Raas Chhatrasagar

Near Pali, Jodhpur, India Book from Book from £152 per night

A magical, luxurious tented lodge pitched on a dam overlooking a lake teeming with birds, in the heart of rural Rajasthan
This is a truly magical experience. The stunning setting of Raas Chhatrasagar’s spacious tents - perched, east-facing, on a 100-year-old dam overlooking a lake awash with waterfowl - means you arise to the sight of the sunrise and the sound of birdsong, as the scent from bowls brimming with rose petals fills the air. It’s an idyllic spot to take a breather from the Rajasthan city crush.

Thanks to a no-expense-spared upgrade by Raas in 2019, these tents are at the very top end of luxury glamping. Expect super-soft kingsize beds, air-conditioning, designer tubs with hot running water, as well as a brand new swimming pool overlooking the fields, a peaceful spa, and a wood-clad baradari dining pavilion with sitouts for lazy lakeside lounging. Pretty murals of woodland and birdlife, plus a scattering of field guides and binoculars, lend the camp an updated air of 1920s hunting party - as hosted by the Nimaj family, who have owned the surrounding working farmland for more than a century. They are still present today, working alongside Raas to organise bird-watching trips, fascinating village tours, and walks through the outlying pastures. The food is organic and delicious, and the hilltop sundowners allow you to revel in a view that’s blessedly big-sky and free from other beings.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.

Highs

  • Since Raas took on the lease, it has become a truly top-end (and top-dollar) Rajasthani travel experience
  • The unbeatable location is right on the edge of a lake, with extraordinary peace and quiet - so rare in India!
  • Some of the best Rajasthani home cooking we've tasted, plus sophisticated global cuisine - and wonderful post-prandial chat by the fire under an incredible canopy of stars
  • Beautiful, palatial tents are kitted out with air-con and heating, fabulous beds, big baths and private sit-outs
  • The lake and its surroundings are home to more than 200 species of bird, as well as blue bull antelopes

Lows

  • There's no ‘monument’ sightseeing as such, but excursions can be arranged
  • The tents are quite close together, but Raas have done their best to enlarge and soundproof them
  • If there's no monsoon, the lake can dry up by late March (and even earlier on the odd occasion)
  • It's quite remote, but that's the point!

Best time to go

From October to early April it's warm and dry, with temperatures beginning to rise from March onwards. Nights can be chilly, but hot water bottles are provided. Towards the end of March you may find the lake is beginning to dry up, meaning less birdlife to see (though the water level can start to drop even earlier if the rains have been poor).

Our top tips

Make sure you stay at least two nights to fully unwind and enjoy the various guided tours on offer: the hosts are extremely knowledgeable and you'll get a fascinating insight into rural traditions, farming, local wildlife and the environment.

One of our highlights was sipping ice-cold sundowners on top of the hill as, under an endless orange sky, the sun melts into the vast plains spreading out beneath.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • Luxury Tents
  • 16
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room:

Rooms

The 20 luxury tents are placed in a line along the top of the dam, so they share equal front-row waterside views.

Since Raas redid them in 2019, the tents are larger, better soundproofed, more private, and lavishly equipped. With heating and air-con for year-round comfort, as well as kingsize beds and deep bathtubs, they feel more like luxury canopied palaces. Stencils of woodland and birdlife add character and colour, alongside teak furniture, linen sofas, leather-bound game sets, and skylights for bright interiors and night-time star-gazing. You get soft pillows, tea and coffee facilities, and private outdoor seating (front and back) so you can lounge around watching birds skimming over the water and antelope grazing on the jungle-fringed banks beyond.

Modern bathrooms have shower or tub (with hot and cold running water), bathrobes and slippers. After dinner on a cool winter’s night, you’ll find your bed pre-warmed by a welcome hot-water bottle placed between the sheets.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • WiFi

Eating

At one end of the dam, Raas has built a wonderful baradari (free-flow pavilion) for its new all-day restaurant, with wood-clad Jodhpur stone and plate-glass windows for lakeside viewing, as well as some swing sofas and a few private sit-outs.

