Surwahi Social Kanha – Coliving in wilderness

Accommodation near Kanha Tiger Reserve

BUNK BED ROOM / MAIKAL EXPRESS

We provide one of the most unique eco-friendly accommodation near Kanha Tiger Reserve as of today. This large approximately 600 sq ft co-living room referred as Maikal Express has 3 sections –

  1. Bunk bed space
  2. Utility area also called Quarter Dome
  3. Washrooms

Bunk bed space -

It is an 8 permanent fixtured bed family room attached with a utility and storage area and 2 western closet washrooms. This dormitory kind of co-living spaciously designed accommodation is inspired like a luxurious train coach with 6 beds on one side (left from the main entrance door) and 2 on opposite side. The bottom level 5 beds are of low height (1.5 feet) making them accessible within which 2 on the right are completely encumbrance free making them disabled friendly while 3 on the left have classically styled wooden ladders on one side for the 3 upper side beds to climb at a height of around 9 feet. Overall family room height rises up to 14 feet providing a feeling of lot of openness while still you may residing with a packed group. For safety of the top side bunk beds a side support as hindrance has been given for adults avoiding any kind of slippage during sleeping.

The stabilized mud based cob construction with brick masonry, reused wood, bamboo elements, metallic sheet roof insulated with reused country tiles, multiple ventilator & windows keeps the temperature under 28 degrees as on date without Air Conditioning or even Air Coolers while the outside may touch 40 degrees in peak summers.

This family rooms brings a character of conscious luxury with optimized shared resources contributing towards sustainable tourism still bringing the joy of sticking together for bunch of friends, family or colleagues. Few of the exclusive amenities this bunk bed room offers to each individual are –

  1. Minimum 2 sockets on each bed for a laptop and mobile charging
  2. Individual LED based reading lights with switches on each bed
  3. Individual specially moulded wooden windows providing unparalleled green views of the Grand Mahua compound. 6 of the windows for the left side beds including bunk beds have twin rotating panels serving as laptop/reading/writing/dining table as well as regular window with outdoor vista views. Yoga well can be seen from the left side ones while Grand Mahua can be seen from two bed windows on the right.
  4. High quality locally spun cotton mattresses, pillows, bed sheets, towels and thick quilts for each bed. Sanitization and hygiene of each sleeping unit is constant focus.
  5. 8 wooden rolling drawers underneath the lower side beds provide private space for the staying guests of each bed to keep their personal daily use stuff.

Utility area also called Quarter Dome –

This portion of the family dormitory not just adds more space to the room but makes it truly earthen. It acts as a buffer section separating washroom from sleeping zone and has a fully openable window facing southern greens of the estate providing ample natural light throughout the day. It is uniquely crafted with a ironless ecofriendly quarter dome shaped roof built by bricks one of the first of its kind masonry design inspired by vernacular architecture, hence called quarter dome. What adds to the lighting and ventilation besides its roofing is the skylight at the vertex of the quarter dome making the entire design intriguing and worth photography.

This space also provisions for large luggage trolleys, suit cases or duffle bags of the guests to be parked under the shelves created for storing day to day clothing, personal toiletries or any other miscellaneous items.

Common amenities offered in this small utility area are –

  1. Common wash basin with wall mirror handy for shaving / dressing area. Though exactly not mirroring a vanity area of a bed room but this does so provides a similar feel off-course with nuances of sharing and caring.
  2. Hot water kettle
  3. Clothing Iron
  4. Water Jugs / Clay water pots in summers
  5. Mini Fridge
  6. Electronic Safe
  7. Wardrobe with Hangars
  8. Tea Coffee sachets with cups and glasses

Washrooms -

Two washrooms complete the last part of this Dormitory room. Sizes are 10 ft by 6 ft and 10 ft by 5 feet. Hygienic setup, high quality fittings and earthen designs are the basic tenets of both washrooms , in addition the broader one is also disabled friendly. It has wheelchair accessibility owing to its door width, hand shower, grab bars in bathing and near western closet. The roofs of both washroom units have been designed and constructed as masonry vaults. These ecofriendly arched roofs are sure to grab attention during the washroom routines. Besides these both washrooms come equipped with following –

  1. Low height western closet with health faucet as well as tissue roll holders
  2. Rain shower
  3. Hot water provision through ecofriendly wood fired boiler
  4. Washbasin
  5. Toiletries
  6. Hanging bar for clothes
  7. Exhaust fan
  8. Ventilators for natural light and air

Twin rotating panel

Dormitory of SSEK

Quarter dome

Washroom

KITCHEN

We provide accessible, open to all, transparent kitchen area for our guests as we know best stories are made or shared over food. It’s not limited to eating food but cooking or even smelling a food being cooked.

