Luxe Life | December 2011
The Samode Safari Lodge at Bandhavgarh National Park designed by Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates is an extravagant wilderness experience cradled in luxury and unusual sophistication.
Picture a villa with a luxurious décor and windows that embrace the outdoors - all created to bring nature's splendour into the sophistication of the living spaces. All this and more is to be experienced at the Samode Safari Lodge, a part of the Samode Hotel Group. Located adjacent to the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the lodge is a delightful getaway designed as a series of individual safari lodges.
The inspiration for this lodge is South Africa, the décor and setting is Indian and the ambience magnificent and hospitable. Designed by Delhi-based Architect Pradeep Sachdeva of Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates (PSDA), the lodge blends local architecture and building traditions drawn from the surrounding villages of Tala, Mardari, Gohdi and Ranchha. Spread across 11 acre, it reflects features of the vernacular architecture of the area, such as ornamental plasterwork, tiled roofs, wooden columns and fencing that provide authenticity with elan.
Committed to eco-tourism, the Samode Safari Lodge uses natural materials and elements of regional art and architecture, complete with eco-friendly landscaping and water management systems. It has been designed and built with the lightest possible environmental footprint. When they started designing the space, the aim for PSDA was to create luxury in the most sustainable manner.
Accordingly, local techniques have been used extensively to create structures that are responsive to the local climate. Not only have no trees been cut while building the lodge but new trees have also been planted. The wood that has been used extensively on the property has been sourced from sustainable sources. For example, the flooring has been made from wood salvaged from old houses. The property also uses solar energy and carries out extensive rain-water harvesting to recharge the ground water levels.
The resort has been planned with two sets of lodges as the nucleus of activity, around which the rooms have been functionally focussed. A meandering pathway leads to the twelve guest cottages organised into two clusters. Each luxuriously-presented room has a large verandah and deck in the rear, with uninterrupted views, privacy and spacious seating areas.
The main feature of the cottages is the modern en-suite bath and dressing area. The highlight of this space is the beautiful mural done the traditional Gond style, using the entire wall as the canvas. Detailing includes the custom-made stone carved washbasins, freestanding bathtub overlooking an intimate bath court and more. The walls are constructed with traditional hand-moulded bricks, and all the building materials have been locally procured. All the furniture and accessories in the rooms have been hand-picked from across the country and are a reflection of the crafting traditions of the surrounding areas and other parts of the country. Low stone and plastered walls and fences built using local techniques screen areas that require privacy and help scale spaces.
For a property of this nature and style, landscaping plays an extremely important role. The lateral landscape of the site has been left intact and supplemented with local trees, grasses and shrubs. Meandering pathways in stone and raised wooden walkways connect the various areas of the property. The site planning and landscaping responds to the natural features of the site and has been planned to minimise storm-water runoff and improve rainwater percolation into the ground.
The Samode Safari lodge is an exclusive experience for those who want to enjoy the best of nature while ensconced within the comforts of the manmade world!
Total Area: Site: 11 acre
Built up: Approx 50,000 sq ft
Photos: Somendra Singh
Pradeep Sachdeva Design Associates, 4 Windmill Place, Aya Nagar Village, New Delhi-110 047. Tel: 011-2650 3741/3859.
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