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“A conflicting experience for animal lovers.”
Review of Krishna Ranch

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Krishna Ranch
Ranked #11 of 276 Udaipur B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 November 2013

This is a difficult review to write because there were some very good aspects to my mine and my partner's stay on the ranch but we feel compelled to comment because we also found some great discrepancies with some of the claims on the website (and indeed the comments certain reviewers have made on here); and we feel we are obliged to write the review we wish we could have read, to raise some of the issues concerning the treatment of the animals on the farm.
We have allocated a rating of 'Average' to reflect the positive aspects of our stay: the ranch is located in a beautiful, unspoiled region, close enough to the city for convenience but certainly far enough away to truly feel peaceful, and the accommodation was lovely- in fact, we liked our cottage so much we immediately arranged to book in for two nights at the sister property in the city.
However, after looking around, we quickly began to feel uncomfortable with the way in which the animals were kept and the treatment they were given.
The website states that 'at the ranch [the horses] have spacious stables and a big fenced area where they can be free during the day' but during the three days we stayed this was certainly not the case: while two foals occupied the paddock, the remaining horses were tethered under their chins AND by one foot throughout the day, giving them little or no mobility. Consequently, they were clearly uncomfortable, straining at these bonds and stamping their hooves frequently; on serval occasions we also witnessed horses struggling to reach the food trough, being forced to stretch their tethered leg out behind them - employees were present at these times and did nothing to make them more comfortable.
While it was clear that the horses were well- fed and fairly healthy (excepting a nasty eye-infection one was suffering with, while still being used for rides), it seemed that they were simply there to fulfill a function and the love and respect other reviewers witnessed was not in evidence. (I must note here that Dinesh was away during our stay, leading a 10 day ride, so perhaps some things may have been different had he been present, but it was clear that the tethering by the ankles was an established practice, as there were rings put in the ground specially to facilitate this.) While the male employees did exhibit some moments of gentleness with the horses, we saw a female employee scream and shout at a horse she was trying to move, to a degree that was genuinely upsetting.
This treatment led to the horses being extremely highly-strung: they were frequently trying to kick each other and were usually unsettled, which was particularly evident when we went out for a half day ride. I was shocked that no one asked how much riding experience we had before pairing us to a horse and we had to speak up as they were planning on putting my partner (a novice) on an extremely challenging horse and me on the horse that was suitable for beginners. We arranged to switch and as soon as i mounted I was so relieved we had, as the horse I was riding was extremely difficult to manage and would have been impossible for a beginner; indeed, although I have ridden frequently in the past, I struggled throughout with him. It was clear that he was a lovely horse but entirely unsuited to being ridden by tourists with little riding knowledge on what was essentially a walking site-seeing ride; he wanted to go faster from the start (probably because he had been restrained throughout the previous 48 hours we had seen him) and it was a constant battle to keep him under control and stop him getting spooked by passing traffic, most notably, buffalo. (On a positive note, we were accompanied by two men in addition to our mounted-lead, which did mean that neither of us ever felt unsafe, though the claim that all the guides speak 'fluent English' on the website is incorrect - this was not detrimental to safety, but it was to comfort as it was impossible for us to explain more complicated requests. Dinesh's brother was kind to us during the ride though and pointed out some of the local sites and took us to see the lake.)
In addition to the horses' conditions being less than we would have hoped, we were also saddened by the treatment of the two dogs: one of these, Lucky, had given birth to a litter of puppies 20days ago, whom she was nursing, but she was so thin that we could see all of her bones. While some of this may be down to her vegetarian diet and the demands of her litter, it was clear she needed more food to compensate. The other dog, Julie, appeared in better condition but flinched and cowered every time a certain employee came anywhere near her, which led us to draw inevitably dark conclusions and neither dog was shown any affection during our time there.
The remaining animals -cows, including a ten day old calf, and goats- were tethered by their necks on short leashes which were actively dangerous (my partner had to intervene to stop two goats from potentially hanging themselves when they nearly fell off the edge of a wall while tethered). They were also on the receiving end of the female employee's angry shouts and, in the goats' case, thrashes with sticks.
While we are aware that farming methods and attitudes to animals are inevitably going to be different to what we are used to in England, it was impossible for us to not be affected by the things we saw and would certainly preclude us ever returning or recommending the ranch to others. As much of the business must come from Western tourists, I would urge the owners to consider how behavior like this is going to be perceived by guests who are very likely to be animal lovers and perhaps consider implementing stricter guidelines for their employees. The ranch genuinely has a lot to offer tourists and, as stated above, there were many aspects of our stay that were good- indeed, if the animal care could be improved, it would be wonderful but it really isn't enough to write on your website 'of course all animals are very well looked after by us and our dedicated staff' if you are not committed to putting this into practice.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Leah-Kitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
krishnaranch, Owner at Krishna Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2013

Thanks for your review.

We (Dinesh and Francine, the owners) have read all remarks you made about the treatment of our animals and we are very upset about most of the commends you make. Just a few simple question from your side could have made things clear.

