Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve is considered to be a leading wildlife park in Maharashtra easily connecting with the other parks in Central India. The Reserve is the oldest and the largest national park in Maharashtra and has become popular because of the number of tiger sightings and also the quality of the sightings and other varied wildlife including 200+ species of birds. The big five mammals that can be sighted here include tiger, leopard, dhole (Indian wild dog), sloth bear and Indian Bison.
Tadoba derives its name from ‘Taru’, a God worshipped by the tribal community in the area. Legend holds that Taru was a village chief who was killed in a mythological encounter with a tiger. The second part of the name ‘Andhari’ comes from the Andhari River that meanders through the forests of Tadoba and renders the forest fertile and provides sustenance to many a flora and fauna. Svasara is accessible from Nagpur that is two hours away and is located a mere 300 metres from the Kolara Gate of the Reserve.
As with all our jungle lodges, it is the passionate naturalists at Svasara – who have taken it upon themselves to be advocates of wildlife conservation that enhance the experience of a jungle lodge.
Know Your Host
A family owned lodge, Svasara is spearheaded by Ratika whose love for animals began in childhood. Dreams of working with World Wildlife Fund and a background in hospitality as a graduate of École hôtelière de Lausanne led to setting up Svasara with the premise of creating a low...
A family owned lodge, Svasara is spearheaded by Ratika whose love for animals began in childhood. Dreams of working with World Wildlife Fund and a background in hospitality as a graduate of École hôtelière de Lausanne led to setting up Svasara with the premise of creating a low impact model for sensitive and wildlife tourism. At the lodge, Ranjit and Nandita ensure all aspects of your stay and experiences are well taken care of.
Svasara meaning ‘the nest’ is a family owned property. The late Mr. S.P. Sinha, an avid wildlife photographer envisaged it as a retreat for the family. It soon evolved into a boutique jungle lodge that shares the family’s love for wildlife with other like-minded nature enthusiasts. The lodge is set over ten acres of land overlooking the Tadoba forest and hills, most of which has been allowed to become a reforested sanctuary.
The lodge offers twelve charming habitat-themed rooms, a spa, pool and an evolving sense of conscious and environment friendly tourism. The lobby is the space for guests to mingle and the highlight is the ceiling painted with Warli Art. The Spa is housed in a beautiful house constructed with reclaimed teak wood and Allahabad white tiles salvaged from old buildings. The outdoor dining venue, The Teak House, has been modelled after garden pavilions popularised by Maratha Kings. It also houses the open-air Jungle Cinema where guests can gain an insight on the Tadoba Reserve and watch nature based documentaries.
There are twelve jungle themed rooms that stay true to the lodge’s ethos of staying ‘safari-chic’, with private sit outs that look out in to the wilderness. There is abundant use of locally available materials, art and artifacts and natural handloom fabrics sourced from a local women’s organization that adorn the cushion covers, runners, folders, etc. This is done to create a connection for guests to the Tadoba-Vidharba region. The rooms are air-conditioned as the region is particularly known for their blazing summers. Each room comes with an ensuite bathroom and tea/coffee stations adding to the comfort and privacy of your stay.
The culinary experience at Svasara requires a special mention. The lodge’s forte is the local Verhadi cuisine, which features spices like Goda masala from Vidharbha region as Svasara is documenting recipes from local villages and tribal hamlets. Every dinner is a regional Indian spread, featuring the mainstream cuisines like Awadhi as well as cuisines like Anglo Indian, Bihari and Bengali. Guests can also request for Continental comfort foods if they would like to avoid the Indian fare. The kitchen team happily caters to also special dietary needs such as vegan and gluten-free. Since they have an open kitchen at The Teak House (the alfresco dining pavilion and jungle cinema site) and an organic kitchen garden just behind the same, guests can try their hand at cooking along with Svasara chefs, an activity that is appreciated by most.
Being the most premium accommodation towards the Kolara side, Svasara is very close to the forest making it an ideal location for nature walks and to look for smaller fauna such as jungle cats, civet cats geckos and a variety of birds. Forest visits and nature walks are with trained naturalists well versed with the reserve and the region’s wildlife. The Wildlife Experience in Svasara is very well managed with a great team of naturalists with diverse interests including butterflies, birds, geology, forestry etc. who not only enhance the wilderness experiences of the guests but also provide great opportunity for interaction and learning. Birders can often spot Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis), Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus), Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus), Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra) and Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) within the Lodge’s campus.
Visitors are encouraged to get on bicycles to explore the local villages to get a feel of rural lifestyles. Villagers are also invited to the lodge weekly, as part of the local Vidharbha Culinary Experience, guests get the opportunity to interact with them while they cook the regional dishes. Guided trips are organised to local craft centers (bamboo & pottery) as well as to historical cultural sites such as the Markanda temples. A dedicated butterfly corner to attract butterflies is quite the hit with children and adults alike.
