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RARE India: Where Luxury Meets Conscious Travel Off the Beaten Path
Experience the best of India and beyond — from sustainable beach hideaways and precious wildlife sanctuaries to sumptuous palaces and forts.
Quote of the Week
‘‘Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell.’
– Paula Bendfeldt
Dear Postcard Travellers,
In the realm of travel, rare is the essence that captivates the soul, rare is the authenticity that unfolds a story and rare is the journey less taken. That’s where treasures await.
This week, we unveil some of the extraordinary treasures within the illustrious RARE India collection and meet its inspirational founder, Shoba Rudra. Discover diverse boutique experiences across four countries, all united by a shared commitment: a dedication to leaving a positive imprint on both the planet and its people.
Postcard Travel is delighted to announce a new alliance with RARE India, an ode to mindful exploration. In collaboration, two bastions of responsible tourism become a formidable force, offering our community the chance to embrace travel as a catalyst for positive change. Together, let's take a journey where luxury meets authenticity, and every footprint resonates with purpose.
Together we are stronger.
Editor, Postcard Travel Club
RARE India: Placing the Planet and People First
"RARE and the community is about authentic destination stories, always believing that tourism at its best should build the destination and benefit the community.” - Shoba Rudra, Founder of RARE India
RARE is a curated collection of extraordinary boutique hotels, palaces, forts, wildlife lodges and retreats across four countries, offering a unique blend of luxury and meaningful experiences.
Founded by Shoba Mohan, RARE values sustainability, exceptional service and close relationships with local communities. These properties span 19 states in India alone, as well as Bhutan and Nepal, providing an immersive journey for guests who want to make a positive impact.
Each RARE property offers a unique adventure. Track tigers and wild dogs in a setting that inspired The Jungle Book, or catch a rare glimpse of the elusive snow leopard in the Trans Himalayas. Bask under rustling palms on a golden-sand beach in Northern Kerala or sip a steaming brew amid misty peaks at a tea plantation in Darjeeling.
Committed to responsible tourism, RARE fosters transformative travel experiences that enrich your life and the lives of others.
Introducing Shoba Rudra, Founder of RARE India
Shoba Rudra's odyssey from a background in journalism to a luminary in luxury travel is a narrative of passion and purpose. With over 20 years of experience, she founded RARE, curating boutique hotels and promoting conscious luxury travel.
Shoba's journey with RARE began in 1995, driven by a passion for exploring the hidden wonders of India. Shoba was also inspired by the power of intelligent and passionate conversation, the romance of staying with scientists, mavericks, poets, filmmakers, farmers and free spirits, and she longed to share these experiences with other travellers.
Shoba worked tirelessly to challenge conventional tourism, aligning each hotel's narrative with diverse markets, emphasizing an inclusive approach.
Shoba advocates for quality-driven tourism that puts people and the planet first. Nature, sustainability, history and transformative experiences are paramount to this approach.
As an influential writer and speaker, Shoba ardently champions responsible tourism, offering profound insights that resonate with both travelers and industry peers. For Shoba, people come first.
Here are just a few of the life-changing boutique experiences that Shoba has thoughtfully curated for you:
Join us on a relaxing journey to the untouched beauty of Northern Kerala at Neeleshwar Hermitage, traditionally known as Malabar. Here, you'll find empty beaches hugged by coconut plantations, serene inland waterways and spice gardens adorning the lush hillsides against the vast backdrop of the ocean.
Tucked away in a secluded coconut grove on the gentle Malabar coastline, Neeleshwar Hermitage blends traditional Kerala architecture with stylish contemporary design. Named after yogic virtues and crafted from local materials, the accommodations recall traditional fishermen’s huts, with thatch roofs, teak floors, soaring ceilings and luxurious indoor-outdoor bathrooms.
Enjoy a refreshing dip in the infinity pool, sip sweet coconut juice, relax at the Ayurvedic spa or explore nearby gems like the Bekal fort and fishing villages. At Neeleshwar Hermitage, time seems to stand still.
Have you ever dreamed of seeing a tiger in the wild? If the answer is yes, Kipling Camp is calling you.
Located in the heart of Kanha Tiger Reserve, this premier wildlife haven is celebrated as one of the best places on Earth to encounter the reserve’s namesake big cat. Spectacular sal and bamboo forests, meadows and the rivers Banjar and Tannaur also host a diverse range of other wildlife, including endangered species and rich birdlife.