Our temple of taste goes in line with our alternate architectural design practices keeping it rustic and earthen at the same time innovative. It provides direct access from Central Leisure Area to the guests to venture in, peek through what’s being cooked and try a hand or shake a leg with our local chefs while holidaying at Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha. We strongly encourage our guests to come in and try their hands on soul searching food, experiment their urban dish with a rural tinge and surprise their fellow travel partners trying fusion cuisine in this benevolent ambience of Kanha kitchen. 

It consists of three skylights from where we get a beautiful view of blue sky and grand mahua, locally made clay pots embedded on the roof as fascinating design element, earthen coloured tiles, an exhaust fan, two kitchen sinks, granite table tops and plenty of storage cabinets within almirahs and shelves from solid wood. A back door as fire exit as well as for the entries of kitchen supplies also adds to light and air flow. Equipped with modern equipment of Food processor, Microwave oven and Refrigerator it is a perfect of blend of past and present. We largely use steel utensils or bamboo cups because of our focus to avoid waste generation and minimal garbage. The earthen kitchen is open and friendly towards guests, this is because guests can make their own food as well or the guests can taste the local food as well as per their wish.

Direct connection with central leisure area

Transparent Kitchen area

Clay pots embedded on the roof of the kitchen 

CENTRAL LEISURE AREA / SATKONE

This spot is made specially for guests to mingle, storytelling, board gaming, photography, wildlife documentary watch, brain storming, dining and entertainment but in the end being together with biodiversity and conservation. The construction of this high roofed heptagonal hall is totally unique and one of its kind not just in Kanha Madhya Pradesh but perhaps entire India. Referred as ‘Satkone’ this spacious heptagonal melting pot is used in plenty of ways by the guests be it for entertainment, dining, doze off during afternoons, creative brainstorming, heated team sessions, family event celebrations and even outdoor CXO board planning. Overall size of central leisure area is 1000 sq. feet. Designed to encourage floor sitting and dining, mats and rugs are provided for partying, group dining and events. Satkone connects seamlessly with main entrance corridor making it accessible for wheel chair bound or elderly guests of ours. There are old wooden logs recycled for low height sitting on two large wall sides opposite the movie area on the left side as one enters this heptagonal building from main door. Due care has been given to make accessible plug points, switches and sockets for universal access. Ample ceiling fans have been provided for cooling while the metallic sheet roof has been insulated with local grass knitting ensuring the temperature control for peak summers.

Few of the distinct elements of Satkone are –

  1. Rain Water Harvesting Funnel – The steel trussed roof is protruding inward from 16 feet high stabilized mud walls imitating a funnel with a large opening in the centre. The opening’s diameter itself will be around 8 feet standing sturdy without any pillar support in an inward cantilever style. The massive slope looks intriguing at the same time gelling with nature providing views of Grand Mahua and blue sky from right inside the central leisure cum dining area.
  2. Fish Pond – This circular manmade small pond is hallmark of this building making the human connection of air, water, trees and fish life while being indoors. This pond acts a water collection zone with funnel directing all roof rain water into this pond. Giving a feel of a circular water fall during rains the beholding experience is an example of ecological construction and sustainable hospitality. The water collected fill the 6 feet fish pond, which is seeded with locally found small fresh water fishes of Banjar river and our neighbourhood Sanduk stream. There is an outlet in this fish pond at a depth of 1 feet from ground level to divert the rain collected water to the Yoga well. Guests gets truly mesmerized looking into this finely thought water conservation system trusting on to subtle conscious luxury approach taken by our team.
  3. Movie Area – The distinctly marked 7 sectioned walls and roof have one side as an rounded arch wall. This rounded extra outward protruding area is called movie area equipped to play documentaries, inspirational stories or general entertainment through a projector and speakers setup. Same section can be used to give demonstrations, conduct workshops and trainings with business presentations for start-up or corporate meetup. This section also holds our administrative section with a table and chair setup for check-in formalities, book keeping, security camera controls, wifi router and printer setup.
  4. Hand Wash Area & Kitchen entrance – There are three arched entrance kind of structures inside ‘Satkone’ , one leading to kitchen, other one to hand wash and one as primary entry or exit. There are 16 Arba’s local name of the wall openings created as place holders in triangular fashion. These Arba’s depict the tale of how construction of this place has been influenced by local wisdom with little scientific improvisations and knowhow.

Satkone as a relaxation place is photographic heaven with different patterns of sunlight during morning to the shades of sunset and after dark for indoor photoshoots. Special illuminations using earthen lamps are done on festive occasions or on pre-informed guest requests for getting the feel of Satkone at night with artificial lights switched off. Not to forget full moon nights or on other side ‘Amaswaya’ nights provide unimaginable panoramic views through the funnel for celestial camera shoots. It has so many triangular openings as windows , withing walls or iron trusses that it’s a geometric paradise counting the triangular shapes and patterns it offers. The different hues of brown, blue and greens through its prolific windows just adds to the charm.

