Khem Villas, Luxury Jungle Camp at Ranthambore
Khem Villas, is a jungle camp established by Usha and Goverdhan Singh Rathore along with Pritam Singh on the outskirts of Ranthambhore. Goverdhan is the son of Fateh Singh Rathore one of India’s leading Tiger experts who is also aptly referred to as the founding father of Ranthambhore helping put the park on the Tiger Map of the World.
Goverdhan Singh Rathore & Usha Rathore
Goverdhan grew up living inside Ranthambhore learning about the Tiger and its natural life first hand under the guidance of his father. His love for the Park and its Tiger was so powerful that after he graduated from medical school he started a project around the park with the local people to help save the Tiger. As a result of this program today there is a comprehensive Tiger conservation program unlike any in India. It has won him the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2004 (commonly called the 'Green Oscar') given to him by Sir David Attenborough at the Royal Geographic Society in London for his work in the field of alternative energy using cow dung in biogas digesters. His other project have helped establish a school, hospital, wood for wood project, biogas, non-formal environment education, legal aid to combat poaching and an anti-poaching sting operation along with another NGO Tiger Watch that helped nab some of the most prominent poachers in 2005 helping establish the fact that 20 Tigers had been killed in Ranthambhore, ultimately forcing the govt. to step up the protection of the Tiger. He currently building a larger multispecialty hospital with the aim of making it a sustainable project so that it can offer even greater medical support to local communities ultimately harnessing their support to help protect Ranthambhore and its Tiger and important partnership if Tiger are to survive in the future. He is happy to interact with visitors interested in his work and share with them the tremendous challenges facing the Tiger in Ranthambhore and what they are trying to do to overcome these challenges.
Usha ran a successful tented camp in Ranthambhore for six years and will be a natural hostess at the camp ensuring a truly amazing experience, which includes delightful food, made from home grown organic vegetables making your experience a memorable one. Usha is a natural hostess and takes personal interest in making your stay here a memorable one. She is happy to share with the guests the tremendous work that her family continues to do in and around Ranthambhore in their quest to help save the Tiger and its habitat. She runs a small slide show highlighting this work and would be happy to organize free field trips for anyone wishing to see some of the projects her family runs.
Pritam Singh & Rachel
Pritam and Rachel Singh run Anokhi, a company started by Mr. John Singh in the late 1960’s, that helped revive the tradition of hand block printing in Rajasthan. The company employs over 3000 people, mainly women, all over Rajasthan as full time and part time workers. His commitment to Ranthambhore and Tiger conservation led to the establishment of a state of the art tailoring unit in Ranthambhore in 2006, which will finally employ nearly 150 people in an effort to generate local employment and thus contribute towards making people less dependent on the park and its resources for a livelihood, ultimately helping the Tiger. Today, Anokhi exports exquisitely hand crafted fashion clothing and furnishings all over the world. Pritam grew up coming to Ranthambhore as a child, as a result of his parents’ passion for the Tiger and conservation values. These visits soon turned into a childhoond friendship between Pritam and Goverdhan, which later gave inception to Khem Villas which they have built together. Rachael helps with the aesthetics in the camp, hand picking the furnishings that adorn the camp. All the designs that dress up Khem Villas are from the collections she has created at Anokhi.