You can also join Tara, the in-house elephant, on a leisurely walk to the Banjar river, where you'll have the unique opportunity to assist in her bathing.
As you explore this enchanting destination, you step into the setting that inspired Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, a place of natural wonders declared a national park in 1955. Here, the thrill of wildlife encounters meets the allure of literary history.
Tracking the Snow Leopard: The LUNGMĀR Remote Camp
Seeing the elusive snow leopard in the wild is a rare and unique experience. At LUNGMĀR Remote Camp, you have a chance to capture a glimpse of this magnificent cat, aided by expert trackers.
Nestled between the Karakoram and Himalayan ranges, Ladakh, often referred to as the Trans Himalayas, opened its doors to travelers in the 1970s. Retaining its authentic culture and landscapes, Ladakh showcases plateaus, valleys and peaks with seasonal hues that paint ethereal vistas unlike any other place on Earth.
Your journey to witness the elusive snow leopards finds a perfect sanctuary at LUNGMĀR Remote Camp. Choose from deluxe glamping tents or cozy suites, composed of local wood and stone. All draw inspiration from Ladakh’s role as part of the silk trade, with hand-embroidered throws, Afghan kilims and custom-made billowy duvets.
After your day tracking snow leopards, unwind in the embrace of the steamy hammām.
Here, in the historic Sumdoh valley along the Great Silk Route, amidst stunning views, unique flora and fauna, and living history, you'll discover the true essence of Ladakh.
A scenic 75-minute journey south of Jodhpur, you'll find yourself in the enchanting village of Khandi, nestled at the Thar Desert's edge. Here, the romantic Mihir Garh celebrates the arts and crafts of Jodhpur, serenading you with sweeping views of sand dunes and an awe-inspiring night sky.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of indigenous flora and fauna, whether on horseback or in a jeep. Engage with the Bishnoi tribe, discovering centuries-old customs and ceremonies, and spot rare species on a bird-watching expedition.
Mihir Gahr’s sumptuous 1,700-square-feet suites are named after Marwari Stallions from the Rohet Stables. Bespoke furniture, brightly coloured fabrics and hand-crafted rugs adorn the extravagant interiors, and private plunge pools await for a refreshing dip. Your retreat into opulence begins at Mihir Garh.
Glenburn Tea Estate
Indulge in the enchanting world of Glenburn in Darjeeling, Here, plantation bungalows offer captivating views of rolling hills on one side, and the majestic Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, on the other.
Picture yourself relishing high teas with freshly baked cakes, and enjoying riverside picnics in the invigorating mountain air. Take a Glenburn Tea Tour guided by estate experts who share the intricate story of tea varieties and plantation practices.
In the plantation bungalows, you’ll experience English country elegance and thoughtful details like fresh flowers, four-poster beds, hand-embroidered linen and wicker chairs.
Your Glenburn experience becomes a symphony of landscapes, cuisine, culture, and learning in the heart of the picturesque Darjeeling hills.
Jamtara Wilderness Camp
As you venture deep into Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh, the exclusive Jamtara Wilderness Camp awaits. This luxury tented camp has access to the park via Jamtara gate, placing you within easy reach of this wildlife haven.
Exciting safaris through Pench Tiger Reserve treat you to encounters with a host of rare animals, including its namesake big cats, leopards, wild dogs and other species. On your game drive, you might also see civets, sloth bears, sambars and a diverse array of bird species.
The camp, inspired by British lodges in the wild, embraces you with the welcoming arms of a generous banyan tree. Nestled amidst buffer forests and farmlands, the camp's 10 acres offer a luxury jungle experience, from the stylish central lodge to uniquely adorned tents, each detail thoughtfully curated to reflect the RARE character.
When you select a RARE property, you are making a conscious choice for a hotel deeply committed to prioritizing the well-being of the planet and its people.
Every RARE property actively contributes to planet-sensitive endeavors, embracing practices such as reducing single-use plastic, ensuring responsible garbage disposal, conserving water and energy, and safeguarding the intricate tapestry of nature and biological diversity.
Simultaneously, community-inclusive initiatives are tailored to each destination, fostering local community engagement, championing light footprint tourism, uncovering destinations with sensitivity, preserving heritage and recognizing the profound significance of human connections in forging authentic experiences.
This unified commitment creates a transcendent and responsible travel experience, leaving an enduring positive legacy on the planet and its communities.
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