JLR to launch blackbuck resort in Bidar on March 1
It is in the Khanapur forest range
Quiet retreat: A cottage on offer at the blackbuck resort of Jungle Lodges and Resorts near Vilaspur lake in Khanapur forest range in Bidar.
Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) will inaugurate a property in the Khanapur forest range in Bidar on March 1.
“Online bookings for the blackbuck resort will start from Wednesday,” Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla said here on Tuesday. It will be formally inaugurated later. JLR officials will take a decision on who will inaugurate the resort and when, Mr. Shukla said.
He was speaking to journalists after inspecting work on the lakeside property.
According to him, the property on the banks of the Vilaspur lake will have 18 cottages of three categories and one royal suite. The blackbuck resort is the first JLR property to have a royal suite.
The resort is situated on seven acres of revenue land gifted to JLR by the district administration. The tariff ranges from Rs. 2,750 to Rs. 3,250 per person per day for the cottages. Tariff for the suite is yet to be decided.
Each cottage has a waiting room, double bed, wash room, and a balcony that opens to the water front. “The specialty of this resort is that each cottage is on the water front. Cottages are designed in such a way that privacy is ensured for each cottage. One balcony is not visible from the other,” he said.
JLR is offering joy fishing, coracle rides, nature treks and star gazing in the Khanapur forest. Wildlife tour guides will accompany campers to blackbuck spotting and bird watching in the woods around the resort.
Water sports will be organised in the Karanja dam. JLR will take campers to guided tours around national monuments in Bidar, including the Bidar Fort, Mahamud Gawan Madrassa and the Ashtur tombs.
The cost of the project is around Rs. 3.5 crore. Of this, Rs. 2.75 crore has been spent. “We have sought assistance from the Union Government and are hopeful of getting around Rs. 1.2 crore,” Mr. Shukla said. As many as 10 youth from surrounding villages are employed here, he said.
Bookings can be done from Wednesday on www.junglelodges.com. Details can be had on Ph: 080 40554055, 9449599774.
The Blackbuck Resort, named after the Krishna mruga, the native wildlife species of Bidar, is situated on the banks of the Vilaspur tank. The tank, built by the Minor Irrigation Department, is surrounded by mountains and is around 20 km from Bidar.
“We have requested the Minor Irrigation Department to hand over the tank to the Tourism Department. They have agreed to consider the idea,” Mr. Jothiramalingam said. If not for the support of the then Deputy Commissioner Harsha Gupta, we would not have thought of opening an eco and wildlife resort in north Karnataka, he said. The district administration donated 7 acres and contributed Rs. 1 crore for the construction of cottages.
The property will have 18 cottages, of which 12 are complete. It has a lakeside restaurant, a fireplace, a bar corner, a manicured garden and a jungle walk trail. A conference room will be built to enable corporates to combine pleasure trips with business.
“We will offer two distinct packages for lodgers,” said JLR Managing Director N.D. Tiwari.
“The first day, lodgers will get a guide-assisted tour of the Bidar Fort. We have requested the Archaeological Survey of India to allow our lodgers into those parts of the fort that have been kept out of bounds for public,” he said. Tourists will be taken to the Chitta forest to watch Blackbucks and to the Karanja dam for water sports. They can trek at the Khanapur forest near the tank and spend the nights star gazing on the lake bund. Tours on the second day will be custom made. Tourists can go to Basava Kalyan or visit other archaeological monuments in Bidar. “Our guides will accompany them,” Mr. Tiwari said.
“We plan to open bookings immediately so that people coming for Bidar Utsav can stay at the cottages,” Mr. Jothiramalingam said. Bidar Utsav is scheduled to begin on February 18.
Vilaspur resort is JLR's newest property. It is JLR's second resort in North Karnataka after the sloth bear resort in Hampi in Bellary district.
JLR Managing Director N.D. Tiwari told The Hindu that the property would have 18 cottages that could accommodate two campers each.
Mr. Tiwari said the project was taken up with the assistance of the district administration that allotted seven acres of revenue land adjacent to the forest for construction of cottages. “The then Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta took the initiative. Otherwise, it would have taken us sometime to plan and build a resort in Bidar,” he said.
“We have retained ownership of the land. We also share 25 per cent of the total cost of the project estimated at Rs, 4 crore,” district administration sources said.
Vilaspur tank is situated deep inside the Khanapur reserve forest, and is surrounded by hilly forest on all four sides. The tank is spread on an area of 35 acres and has a catchment area of over 200 acres of land.
By building cottages in such wilderness, JLR is trying to tap the young tourist in the IT and related industries in Hyderabad. Vilaspur is 15 km from Bidar. Bidar is 110 km Hyderabad.
Apart from the jungle walks, the resort will offer attractive experiences like coracle rides and fishing in the tank. Campers will be taken to the Bidar fort, the heritage tombs at Ashtur and Choukhandi, Mohamud Gawan Madrassa, Amir Barid and Qasim Barid and the Baridshahi Deccan garden. Campers will get to take part in boat races in the Paapnash lake. “We are exploring possibilities of arranging water sports in the Karanja reservoir,” the officials said.
“The resort will boost tourism in this part of the State,” said Conservator of Forests, Gulbarga circle, A. Radha Devi. Most people don't know that there are large tracts of forest land in Bidar and Gulbarga.
The resort will correct the image of Bidar from a hot dry district into a green humid district,'' she said.
Online reservation for the Vilaspur resort will start soon on www.junglelodges.com. Details can be had from the JLR corporate office (ph: 080 40554055).