Out of town, eco-sensitive professors, worried about where to stay while on a visit to Delhi University, need not look further than the immediate vicinity of its North Campus as the university has only just inaugurated a new guest house made entirely out of bamboo.
“Bamboo wood is usually hollow and not very good for construction but there is a special bamboo, biological name “Dendro Calamus”, which is partly solid and this is flattened, processed and ultimately used as a building material. We have used this type of wood in the guest house,” says University Guest House chairperson Usha Rao, adding that the university’s Botany department had always had a special relationship with bamboo as it had carried out successful experiments on its tissue culture back in the 1980s and 1990s.
“The cottage was commissioned by the National Bamboo Mission and is a collaboration between the mission and the university’s engineering department,” adds Professor Rao.
The guest house, inaugurated this past week, boasts no-nonsense solid furniture made of bamboo along with other wood, walls made entirely out of bamboo and even curtain shades made from the same material. The candle-stands outside the rooms are also bamboo and what garden there is also has different types of bamboos in pots.
The rooms are massive and have facilities of hosting up to four persons per room, with hotel-like conveniences like a minibar, tea-kettles, television, desks and wardrobes. It is in the premises of the already-existing university guest house with its dining-rooms, lounge and conference rooms and these facilities are shared by the bamboo-house guests. A lunch at the main guest house can cost around Rs.125.
Tariffs at the bamboo guest house are slightly higher than the main one. A basic room here can cost about Rs.1,100 as compared to the approximate Rs.700 being charged for a room at the main guest house.