The menu has gained some international flavours - Italian pastas, healthy salads, herbal cocktails and mocktails - but the jewels in its crown are still the time-honoured and exceptionally tasty family curries cooked with care by the gentle Nimaj ladies. Many are flavoured with fenugreek and chillies, grown organically in fields nearby. We haven't tasted the latest dishes, but still have the fondest memories of our delicious goat curry and imli baingan (aubergine and tamarind), followed by lotus seeds with cardamom, rosewater-and-rose-petal pudding.

Breakfast - served outside in fine weather - features lots of fresh fruit, yoghurt with pomegranate and eggs any way. Early morning tea, coffee and biscuits are brought to your tent so you can wake up gently to birdsong – just watch out for the cheeky squirrels after those biscuits!

Features include:

  • All meals included
  • Bar
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go on a guided bird-watching tour - there are storks, herons, flamingos, river terns, marsh harriers, kingfishers and colourful rollers among over 200 species - or stay put with binoculars to bird-watch from your very own sit-out

  • Accompanied by one of your hosts, wander on an enchanting tour of the village and farm, taking in the vast grazing pastures and fields of wheat, mustard, cotton and chillies. You'll get chance to meet the villagers, visit their homes and watch farmers, potters and silversmiths plying their trade

  • Take a Jeep excursion to the traditional farming and shepherd settlements. Because the Nimaj family aims to help local people through responsible tourism, it's a unique opportunity to gain a real insight into rural life in Rajasthan

  • Practise yoga or meditation on your terrace. There are no formal classes, but the incredible tranquility here means it's the ideal place to unwind

  • Follow the jogging tracks and walking trails around the 100-year-old reservoir; you may spot nilgai (blue bull antelopes), jackals, wild boar or even a leopard

  • Lounge by the heated pool, or take a boat ride into the lake (kayak tours are also planned)

  • Spend time stargazing - the sky turns into a blanket of stars once darkness descends

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

Although the camp accepts children of all ages the atmosphere is aimed at adult travellers. We would strongly advise you not to bring young kids or toddlers as the dam parapet is low (and non-existent in places). Older children with an interest in nature would enjoy it here, but teenagers wired to their phones will quickly become bored.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Two tents have an anteroom, with an extra bed, so ask for this when booking if needed. No other extra beds are allowed in the other tents.

Kid Friendly:

Location

Raas Chhatrasagar is 110km east of Jodhpur, near the village of Nimaj in the district of Pali, Rajasthan. It's 95km from Ajmer, 135km from Nagour, 230km from Jaipur and 260km from Udaipur.

By Air:
Jodhpur (100km) is the closest airport, with regular domestic flights from Delhi, Mumbai (Bombay), Jaipur and Udaipur.

From the Airport
The drive from Jodhpur airport to the camp takes 2.5 hours - transfers can be arranged at an extra cost.

By Train:
Train services run to Jodhpur from Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Agra, Ajmer, Bikaner and Jaisalmer - transfers from Jodhpur station can be arranged at an extra cost.

By Car:
It's an easy drive from Jodhpur, Khimsar, Nagour, Manwar, Osian, Narlai, Ghanerao and Deogarh, and a longer drive from Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Pushkar, Roopangarh, Udaipur and Jaipur. If you want to arrange a car and driver for a wider tour of Rajasthan, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Rajasthan and getting around

Airports:

  • Jodhpur 100.0 km JDH

Other:

  • Beach 550.0 km
  • Shops 20.0 km
  • Restaurant 20.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 3 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

Outstanding

10/10,

In a word - fantastic

10/10,

Chhatra Sagar is very special, its a privilege to stay at such a tranquil place. The owners are exceptionally knowledgeable about the area, its wildlife and how Rajasthan is changing. The village walk was a highlight. The food is all local and delicious showing another facet of Indian cuisine. Service was excellent. A rare spot and an opportunity to see rural India.

10/10,

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Rates for Raas Chhatrasagar

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