Barahi welcomes us with smile and some delicious Nepali food

Written by Sankalp Gupta 13 Jun 2019
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Wedding Fables was recently invited to be a part of a delightful group of people that were picked to be part of a familiarisation trip to Barahi Jungle Lodge in Chitwan, Nepal. One look at the itinerary, and there was no way an offer like this could be turned down. SANKALP GUPTA traveled to the beautiful country staying in the rustic yet sophisticated Barahi Lodges, experiencing the jungle life and safari and writes about the beautiful experience of a place that is perfect for a pre-wedding shoot and an unforgettable honeymoon destination if you love nature and safari.

After a day in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu visiting the temples and indulging in bit of shopping we were off to the Barahi Lodge in Chitawan, which is located in the middle of the jungle. Welcomed in the inimitable Nepali way of hospitality with tika and garlands we were handed the keys to our rooms. I had the pleasure of spending 2 night at the Barahi Chitwan Lodge in the middle of a beautiful jungle surrounded by animals. It was pristine and you could almost hear the gentle flow of the river Rapti along which the resort is located. What do you wish for when you are in the middle of the jungle, peace, quiet some chirping of the birds a good sunrise, a good sunset, lots of big cat sightings and of course delicious organic food. All of these wishes were granted as I settled myself for an amazing three days and two nights of my life.

By the way at Pokhra we got to see the Devi's Fall, or the Patale Chango as the local refer it to and taste some coffee made by Basanta Kaju while enjoying the scenic natural beauty and relished some local food.

Barahi restaurant interiors

In the middle of the six hour drive from our hotel in Pokhara, I could already feel we were travelling away from the urban city life to a dwelling so close to nature, only a handful of us have imagined, let alone experienced. On arrival, we were welcomed warmly by  Varun Kumar, Vice President at Barahi Jungle Lodge with welcome drinks and an overview of what to expect. We could barely contain our excitement. Situated along the banks of the Rapti river, The Barahi Jungle Lodge looks extremely luxurious and posh yet feels very homely and comforting. It is the perfect extended weekend getaway if you're looking to get away from the city life, close to nature while still being safe and easy. I personally felt no amount of time spent here would be enough, but you take what you can get, right?

The Barahi Jungle Lodge

The resort has breath taking beauty

Nepali thali

The resort is filled with such beautiful spots which makes clicking pictures such a pleasure

We were introduced to Saket (everyone calls him Saki), our wonderful Naturalist and guide for all our safaris who showed us our rooms, was very energetic and knowledgeable and loved to share his learnings. He accompanied us on our first boat safari of the trip. Rowing down the Rapti, we were lucky enough to spot a wide variety of birds, we got a closer look at Chitwan National Park and even came across a few crocodiles, giving us a glimpse of what we could expect when we actually go into the jungle. At the end of the safari, we had a sundowner waiting for us complete with barbecued food and tall glasses of wine. The perfect end to a long day of travelling.

Saki right in the front guiding us through the river safari

The sun downer in front of the river Rapti

We got an early start to the next day. A very short golf cart ride to our agreed assembly point for our Jeep Safari, excitedly I glanced at my surroundings. Looking very humble from the outside, The Barahi Jungle Lodge has a beautiful spa, a huge dining hall and mud cottages complete with straw roofs. The wooden interiors are skillfully finished that give you a perfect balance of modesty, simplicity and luxury. The Jeep safari is an absolute delight for nature lovers and heaven for birders. We were lucky enough to spot deer (spotted, Sambar and barking) and monkeys (rhesus macaques and langurs) along with wild boars and the great Indian Gaur. Saki was kind enough to educate me about all the birds that we came across on our 3 hour drive and I felt lucky at having the same level of excitement while being a complete bird newbie.The amazing staff at Barahi Jungle Lodge had packed us a much needed breakfast that we devoured somewhere in the heart of Chitwan National Park. We enjoyed our food alongside two one horned rhinos feeding on the grasslands and a couple of Ghariyals basking in the sun. On our way back, we spotted more rhinos and followed a tiger trail till lunch time, without much luck.

Breakfast was served in the middle of the jungle by the staff of the resort

After going back to the Lodge for lunch we spent some time with the elephants and their handlers. I discovered that about ninety percent of the staff at The Barahi Jungle Lodge are hired from the nearby village and also found out about the forest and wildlife conservation practices the lodge was involved with. It made everyone associated with the Barahi Jungle Lodge a winner, in my eyes.

Nobody had had enough of the jungle at this point. Half of us decided to go back in for a jeep safari while the other half (including me) decided to go for a closer inspection on foot. As we walked through the grasslands, entering deeper into the riverine forest, we were briefed by Saki on what to do in case something went wrong. That's when I realized that if I did come across a tiger, a leopard or a rhino on foot, we only had Saki's experience and a scrawny stick for protection. That thought alone made my room back at the lodge feel like the place to be. However, looking braver than I felt, I decided to stick to the plan, and into the jungle we went.

We were really quiet and spoke in whispers, trying not to scare (or attract) any wildlife that was possibly close to where we were. I was closer to nature than ever before and no matter who you are or where you've come from, it is impossible to be indifferent to the vibe and the intensity of the jungle. We followed a Rhino trail for a bit, till we reached an open patch of land somewhere deep in the jungle. While we rested, Saki pointed out a flock of hornbills that hadn't noticed us. It was mating season, and they were trying to impress the females with their high flying skills while being playful. We sat there, unnoticed by the birds for almost half an hour. In hindsight, I feel like this was my favorite part of the trip.

We realized the sun was about to set and it was time to go back to the resort. We were headed to Kathmandu once again for nights stay before returning back to Delhi.

Photographs by the author

 

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