Weather :

Tags : Amusement & Theme Park

Timings : Check-in/ Check-out Time- 12:00 PM / 10:30 AM; Try and reach by sunset and latest by 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 2 days

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Apani Dhani, Jaipur Overview

Located at a distance of 150 km from Jaipur in Nawalgarh in Shekhawati (Rajasthan), Apani Dhani is a theme ecosystem venture offering a range of services and facilities including environment friendly stay, recreational activities, guided tours of the countryside, art, craft and cooking workshops etc. Nestled in between plenteous natural surroundings, the family run guest-house or the homestay offers a cultural exchange of activities and ideas through meetings and interactions with the local communities. Besides, the guests get to savour the homemade finger-licking delicious food prepared from the produce of the in-house organic garden. Promoting eco-tourism at every step, from organic agriculture to solar power, water management and recycling, Apani Dhani lets the guests take a peek into the rural essence of traditional Rajasthan.

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Inception of Apani Dhani

Apani Dhani is the creation of one pioneer- Ramesh C. Jangid. He first started the culture of ‘homestays’ in 1985, thus breaking the monopoly of luxury hotels and heritage hotels. In 1986, he founded his own travel agency ‘Alternative Travels – India’ to combat the ill effects of the mass tourism industry. Further, in 1990, he designed Apani Dhani based on the same philosophy. The homestay was created with the idea of providing guests with the best of both the old and the new world, sustainable development techniques, harmonious interaction of nature and humans and promoting local culture etc. As of now, he resides at the Ecolodge itself, along with his family and tends to the guests himself.

Ecolodge in Apani Dhani

The homestay has been designed in a simple yet very alluring way replete with bounteous nature and old-world charm. At the heart of the ecolodge is a circular bougainvillea clad courtyard which is the hub and the dining area of the place. Adjacent to it is a small hut which is meant to encourage the guests to meet and exchange ideas. Surrounding the central setting are seven independent beautiful accommodation for the guests. These traditional hut like stay-rooms have thatched roofs and mud-rubbed walls.

Adorning these earthy rooms is very basic wooden furniture and old antiques decorated on the alcoves, giving the much needed ancient look to the entire room. The bathrooms, however, have white tiles and polished chrome. There is also an in-house Yoga Hall where you can go to meditate, relax and rewind. There is also an organic garden within the premises and a solar panel to produce renewable solar energy. The whole place reverberates with tranquility and a positive vibe. It is the best place to go to to de-clutter from the monotony of life.

Eco Practices at Apani Dhani

  1. Environment Friendly Accommodation

    The homestay uses natural materials like sun-dried clay bricks, kiln fired bricks, ochre, thatch and adobe etc. to construct the huts. They use the local pampas grass to thatch the roofs without using any synthetic material.
  2. Renewable Energy

    Apani Dhani uses solar panels to produce its own energy, although they are still connected to the power grid for emergency purposes. They use photovoltaic solar panels and use low consumption bulbs. In addition to being a sustainable source of energy, the guests also do not have to bear the loud roar and the unpleasant noise of generators.
  3. Organic Vegetable Farms

    Apani Dhani has an inhouse farm where they grow their own vegetables. Sprawling over 3.3 acres of land, this farm produces a healthy and good harvest of millet, wheat, lentils and several seasonal vegetables etc. These crops are grown without any use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  4. Environmental Friendly Activities

    The homestay offers, resorts to and prefers their guests to take part in environmental friendly activities like cycling, walking tours, camel cart excursions etc. Besides reviving  long lost sources of entertainment, it is also beneficial to the environment.
  5. Water Management

    Apani Dhani also focuses on water management and conserving water. The rainwater falling off the roofs and pavements is collected in an underground water tank, which is later used for irrigation purposes. Besides, they use disposable plates and cutlery so as to reduce water wastage by dish washing and detergents. Although the bathrooms are equipped with showers, the guests are encouraged to use a bucket and a mug to save water.
  6. Waste Minimization

    The premises have filtered water dispenser (Reverse Osmosis System) to avoid the use of plastic water bottles thus reducing CO2 emissions. There are separate dustbins for biodegradable and non- biodegradable waste in the campus and the rooms individually. Food is also served on leaf plates made from the leaves of Saal. After use, they are composted with the biodegradable waste.

