TAJ WILDERNESS LODGE, PANNA

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[one_half_last][alert-success]Architect: Mohan Rao [/alert-success]

The Taj Wilderness Lodge – Pashan Garh site is located in Panna, Madhya Pradesh spread over 200 acres on the outskirts of PannaNational Park part of the Vindhya hill range. The project is conceived as an eco‐friendly wilderness lodge incorporating integrated and passive strategies for soil and water management including a biodiversity strategy towards the overall land health improvement of the site.

The initial step before intervention was instituting a detailed study of the site and the larger region with precise visual and physical documentation to understand land characteristics, soil and vegetation topology, and most importantly aspects of site that needed immediate attention and protection. In some parts of the site, invasive wild growth had to be removed to initiate these aspects and works executed. Based on the site study and further studio analysis, the next critical phase was to develop design strategies to be executed on site especially to control soil erosion by identifying zones within the main valley where small check dams were built using boulder packed in dry joints. Each structure of the check dam was detailed based on the slope condition, width of the valley and integrating existing vegetation

The design strategies for soil, land and water management is proposed through sustainable and passive measures of construction that involved no or minimal use of concrete and any other outsourced material in the remote site. The construction for check dams where primarily done with the natural boulders or broken stone with dry joints and other critical strategies to avoid soil erosion were proposed by using local bamboo or simply by ground modulation and anchoring.

The next phase witnessed natural management and gradual improvement of site conditions. Due to the presence of check dams along the drainage channels, soil moisture along the valleys increased dramatically resulting in enhanced natural growth of vegetation. This in turn reinforced protection of top soil and channelized the surface flow by reducing water velocity towards the natural lake zone within the site.

In parallel to the above land maturity and soil erosion measures initiated, the natural depression of the site was modulated to behave as a natural lake that in its initial seasons harvested much of the incident monsoon run‐off. Over time, with strengthening of the surface run‐off characteristics of the site as well as modulation of lake bed, the water body now holds water even in the peak of summer.

This has resulted in the overall strengthening of the ecological systems in and around the site as well as improved bio diversity of both flora and fauna within and around the site.

The project is positioned to demonstrate sustainable and ecological landscape development through the use of water management, ecological landscapes, use of natural and local materials, use of native biodiversity, etc., resulting in substantial savings in water use and maintenance.

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