Ranthambore National Park is a vast wildlife reserve in Eastern Rajasthan. It is a former royal hunting ground known for its rich diversity of flora and fauna and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard, Marsh Crocodile and a plethora of other species including birds.
Within the park lies the imposing 10th-century hilltop Ranthambore Fort, a Ganesh Mandir and the Padam Talao Lake, known for its abundance of water lilies. Visits to this area typically include early morning and afternoon jeep drives in the park to look out for fauna and flora, big and small and to learn the many facets of the forest.
Conservation is at the heart of Khem Villas with a timeless commitment, integrity, perseverance and a deep devotion to the tiger and other jungle inhabitants - a result of the immense understanding of the flora and fauna of the forest.
Know Your Host
Owners Goverdhan and Usha Rathore purchased land in 1989 and lovingly nurtured it for fifteen years, eventually opening Khem Villas in what they believed was the perfect environs for a wildlife camp and lodge in the midst of nature. They are delightful hosts, and carry their family legacy of conservation...
Owners Goverdhan and Usha Rathore purchased land in 1989 and lovingly nurtured it for fifteen years, eventually opening Khem Villas in what they believed was the perfect environs for a wildlife camp and lodge in the midst of nature. They are delightful hosts, and carry their family legacy of conservation with pride and a sense of responsibility not only towards the flora and fauna that surrounds them but also work hard to better the lives of people in the villages around Ranthambore National Park.
Today Khem Villas offers an unmatched experience to its guests while also contributing part of its profits and generous donations of its guests to various charities. Each year Khem Villas, along with Usha and Goverdhan personally contribute to Fateh Public School and Ranthambore Sevika Hospital, two state-of-the-art initiatives they have set up.
Khem Villas is an ecological oasis that is an ecosystem of its own, comprising open grasslands, densely forested areas and small water bodies offering a perfect base to explore the rich flora and fauna of Ranthambore National Park. Spread over an area of 25 acres, this haven of tranquillity has won many awards for its excellence in service over its years of operation.
The main building overlooking a small pond houses one set of rooms as well as The Library & Bar. Along with the garden, they form the main public areas of the property. The cottages, villas and tents are laid out in separate sections in the property with plenty of space for privacy. Some have an outdoor bath and others a private sit-out.
The owners are involved in many social projects and should you wish to engage in any of them, they would be only too happy to organize visits to see their work. A stay in Khem Villas contributes to these programs and a part of the profit each year is invested to help these programs.
Like all things at Khem Villas, the accommodation is environmentally sensitive. It exudes sophisticated charm and elegance and yet, is earthy and rustic reflective of Usha’s personal style and touch. Elements of nature feature widely throughout the property built using locally-sourced material and skills.
Khem Villas has 2 Villas, 8 Cottages, 10 Tents, and 4 Rooms.
The villas are elevated and overlook the Ranthambhore escarpment and offer an uninterrupted view of open grasslands, forests, hills and include large open-air private spaces. The cottages are set together around a central space and are spacious and comfortable. The tents are ‘tents’ only in name as each is erected on a wooden platform and supported by a steel frame. They are roomy with minimalistic, modern appointments.
The main building houses four bedrooms that can be hired individually or for a small group to enjoy a private space on their own. The upstairs rooms have large bay windows with views of the surrounding greenery.
All accommodation features stylish ensuite bathrooms (some with outdoor bathtubs) and signature design of wooden flooring, teak furniture, white linen, soft lighting, ample space all around with a sense of functional yet luxurious living.
Out of respect to nature, all the food at Khem Villas is vegetarian.
Meals are freshly cooked using produce from the organic in-house farm, some dishes may contain eggs. Farm fresh milk from the local dairy is delivered daily and a regular supply of yogurt and cheese is made in-house.
There is always a satisfying selection of Indian, Western and Oriental Cuisine dishes on the table. Usha’s carefully curated menus earn praise from all their guests, some even have asked her to write a cookbook!
