As natural dyers, we are always on the outlook for beautiful inspirations that keep us closely connected to the nature around us. So back in April this year, we found a place in Rajasthan, that connects us closely to the vernacular culture not just directly but through the lifestyle this place portrays.
Kaner Retreat near Jodhpur is India's first botanical desert retreat. The first time that we heard about it, we were pretty surprised ourselves. Botanical and desert? At this point we realised that botanicals aren't just greens. When we closely see the historical paintings and artworks of Rajasthan, that also showcases a wide range of exotic plants and animals such as elephants and banana trees which are not local to Rajasthan and that has made us forget what vernacular Rajasthan is all about.
Kaner Retreat is a dream project of Sapna Bhatia, who we met during our Eco Printing Workshop in Jaipur. So one thing that we love about HeenaAgrima's workshops, be it online or offline, is that we get to meet these amazing people from all aspects and learn more and more every time. This was another one of those moments where we learnt a lot about the botanicals of the Thar Desert from Sapna ji during our workshop.
Kaner is another name for the Oleander flower and commonly known as the Desert Rose. After many years in Delhi and London as an international journalist, Sapna decided it was time to share the magic of the desert with others while promoting sustainable local tourism in the process. Thus, India's first desert botanical resort was born.
The part where we fell in love with this idea of the Botanical Desert was when we heard about the details and cultural attention that has been focussed on every step. A swimming pool inspired from the design of a Bawri (step well), surrounded by an oran which is a sacred grove that cannot be disturbed from its natural form, and the desert botanical inspired rooms.