Water world in the desert state

Published: Nov 28, 2013, 07:06 IST | Ruchika Kher |

Far from the sand dune imagery that Rajasthan typically represents, we came across a water-themed oasis just 30 km away from Jaipur that resembled floating cottages amid an eco-friendly water world. Intrigued? Ruchika Kher plays travel scout

Yes, we love Jaipur with all its colour, culture, history and vibe,but an inventive twist to a seen-before travel plan is always welcome. So, when we learnt about a water-inspired destination inthe desert state of Rajasthan near Jaipur, we couldn’t wait to experience this exciting contrast.

The man-made 40-feet high waterfall adjoining a luxe suite at The Water House Resort. Pics/ Ruchika Kher

Water, water everywhere
Aptly named The Water House Resort, the property is part of The Tree House Resort and is nearly an hour away from Jaipur, with the mighty Aravalli Hills playing sentry. A signboard that read “Nature Lovers Only” was a teaser of what was awaiting us inside the verdant property.

The property was built on barren land, and was converted into a green paradise by planting over eight lakh trees over seven years

Interspersed with water streams and duck ponds combining to culminate in a 40-feet high waterfall with a Buddha-themed cave, the area covered by the resort comprised exclusive over-water suites that fused luxury with nature. From private patios to glass-floored sections that helped view the marine life below, these over-water bungalows transported our tired urban minds into a state of total bliss. The view of the Syari Valley dotted with the majestic Aravalli Hills was the icing on the cake.

The spa area overlooks an aviary, both separated through a glass. The aviary contains rescued birds that were caged for many years and some whose wings were clipped. In this shelter, they live a comfortable life, while you immerse yourself in their chirping during your spa session.

Soon, we regained our composure and switched on the control button for our excitement, only to question the practicality of such a venture in a state always in search of water. Sudeep Mehta, co-owner Sunil Mehta’s son took us through the intent, “We have made sure that there is no water wastage.

One-time shepherd and now bartender at the resort, Kallu (left), is familiar with serving wine at the ideal temperature

The water flowing in the property goes around a filtration system and then comes back the same way.” He adds that they have also created a rainwater harvesting system, because of which they have increased the water level in the area by almost 100 feet in the last seven years.

Juttis are one of the most famous items of Jaipur. Rajasthani Nagra Shoe Factory, located at Amber Road, is one of the oldest shops in the city that retail this traditional footwear in myriad colours and diverse styles.

Eco warriors at work
The property stands at over two acres, but the entire area under the owners is approximately 450 acres. Once totally barren land, it was transformed into a green paradise in seven years with the planting of over eight lakh trees. That apart, besides the top echelons of the hotel, the entire staff comprises villagers, who have now been trained for hospitality purposes. Nearly 120 employees were, in fact, woodcutters in the forest. With so many factors to revere, we knew we were in for not just a pleasant trip, but also an enriching lesson in the boons of saving and using water wisely.

The impregnable Amer Fort is one of the most visited forts in the city

At: The Water House Resort, Nature farms, opposite Amity University, 34 Km Milestone, NH 11 C, Jaipur.
Call: (0)9001797422 / (0)9799490390

Jaipur joyride>>
NIGHT SAFARI -- We loved this trail through the forests of Aravalli. Charting the ravines in pitch darkness with a torchlight gave us goose bumps. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot leopard, deer, jackal, wild rabbit and even white peacock. If not, the jeep ride is worth the night crawl.

BIRD WATCH -- Since the location is a green paradise, over 150 species of birds have made this space a part of their flight path. Carry binoculars during a morning walk to spot these.

WALK -- If you’d like to head to the city, which is an hour away, the Jal Mahal, Amer Fort, Hawa Mahal, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and City Palace should be on your itinerary.

SHOP -- Head to the famous Jauhari and Bapu Bazaar areas to loosen your purse strings for retail therapy. Jewellery, textiles, juttis and carpets make for cool picks. Some off-beat destinations can be explored as well.

How to get there
The Water House Resort -- 30 Km from Jaipur
>> A number of trains and flights operate between Mumbai and Jaipur.
>> Approximately 16 hours by road.
>> The resort provides pick-up and drop facility to the airport/railway station, etc (chargeable).
>> Taxis are also available from the airport and railway station.

If one needs to visit the city, a taxi from the resort is ideal for travel, since not many are familiar with the approach to this resort. 

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