The nature shop at Svasara features handicrafts from the region, products inspired from wildlife and made by local NGOs as well as Tadoba branded merchandise. All products have an inherent essence of the destination.
The Spa aptly named “Santraa” – the Hindi word for Oranges that grows abundantly in this region, uses this fruit in its therapies. Oranges are known for their innumerable health and beauty benefits and ties in well with Svasara’s philosophy of sourcing locally. All products used at the spa are made with 100% natural ingredients and pure Ayurvedic or herbals oils.
Svasara is ideal to inroduce children to the wonders of the jungle and its many fascinating stories and offers an insight to this region through its activities and cuisine.
Svasara is open all year.
Svasara Jungle Lodge is spread over 10 acres of land; however the family has used only 10% for built-up areas, leaving the rest 90% to regenerate. Originally barren agricultural land, over 4000 native trees and flora were planted over a nine year period creating an indigenous biodiversity resulting in the reforested sanctuary feeling like an extension of the Tadoba Reserve. Thus one can easily spot an array of birds, many reptiles and small mammals like jungle cat and mongoose. The property also maintains a dedicated butterfly habitat to attract butterflies.
The rootedness continues with their relationship with the local community. Most of the staff is from neighbouring villages and besides employment, Svasara engages them by supporting the local schools and education, organising workshops for children, village visits for guests and contributing to welfare projects. Svasara has created an impact directly by installing a RO water purifying machine, ceiling fans, donating school essentials and stationery at the village school. Guests may support any of the initiatives should they wish to. Lodge essentials such as groceries, local produce and bamboo handicrafts are sourced from the community. Female family members of the team are encouraged to supply homemade regional savouries that provides an additional income source. Initiatives as women’s empowerment and alternative livelihood are supported through their partnership with Srijani Foundation. The in-house shop stocks products that are locally sourced, thus guests purchases add to the support of the local community. Svasara forbids the sale of any illegal wildlife products and products that are animal cruelty free.
Regular clean up drives are conducted around the Reserve areas in collaboration with forest guides. Support is given to the forest department as and when needed in the form of cars for patrolling and providing labour for repairs in the park. The walk-through nursery and the native tree trail experience gives an insight and an opportunity to learn about native trees such as Teak (Tectona grandis), Bamboo (Dendrocalamus-strictus), White Siris (Albizia procera), Jamun (Syzigium cumini) and Peepal (Ficus religiosa).
The outdoor dinner venue Teak House at Svasara is modelled after historical Maratha garden pavilions. Wood from old dismantled buildings was used to build it, including the white ‘Allahabad’ roof-tiles. Other locally available materials such as stone have been used thereby reducing the carbon footprint. Herbal and natural cleaning products are used including amenities for the guests and natural plant based mosquito repellents in the form of citronella and marigold. Keeping the cuisine regional allows sourcing of ingredients from the villages nearby and from their organic garden, while food waste is composted.
Water conservation is integral to Svasara’s ethos. Educational materials for guests are kept in rooms highlighting the efforts as well as encouraging guests to do the same. Water saving devices and faucets are in place such as the dual-flush feature reducing the usage by 60% per flush, regular maintenance to check for leaks and no bathtubs are not provided. Although there is a swimming pool, it makes use of an advanced eco-friendly filtration system. Water is harvested, reused and recycled in the form of water for the garden – that doesn’t require too much as indigenous plants have been planted that thrive well in the region.
Energy efficiency is maintained with use of LED bulbs and appliances. A 33 KW solar grid provides 50% of the Lodge’s energy needs, with plans to further augment the capacity of the plant. Staff are trained and guests are encouraged to save electricity. The room-key system is provided ensuring lights, fans, etc. are not left on when the room is not in use. Plastic use has been reduced drastically by removing plastic bottled water for guests and replaced with sterile reusable bottles filled with safe filtered drinking water; and by doing away with single use bathroom amenities being replaced with dispensers. If required, bottled water is provided only on request and at a huge premium. For picnics, steel cutlery is used and strict guidelines have been put in place to disallow plastic usage at the Lodge.
by 2012sunilmumbai on 07/26/2022
My family and I visited in end June 2022. We had been in touch with Nandita as we were referred to the property by my nephew who has stayed there many times. Nandita was incredibly helpful in...
by cametoseetigers on 07/11/2022
this was my fourth visit to Svasara jungle lodge, i hope it won't be the last. Accomodation, excellent, clean and comfortable. Food, so varied and delicious. Svasara is run by a lovely couple...
by N1A2N on 07/03/2022
Amidst the scorching heat of May, we had hurriedly planned to make a visit to Tadoba Tiger Reserve which turned out quite wonderful and unforgettable. The ambience of 'The Svasara' located at Kolar...