After the first excursion to on a road trip with Scout My Trip and Oyo Rooms, our second trip was soon after. Nepal Tourism Board along with PATA(Pacific Asia Travel Association) was hosting a treasure trove of international travel bloggers and media for the International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference 17 along with the Himalayan Travel Mart. After our short cultural stay in the little village of Panauti, It was time to discover wildlife of Nepal at the Chitwan National Park. The park is known for its one horned rhinoceros and we were a select few to be hosted by Taj Safaris at Meghauli Serai. Our companions for this part of my journey were Aniesia Williams from I am Aniesia, Aileen Adalid from , Christine Kaaloa from GRRRL Traveler, Emily Luxton from Emily Luxton Travels and Thiru Matheson.
Our trip from Panauti had been nearly 13 hours in the offing and we were already tired and ready to crash for the day when we reached Meghauli Serai. The astounding beauty of the place literally took my tiredness away. Nested in the midst of the jungle, the luxury at this property is beyond imagination. The hotel has 30 rooms overlooking the Himalayas and the Rapti river. My room overlooked the grasslands and the river and I could often see an elephant or two strolling about.
Rooms at Meghauli Serai
I immediately fell in love with my room the moment I walked in. The traditional luxury of is displayed in the beautiful motifs on the walls along with four poster beds that are colour co-ordinated in shades of grey and white. The entrance to the resort is traditional Newari architecture while I find a slew of copper pots from the Tharu culture spread all over the resort. But the thing that absolutely takes my breath away is the personal outdoor swimming pool that opens out into the forest.
The resort also makes me fall in love with its colours. The sitting area/lounge has a large sofa topped off by a huge chandelier hanging from the sloping wooden ceiling. The cushion covers here are made of organic banana fabric. For all the water lovers, there is another infinity pool along with the personal one overlooking the pool. This is where we ladies had the most fun having our evening drinks and relaxing after a long day in the forest.
Even with all these amenities, the true test of a forest lodge is in the jungle trails it actually organizes. Our naturalist Pradeep gives us a brief description of what we are supposed to expect next day in the forest. After a quick light breakfast, we head out in our 4*4 Tata jeeps for a ride into the forest. The first thing that we saw were tiger paw prints on the ground in patterns leading to the jungle. Our encounter with the one horned Rhinoceros was a sight to behold. Although they appear to be pretty benign, but do not try to get on the wrong side of this grumpy giant.
After a good four hours of hiking deep into the jungle, we settled down for an elaborate breakfast on the banks of river Rapti and the hospitality of Taj came to fore again. Our breakfast consisted of some tasty Sandwiches, Kathi rolls, Croissants along with some juices. While we sat down on tree stumps munching on our tit bits, a mommy elephant and her baby started playing by the riverside.
River Safari along Rapti
But the day wasn't over yet. The evening was promised to be one of relaxation, fun and entertainment. We embarked upon our journey on a canoe rowing along the Rapti river. It was cloudy and the rains had already started to lash out. We were provided with rain coats which we donned on for the rest of our journey and drifted along the slow waves of the Rapti discovering a ton of Nepal's flora and fauna. The recovery of this country post the earthquake of 2015 has been nothing short of miraculous and this has led to a resurgence of tourism in this Himalayan country.
Although all of the bloggers on the cultural group ended with a river ride, we the lucky few were bestowed with Taj's special treatment with a sundowner in the jungle. We ladies had an awesome time enjoying our favourite tipple while the sun descended behind the clouds at Chitwan National Park.
Dinner at Meghauli Serai
We return back to our resort after a full day's worth of adventure and the welcome took away our day's tiredness. Cold towels and a glass of juices set us up perfectly for the frivolities of the evening. A traditional Tharu Thali dinner scene is set up at a small little man made village right behind the resort. We see the beautiful Tharo tribe decked up in traditional attire for an exuberant dance performance for our entertainment. My friends and me joined along and danced into the night. The story of the rhinoceros has been indeed a miraculous one. It has been brought back from almost being extinct to now population joining us at the dinner table.
Meghauli Serai was one of the highlights on our trip to Nepal. With the luxury of Taj Safaris at our service, it is one of my favourite ways to explore Chitwan National Park.
How to get there?
The easiest way to get there is a drive from Kathmandu airport for about 4.5 hours (176 kms). The best time to visit is after the monsoons get over in July. You can do your booking of Taj Safaris .