Get In Touch With Your Wild Side
The sweet smell of the earth’s soil, under a canopy of trees; the sound of gushing streams through quiet grasslands; the sight of vibrantly hued birds flocking over mountain tops; or the roar of a lone tiger echoing through the jungle. These are some of the wonders that await nature lovers on a visit to one of Taj Holiday’s wilderness retreats. This fantastic collection of wildlife adventures are ideal to disconnect and rejuvenate in serenity.
Meghauli Serai, A Taj Safari- Chitwan National Park
This 30-room lodge, perched on the banks of the Rapti River in Nepal with its sweeping views of Chitwan National Park, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Making you feel one with the wilderness, it has a gorgeous infinity pool that seamlessly blends into its surroundings, alongside a cosy barbeque where hotel guests congregate on chilly nights. 16 luxury villas, both river and jungle facing, offer their own private plunge pools, bathrooms with Nepalese stone bathtubs and open-to-sky showers as well as spacious bedroom areas. If you are looking for a truly unparalleled experience, book a private lunch on their Machan- a viewing platform perched on a sand bank in the middle of the river, only accessible by boat and overlooking the jungle.
With more than 625 species of birds, Chitwan National Park is famed for being home to the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Safari options include 4x4 Jeep safaris, elephant-back safaris, walking safaris or canoe rides on the Rapti River. You’ll likely encounter leopards, sloth bears, striped hyenas, wild dogs and even Bengal Tigers on your adventures.
Best time to Visit:
October through March, when the weather is dry and cool. The park and hotel are open year-round.
The hotel is an hour’s drive from Bharatpur Airport (20 mins flight from Kathmandu), or a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu.
Pashan Garh, A Taj Safari - Panna National Park
If you’re looking for the perfect wilderness vantage point, this cluster of 12 stone cottages huddled atop a small hill is the place to be. Set amidst 200 acres of private wilderness, the lodge is situated close to a watering hole which makes for great wildlife sightings. The airy guest rooms, built with stone reminiscent of Khajuraho, have plush bedrooms, a gazebo and a private veranda. The common areas include courtyards and a stone deck overlooking the expanse of the wilderness, giving the lodge its signature airiness. Relax in a rectangular pool under shady trees or delight the history buff in you by taking an hour-long drive to the famed Khajuraho Temple complex – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Khajuraho is one of India’s foremost architectural marvels, built by the Chandela Dynasty between the 10th and 11th centuries.
One of the main attractions of Panna Tiger Reserve is the Ghariyal, a fish-eating crocodile which is found exclusively in the Indian subcontinent. Around 50 royal Bengal Tigers roam the park along with wolves, wild dogs, leopards, sambhar and chital deer and sloth bears. Birding enthusiasts can look forward to seeing eagles and King Vultures, among many other species. There are 2 safari drives a day in open 4x4 jeeps, and walking safaris in the buffer zone.
Best time to Visit:
November through March for cool weather and sighting animals soaking in the sunlight. November through January is best for birdwatching, though one should stick around as the annual Khajuraho Dance Festival takes place every year in February. Sadly, due to the tremendous amount of rainfall, and inaccessible roads the park is closed in the monsoons.
The closest airport is Khajuraho (1-hour drive)
Baghvan, A Taj Safari- Pench National Park
These 12 colonially inspired, ‘machan’ style bungalows are situated a few minutes’ drive from the entrance of Pench National Park. The common areas are filled with artefacts reminiscent of a bygone era – from a vintage radio and crystal candelabras to Parsi tiles, woven hyacinth furniture and ebony chests. The infinity pool overlooking the forest is a delightful place to relax as is the private sit-out of your copper shaded bungalow.
Famously known to be the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, Pench is home to all its characters including Sher Khan (the Royal Bengal Tiger), Baloo the sloth bear and Bageera the black panther. It is also home to the Gaur (Indian Bison), which rarely found in other reserves across the country.
Best time to Visit:
The winters from November to February are cool and make for great wildlife viewing. The park remains closed during the monsoon season, to promote breeding of the wild animals.
The closest airport to Pench National Park is Nagpur (100kms, 2-hour drive)
Mahua Kothi, A Taj Safari - Bandhavgarh National Park
Surrounded by Mahua trees, nestled in 45 acres of private forest on the edge of Bandhavgarh national park, this remote lodge has 12 standalone rustic luxury mud cottages. The common areas are housed in a large brick building with gorgeous verandas overlooking the grasslands, and the dining hall has a fireplace to keep guests warm through the chilly winters. Relax in the bean-shaped pool or indulge in a select treatment offered by in-house masseurs. One of the highlights of the lodge is its organic garden where guests can pick fresh vegetables and fruit for their meals. The team at the lodge is happy to plan nature trail walks and interactions with local tribes just for you.
: Known to have one of the highest densities of tigers per square kilometre, Bandhavgarh is a wildlife lovers delight. With over 30 species of mammals, 250 species of birds and many more species of reptiles you can be sure to catch fauna like tigers, leopards, a variety of deer, the Asiatic jackal, Egyptian vultures, vipers, pythons and turtles. A guest can choose from 4x4 open jeep and elephant-back safaris.
Best time to Visit:
The winter lasting from November to February has excellent weather and is a great time to visit for animal sightings and birdwatching opportunities, as many migratory birds make their way to the park during this time. March and April are hotter months but as the forest foliage thins tiger sightings are easier to come by. The park is closed in the monsoons, during the festival of Holi and on Wednesday afternoons, so plan ahead.
The closest airport is Jabalpur, 190 kms from the hotel.
