The Rathore family deeply love the land, and view water-harvesting as an ancestral responsibility. Stewards and guardians of a unique place, their personal involvement and constant presence reinforce the commitment. They bring to the equation a natural grace and elegance, making the experience an altogether authentic one. They have created utterly comfortable lodging, and the ‘one price-everything included’ policy makes for an even-more attractive offering. By far the most romantic beds are found in ‘the tents on the hill’, with their 360-degree view, to the east the Aravali Hills, to other directions the rolling contours of rural Rajasthan. Come for the silence, the bird-watching, the isolation, the bats who fly over the dinner tables at dusk, the fresh pomegranate juice on the terrace, the tangible humanity of this singular place.
All tents face east overlooking the lake and have private sit outs offering panoramic views. Each tent is carefully hand stitched with interiors block printed in traditional floral motifs. They are spacious, comfortably furnished with locally crafted furniture, and have well appointed private facilities. Two of the tents are set atop a hill providing complete privacy and a breathtaking 360 degree view. 

The camp has 11 guest tents on the dam and two on the hill.

The descendants of the people invited here by Thakur Chhatra Singh still live in settlements around Chhatra Sagar. Predominantly farmers and shepherds, they live a self-contained and harmonious life which has changed little in the last century. Chhatra Sagar continues to recharge their wells and provide water for their livestock. 

The camp organises farm & village visits and conducts bird watching tours.  

Image and Information courtesy:Chattra sagar ,Nimaj,Rajasthan


  1. Interesting, looks luxurious. Good research work.

  2. hey i loved them....i think its a must visit !!!

  3. Lakshmi, great post. Simply loved it.
    Wish i could visit this place some day :-)

  4. Would be wonderful to stay at a place like this....looks so different from the run of the mill places.


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