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History

Jarar has been the main seat of the family since 1472. Rai Saheb Ch. Suraj Pal Singh, the Zamindaar of Jarar, built the Mela Kothi in the late 1890s. Nestling amidst acres of woodland and pasture, the Mela Kothi was ideally located to serve as a camp office for the family’s bi-annual cattle fair (Mela).

The fair was a source of great pride and prestige for the family, with traders coming from as far afield as Maharashtra and Orissa. However, by the 1990s, the numbers dwindled, and the Kothi and its grounds fell into disrepair.

The Eco-lodge

In 1999, Rai Saheb Suraj Pal Singh’s great grandson, IIT engineer and conservationist Ram Pratap Singh, and his environmental scientist wife, Anu, began restoring their neglected inheritance. The product of their labour, set within 35 sprawling acres of the original heritage plantation, surrounded by farmland - Mela Kothi – The Chambal Safari Lodge is an oasis of peace, tranquility and gracious hospitality.

(Find out more about our conservation profile and eco-friendly practices).