Meals at Apani Dhani

The meals at Apani Dhani are produced by the daughters-in-law and the youngest son of the founder Mr. Ramesh C. Jangid. The food is strictly vegetarian and extremely delicious. Besides, it is made from the organic produce of the in-house farm. The meals are made with local spices and will give you a taste of traditional Rajasthan. Food is served in the courtyard on Saal leaf plates. Alcohol is neither served nor encouraged at Apani Dhani. Try and restrain from consuming it while you are staying here.

Activities at Apani Dhani

  1. Cooking Classes

    As stated, the food is prepared by the daughters-in-law and son of the founder- Mr. Ramesh C. Jangid. If you are interested, you can volunteer to take classes and learn how to cook traditional Rajasthani meals. The classes only focus on vegetarian cooking- Indian curries, tea and Indian bread (roti, paratha etc.). You can also ask for a copy of the recipes that is given out on handmade recycled paper.
  2. Excursions & Tours

    Apani Dhani also organizes frequent excursions and tours of the countryside and the neighbouring cities. You can opt for a guided tour to Nawalgarh and learn about the havelis, palaces, rich history and culture of the place. The guides available can speak French and English. You can also a ride in a camel cart or a tonga.
  3. Yoga & Meditation

    At a small distance from the main courtyard, the Yoga Hall is 75 m² hall with thatched roofs and a hut enclosing. The hall is meant for yoga and other meditative activities. Besides, you can get a mat and a pillow on request.
  4. Bicycle Expeditions

    You can also take part in bicycle tours where the guests are led out in groups of 6 or 8 with a guide. You will be taken to the nearby areas and will be enlightened on the regional flora, fauna and general history and geography of the place. In these tours, you will also get acquainted with the local culture of Rajasthan.
  5. Birdwatching

    Rajasthan is a hub of exotic migratory birds. You can spot these birds not just at Apani Dhani but also in Nawalgarh, Shekhawati and the surrounding areas while you are out on tours or excursions. Do not forget to carry your binoculars while you are out there.
  6. Music Performance & Classes

    Apani Dhani has a dedicated music artist to cater to the interests of its guests. Sitaram is a retired bank employee, an amateur singer/musician who performs one hour long classical, semi-classical, devotional or folk music performances for the guests. You can also take tabla lessons or singing lessons from Sitaram.
  7. Crafts Workshops

    There are several workshops offered at Apani Dhani that you can avail. You can enroll in a Mandana Workshop which is essentially rural Rajasthani painting. These paintings were done on the walls of the olden day Rajasthan with lime and ochre. The other ones are Woodcarving Workshop which teaches how to make carvings on the wood, Tie and Dye workshops where you will learn how to make and paint the tie and dye bandhani dupattas and sarees. In addition to this, you can also learn Bangle Making.

Rooms and Accommodation at Apani Dhani

Apani Dhani offers individual accommodation and stays which are divided into four categories depending on the tariff, size of the rooms and the facilities offered.
  1. Round Bunglows Category

    Round Bunglows are the most popular type in the homestay. They come with a double bed and basic furniture- chair, table etc.
  2. Superior Category Rooms

    Superior Category Rooms are slightly larger than the Round Bungalow Category. They have a double bed along with a seating space within the individual hut.
  3. Standard Category Rooms

    Standard Category Rooms are the smallest of all and they just come with a 4 foot wide bed and basic furniture.
  4. Deluxe Tents

    Deluxe Tents are available only from November to February and they come with attached showers and toilets.

Car Rental to and from Apani Dhani

On request, the management can also arrange a car rental service for you. The types of cars available are Toyota Etios : four guests plus the driver or Toyota Innova : six guests plus the driver.
The pre-decided routes to avail this facility are:
  • Pick up and drop at Delhi or Jaipur airport.
  • Pick up and drop at Loharu or Churu Junction railway station.
  • Pick up and drop to your hotels in nearby cities like Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer etc.

How to Reach

The nearest airport to Nawalgarh is in Jaipur which is at a distance of 150 km from Apani Dhani. The nearest railway station and the bus stop is at Nawalgarh itself. From the railway station and the bus stop, you can find local auto rickshaws which can take you to Apani Dhani. These rickshaws operate on a sharing basis. Alternatively, you can hire personal autos, cabs or just drive down on your own if you have a vehicle.

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