This itinerary departs from the beginning of October until the end of March
Responsible tourism: Rajasthan tailor made tours, India
Khem Villas at Ranthambhore National Park is a shining example of an eco-friendly hotel. It is run by Govardham Singh Rathore who won a ‘Green Oscar’ in 2004 for his tiger conservation program and for his work in alternative energy resources (using cow dung in biogas digesters). Other projects he was involved with have helped establish a school, hospital and an informal environmental education programme. He also supported legal aid to combat poaching and an anti-poaching sting operation was put in place with the help of another NGO called Tiger Watch. This helped reveal some of the most prominent poachers in 2005, establishing the fact that 20 tigers had been killed in Ranthambhore and ultimately forcing India’s government to step up protection of the tiger.
We are also a member of TOFT (Travel Operators for Tigers) who also have a Practices Under Guidelines (PUG) classification system that promotes ‘Best practice ecotourism’ within certain accommodation providers. We use a number of these PUG approved properties including Tiger Den Resort in Ranthambhore, Shergarh Tented Camp and Singinawa Jungle Camp in Kanha National Park.
By staying in smaller hotels and converted palaces and forts, you are supporting the local community on a sustainable scale without adversely affecting the surrounding area. The owners of all of these hotels know and are part of their local community and all try to employ locals in order to share the wealth that even a small hotel brings.
Many of the forts and palaces in India are crumbling and left to ruin. Without tourism they would never be rescued and returned to the incredible buildings that they once were. Ramathra Fort is a prime example of this type of accommodation; the rampart walls were almost completely ruined and overgrown with trees and shrubbery only a couple of years ago. The owners, Ravi and Gitanjali, have lovingly restored the walls, rebuilding them in the traditional style and adding seating areas that look out over the lake and beautiful countryside. They are now looking at restoring the palace bit by bit and bringing this fantastic place back to its former glory.
1 Reviews of Rajasthan tailor made tours, India
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 31 Oct 2016 by Liz Mitchell
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The Taj Mahal has to be the most iconic visit. Having to get in the queue for the 6 o'clock opening was "different", but really worth it. Back to the hotel in time for breakfast AFTER visiting the Taj is something I shall be slipping into most conversations I have in the near future! Next was the 3 days in Jaipur where I felt like a princess being waited on hand and foot. Bed tea was lovely and sipping gin and tonic while watching a charming puppet show could have been part of a script from a film.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Follow the advice given by the experts regarding health care and visas. To save on bulk, take some clothes that can be laundered, the standard of our laundry service was fantastic. Wear closed-in shoes in the streets for hygiene reasons. The streets are very dirty and uneven in most places. Read up about the history of India before you go, it adds depth to the visits and helped me to understand a little of the way society worked. Don't go if you are a compulsive cleaner. I'm a celiac and I had no problem eating. I came back having gained a few pounds.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
I know I did benefit local people. I was impressed with the eco measures at the Dera Mandawa in Jaipur. They used filtered water for drinking (perfectly safe), a dung fuelled oven and supported local entertainers and crafts people by giving us an authentic puppet show. We shopped in a co-operative where the profits from the sales of textiles and other goods went directly to the people who made them.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
An absolutely fabulous experience. I wanted to have a head-cam on record all the time as just taking photos isn't enough. So much to take in just from the seat of a tuck-tuck. Charming and polite service, excellent food and we were lucky to be there for Diwali.