Taj Sawai Madhopur Lodge – IHCL SeleQtions
Sawai Madhopur Lodge – IHCL SeleQtions is the only heritage retreat amidst the wilderness of Ranthambore, one of India’s most renowned national parks and the kingdom of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Spread over 16 lush green acres, it was built in 1930 as a hunting lodge for the Royal Family of Jaipur. Guests are ushered into this glamorous abode, with the promise of jungle adventures and princely legends. The crescent-shaped Art Deco mansion is a treat for period architecture fans, with vibrant colours, geometric lines, chequered floors and verandas. From the Jaipur coat of arms, royal portraits in the rooms and taxidermic wild animals on the walls, every detail evokes a majestic past, with the added luxury of modern amenities. The lush green grounds – home to a 100-year-old banyan tree – have a swimming pool, fitness centre, spa, an organic garden and three state-of-the-art conference and banquet venues. The lodge is uniquely positioned to offer an authentic slice of local culture. Gourmands can savour the robust simplicity of khadmurg, a whole chicken smoked for hours in a coal pit, once the staple meal of royal hunting parties. Local musicians enthral diners on the lush lawns each evening as anecdotes of Queen Elizabeth II & the Duke of Edinburg – former guests at the lodge – circulate. An unforgettable high tea awaits families/couples at Awanki Chowki, a former hunting post now converted into a spectacular dining spot overlooking the forest. The Ranthambore Safari is an opportunity to explore a fascinating forest ecosystem with trails, lakes, pre-historic ruins, ravines and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ranthambore Fort. The resident tigers are diurnal which assures more day sightings of these magnificent beasts than anywhere else in India. Another outstanding experience is a boat safari on the legendary Chambal River, from where guests can safely observe sunbathing gharials (native Indian crocodiles). Sawai Madhopur Lodge offers a safari vacation steeped in royal charm, where legends of adventure and indulgence come alive in a truly splendid setting.