Over the years, I’ve travelled to and stayed in many amazing places, in many countries across the globe. Even with such high expectations, sometimes a place comes along that completely takes me by surprise. A place that makes me appreciate my life as a travel blogger. A place that I know I won’t forget for a long time. Lakshman Sagar, in the Pali district of Rajasthan, was one such place.
Once a 19th century hunting lodge on the banks of a lake (sagar), it has been transformed by a visionary man into the most gorgeous expression of eco-friendly luxury. I’m going to let these pictures, taken with my Sony Cybershot, speak their thousand words:
1. THE “0 KM” CONCEPT AT LAKSHMAN SAGAR
implies that everything used to design the rooms has been sourced naturally or locally (from nearby villages). This is the living area of my room, with a chimney in the left corner, and so many colorful and innovative little touches to marvel at.
2. LOUNGING BY OUR OWN PRIVATE SPLASH POOL
at Lakshman Sagar. Who needs beach chairs when you can have your own khatiyas?!
3. HAVING FIELD BREAKFAST WITH A RAIKA FAMILY IN RAJASTHAN
who still follow the tradition of wearing bangles upto their shoulders. Every morning, before heading off into the fields, they churn fresh white butter and make bajra rotis. We were lucky enough to try some, at their settlement amid the corn and wheat fields!
4. SPOTTING ANTELOPES ACROSS THE LAKE
that live in the Aravalis. This family was calmly walking grazing around, but when I got up and pointed my camera at them (from across the lake), they started to run. Never knew they have such sharp eyesight!
5. INSPIRED TO WRITE
with pen and paper again, in such a cosy corner of the Jenana (the women’s getaway in the olden days).
6. RAJASTHANI FOOD COOKED WITH ORGANICALLY GROWN INGREDIENTS
in the farms surrounding Lakshman Sagar. This is the traditional Daal-Bhati-Churma, served with chaach (buttermilk) and Gutta curry. Yum!
7. CHARMED BY THE HAVELIS-TURNED-SHOPS
in the street market of the nearby Raipura village. This is no showcase for tourists, it’s just how colorful daily life is in Rajasthan!
8. THE SWIMMING POOL AT LAKSHMAN SAGAR
is no ordinary pool. It has painstakingly been chiseled from the rock; avoiding the unnecessary pollution or destruction blasting it would have caused.
9. HIKING IN THE ARAVALIS
surrounding Lakshman Sagar, with our guide Dayal, whose silhouette this is.
10. RELAXING BY THE LAKE (SAGAR)
on the banks of which Lakshman Sagar is set.
11. A SPOONFUL OF SUNSET WITH MY TEA
on the terrace of the Jenana, watching the sun set above the fields on the left, and the moon rise above the lake on the right.
What are your first impressions of Lakshman Sagar? Does it go on your bucket list?
Lakshman Sagar is a 19th century hunting lodge in Pali, Rajasthan, turned into an eco-luxury resort by the Sewara group. The luxurious mud huts come with three options – a private splash pool (my favorite), a riverside setting (for fishing), and a lotus pond. All food served at the Jenana and Merdana restaurants is locally and organically grown, with a focus on local Rajasthani dishes. The field breakfast at a farmer’s house and the walk in the Aravalis with the guide, Mr Dayal, are must tries! Accommodation prices are on the higher side, but the experience warrants it and far surpasses any luxury hotel in India. Visit their website for more details.
*Note: I was hosted by Lakshman Sagar on this trip; it’s okay to be jealous!