Gorukana - a Gem of a cause


Gorukana, is a pioneering eco-lodge conceptualized by the legendary Dr.H.Sudharshan, who is a demi god to the Soliga tribal community, the habitants of the Billigiri Ranganathar Hills range. This resort is part of his noble plan of upliftment of the forest dwelling tribes where all benefits go to the development of the tribal people and the conservation of the Wildlife and Nature of BR Hills.

The accommodation is a row of 7 cottages on stilts built on a sloping piece of land peppered by tall trees. The interior is a two deck living space with an innovative upper deck with diwans to relax. The lower deck houses a bedroom with a private veranda opening out into the scenic campus, while a spacious bathroom at the other end completes this innovative high roofed cottage. Heartbreakingly romantic and incredibly chic, the highlight of the eco safari lodge is the Awesome Tree Hut accommodation. On the edge of an artificial lake, this tree house provides a stunning view of the thick wooded environment by the lake. The eco lodge offers a wild experience: the beds, bathrooms and upper deck lounge are well designed and built using local material. The tasty food and impeccable service remind you that you're being incredibly well looked after every minute of the day.

A common Dining space in the middle of the property serves a range of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, a simple yet homely spread including a choice of national dishes along with the local Ragi based cuisine. A large LCD TV plays out interesting wildlife DVD’s in the projection room adjacent to the dining hall, while a conference room is situated immediately next to it. A simple yet classy reception with a lovely frontage is the entrance to the property.

There is a mini amphitheater which plays host to a bonfire and a tribal dance before dinner, which is nice. There is also a short introduction to the local tribal community, their customs, rituals and art forms which is very informative as well as fascinating.

There is a pathway that runs from the dining area running all the way to the Spa at the end of the property and little stone paths branch off this pathway connecting up the cottages and the tree house. A walk down this path way at night (preferably with a torch and the resort guards) is an experience in itself and we were lucky to spot some Deer, Wild Boar and a sloth bear. Elephants and Gaur are occassional visitors to the periphery of the fence as well.
 
A drive through the BRT jungle road, leading up to the JLR property houses a plethora of wildlife from Elephants, Indian Gaur, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Leapords and with a bit of luck – the elusive Tiger. This place is also a birding haven for the ornithologists with a huge range of the avian kind frequenting the jungles.

The local tribals are well trained naturalists at this eco lodge, headed by Senior Naturalist Jadeswamy ably supported by Jadayan. Taj, who heads the operations is an ever helping and knowledgeable person, who goes that extra mile to ensure you enjoy your stay at this little known temple town.


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