We truly love our animals and we do treat them very well. Our staff ,although they may shout sometimes when goats are coming into their cooking area, equally love all the animals. The goats are free all day, apart from the evenings and early mornings. Narani (the women you were talking about) has been working with us for 15 years and of course we would never keep staff which would not be nice to animals. Our dogs love her and follow her wherever she goes. She has kept new born twin goats in her house for several weeks to hand-feed them and would never harm any animal.
Our dog has given birth to puppies a few weeks ago and is a little thin. She gets special food to make her stronger and I am sure she will be fine in a few weeks when her puppies have gone. We make sure that all puppies get good homes with caring owners. The other dog, Julie is a very happy dog, friendly to everyone and loved by our staff. If you see the spirit and happiness of both dogs you can be sure they are not being mistreated by anyone.

About our horses. This part specially has affected Dinesh who truly loves his horses and is passionate about them. Dinesh was away on safari when you were there and took 5 horses with him which usually are located in the big stables. Two baby-horses and a mother with her filly were still in the stable when you were there. The 4 horses which were kept under the big tree are there because they like to be with other horses and are not happy to stay in stables. One back-leg is tied because they otherwise would get mixed up with their legs in the rope around their neck. They get lots of exercise either by going on safaris or by being free in the paddock. The paddock is being used by us to let all horses free for a few hours every day. Only horses which are going well together are being released and as our main staff was not there we decided not to use the facility for a few days to make sure that nothing would go wrong. Our horses are normally only tied up for a few hours in a day.

There was no horse having an eye-infection at all. The horse you are talking about (Bisli) was born with one eye only. You mistakenly took this for an infection. Bisli was actually saved by Dinesh a few year ago because the previous owner wanted to put her down. She became one of our most loved and best mares.
I have just spoken to the participants at the safari to Pushkar and they literally told me:’ we want to be your horses in our next life because they are being looked after so well and lovingly.”

We get a lot of good commends from other tourists about your guide (Vimal)who even have particulary asked for him when they came for a second ride. Normally Dinesh, the owner, guides the safaris but we think Vimal is very capable of doing the same. Note that Marwari horses are very spirited compared to other breeds. This makes them interesting to ride, specially for the experienced riders.

It is a pity you did not ask any questions while staying at the ranch or in writing afterwards.. We could clarify a lot of the issues you mention. I can say from my heart that we love our animals, would never harm them and we only employ staff who feel the same love for animals like we do.. This is reflected by all other reviews on this website.

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95 - 101 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2013

My friends recommended Krishna Ranch to me. They had been on a 4 day trip with Krishna Ranch 6 months ago and loved it. Unfortunately I did not have time to do a long trip so decided to stay at the ranch and book 2 half day rides with Dinesh. It was fabulous. The horses were great:well looked after and well behaved. Dinesh is a very pleasant guide who was really proud to show the beautiful area around Krishna Ranch.
I was very lucky to witness the birth of a gorgeous filly when I was staying there. The mother and baby had a beautiful big stable, built out of natural stones.

My cottage at the ranch was spotless and spacious, The food delicious. Krishna Ranch is a very special place away from the beaten track. I would recommend it to everyone looking for nature, peace, village- life and beautiful horses.

I really hope I will be able to come back to Krishna Ranch in the near future.

Justine, France

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank justtraveling25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

We were picked up from the airport and taken to the ranch. The staff were very friendly and talkative. If you love horses then this is the place for you. The horses are very well catered for. Sunraj made a fire for us to sit by in the evening, lovely watching the stars and listening the the wild life and the crackle of the fire. Its a working farm and there is always something going on. Our chalet was spotless, with seats outside that we could sit and relax. We went a guided days walk with plenty of stops to see rural India. Very enjoyable and a welcome break from palaces, temples and forts.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mkkk64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2013

My husband and I did the 4 day horse trek to Kumbalgarh Fort and it was a truly unique way to explore India. The route was really beautiful and had varied terrian and gave a real insight to the way of life in rural Rajasthan. The horses are realky well cared for and the whole organisation was very good. 5 young guys accompanied us and Dinesh as the driver, cook and bike support team and though they were very pleasant there was little interaction as they didn't speak English. The lunch and dinners were the best food that we had eaten in our whole time in India. However, we have mixed feelings about our experience as there were certain things that did not meet our expectations based on the price we were paying which was a lot by Indian standards. Firstly, though the tent and bed was comfy, the bed linen was very old and tatty, not what you expect for £180 per day. There were no washing facilities which was expected but it would have been nice to be offered a bowl or something in order to use for a wash. Similarly, a small tent with rustic commode was provided but we had to ask for toilet paper and most of the time it was easier to pee/poo behind a bush. Make sure you take wet wipes. Breakfast was bad. A few packets of sweet biscuits, weird crusty french toasts, plastic bread and unpleasant peanut butter. Luckily there was some fruit on offer and a decent coffee and chai. As it was only the two of us taking part on the trek, we were hoping that there would be more comraderie/interaction in the evenings from Dinesh in order to make us feel more welcome and make the evenings more pleasant and interesting. On occassions we felt like a spare part and needed a bit more information about what to expect from the days routine.
All in all an amazing experience and superb way to see India but for the money we paid, we wanted better hosting and improvments could be made.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank poppitbobbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
krishnaranch, Owner at Krishna Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2013

Dear guest,

First of all, thanks for your feedback. We always like to know the opinion of our guests about our sevices, so we can improver wherever we can.

