The Kipling Lodge — A piece of Paradise in Ranthambhore

The sky was overcast with deep grey clouds, ready for a downpour. The little breeze had stopped and the weather seemed to turn rainy. As I sat in the front verandah of my villa, tiny birds twittered as if sounding a warning for rain. Then it started to drizzle. Tiny drops of rain fell on the leaves of shrubs in the lawn beyond washing the sandy dust that had gathered on the surface of each leaf.

It was forenoon, but looked as if it was evening. The drizzle turned into rain drops as birds scurried to take shelter in the trees and pigeons under the shades. Romantic was the atmosphere making a pair of pigeons coo-coo for love. The pond out in the lawn saw several frogs pop out of the lotus plant leaves covering the water.

I sat enjoying the Nature and its beauty that was spread out in the vast manicured lawn in front of the villa I was staying in at the Kipling Lodge. A misnomer, I insist, it was not at all a lodge; beautifully laid out villas around a large piece of green lawn was Kipling. Each villa with a lawn in front and in the backyard too, a patch of green that enthused romance in the heart, a private balcony for the ones on the first floor. I was wondering why they named it Kipling ‘Lodge’ when it was wonderfully laid out villas.

The rain was typical of the desert; it disappeared as fast as it had appeared. Switching off the air-conditioner in my villa I walked to the restaurant for my meal. The chef had promised ‘lal maas’ preparation for me that afternoon, spicy and red with chilies. First was the ‘Chhachh’ or buttermilk to be served with aromatic spices and mint flavor. Then came the sweet corn soup which was followed by my heart’s desire, the ‘lal maas’ (goat meat prepared typically Rajasthani style with lots of spices). Accompanied by ‘tandoori rotis’. I savoured the mutton to my heart’s content. As I write this out, I still have the taste fresh in my mouth of the recipe. Often while travelling in Rajasthan I have ordered ‘lal maas’ as this is a special preparation of the region. Topping up my meal with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream, I sat near the window in the restaurant watching the bumble bee buzz around the newly budding flowers. 

From the pigeons, to frogs to the bumble bee all indicated romance. Even the light breeze was romantic.

From the restaurant to my villa was a nice walk amidst the freshly rain-washed shrubs and the green grass. The heavy food had made me lazy and in spite of my wish to take a walk in the lawn, I went into my villa for a quick siesta. Gazing out into the back lawn my eyelids closed and when they opened again, it was late afternoon. I got up to my feet and wearing slippers came out into the lawn for a walk. The periphery of the lawn was lined with exotic floral and fruit trees and shrubs. On the other end of the lawn was a swimming pool, all ready to jump in. I rested a while near the pool and enjoyed the evening breeze as trees swayed in musical rhythm. The breeze created light ripples on the surface of the water in the pool.

I stopped at a pond full of lotuses and frogs full-throated calling their mates. It must have been the mating season for the amphibians.

Gradually darkness started to descend on the horizon. I sauntered to the courtyard where tables were being laid out for the evening meals. A cup of golden Darjeeling tea refreshed all my senses.

After the tea I moved on to the verandah opposite the courtyard. One could simply relax in the verandah, or maybe read a book sitting on the chair while having a view of the courtyard and the entire residential area beyond.

Adjacent to the area was a recreation room or rather a reading room which had books on different subjects in the shelves.

The evening meal that day was a pre-decided menu of continental dishes. The preparations were delicious with an Indian touch of chicken ‘tikkas’

The chef seemed to be experts in their preparations of Chinese, continental, north Indian and south Indian. This I learnt from the breakfast the next morning which served stuffed ‘paratha’ with pickle and curd followed by scrambled eggs.

The Kipling Lodge, as I said earlier too, is a misnomer; it is a horizontally spread out property with limited number of spacious villas all around. The beauty of the property is the open area spread out in front of the villas.

The Kipling is an excellent place to stay for a short or a long stay for individuals or families. A peaceful place for those who love to be close to Nature and prefer good food too.

Delicious food and a comfortable sleep in a villa is all that one would like to have, be it for two nights or a longer period, away from the tensions of the city life. The Kipling seems to be a paradise.