Nestled in the foothills of The Himalayas, endowed with diverse flora and fauna flourishing in the most fertile region of Nepal called Chitwan valley is the world famous ‘Chitwan National Park.’ Adjoining the forest from two sides offering a breathtaking view of the National Park is ‘Barahi Jungle Lodge’, an ideal getaway for a memorable sojourn with nature.
The Lodge not only offers a breathtaking view of the virgin forests but its location on the banks of the river Rapti, makes it truly outstanding.
As the Resort is situated in the Tharu village, one can get a feel of the local lifestyle and culture in the ambience and décor of every space at the Resort. It truly gives a stunning insight into the aboriginal Tharu culture of Nepal interlaced with wilderness of Chitwan.
The architecture and interiors seamlessly blend with the character of the surrounding forest. The architecture and construction carefully includes local material like local bamboo and sustainable wood.
Spreading over 12 hectares, the lodge offers 34 deluxe boutique cottages and one family suite cottage. Each cottage has a private balcony offering panoramic views of the river and National Park.
The décor marks a rustic yet luxurious feel with a seamless blend of contemporary and traditional Nepali indigenous elements such as recycled wood, bamboo, elephant grass and animal arty-crafts. Wildlife-inspired décor and artifacts further enhance the look while the modern amenities make sure the guests have a comfortable stay by all means.
The Suite Cottage
For an ultimate lavish and stylish stay, The Suite Cottage is the ideal choice. It comes with two bedrooms- each with a dining room and a private bar with a private Butler service. You step out of the magnificent bedrooms and take a walk by the side of the river and extended grasslands. There is a swanky wooden deck that extends to a cosy campfire place and a private swimming pool. The floor to ceiling windows let you enjoy the river and forest’s vistas amidst the twittering of playful birds.
Culinary Fare At The Lodge
Taking your experience at the Resort a notch higher is the culinary delights. The Executive chef and his team are from the local region hence the guests get to taste the authentic Nepalese Cuisine prepared mostly with organically grown ingredients. Perk up your taste with with myriad Himalayan herbs and homemade pickles. The spread of Continental, Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine is very impressive as the Lodge hosts guests from all regions of the world. ‘Banyan Café’ serves all cuisines throughout the day while ‘Turtle Deck’ is your ‘go to place’ to spend hours over a cup of freshly brewed coffee and watch the pool and the river.
Settle down at The Tiger’s Den Bar and enjoy your commune with nature over crafted drinks and exotic apperitifs.
However, my favourite spot of the property was by the infinity poolside from where I could enjoy the rhythm of the river, the secret movement of the crocodiles in the river, gaze at their sun bathing activities with a drink in my hand or over a hearty meal.
Dinner experience at The Lodge is special. Several bonfire marks the seating arrangements so that guests can enjoy live performances of the local artists. Colorfully dressed Tharu girls and boys showcase their culture through dance and music performances giving a unique flavor of the region.
Guests can choose any corner of the property to relax or have a drink and the team follows them with impeccable service and warm hospitality. Lounge Library is a peaceful haven for those seeking ‘ME’ time, browsing through their laptops or books about the local region.
Head Chef - Sukhiram Mahato
Passionate about cooking Nepalese food since the age of 10, Sukhiram leads the kitchen team at the Lodge. Over the years, Sukhiram has mastered the art of preparing cuisines of the world. Right from picking every ingredient and vegetable for his kitchen, to taking specific orders, he is one chef who loves his village and has no desire to leave for seeking work elsewhere. The one thing that always reigns supreme in his heart is to buy local and eat local and when his guests relish his local food, that gives him ultimate satisfaction.
A Healing Spa
Unwind at the beautifully done spa that overlooks forests through large picture windows. The in-house Spa offers treatments that draw inspiration from Ayurveda, Naturotherapy and other Holistic practices that harness tranquility. The team is well trained to give the best services with the products and essential oils that are all best quality organics.
The delightful hideaway is truly a naturalist’s treasure trove. The Resort’s team is well experienced and knowledgeable to let their guests explore Chitwan’s wilderness in several ways. Jeep Safari, Boat Safari, Jungle Walks, Village walks on foot or bullock are organized by the team to provide a sneak peek into the cultural aspect of Chitwan. Tharu cultural dance performance by a local group is organized at the lodge in the evenings.
Chitwan National Park
Endowed with diverse flora and fauna flourishing in the most fertile region of Nepal called Chitwan valley is the beautiful location of Chitwan National Park in the foothills of The Himalayas. The valley is embraced with Mahabharat range in the North and Churia-Shiwalik hills in South which forms the international boundary with India. Chitwan National Park, famously known as the Land of Rhinos or heart of the jungle upof protected core area along the courses of Naraynai and Rapti River channels. The park was formed in 1973, subsequently designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 to protect the unique Terai habitats. The park is home to three protected reptiles of Nepal namely Ghariyal Crocodile, Golden Monitor Lizard and the Indian Rock Python. The forest is characterized by the mix of Sal (deciduous), Riverine and Grassland habitats. The prime wildlife attraction of the park is the Greater One-Horned Rhino, Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephants, Leopards and Sloth Bears. About 583 species of birds including winter and summer migrants from Indian Subcontinent, Russia and Africa also add to the charm of the forest. The park also has an endemic species of Nepal–the Spiny Babbler and other attractive residents such as the Great Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, Black Stork, Red-headed Trogon, Kalij Pheasant and Bengal Florican.
Experiences Not To Be Missed
The Lodge organizes several activities for all wildlife enthusiasts with well trained and experienced naturalists. The activities offered are as follows:
Nature walk is a unique highlight of Chitwan which unravels the hidden secrets in the woods. The jungle walk offers a great chance of spotting wildlife and is quite adventurous. The nature walks are led by an experienced naturalist and lodge’s local nature guide.
Enjoy sailing in the placid water of the Rapti River while watching crocodiles and several Wetland Species, migratory birds, elephants and if lucky, get a closer view of the Rhinos wallowing in water. Boat safari lets you enjoy the wildlife from the comforts of the boat. Boat safari is a peaceful one hour ride that is concluded with a well laid out sundowner at the merging point of Rapti and Narayani River.
Centuries old culture of the locals, Tharu Dance is an amazing way of expressing the significance of festivals, farm land and the tradition of united families in the life of Tharus. The cultural performances are organized at the lodge in the evenings.
Bullock Cart Village Visit
Enjoy bullock cart ride to visit the village and see Tharu houses, long stretches of farmlands and ancestral homes. Relish the moments when the locals will leave their tasks and give you a warm welcome.
Scheduled morning and afternoon safaris are organized in the core area of the National Park using lodge’s owned 4X4 vehicle. Jeep safari is the most preferred way to experience the dense flora and vivacious wildlife of Chitwan to go through various habitats following the tracks in the company of an experienced naturalist. There is an option for a full day safari as well.
This was written for Hotel Business Review .