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Aman I Khas in Ranthambhore National Park


The peace that passeth understanding. Set amidst the rugged Aravallis outside Ranthambhore National Park, Aman-i-Khas is in its brisk, second season now. You will arrive at sundown, and the retreat emerges gently from the shadows. At the camp's center, the evening plays itself out over drinks around a humongous uruli, in which a cheery log fire burns. You will be led to your tent.

The first impression is of sheer space. As tents go, this is huge, set on a raised concrete plinth measuring 12m x 12m. The covered area totals 108 square meters- the size of a small apartment. The layout of Tent's is simplicity itself, though it has taken the genius of jean-Michel Gathy to conceive it. The entry is through a screened area that contains a dining table with chairs and an armchair. Beyond lies an oversized daybed at the tent's center, the canopy soaring to a whopping six meters. A soothing coffee and cream scheme runs through the accommodation.

Three sections, for sleeping, bathing and dressing, lead off from the center, separated by cotton drapes. The tent is well outfitted yet uncluttered. The furniture, all cowhide and teak, is minimal and minimalist, purportedly mimicking traveling camps of an earlier time. Indeed it claims to emulate a rich 'MUGHAL' style, though it's doubtful the sultans ever had it so good. The biting cold, for one, has left behind. Central heating takes care of that (the tents are cooled in summer).

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