A Desert Way of Life

Manvar Kumat Thar Luxury Camp

Manvar Kumat Thar Luxury Camp

Near 

Keechan
, Rajasthan
, India

The camp has its roots in the hunting trips of yore; erstwhile Thakurs and their kinsmen often went into the wild to hunt game. Sometimes, these trips stretched for many days. The party always carried tents, furniture and provisions to set up luxurious overnight camps.

Today, while the hunting has thankfully ceased, the luxury caravan inspired camp lives on to provide an unsurpassed experience of the desert.

Our Rating: Premium
Property Type: Tented Camp

Destination

If wild desert scenery, a glittering night sky and an oasis of exclusivity are what you seek, look no further than the Manvar Kumat, Thar Luxury Camp. Deep in the Thar Desert, well off the highway between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer and far away from the sounds and sights of urban chaos, the camp nestles close to the ground, almost blending with its natural surroundings. The Camp lies on the village of Khiyansariya – part of the Shergarh area. Shergarh has a rich history where every home among its villages have contributed a soldier to fight wars for generations. The harsh terrain combined with hardly any agricultural land makes for an interesting exploration of how the people of the region go about their daily life.

Accommodation

Manvar Kumat, Thar Luxury Camp is an exclusive clutch of ten airy, custom-made tents set around a private hundred-acre estate of indigenous scrub. The tents are large and spacious with full-sized beds and comfortable mattresses, bedside tables, a desk and chairs as well as storage space for luggage. The decor is simple, contemporary and elegant and features beautiful block prints in earthy colours. En-suite bathrooms offer solar-heated hot water around the clock. Each tent has a private sit-out.

Dining

Evenings at the camp are magical. As the sun dips into the horizon and night falls, the flickering light from candles and lanterns creates a romantic atmosphere. A sand-coloured building, a short walk away from the tents serves as a lounge and bar; you can choose to sit inside or outside under a canopy of stars, warmed by the bonfire. The restaurant primarily serves Rajasthani cuisine and is partially open to offer shade and a cool respite from the sun during breakfast and lunch. Dinner is served al fresco with local song and dance that reflects the very soul of the hardy tribespeople of the area.

Experiences

This is an ideal base to explore Indian desert life, culture, flora, fauna and wildlife. The village walk is just a small window into a world of simplicity and adaptability; it not only instils a sense of pride in the village folk but also encourages them to preserve, maintain and showcase their culture and way of life. A highlight of the Manvar desert experience is an adventurous drive in rugged four-wheel jeeps where one will scramble and climb over dunes and higher crests. As you wind through the dunes and ‘streets’, (the valleys between dunes), you are likely to find free-roaming wildlife herds.

A forty-five-minute drive from here will bring you to the world-famous village of Keechan where thousands of migratory birds, especially Siberian Cranes, drop anchor every year from October to March. It is a beautiful story of synergy between man and bird; a shining example of the conservation efforts of a group of people driven by a sheer love of nature, without the help or encouragement of any outside agency.

Local camel owners are employed during the tourist season to take guests for a ride on the back of the desert’s most famous and iconic inhabitant – The Ship of The Desert. Camel treks give guests an opportunity to see the splendour of the Thar Desert from a height. You can also choose to have a daylong safari on camel back, where you may chance upon groups of frisky chinkara – shy Indian gazelle – as they make their way across the silent sands. In between activities, an infinity pool, heated in the winter, offers an irresistible invitation.

A two-night stay here is essential. Ideal for couples and even families, there is plenty to keep one engaged. You can bookend a stay here with the lovely RAAS in Jodhpur and the Suryagarh in Jaisalmer

Closed
The Camp shuts from April to August due to the weather conditions. It remains open from September to March.

Why we love this place

Manvar Kumat, Thar Luxury Camp brings an experience in one of the harshest terrains, bringing together people, culture, cuisine and a legacy with an awareness and sensitivity that allows for preservation; and yet showcases the rich tapestry of the region.

About your host

Owner Moti Singh Rathore set up Manvar Kumat, Thar Luxury Camp in 1995 with the noble intention of preserving the real way of life in the desert so that it not only draws visitors seeking an immersive and authentic desert experience but also creates an economic hub from which a large portion of the neighbouring villages draw their sustenance.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Being from the region, the family continues to be custodians of the land and its people. The community is a part of your stay here and is supported in other ways beyond just as employment of staff. The Camel rides have ensured a steady income to the camel herders, produce is sourced locally and the local artists, musicians, craftsmen and art forms are showcased by hiring them for performances at the Camp.

Water and other resources are scare in this region and are paid special attention to. Solar energy is abundantly used for lighting and hot water needs while careful use and preservation of water is a mandate with rain water harvesting and drip irrigation measures in place. Waste is composted and dry waste is sent for recycling. Plastic is avoided in all forms and guests are encouraged to drink safe RO filtered water instead of bottled water.

The Thar Desert brings with it its own unique flora and fauna that is ecologically rich and diverse. However, with water coming in and agricultural practices increasing, this creates an imbalance with what is native to the region and what is not. Manvar has taken it up as a mission to reclaim some of this agricultural land to recreate a reserve of desert forest shrub thereby protecting the biodiversity of the region. Part of the land is also being repurposed for organic cultivation of indigenous produce and dairy. Four hundred acres of land has been purchased to let the flora and fauna flourish; over 250 acres is dedicated as a desert park near the Camp – both contributing to the preservation of this sensitive and indigenous region and its inhabitants.

Our Recommendation

Drive to Khichan and listen to the phenomenal story of how one man and then the village adopted cranes and gradually increased the number of birds that come in during migratory season.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)