12 Gorgeous Tented Camps In India To Stay At, Budget & Luxury Options
We’ve already told you about incredible Indian boutique hotels and great Goa homestays, and pretty much every other holiday option in-between because we daydream too much. This time, however, we’re eschewing the concrete confines of cement walls in favour of flimsy canvas. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re telling you to rough it. Some of the tented retreats we’ve picked out give walled structures a serious run for their money, and chances are, once you’ve experienced this, you’re going to feel horribly claustrophobic in a hotel room anyway.
To make it easier, we’ve split them up into budget, mid-range and luxury, as well as a few options that really take you back to basics and let you pitch your own tent. Probably a pretty great life skill to chalk up along the way honestly.
Scroll down for some seriously drool-worthy tented retreats across different budgets and try a more adventurous holiday.
I. Big Red Tent, Kolad, Maharashtra
Let’s start by telling you the best part about Big Red Tent—it’s only 3.5 hours away from Mumbai and Pune. And there’s no mobile network here either. Talk about a double whammy. The people behind BRD are Shyam and Sarita, who gave up corporate careers for a life spent in the outdoors. Washrooms and showers are shared, but trust us, none of that matters. If you’re reading this right now and thinking I can turn my phone off any time if I want to disconnect, try it. You won’t last five minutes. But here, you’ll have no choice. Stay a few nights and undergo a complete tech detox. You’ll leave feeling happier, lighter and a lot more in tune with your inner self than you ever thought possible. If you get tired of sitting around contemplating life, go river rafting—BRD is on the banks of the Kundalika river, which has grade two and three rapids. BRD also has other campsite locations: SH 92, near Imagica off the Mumbai-Pune expressway; another at Karnala, and the third at Vasind, off the Nashik highway.
Cost: Cheaper than your mobile bill at Rs. 1,800 per person per night.
II. Kinner Camps, Sangla, Himachal Pradesh
Kinner Camps is the only camp in the Sangla valley that’s run by locals, which in simple travel lingo means you’re in very good hands. It’s six hours from Shimla but the valley is unspoiled and picturesque. Kinner Camps’ 23 luxury Swiss tents have attached bathrooms and its restaurant serves multiple cuisines, which means you’ll never get bored of what’s on offer. Stroll in the nearby apple orchards, go rappelling or rock climbing, raft down the Baspa river or just kick back and relax, it’s entirely up to you.
Cost: Starts at Rs. 4,500 per night for two people depending on your destination. So, so worth it.
III. Tsomoriri Camp & Resort, Ladakh
Tsomoriri Camp & Resort is located on the shores of Tso Moriri Lake, 15,000 ft. high up in the Changthong region of Ladakh, approximately 240 km from Leh. The deluxe tents at this property all face the lake and come with en-suite bathrooms, which is definitely a luxury at this height. The resort is only open between mid-April and early October. Keep in mind that altitude sickness is a very real danger here. If you feel ill, bring it to the resort’s attention at once. They have on-site medical facilities to treat altitude sickness. The fact that the resort is in the middle of nowhere beside a giant lake thousands of feet up in the Rupshu Valley doesn’t stop them from offering up a whole array of cuisines—take your pick from North-Indian, Ladakhi, Tibetan, Gujurati, Jain, or South Indian.
Cost: Starts at Rs. 3,900 per night for two people. Staying here isn’t expensive, but getting here will be.
IV. Amarya Shamiyana, Goa
Amarya Shamiyana is a luxe tented camp on the sands of Ashvem Beach. The tents are fashioned in the style of Mughal hunting tents, or shamiyanas, and the suites are all air-conditioned. Which means you can catch some sun on the beach but then retreat into the cool of your own personal cocoon when the sun is at its hottest. Choose between the Pink, Blue, Purple, and Gold suites—they’re all ridiculously good. As is the food, their all-day breakfast is spoken of in hushed, revered tones. Amarya will also transform your tent into a spa for a few hours if you feel like getting pampered. There’s also complimentary Wi-Fi, but we don’t think you’ll be glued to your gadgets if you’re staying here.
Cost: Starts at Rs. 7,900 per night for two. Go for it.
V. Leopard Beach, Rishikesh
Leopard Beach lies on the banks of the Ganga, 16 km from Rishikesh. The canvas tents at this camp are simple yet comfortable, and come with attached facilities. You’re smack bang in the middle of nature here—what could be better than waking up to the sound of the Ganga and the calls of barking deer and birds? Go on day-long hikes, go rafting down the river, play volleyball with fellow campers on the banks, strap on a harness and go rappelling or set off on your own to explore the surrounding forests with a book in hand. It’s your choice.
Cost: Rs. 6,500 per night for two people. Totally worth it.
VI. Orchard Tents, Pushkar
Orchard Tents takes its name from the groves of amla that it is set in, quite close to the world-famous grounds of Pushkar, where the annual Pushkar Mela takes place. The tented resort is only open from September to May and is usually totally booked well before the famous fair. The 15 air-conditioned tents at Orchard are beautifully furnished and come with little accents and details that remind you you’re still in Rajasthan—a little blue pottery here, a little Rajasthani marble there. There’s also free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and a ton of activities on offer including village excursions, camel cart rides to the Pushkar grounds, archery, badminton, volleyball and cricket. Orchard also offers yoga classes, puppet shows, and even a painting session with local Rajasthani artists. Talk about making the most of your holiday.
