In the heart of Shekhawati (also known as Rajasthan), Apani Dhani Ecolodge is a family run project involved in sustainable tourism. Since 1990 it has provided accommodation, home-made vegetarian cuisine as well as activities and excursions led by locals which bring in extra revenue to the community – this also offers opportunities for meeting and exchanges between locals and travellers.
Besides its deep commitment to ecology, 5% of its room rent is invested to support local projects in education, protection of environment and heritage. In 2013, Apani Dhani won the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award in the category ‘best in cultural preservation’.
The Eco-lodge is situated in Nawalgarh, a town known for its havelis adorned with wall paintings. Well connected by bus and train with Delhi, Jaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur, Nawalgarh also offers an excellent base for exploring the countryside and surrounding villages. Participation of all members of our Indian joint family living in situ – three generations – ensures the smooth functioning of the eco-lodge and give you the best possible hospitality.
Apani Dhani Eco-lodge offers environmentally friendly accommodation. Our bungalows are constructed with local material as per vernacular architecture : sun dried mud-brick walls, thatched roofs, mud plaster. All rooms have en suite bathroom with toilets and their decor highlights local crafts. We propose activities such as guided visits, excursions in the countryside, art and crafts workshops, cooking classes, etc.
Home-made vegetarian cuisine using mostly products from Apani Dhani’s own organic garden will add to the pleasure of the stay (Apani Dhani is situated on middle of two hectares of land). The Eco-lodge has been committed since its inception to an ecological approach as seen in its use of natural materials for construction, solar-power for lighting and hot water, organic agriculture, water management and recycling.
A charming, ethically engaged place, Apani Dhani offers holidays that allow you to discover the daily life and traditions of rural India and give a deeper meaning to your trip. 5 good reasons to stay with us in shekhawati:
• A family run place of character
• Discovery of the culture through activities and meetings with local community
• A commitment to fair and responsible tourism.
• Strong ecological principles.
• Communication in English, French and Hindi.
We are able to offer a 10% discount to Tourism Concern Members.
Ramesh Jangid, owner of Apani Dhani, is the founder and convenor of Shekhawati Chapter to INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage), a non-profit organization set up to involve its members in protecting and conserving India’s natural, built and cultural heritage. Apani Dhani is the seat of Shekhawati Chapter and cordinates its action financially. It provides infrastructure for the activities when needed: Heritage Education programs for local schools, Heritage Education workshops for teachers and administration, mural conservation workshops for painters and masons etc.
Moreover, Apani Dhani promotes local culture by providing: cooking classes, art and crafts worshops etc. Guests are provided with information about their destination and encourage to adapt their behaviour and consumption habits accordingly (code of ethics, Do’s & Don’ts).
We offer workshops and excursions led by locals, thus providing them with fair complementary revenues (no margin on those activites for Apani Dhani). We encourage our guests to buy handicrafts directly from local artisans.
We employ exclusively local staff, including, whenever is possible, women and persons from minorities. We give priority to permanent employment. We guarantee fair wages (20% above legal minimum wage for the lowest salary) and good working conditions. We provide training to employees. We establish long lasting working relationships with local small-scale structures and families with little or no involvement in tourism.
We give priority to local purchasing. We invest 5% of Apani Dhani room rates (20% of our benefit) to support regional projects related to education, environment and local heritage conservation. We encourage our guests to support these projects by providing them with a detailed documentation on these organisations and our contribution.
Apani Dhani is situated on middle of two hectares of land, where we do organic farming. Our bungalows are constructed with local material as per vernacular architecture: sun dried mud-brick walls, thatched roofs, mud plaster. The complex is equipped with photovoltaic panels and solar water heating system.
Emphasis is put on water conservation and management of refuse: rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, guests served with filtered drinking water to reduce plastic waste from bottles, composting of organic waste, separation of non-organic waste, things which could be recycled sent to waste dealers etc. Apani Dhani produces mere 5 to 8 kilos of non-recyclable waste per month.
Guests and staff are guided towards a sustainable personal use of water resources in a semi-arid environment.
Apani Dhani was awarded with a certificate for his work in the water conservation and afforestation program initiated by local administration under public-private parternship (PPP) scheme.