Thirty four years ago, fresh out of medical school, Dr. Goverdhan Rathore, purchased a small barren tract of land along the edge of the Ranthambhore Park and made it his home. As a child, he had lived and breathed this place with his father and Tiger Man of India, Mr. Fateh Singh Rathore so it was inevitable that he would come back. Now, as a young man, he was ready to carry on the legacy of his father and work toward conserving Ranthambhore. His great love for the National park set him on a path to transform the barren land into an image of the forest. So over 30 years he painstakingly nurtured this land, creating small water bodies, grasslands and forested areas making it look as if it is an extension of the park itself. In 1995, he married Usha who enthusiastically joined him in his conservation efforts. In 2005, Usha suggested that they make a small jungle lodge on the transformed land so people could come and witness what they had created. More importantly, they wanted others to know the immense challenges of saving Ranthambhore and its tigers. Today Khem Villas offers an unmatched experience of nature to its visitors while also contributing part of its profits and, generous donations of its guests to various charities. Each year Khem Villas, along with Usha and Goverdhan personally contribute to Fateh Public School and Ranthambore Sevika Hospital, two state-of-the-art initiatives they have set up. We welcome and appreciate any help/support from you in our conservation efforts.
Welcome to Khem Villas
Khem Villas is located on the periphery of the park over an area of 30 acres. Surrounded by forest cover on all sides it forms an ecological oasis that is in itself an ecosystem of its own, comprising of open grassland, densely forested areas and small water bodies. Efforts have been made to keep it as natural as possible.
In an effort to make your visit with us a truly memorable one, we have put together some information about the camp and its activities for your use.
Two large, elevated Villas overlook the Ranthambhore escarpment looking over open grassland and forest giving you an uninterrupted view of the Ranthambhore hills unlike any other. The Villas have a large private sun deck with an open to sky Jaccuzi to a private open to sky courtyard. These are our most luxurious accommodation offering the best views and privacy.
There are eight stand-alone thatched cottages. Four of them over look a densely vegetated area and four overlook a small water body and open farm lands. Each cottage has a large bathroom lined with smooth natural sandstone. There is also a private open courtyard with an open air shower and bath tub. The cottages also have a large verandah and private surrounding to relax in the sun.
For those wanting an ‘al fresco’ experience we have thirteen tents styled on the old Shikar (hunting) Tent model. Inside they are luxurious and comfortable with large double beds and a unique bathroom.
Two comfortable double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms are available in the main house. The upstairs rooms have bay windows that overlook the adjoining rural landscape.
One family room includes 2 bedrooms with bathtub in master bedroom with sit out with view of grassland and living room
HOT WATER & LAUNDRY
Hot water is available in all the rooms from 6:00 am to 01:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The water is heated using solar energy. Should you require hot water at any other time please inform the front desk and it can be made available within a few minutes by using standby electric heaters. Laundry bags are provided in every bathroom and it usually takes 8-12 hours for the laundry to be returned. While every effort is put to make sure that your clothes are not damaged the hotel takes no responsibility for clothes that may be damaged during cleaning.
Meals are all freshly cooked and are vegetarian (some dishes may contain eggs). Most vegetables and herbs are grown on the farm itself using organic skills. The milk is from our dairy and fresh yogurt, cottage cheese made daily at the lodge.
Breakfast 8:00-11:00 am - A choice of juices, homemade breads, organic jams, choice of porridge, cornflakes, muesli, and eggs made to order.
Lunch 01:30-3:00 pm - International fusion
Dinner 08:00-10:00 pm - Indian
There is a state-of-the art hospital just 13 kms away from the camp from where specialist help can be arranged at any time. We can arrange a taxi to the hospital and to make a home visit the doctor charge is Rs 2000/-
CAMPFIRE AND STARGAZING
During the winter months we light a camp fire by the lake and guests can enjoy their drinks listening to the jungle sounds. The hosts Goverdhan and Usha are usually present for evening drinks. Almost every night a spotting scope is set by the lake and the camp naturalist Digvijay does a show and tell about the night sky.
