Utsav Camp Jungle Lodge, Sariska
Project Name, Location – Utsav Camp, Sariska - Rajasthan
Typology and Square Footage – Hospitality, 3.5 Hectares
Text Credit – Lavanya Chopra
Photographer - Anudeep Mathur
The premises of Utsav Camp conceived by Studio Mestry establishes porous boundaries amidst the dense forests of Sariska and the hospitality destination, conjuring an experience that allows the senses to be one with the nature-claimed landscape.
A portrait of majesty, the Royal Bengal Tiger has occupied the dry deciduous forests of Sariska for over four decades with its christening as a Tiger Reserve. In a tête-à-tête with nature, Utsav Camp located near the boulders of Tehla bears its embrace open to wildlife enthusiasts and tourists to experience the outdoors in a morphed light.
Nestled amidst the surreal grasslands and rugged landscape of Sariska, Utsav Camp is the brainchild of trained naturalist Luv Shekhawat who also harbours over twenty years of hospitality management experience to his credit. His intent emanated from creating a sense of dissociation from the cacophonic and incessantly demanding urban life that most patrons experience.
With the creation of a jungle retreat of sorts, he visualised Utsav Camp immersing the guests in a tactile milieu that revelled in a raw, untainted, and rustic demeanour — this binding denominator has been expressed all through the property in the form of indigenous materiality, vintage furniture, and the custom artwork that speckles the spaces.
Design inspiration was an ingrained stimulus in the expanse of the site and its native context. Being one of the oldest natural habitats in the world, Sariska’s trove of vegetation and fauna posed as the muse of the design narrative, etching an indelible impression upon the medley of spaces at Utsav Camp. Steadfastly focussing on the notion of sustainability, an earthy material palette came into being with the curation of on-site wood, natural stones, and local bamboo. This in turn creates spaces and structures embedded in the essence of the land.
The overarching masterplan engages in a lyrical dialogue with interconnected spaces of the spatial blueprint and with the all-pervasive terrain that envelops the site. The various segments of the camp connect in a contiguous manner, enabling the end-user to meander through the seamed together sequence of public zones while the resting spaces celebrate communion with nature in privacy. The significance of functionality was treated with exponential importance, ensuring that each space cues in as a homogeneous part of a cohesive canvas traversing the property.
The experience of lodging at Utsav Camp sheds a conventional identity and distils a true-blue sensorial persona for the guests to interact with. A total of 9 stone cabins and 10 tents have been positioned across a dedicated stretch of the land.
The stone cabins are built out in locally available black stone while the internal walls have been lime plastered in a beige hue, offsetting the Kota flooring and raw wooden furniture accents. The conceptualised wallpapers herein bear a tropical sensibility while the tiger illustrations pose as protagonists — this design intervention melds the indoors and outdoors, beckoning the lush landscape inside. Each cabin extends outdoors as a private verandah wherein a monolithic stone daybed makes the experience of stargazing at night and lounging in the day memorable.
The pre-existing tents were spruced up with a change of furniture, layering the space with vintage décor finds and refurbishing the rugs and upholstery. Keeping the aesthetic focussed on a monochromatic look, the furniture was polished in a black stain and a central monolithic bed with wooden branch bedposts was introduced.
Akin to its name, Utsav Camp is a celebration of nature and tracing one’s roots. It bestows its patrons with all that the boisterousness of urban living seems to have taken away from us as sustainable living reclaims its rightful spotlight. The boulders of Tehla, the teeming wilderness of Sariska, and the magnificence of the Tiger seem to compose an emotional language of their own, revealing itself to only those who acquiesce.