I have to make a few remarks about the points you make in your review:
First of all, to be perfectly clear: the price you mention is for 2 participants (not per person) and based on a safari with 2 participants only. If there are more participants the price will go down. Our safaris are cheap compared to what other Indian companies ask.

We told you at the start of the safari that we were not taking our toilet/shower van as there we only the 2 of you. You agreed and I think the basic (private)facilities for shower/toilet are perfectly adequate. We are camping in the jungle, it is not a 5 star hotel. Toilet-paper is being provided, maybe the boys forgot to put it, so you had to ask. I don’t see the problem in this really. We provide you with plenty of water for a bucket shower which you could take in a private enclosure.

About breakfast: we offer: bread/butter/jam/ peanutbutter/omelettes or boiled eggs/ a variety of fresh fruits/ tea and coffee and a choice of cornflakes or porridge. The biscuits and toast are an extra and absolutely not the whole breakfast.

About Dinesh’s company : Dinesh speaks very well English and of course you can’t expect that all staff speaks English as well. In the evenings he does talk(and all day during the ride) with the guests and provides all information needed. At times he feels that he should leave the guests alone to give them some space of their own because he has been with them already all day.
Krishna ranch is the only company where the owner guides all safaris himself. In this way guests can get first hand information about Marwari horses and the culture and nature of the beautiful area we are passing through. You can read other reviews on this website and see that all customers are very satisfied with his professional guidance and friendly company.

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Reviewed 1 March 2013 via mobile

I may be a bit bias because horses are my passion, but this place is a dream come true. My partner and I have been travelling through India for over a month and Krishna ranch is just what we needed. A break from the busy and hectic cities for two nights was heaven. The food is amazing and the cottage was cozy, clean and private. The staff are wonderful and very nice. We went for a 1/2 day trek as my partner does not ride and we both had a great time. He felt very comfortable and safe. We walked through villages and learned so much, thanks to Denish. It was such a wonderful way to see rural Udaipur. Then in the afternoon Denish's brother took me out on a private ride so I could go at a bit faster pace. It was perfect. The horses are stuning, well loved and looked after. You can tell that all the staff that work with the horses share the same passion for them as the owner Denish. Even if you want a relaxing place to stay without going horse back riding this is a wonderful place to unwind. My partner also went for a hike around the area and had a great time. I cannot say enough good things about this place. I would stay forever if I could.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank renata7804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2013

We had a wonderfull time in Krishnaranch.Helpfull staff.Beautifull quiet area still nearby the city.
Quiet nights in a beautifull area.The horstrekking was a wonderfull experience. Accomodation was excellent en spacious.
Hans and Fokke

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank fokke k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

STaying two nights at the Krishna Ranch in Febr. 2013, gave us wonderful sights on India´s countryside with it`s people and landscapes there.
An oasis to rest and experience nature ,wildlife and villages.
The owner leads horse- and trekking-tours in a very pleasant way.
Delicious food and peacefull athmosphere!
We enjoyed our visit there a lot!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank martina_baur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Krishna Ranch

Address: Badi - Hawala Road | Near Royal Retreat, Village Hawala, Udaipur 313001, India
Region: India > Rajasthan > Udaipur District > Udaipur
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 276 B&Bs / Inns in Udaipur
Price Range: £36 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
DISCOVER RURAL INDIA! The Krishna Ranch is an excellent place for everyone who wants to get away from India's busy cities and discover rural India. The ranch is located at a very peaceful spot in the Arravali mountains, just 7 kilometers out of Udaipur city. The Krishna Ranch is not a typical resort, but a living farm with 14 beautiful Marwari horses, many other animals and lush fields with a variety of crops. The cottages at the ranch are clean and spacious, nicely decorated with regional handicrafts. We serve excellent vegetarian meals, mostly prepared from vegetables grown at our ecological farm. The ranch is a great starting point for short walks and bicycle rides to the surrounding villages. We will provide a simple map of the area and packed lunches for a pick-nick on the way are available. Guided treks to the remote parts of the Arravali-mountains are also possible. The beautiful and peaceful ranch is of course also a place to just sit back and relax. There is a small library with books and games. Roomrates include breakfast and pick up from Udaipu-city at the start of your stay and drop off at the end of your stay. The main activity organized by Krishna Ranch are professionally guided horse-safaris through the beautiful Arravali mountain-range. There are possibilities for everyone: from beginners to experienced riders, from 2,5 hours to 10 days! Of course all our horses and other animals are very well looked after by us and our dedicated staff. Note that rides/guided hikes need to be booked in advance. ... more   less 
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