NATURE WALKS AND SIT OUTS
It has been our pleasure to create a natural environment around the camp by planting indigenous trees, grasses, shrubs and creating small water bodies. We encourage guests to use the pathways that meander throughout the camp. These walks provide an amazing opportunity to bird viewing for those interested in bird watching. So far we have documented around 180 species of birds and more than 15 species of mammals. You can visit our nursery, dairy or farm land .We can provide a naturalist to walk with you should you require.
CAMEL RIDES: Rs. 1000 for half an hour
Beautifully dressed camels in traditional harness can be organized at short notice at the camp. You can take a rollercoaster ride on the back of the camel soaking in the rural landscape in and around the camp. The trip transports you back to an age when this must have been the most common mode of transport.
FORT TRIP: Rs. 3000
We reckon that a trip to the historic fort of Ranthambhore which is situated within the national park will be a remarkable experience. It was built by the Chauhan rulers around 900 A. D. and best known for its historic siege in the 12th century by the Allah ud din Khilji and Shershah Suri two nobles of the Sultanate (Slave Dynasty). It is believed that it was though a betrayal by his own men that the Rajput Ruler, King Hamir was let down.
Today, the fort provides an amazing backdrop to the dynasty of another king, the Royal Bengal Tiger. From the ramparts one can get an amazing sense of history and what may have transpired within those walls hundreds of years ago and at the same time one can sit on these ramparts soaking in the amazing forest below. If you are lucky you may even see the Tiger strolling along the banks of Padam Talau (the 1st lake below the fort).
SHOPPING ON THE CAMPSITE
There is a small boutique shop in the camp itself. Whatever earnings that Khem Villas gets from this shop goes to support the charitable work that the owners of Khem Villas are doing to help save the Tiger and support community projects.
Community Conservation Projects
Goverdhan’s family have been involved with Tiger conservation for nearly 50 years and his father Mr. Fateh Singh Rathore is aptly considered the father of the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. He carved out a national park for the tiger through the voluntary resettlement of 13 villages in 1976. In the next decade, his fearless protection of the park meant that it was very hard if not impossible for poachers to enter the park. Since 1988 his son Goverdhan who is a qualified Medical Doctor has helped establish a non-government organization called ‘Prakratik Society’ which runs a state-of-the-art hospital, a school, an alternative energy program (Bio-gas) using cow dung, afforestation and animal husbandry program. This organization also provides legal help to the forest department and conducts non-formal environment education. ‘Tiger Watch’ is yet another non-government organization founded by Fateh in 1998, with the core objective of protection of wildlife in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and adjoining areas. Dr. Dharmendra Khandal, Conservation Biologist with Tiger Watch heads the organization. From anti-poaching activities to rehabilitation of poachers, Tiger Watch has expanded to be involved in various other initiatives such as The Mogya Education Program (education for children belonging to traditional hunters’ tribe called Mogya), Village Wildlife Watchers, Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Program.
Both Goverdhan and Usha would be delighted to organize a free trip for any guests that wish to visit any of these projects.
More information available on www.prakratiksociety.org
The Lodge / Camp take no responsibility what so ever for injury, death, loss or damage and guests who come to Khem Villas and use any of its facilities do so at their own risk.
Please do not smoke inside the rooms, tents and cottages. In other areas please stub out the cigarettes thoroughly before putting it in the ash trays to avoid causing a fire.
Tipping is at your discretion and we have a common tip box at the reception where you can leave your tips should you wish to tip.
There is a cupboard available in the Cottage, Rooms and Tents where you can keep your valuables and a lock is provided by the hotel staff for the same. Please make sure that all your valuables are secure.
If you are giving any clothes for washing please make sure that there is nothing valuable in the pockets at the time of giving them in for cleaning. The hotel takes no responsibility of lost items that are lost due to carelessness.