Cost: Starts at Rs. 8,000 for two people. A great deal, considering everything on offer.
VII. Shergarh, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh
Shergarh sits on the outskirts of Kanha National Park, barely three kilometres from the park’s Mukki Gate and is open from October to May. With only six tents, it’s a pretty exclusive experience. The large, airy canvas tents all have mud-finished verandas and proper en-suite bathrooms. The focus at Shergarh is always the central watering hole. Fed by two perennial streams, it attracts plenty of wildlife, which means you can sit in the comfort of your shaded veranda and watch as birds and animals. Produce is sourced from the campsite’s garden (you’ve never seen a salad this green) and bread is freshly baked on-site every day—as are biscuits and cakes. While dinner is usually home-style Indian cooking, continental fare can be cooked upon request.
Cost: Rs. 11,000 per night for two people. Start packing.
VIII. Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
Talk about picture-perfect landscapes and Dzukou Valley on the border between Nagaland and Manipur comes to mind—it’s the North East’s Valley of Flowers and is home to the extremely rare Dzukou lily. This is back-to-basics camping at its most raw and most primal. You’ll find no cushy accommodation here. Actually, you’ll find nothing. It’s real camping, so carry what you need and pitch tent where you like. The valley is located 8,000 ft. above sea level with the majestic Japtu peak as a backdrop. Getting here might be a little difficult, so we recommend you first get to Dimapur and take a bus to Kohima. Once in Kohima, take a taxi to Viswema (25 km away) or Zakhama (20 km away). The trek from either village to the valley will take a few hours. Keep in mind that Indian nationals require an Inner Line Permit to visit Nagaland. For more information, check out the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region’s website.
Cost: Depends what you carry. We recommend a solar charger for your phone so you can get some drool-worthy pictures for Instagram.
IX. Chandratal Lake, Himachal Pradesh
Chandratal Lake lies in the Spiti-Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh at a height of 14,100 ft. and was named after its crescent moon shape. To get here, you have to trek six kilometres from Kumzum Pass or 15 km from Batal (between late May and early October only). You can either set up camp yourself or hook up a stay with Parasol Camps which offers tented accommodation on the lakeshore.
X. Camp Chamba, Thiksey, Ladakh
Camp Chamba is located at the base of the world-famous Thiksey Monastery. Its 14 colonial-style tents are more like five-star suites cocooned in canvas. Each tent is air-conditioned and has wooden flooring, a four-poster bed, antique furniture, an en-suite bathroom, and a writing desk. You also have a 24-hour butler on call and free Wi-Fi. Look out your window and the amenities and facilities at your disposal are almost flabbergasting. This is luxury at its best. If you feel adventurous, you can go trekking or raft down the Indus. We recommend taking in a game of Polo, the game is very popular here.
Cost: A night here costs Rs. 67,000 per person for a minimum three-night stay. Hope your credit rating is good.
XI. Sherbagh, Ranthambore, Rajasthan
Twelve gorgeous tents on the edge of Ranthambore National Park…let that sink in for a moment. Everything about Sherbagh—from the hand-stitched tents, to the 19th century furniture within—quietly says top-notch luxury. The tents are air-conditioned and come with well-appointed bathrooms and a private veranda. If you feel like splurging a bit, spring for a suite. It comes with a Jacuzzi. Sherbagh also has a swimming pool, and spa, as well as an organic garden that supplies the kitchen. Dinner is the one meal to look forward to here: it’s cooked outdoors in traditional clay ovens. Don’t’ forget the primary reason you’re here though: safari. After all, Ranthambore is one of the world’s most famous tiger reserves. Additionally, you can go on spice trails, wilderness walks, bird walks, and photography safaris. Sherbagh is open between October 1st and May 15th.
Cost: A night here costs upwards of Rs. 48,000 for two people. Break the bank. It’s worth it.
XII. The Serai, Jaisalmer
Camping out in the desert doesn’t sound particularly tempting. The extreme weather is usually a deal breaker. But what if we told you that you could camp in the desert and not have to worry about anything? That you’d be smack bang in the middle of some of the most eye-popping luxury imaginable, in one of the remotest areas? We’re talking about The Serai in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. 21 enviously well-appointed and spacious tents erected on sandstone plinths rise out of the sand and everywhere you look, it’s evident that no expense has been spared to create The Serai in the middle of nowhere. An oasis, that’s exactly what it is. We’d be lying if we said all the tents aren’t gorgeous, because they are—heartbreakingly so. But the Royal Tented Suite deserves a special mention because it’s jaw dropping. Forget the fact that it comes with a private butler; it has a heated outdoor pool, separate dining and living tents, and it’s own spa. If you’ve always wanted to experience the desert without wanting to rough it, this is where you need to be. And don’t worry if you get some sand in your champagne, we’re pretty sure they’ll replace it for you.
Cost: Starts at Rs. 68,000 per night for two people. The Serai is not for the faint of heart, but that doesn’t mean one can’t dream.
Researched by Raj Rege