The eco-resort Gorukana is a set of has thoughtfully built dwellings which display a high sensitivity to the biodiversity, leaving the least possible footprint, says Nandhini Sundar

The scenery is thick woods resting in the undulating lands of the Biligiri Rangana hills that connect the Eastern and Western Ghats. Tall, slim silver oak trees line the spaces, making a vain attempt to reach the skies. Nestling amidst this, almost imperceptible to the eye is a set of cottages welcoming you to rest in nature’s lap where your presence is as toned down as the built structures.

The eco resort Gorukana is a set of thoughtfully built dwellings which display a high sensitivity to the biodiversity, leaving their footprint in the least possible level. The resort, spread over seven acres of land, has a built form that blends into the existing surroundings both in terms of its design as well as the materials used.

Home to over a dozen cottages, with a tree house and spa, the structures display thatched roofs and stone clad exteriors, the walls employing random rubble masonry. Timber in its raw rustic form prevails abundantly on the walls, stair treads as well as seating and floors. The ambience within too is totally rustic in keeping with the hilly and forest terrain. A quaint extra sleeping quarter rests over the toilet region, housing two extra beds while a charming wood staircase leads up to this space.

The tree house is equally picturesque, the interiors lending the feel of living on a tree without sacrificing the comfort of a soft bed. The toilet being situated outside the sleeping area, one has to physically walk across the branches of the tree to reach it, offering a totally novel feel, especially at night when the ambience is one of actually living beneath the stars on a tree.

While a sheer glass wall on one side entails an unhindered view of the valley and trees and brings in the feel of woods into the interiors, the colours used being solely brown and green, be it interiors or exteriors, further enhance the eco feel of the cottages. Interestingly, the cottages too are placed in an angle where they appear almost as part of the trees that surround them.

The tiny lake within the property serves as an attraction for various bird species while the hills themselves abound with wildlife such as leopards, elephants, wild boars, sloth bears, and bisons.

Says Architect Namithverma of Gayathri & Namith Architects, “The idea of accentuating the site features and responding to the local context has been the standpoint around which the whole design of Gorukana was developed. The master plan clearly demonstrates this exercise of carefully understanding the importance of the built form not standing out but co-relating its existence with the surroundings.”

Community concern

Incidentally, the resort is situated in the region where the native Soliga tribe prevail. The resort also serves as a financial support for the community activities undertaken for improving the lifestyle of the Soliga tribe by its proprietor, Sudarshan. He runs an NGO and a free school for the native community which is actively supported by the proceeds of the resort.

The serene eco-sensitive property also comes with a spa where luxurious massages can be indulged in before being pampered with wholesome tasty home food that the restaurant specialises in. The nights can be equally adventurous with occasional visits of wild boars, sometimes sloth bears, at times even elephants.

Gorukana, BR Hills, opp. Yarakanagadde Colony, Chamarajnagar-571441. From Kanakapura Main Road it is a three-and-a-half hour drive.

Keywords: eco-resortGorukana