Surwahi Social Kanha or SSK is bringing in a new meaning to the concept of sustainability bound stay near the Kanha Tiger Reserve. A Kanha National Park homestay in Tehsil Paraswada in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh, was soft-launched in Oct 2020 after the completion of Phase I construction.

Expanse of native forest

Natural greens spill-over from the forest cover with uneven land contours. It was a conscious decision taken by the management of this Coliving place near Kanha Tiger Reserve to keep the virgin land covered with the native vegetation and flora of the place, as it is. Surwahi Social is spread over an area of 10.5 acres of land is marked by the presence of a large unmanaged portion, which is almost 70% of the total land area.

Here, the raw look and feel of the vegetation and green cover have been untouched to keep it as close as possible, to the natural forest cover. Tree cover includes Dhawa, Saja, Mahua, Palaash, Umar, Ghari, Tendu and Bamboo. Then there is a Managed area, only about 3 acres of land, where many local species of medicinal and flowering plants and trees have been planted and being nurtured following the principles of afforestation.

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Organic Farming Area

The entire premise of SSK is marked by the presence of in-house farming areas where the use of chemical fertilisers is not allowed or undertaken. Starting from a vegetable garden that is currently present to adding a fruit garden and grains farming, that is to be used on the premise in the future; guests can look forward to enjoying locally grown veggies, fruits and grains using organic methods. The plan is to offer guests the chance to lend their hand to farming and helping with local produce.

Captive Water Bodies

Two of the best geographical treasures of SSK are the manmade pond and the well.

a) Pond – The plan for the future is that fishing will be introduced in the manmade pond. The place has been developed for providing pond-based swimming experiences to guests. Naturopathy treatments like mud baths will also be carried out from the pond as the homestay becomes fully operational. The artificially created pond is currently waterlogged largely during monsoon fed through different water channels and rivulets that crop up in rainy season.

b) Well – The deep-bored well is a manmade wonder but no one knows about its year of formation. It is marked by three Indian cluster fig trees that have grown from the wall of the well. The trees have massive growth covering the large well and the plan is to use the trees for adventure activities. As of now, guests can watch and enjoy the sight of fruits falling from the trees and being fed by the roaming birds. The well is bordered with soil dumps from past being turned as green grass pastures.

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Old Lime Kiln

Limestone Kiln has been present in the premise since ages surrounded by hundreds of trees. These trees adds to the beauty of surwahi social Kanha. Sensational feelings might be evoked near these trees since they are here for many than centuries.

Even after all these years they are standing still and might be standing for the generations that are going to visit surwahi social or Kanha National park.

Sanduk Nala and its Stop Dam

Surwahi Social is strategically located on the banks of a small perennial stream locally called Sanduk Nala around 500 metres before it merges with Banjar river. Guests get the chance to take a walk down the stream up to Banjar, explore the stop dam and the lake created due to it or go down a trekking trail along the Nala upstream in the woods. Sanduk stream creates large sandbanks right next to SSK after each rainy season. It’s a pleasure to explore the water and sand or silt brought down along its course.

Besides being another add-on to the natural elements of the property, the Sanduk Nala also plays a significant role in Kanha forest ecosystem along with nearby villages including Surwahi. A stop dam has been constructed over the Sanduk Nala for water harvesting purpose by Surwahi Social founders, Surwahi Khairlanji village panchayat and local Balaghat administration.

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Uncle Umar

It is the largest tree a Dumar Fruit Tree or Indian Cluster Fig tree locally called Umar that’s more than 100 years old and fondly named by founders as Uncle Umar. The tree has a massive green cover and provides cool shade to passers-by and guests. Surwahi Social Kanha’s first constructed structure was built beneath Uncle Umar. Interestingly it’s a guard house-made using cob mud.

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