Banjaar Tola, A Taj Safari - Kanha National Park
Located on the banks of the Banjaar river overlooking Kanha National Park, this private lodge has two intimate camps of nine luxury tents each, all enclosed within 90 acres of private Sal forest. Each camp has its own interactive dining areas, pools and indoor- outdoor lounges. The tents are perched on stilts and glamorously designed with spectacular glass doors that lead out to a floating veranda, providing stunning views of the Banjaar river and the core zone of the park. The chefs are happy to set up a special poolside dinner for your family or host an interactive cooking lesson that allows you to learn about the local cuisine.
A treasure trove of wildlife and avifauna, Kanha is home to tigers, panthers, chital, black bucks, pythons, the Indian cobra, Indian monitor lizards, water snakes and around 300 species of birds including bee-eaters, flycatchers, buzzards, egrets, eagles and more. Safaris are recommended on 4x4 jeeps and are available to a limited number of vehicles twice a day.
Best time to Visit:
The park is open from mid-October to June and is closed for the monsoons. Every season brings a different visage to the Kanha Reserve. Winters are cold and frost often coats the meadows, as animals and birds take any chance of sunlight to come out and bask in its warmth. Migratory birds from as far as Europe also make their way to Kanha in the winters. While spring is pleasant and probably the best bridge season to see the park in, the summers are very hot but make for great tiger sightings amidst drying foliage.
Nearby airports include Jabalpur (176 km), Nagpur (270 km), Raipur (225 km) or the private Birwa Airstrip (12 km).
Taj Corbett Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand
Located on the banks of the River Kosi, this resort is perfect for large groups and families and has all the creature comforts one could desire. A fully equipped fitness centre will help you stay in shape even on holiday, while the serene Jiva Spa offers several signature experiences like the ‘Udhanna’ experience – which uses coffee beans, avocado and rice powder to cleanse your skin. There is an event space to host up to 200 people and a boardroom to host about 20, with all the audio-visual equipment you require for offsite meetings. Enjoy a farm-to-table Kumaon style meal or take this opportunity to experience a unique survival training course.
Known as one of India’s oldest tiger reserves, it is also home to fishing cats, leopards, deer, sloth bears and Indian pangolins. A paradise for bird lovers, the park sees several migratory and resident avifauna. Apart from the wildlife, there’s plenty of other excitement including riverside activities, archery, noodle hockey for children, Himalayan mountain drives, forest trails and overnight camping sessions for the entire family.
Best time to Visit:
Parts of the park are open all year round. The best time to visit is the winter between November and February for amazing birding and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is a 2-hour drive from the resort.
Vivanta Sawai Madhopur Lodge, Ranthambore
The erstwhile hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Jaipur, this heritage property is almost a century old and retains much of its colonial charm. Tents pitched for the Maharaja’s guests all over the vast grounds, have since given way to spacious rooms and suites. The original art-deco styled main lodge still houses the original dining hall and lounge, with an added grand veranda. One of the signature experiences at the lodge is a barbeque style dinner at a hunting lodge near Awand, on the outskirts of the Ranthambore Forest, where you can enjoy a specially curated meal under a starry sky and listen to a folk storyteller weave tales of the land, over your favourite libation.
Ranthambore is known for its dense tiger population and gorgeous landscape which is dotted with lakes and remains of palaces inside the jungle. An imposing fort surrounds the jungle and two of India’s mightiest mountain ranges, the Vindyas and the Aravalis, meet inside the park. Wildlife is abundant and you are sure to see tons of prancing langoors, crocodiles basking on the lake’s shores, resident birds of prey, leopards and sloth bears, along with other mammals, reptiles and avifauna. Safaris are in 4x4 jeeps twice a day or you can purchase a full-day or half-day pass to roam the park’s many zones, restriction free.
Best time to Visit:
The winter from November to early March is cool and pleasant, and a wonderful time to visit the park. Animals soak in the sun and migratory birds are seen in large numbers. The park’s water bodies are also full during this time giving the gorgeous fortress area a compellingly beautiful feel. March, April and May are hotter months but as the forest foliage thins, waterholes dry up and tiger sightings are spectacular. Most of the park is closed in the monsoon.
Jaipur is the closest airport (2.5-hour drive) and Sawai Madhopur is the closest railway station (10 mins from hotel).
The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest
One of the best leisure hotels in the area, The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest is the perfect base to explore the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. The spacious rooms are equipped with modern amenities and some offer river-view, sit-out balconies. The spa offers an array of wellness treatments and the event spaces are perfect for mid-sized family gatherings. The multi-cuisine restaurant serves an extravagant buffet spread or an a la carte menu and the chef is always delighted to accommodate your dietary needs.
Gir National Park is the only natural habitat dedicated to the Asiatic Lion. Over 500 lions roam the park along with other smaller carnivores like the Jackal, the striped Hyena, and the Indian Fox. Reptiles like the king cobra and marsh crocodile can be seen in large numbers. It is also home to raptors like the critically endangered white-backed and long-billed vulture.
Best time to Visit:
The best time to visit the park is from November to January in the winters as the summers are brutally hot for animals and tourists. The park is closed in the monsoon.
Rajkot airport is a 3-hour drive from the hotel. Alternatively, trains connect to Junagadh and Veraval stations, both just over an hour’s drive from the hotel.
Plan your perfect escape away from city life – where your first visit to any of these safari destinations is guaranteed to convert you into a wildlife lover, and if you have been before, every successive trip will only reaffirm your love for nature. With Taj Holidays you are assured a jungle vacation in utmost luxury, that will leave you replete with a lifetime of memories.
IHCL’s safari lodges all over India, are the ultimate wilderness retreats, offering the perfect chance to get your heart racing with adventure experiences. With the best in class hospitality, inimitable dining, unique recreational experiences, picturesque locations & exciting safari holiday packages- cherish moments for a lifetime with Taj Holidays. Every holiday is crafted with impeccable details just for you and your loved ones.