BIRD is delighted to announce its appointment of boutique Rajasthani retreat, Anopura, commencing this month.
Tucked away in the foothills of the Aravalli Mountains, Anopura is a pocket-sized paradise that was originally built in 2010. Enveloped by lemon groves, frangipani trees and marigolds, the farm-led Indian property is home to four one-to-three-bedroom villas, a world away from the region’s traditional tourist trail. An hour’s drive northeast of Jaipur, the journey to Anopura is an adventure in itself: ancient temples, dramatic rockfaces and date palms decorate the jungle landscape.
Owned by Jaipur-based entrepreneur, Aditya Baheti, this passion project has been gently developed over the last decade with heart and soul poured into every element. On a mission to re-wild and regenerate, Baheti and his team are custodians of the historical and cultural heritage that makes up the 80 acres of land that surround Anopura.
Rich interiors and serene surroundings
Beginning life as a humble pair of villas with private stone pools connected by a sweeping sandy path, Anopura has gradually evolved into four individually designed villas and a large farm with experiential dining areas found throughout; the layout reminiscent of the villages that surround the nearby area of Jamwa Ramgargh. The villas are traditional bungalows with thatched roofs, each with its own tabari (outdoor lounge area), home to large sofas scattered with cushions block-painted by local women from the neighbouring village, coffee tables home to a collection of Baheti’s hand-picked favourite classic novels and games, as well as an outdoor shower and bespoke charpoy daybeds located around the private pool area. Each villa has a local private host who is on hand throughout the duration of a guest’s stay.
An array of antiques that Baheti has collected over the years fill each villa with soulful spirit; ancient vases from Tamil Nadu frame entrances, Gujarati wagon wheels have been transformed into cabinets, and mismatched statues of Hindu gods made from fresh mud celebrate the region’s storied heritage. Transported from tribal regions across south India, prior to being housed at Anopura these statues were collected and blessed during Hindu ceremonies.
Bright pinks and indigo cover the walls, adding depth without disturbing the harmony of the soothing surroundings. Thanjavur (south Indian classical paintings) add texture to the walls, glimmering with gold leaf and semi-precious gems, part of Anopura’s exclusive collection that has been curated over the last seven years from all over India labelled the Krishna Leela series.
Brand-new suites and experiences
September sees the next chapter of Anopura with the arrival of seven brand-new suites, ideal for couples and solo travellers. A modern Jaipur influence informs the stylish, serene interiors fused gleefully with Rajasthani antiques, contemporary Indian art, and new communal spaces such as the natural stone suspended infinity pool and yoga deck that have been designed to foster a sense of community and connection. Replicating centuries-old building techniques, natural products like lime mortar are used to reduce air conditioner usage and keep the rooms cool whilst remaining chic with a polished concrete look. 2024 will also see a host of new offerings, from pottery and block painting classes with local women from the neighbouring village, to horse riding and DIY BBQ experiences.
Safaris and sundowners
Inspired by his childhood at his grandfather’s farmhouse in a village close to Jaipur, Aditya wanted to create a space that encourages guests to recreate the simplicity of a child’s first discoveries with nature; plucking vegetables from the fields, milking cows, and bird watching whilst learning about local wildlife. This pocket of Rajasthan still eludes the crowds, offering eye-opening experiences to explorers with innate curiosity. Signature offerings include leopard safaris across astonishing landscapes rich with history, and picnics in temple ruins at dusk with homemade pakoras in tiffin boxes and chilled beers, whilst soaking in the Aravalli Mountain range. Guests can also try their hand at rock climbing, guided hill hikes, tours of the organic farm with the culinary team, and partaking in Rajasthani cookery classes.
Ayurvedic eating and lake-to-plate cookery
The heart of Anopura and intrinsic to the guest experience is the sprawling five-acre farm. Coriander, lemongrass, and chilli plants make up the 18 varieties of herbs and spices, alongside 40 types of vegetables used throughout the creative culinary offering. Home to some of the largest marigolds and moringa farms in Northern India – both of which are key ingredients in traditional Ayurveda – Anopura’s ethos is rooted in ancient rituals. Every day the plants are played Hindu devotional chants called Bhajans; the echoes of these tender prayers drift through the air and the gentle hum can be heard across the grounds. Guests can explore all elements of the farm during their stay and children are encouraged to learn about the production of ghee, paneer, and curd, all of which are produced on-site. 90% of all produce at Anopura is created on the ground and by 2030, the team aims to create everything on-site.
Every guest’s culinary journey is personalised to their own tastes but focused on food that comes from Anopura’s land with the ultimate goal of cleansing and healing the body. Each day guests’ private hosts will discuss their preferences and a personalised menu will be curated around this. Dishes span western and Indian flavours and include traditional Rajasthani dishes such as Khud Maans – a full leg of lamb that is marinated with spices and wrapped in leaves and then buried under the ground with red hot coal embers – and Junglee Aloo – pot-roasted baby potatoes cooked on a charcoal woodfire with Rajasthani Maithania red chilli, garlic and ghee from the farm. Guests can also enjoy family-style sharing salads at lunch, all sourced directly from Anopura’s own mushroom bunkers, grain farms, and ayurvedic herb selection. Last year, Anopura created its own lake and now serves tilapia, avoiding any frozen fish being used across menus.
Anopura has been designed around the core pillars of community, sustainability and preservation. Passionate about working hand-in-hand with the local villages, Baheti’s mission was to create opportunities for the local region with over 90% of Anopura’s staff from the surrounding villages. From the hosts, to block printers, to the talented chefs and farm workers, the local community is at the very heart of everything they do. At Anopura, guests can expect complete immersion in the magic and culture of the Rajasthani countryside with bespoke on-site and destination experiences led by hotel guides, all of whom grew up locally.