Day view of central leisure area

Night view of central leisure area

ENTRANCE & CORRIDOR

            As one enters from the Western facing front entrance of the Grand Mahua compound there are 2 choices for universal access to main building.

  1. Ramp Entrance – This gradually sloped accessible U letter shaped ramp with iron guard rails on both sides one the left from compound entrance has been built for universal access to kids, elders, disabled friendly and senior citizen guests of Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha. Brick masonry built multi opening design also provides an elders sit-out inside the U structure at ground level for a leisurely chit-chat facing the Grand Mahua. Efforts are being made to grow a almond tree making the U centre shady and thick of greens.

This Surwahi wildlife coliving place has been designed adhering to 100% accessibility guideliness offering disabled friendly toilet and ramps with necessary support. SSEK aims to strive inclusivity more so in wildlife tourism making India a much more friendly and accessible destination along with sustainability

  1. Stair Entrance – These stairs are the first port of call neighbouring Grand Mahua circular sit-out for guests to enter the porch and main building. In an attempt to encourage outdoors with greens the stairs also providing sitting levels on both sides for guests to lazy around and have face to face conversations.

Corridor – Spread across the Satkone and Family room this, large corridor setup at SSEK is perfect place to lounge. While a locally crafted bamboo chair and centre table setup greets our guests right at the entrance from stairs to corridor it can be divided into sections as follows –

  1. Towards the right from staired entrance – This broad corridor section in from of the family room as well as a porch just outside the central leisure area ‘Satkone’. One can sit outside Maikal Express room facing westwards enjoying the sunset overlooking Sanduk stream through our estate or peek Eastwards in opposite direction in the porch area sitting on the granite beds early morning during sunrise. Beneath the granite beds is shoe shelf / slipper placement racks avoiding same in the Satkone meant for floor based sitting. This place also serves as waiting area for food if at all Satkone is full of people in case of large gathering. It further serves as Dining area overlooking Grand Mahua for elders not comfortable in low floor sitting of central dining hall. In addition there are stairs to watch tower and our caretaker room on the first floor on the extreme right of this corridor section as one enters. The stairs further lead to watch tower providing unhindered green vista views of Kanha’s buffer forests as well as Sanduk stream and paddy fields. This watch tower is also a place to do stargazing, bird and night photography.
  1. Towards the left from staired entrance – There is a stone wall with an upcoming study planned on this side. It is a peaceful place best to soak in your books or even office work if checking in for workcation. Further down the alley there is a luxurious central washroom with western closet for guests. Toilet like others is accessible with grab bars and low height closet. There are large leafy grilled windows with granite slabs for guests to sit around overlooking the Northern part of estate. The left side of the corridor connects to the upcoming front Suite room wing extending to the U ramp entrance.

 

Stair entrance 

U-Ramp

Left view of the entrance 

Right view of the entrance

SKYLIGHT TERRACE

            This area provides icing to the cake for sunrise, sunset, moon rise or night photography. Offering vast sky views and vast tree line greener this skylight terrace of the kitchen and left side corridor area is for adventure seekers who can climb up straight ladder perched on the side of central washroom. A small kids toy attic room has been provisioned at the roof of the central toilet also acting as terrace entrance as one climbs up the ladder. The kids attic also provides some views of the front staired entrance through grilled window on one side facing Westward and leading to the first part of terrace on another side facing Eastward.

Tiled with red terracotta the lower half of terrace enables to peak into large ventilator windows of kitchen and see what is being cooked. There is one skylight of the kitchen on this lower part of terrace. The second 4 feet higher part  of the terrace has 2 skylights and is connected to lower part via small stair case. From upper pat one can overlook the watch tower towards West as well peek into the Satkone through one of the triangular glass windows. This terrace also provides views of the funnel insulated with grass acting as a massive well with Satkone’s 7 sides sloping down. Referred as skylight terrace this is an ideal ambience for enjoying sunset downers with fibre glass placed skylights teaming up as tables for snacks or a board game under blue sky.

Upper half of skylight terrace 

Lower half of skylight terrace 

Watch point view from the skylight terrace 

Its a first of its kind building or wildlife hostel in India close to wildlife national park opening multiple opportunities for school and college students, booming millenials, Gen Y or Gen X aiming for differential stay options close to nature and forests.

There is nothing more ecological than a traditional Indian Home be it in any part of country. Staying in a home hosted by an individual or family in rural hinterland of India is true essence of Atithi Devo Bhavo philosphy. This incredible experience of Indian Hospitality will be very much possible at Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha as its 4 proposed family rooms come up by 2021. While there is still some wait but these planned exquisite rooms with attached washrooms will be leading alternate accommodation practices in Khatiya Gate area of KNP. Kanha Homestay rooms has been constructed ecologically stringently adopting local age old sustainable practices with minimal engineering improvisations for strength and longevity. To get a glimpse kindly watch the 3D artistic impression of our accomodation structure below.