Village Jarar, Bah, District Agra, Uttar Pradesh
No of rooms: 11
We have attempted to create a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment in an eco-friendly, self-sustaining manner. We hope to showcase the unique biodiversity and distinctive cultural heritage of the Chambal Valley.
History: Jarar has been the main seat of the family since 1472. The Mela Kothi and its stables were established as a field camp in the late 1890s by my great grandfather Rai Saheb Ch. Suraj Pal Singh, the Zamindar Saheb (feudal chief) of Jarar. Nestling in the midst of over 120 acres of woodland and pasture and surrounded by farmland, in 1915 the Mela Kothi was deemed ideally located to serve as a camp office for the family’s bi-annual cattle fair (Mela). The clockwork precision, guarantee of safety, amenities, entertainment, talent shows, shops, and the revenue generated were a source of great pride and prestige for the family. However, by the 1990s the income from the fair had dwindled to the point of being unviable.
The Eco-Lodge: By 1999 the property had fallen into total disrepair and was on the verge of being condemned. With little more than a dream and the boundless optimism of the foolhardy, my wife Anu and I decided to give up the security of our professional careers and return to Jarar. In 2001 after decades of neglect, the Mela Kothi was meticulously restored and rechristened the Chambal Safari Lodge.
The Lodge is located within a 35-acre plantation of the original woodland, with many old growth trees surrounded by extensive farmland.
Our Accommodation: We offer 1 room in the restored Mela Kothi, 2 suites in the guest-wing the Imli Kothi, and 8 cottages in the grounds surrounding the main house.
Our Meals: The Lodge kitchens serve authentic home cooked meals with fresh mainly organically grown ingredients. Most of the produce is from our own farms or procured directly from the local farmers. Our recipes include local specialties that have been fine-tuned over generations.
Tea and coffee is available in the main garden throughout the day and guests are welcome to make their own cuppa as often as they wish.
We encourage all our guests to treat the Chambal Safari Lodge as their home away from home and endeavour to provide a warm, friendly and welcoming environment where we hope you will arrive as guests and leave as friends.
Responsible tourism policy/practice:
The Chambal Conservation Foundation was established in 1999, by Kunwar Ram Pratap Singh, an engineer from IIT Roorkee, and his wife Anu Dhillon Singh, an environmental scientist from London University. The main objective was to bring sustainable development initiatives to the long neglected Chambal Valley and the National Chambal Sanctuary (NCS). The Chambal Safari, an eco-tourism venture, is one such initiative, which has helped place the Chambal Valley on the birding map of Northern India, and brought recognition for its unique habitat and environs.
The Foundation does not solicit funds from any individual or agency and uses part of the proceeds from the Chambal Safari to fund its activities. These include awareness campaigns, conservation projects, patrolling and anti-poaching operations, reforestation drives, check-dams, as well as sourcing expertise to create sustainable and self-sustaining projects, that lead to an improvement in the lives of the local populace, whilst building support for the natural beauty and resources of the valley.