The main attraction at Khem Villas is the proximity to Ranthambore National Park and game drives to the park can either be arranged directly or through the property. A visit to the Ranthambore Fort inside the park is also recommended. Further afield, about an hour’s drive away, a river safari on the Chambal or a visit to the black buck sanctuary can be arranged directly with Usha as well.
Evening drinks are served in the company of the hosts around a crackling campfire with jungle sounds offering the perfect musical background. Winter nights come with the promise of a starry canopy encouraging camp naturalist Digvijay to set up a spotting scope by the lake.
Usha arranges for a number of activities showcasing rural life that are likely to interest children and young adults. These include a morning lesson in organic farming, visits to the local dairy and school. A Bird & Butterfly walk on one of the nature trails with a naturalist and art classes to learn black & white miniature brush paintings with a local expert are some of the other engaging activities that can be arranged. A short camel ride can be arranged on request to take you through the local terrain.
The only one of its kind in the area, the Age Veda Spa is spread over a thirty-acre plot, with small water bodies, natural grasslands and thick forest with over 6 km of walking tracks within the property itself; or one can do yoga, sun bathe and meditate. Aa selection of massages and herbal baths is available to prebook. Additionally, the nature trails within the property can also be rewarding with as many as 180 species of birds and more than 15 species of mammals.
Ranthambore specialises in the unique craft of black & white miniature brush paintings of Tigers. This realist technique in pencil, charcoal and watercolour are called Works of Tiger Art and are available in the Hotel Shop.
Khem Villas and Ranthambore National Park is an ideal addition to a Golden Triangle exploration and along with Ramathra Fort, perfect for first time visitors to this part of India. Its proximity to Jaipur provides easy air access to the rest of the country and by road into other parts of Rajasthan and neighbouring Uttar Pradesh as well.
Anyone wanting a getaway in the lap of nature including birders, wildlife enthusiasts and star gazers. The accommodation spread all over the property offers privacy for individuals, couples, small groups and families alike.
Khem Villas remains closed from July to September. Ranthambore national park is closed for visitors from end June to early October every year
Growing up, Goverdhan spent plenty of time inside Ranthambore learning about the natural ways of the jungle under the tutelage of his father Fateh Singh Rathore. Although he went on to become a doctor, his passion for protecting the Tiger resulted in a comprehensive conservation program involving the local community. Involved in several community projects that have helped establish a school, hospital, wood for wood project, biogas, non-formal environment education, legal aid to combat poaching and an anti-poaching sting operation along with another NGO Tiger Watch that helped nab some of the most prominent poachers in 2005, Goverdhan won the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in 2004 (commonly called the 'Green Oscar') given to him by Sir David Attenborough at the Royal Geographic Society in London for his work in the field of alternative energy using cow dung in biogas digesters.
Tiger Watch is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) launched by the late Mr. Fateh Singh Rathore. Its primary mission is to augment the resources of the Forest Department towards managing The Ranthambore National Park. The NGO launched along with prominent conservationists has undertaken the unenviable task of protecting the loss of natural habitat at Ranthambore and the curbing of the crisis of Tiger poaching, from this park.
Indigenous trees and small water bodies were created on the vast open grassland since 1989. This has resulted in the area turning in to a natural habitat with sightings of jackals, jungle cats, hyenas, desert fox, crocodiles and birds within the camp. Khem Villas supports a seedling nursery that distributes tree saplings to local farmers to grow on their land so that they can have their own renewable supply of timber and fuel wood.
The food served at Khem Villas is vegetarian with a few egg preparations. The ingredients are sourced from the inhouse organic kitchen garden.
by meenakshi r on 07/11/2022
We visited Khem villas in the month of June just before the jungles were about to close for rains. It was an exceptionally amazing trip. The hotel staff was super courteous . The food was very...
by 426shakuns on 03/20/2022
Khem villas has a fantastic location as far as access to the Ranthambore national park goes. The natural setting in which the property is, is very scenic too. The reservation process was seamless and...
by Radhika G on 03/06/2022
Staying at Khemvillas is akin to staying at the heart of the Ranthambore experience- literally the first family of Ranthambore- the gracious Usha and gregarious Govi run the place and you are treated...