Karma Lakelands | Karma Lakelands

Karma Lakelands


“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” said American philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau. He wrote on history and philosophy, anticipating the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history – two sources of modern-day conservationism. He died in 1862. That was over 150 years ago!

With neither pollution nor population in our control, imagine the alarming extent of devastation that has been done to nature in all these years. Surely, the fallout cannot be undone now. Still, learning from people who have given a thought to the connection between home and ecology, the quality of the environment around us can be improved.


Wake-up call

Perhaps, Karma Lakelands (KL) resort can be termed as a model launched with exactly this sentiment in mind. An eco-responsible golf course and resort with luxury residencies, KL is a passion project developed by Ashwani Khurana. The WhatsApp status of Khurana, founder and president of KL reads: “I am at war against litterers, honkers, smokers and suckers (of straws!). KL is at work on planet-friendly practices and clean air.” His message implores the nation to go green and help their motherland. Khurana’s staff is equally meticulous. (Though it must have taken a lot to train the vast number of them). The company policy is to hire only those with respect for the environment around them. The entire area is a no-horn zone. The prohibitions (including for the staff) are: smoking, chewing of pan masala/zarda and using straws to drink beverages. The eco-warrior and his team have been nurturing KL, the vast green expanse located on National Highway-8 in Sector 80, Gurugram, Haryana, as an ecological venture. And it happened much before global warming, pollution, the war against single-use plastics and Swachh Bharat (Clean India) became the buzzwords.

Reconnect with nature

KL is an approximately 300-acre development comprising a boutique 9-hole golf course with an 18-hole experience where corporate tournaments are held. Other amenities include: a boutique hotel Karma Chalets with Under The Neem, an open-air café and Kraft Kitchen; residential purpose villas; Klub Karma containing squash, tennis and badminton courts; On Kourse, the all-day dining, multicuisine restaurant; The Pizza Bay; AK’s Cocktail Bar-cum-Lounge, with a snooker table; and a kitchen garden, where vegetables and edible flowers are grown providing fresh produce for meals. In addition, now you can also have ‘breakfast with butterflies’ – a distinctive idea introduced recently at the butterfly garden. It was conceptualized after observing the increasing number of brightly colored winged insects around the massive property. Juxtaposing the outdoors and indoors, the place provides guests the opportunity to reconnect with nature, as lakes dot the property giving it a holiday destination like feel. The options to explore the areas are many – from walking to cycling to calling a buggy to go around. When asked about their life at KL, many residents excitedly shared that by choosing to live there, they have come to understand the favorable impact the environment has on their psyche.


Discovery channel!

Aditi, a resident of Delhi, remarked, “I often had friends come over from the hill states. But everyone complained about the lack of tranquil space in the city. Until we, recently, visited KL and discovered that it was perfect for a weekend getaway. We soaked in so much of the place that I can write a book on my experiences!” For women who head to a massage parlour to soothe their nerves and feet a day after binge shopping, Ekant, the spa, offers absolute peace – even to think and re-think what to wear for the evening party!
In her Facebook post, Nitya, a visitor to KL, stated, “The resort is where nature meets luxury. In fact, the beautiful chalets with large open balconies made me want to habitat there forever! The Jacuzzi was a major stress buster; it washed away all my city blues. I immensely enjoyed sipping cocktails at the poolside – taking life one sip at a time! And did some stargazing in the open lawns. Yes, there was a provision of binoculars, which made me wonder at the thoughtfulness of the caretakers. One could sense that the mission was not merely to make the property commercially viable.
“At one point, I simply wanted to cuddle the hen, rabbits and goats at the animal farm. You can even go old school and try milking the cows! And if you are the super-active kind of vacationer, saddle-up and give horseriding a shot, or while cycling through the sprawling property, get lucky enough to spot an antelope

Flora, fauna and harmony

Not only that, while having breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, visitors can expect to see foxes and jackals grazing in the wild. There’s the honeybee farm that came up with the purpose to promote pollination. Positioned amidst the growing mustard crop, indigenous methods are used to create the finest distinct flavoured mustard, honey. It is offered to the visitors, some of who leave donations as their contribution towards the day-care centre that operates in the vicinity.
Ask Samvida, what she fancied most at KL, and she declares, “Oh, it’s so colourful. I cannot forget the paths lined up with pink, orange, red and white bougainvillaea flowers and the ‘tree-top’ development. This concept is probably one-of-its-kind, which basically means the structures do not exceed the height of an average tree. The height of the buildings is restricted to an average two-storied construction. And spaces are created in a manner that divides clusters of chalets by green hedges and not by brick walls. “A go-to destination with family, friends, children and pets, it can also function as an art residency with an exhibition space for artists. In fact, there’s so much to explore even if you are headed only for a meal. So, ensure there’s no time constraint on your part. Lest you regret, better still, pack an overnight bag!”
The centre houses children of workers residing in surrounding areas. Visitors are even encouraged to spend time with these children. KL’s other attractions include a yoga and meditation room named Isha, wherein a daily ritual of chanting the mantras is carried out in the evening. Even though not mandatory, it is often well attended.

Neighbours envy!

One would agree, that properties such as KL, which displays a high level of commitment to eco-friendly practices, are hard to come across. Travelling on city roads or standing in the balcony of our homes, we often come across huge water tankers being driven to water-stressed areas. But only a few realize what must be done. KL arose out of a sense of urgency to act. It harvests rainwater, which is put back into the water table. Throughout the property, one finds large grated areas where rainwater flows. Another significant aspect is its sewage plant which makes the golf course sustainable. Applying a ‘no waste’ thematic approach, an interesting seating arrangement has been set up at the ‘Village’ (when you go to see the farm animals) using eco-bricks, which are up-cycled coloured plastic bottles.” From being completely solar-powered to converting dead leaves and plants into manure, all green norms are followed.
Kavz finds sophistication in everything at Karma. “From sculptures to accessories, everything is done tastefully,” she remarked. Her to-do list mentioned, “Having a special setup of one’s choice done at the machan (raised platform), as KL offers a real-life experience of a machan - the kind that hunters build to watch large animals in wildlife reserves!”