Dudhwa: An Ultimate Encounter With The Wild
Set within the dense jungles of the Terai region, The Jaagir Lodge at Dudhwa is the best place to #UnHoliday! Get ready for an exclusive raw and rugged experience with The Ultimate Travelling Camp as you set out on wildlife safaris to explore the forests, wildlife and the local culture of Terai, all in the comfort of supreme luxury.
Words By Jovita Elveera Mendonca
The Chronicles Of The Jungle, Unfurled
With a gentle whisk of elegance, grace and pride, TUTC delivers an exquisite, tailor-made holiday at the Jaagir Lodge, a heritage structure loaded with ultimate luxury, and surrounded by forest reserves. Your #UnHolidayAtDudhwa blends innate and authentic experiences with the finest luxury for the ultimate wildlife experience.
Explore the dense forests of the Terai region and encounter great wild beasts as you embark on wildlife safaris or walk through mystical leaf-carpeted forests. Adore the beauty of a woody paradise boasting of sparkling streams and marvel at ancient, deep-rooted trees; a sight that will soothe your heart and perpetually reside in your mind.
There’s a charm that lingers in the wilderness. Set out on a quest to explore the dense forests of Terai at dawn, when the first rays of the sun lightly graze dewdrops on the leaves, parting old branches with heavenly seams of gold. This misty-morning jungle scene is a feast to the eyes, while the cheerful chirping and flapping of the many winged creatures bring to you joy, beyond bounds.
Wild #UnHoliday Experiences With TUTC
Get ready for an exclusive, raw and rugged experience as you uncover the secrets of the wild, in the forests of Dudhwa, Katarniaghat, Kishanpur and Pilibhit. Indulge in a thrilling wildlife safari to spot rare big cats and one-horned rhinos, ride majestic elephants, indulge in some birdwatching, or walk along stunning nature trails.
1. Wildlife Safari: Dudhwa National Park
Once the day lights up, set out on an elephant ride to investigate the thick prairies, looking for the majestic one-horned rhinoceros, first represented in the recreation centre under the rhinoceros protection programme, in return of elephants from Nepal. You will have abundant sightings of fishing cats, hog deer, alligators, elephants, one-horned rhinos, migratory winged creatures and that’s just the beginning. Be confident of spotting rare, endangered animals in the Dudhwa National Park!
This forest reserve lies amid warm, subtropical forests and provides a fascinating blend of wildlife and flora. Watch, as the bewildering number of creatures and enchanting winged creatures move openly around the boggy wilderness between the Himalayas and the colossal plains of India. With two streams close behind, Dudhwa National Park has the most astounding species of imperiled and flying creatures.
2. Wildlife Safari: Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Hoping to find a colourful assortment of inhabitant and transitory feathered creatures? Stop by this untamed wildlife sanctuary in the Dudhwa range and spot them all. Thickly forested with impressive trees, the Kishanpur Sanctuary also boasts of open glades and perpetual streams. The sanctuary is dominated by sal, ficus and crocodile-bark trees, along with an array of colourful flowers and trees, such as the silk cotton tree and the flame of the forest. A swampland fed by the Sharda River is home to the endangered swamp deer, along with the elusive tiger, barking deer, wild boar and hog deer. Watch as freshwater crocodiles laze under the sun and admire swans and ducks gliding and splashing about in the forest’s calm rivers.
3. Wildlife Safari: Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
Relish the sight of the long-nosed gharial as you canoe across the River Girwa. With only 200 gharials left in the world, this crocodile species is now listed on the ‘critically endangered’ list – this number is much lower than the tiger population. You can also spot the Gangetic dolphins, categorised as ‘endangered’ and the one-horned rhino, which has been termed ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary covers 400 sq.km. of grassland, swamps and wetlands, and provides strategic connectivity between the tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and the Bardia National Park in Nepal. With over 500 species of birds and many animal species, this secluded paradise provides absolute solace to endangered beasts. This reserve is also home to fresh water turtles, Indian elephants, albino spotted deer, Burmese rock pythons, white-backed vultures, leopards, Bengal tigers, flying squirrels, blue bulls, peafowl and many other wild creatures.
4. Wildlife Safari: Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Although popular for tiger encounters, be on the lookout for all the four deer species, elands, Bengal floricans, Indian hornbill and Terai dim langurs on your wildlife safari in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve. It also has an old forest lodge, canals and bridges that was built in the colonial-era.
The Pilibhit Tiger Reserve has beautiful meadows and rivers, and comprises of sal, teak, banyan and mango trees. You can have a brief encounter with energetic avian species, including transitory and resident feathered creatures, at the reserve’s Sharada Sagar Dam.
Dudhwa-Pilibhit is home to over 127 animals, 326 bird species and 2,100 floral plants. What’s more, a study done by Wildlife Institute of India shows that this area is great for tiger conservation, because these big cats have adapted to ecological and behavioural aspects that are unique to the Terai region.
TUTC’s Exquisite #UnHoliday Excursions
Choose a full-day excursion to uncover the rich and varied flora and fauna with an invigorating wildlife safari and cruise River Sharda to see Gangetic dolphins, gharials and Asiatic elephants.
Meet the local clan, the guardians of the timberland and learn about their lifesytle. Get a taste of local culture and indulge in ancient traditions, customs and artistry on TUTC’s exclusive #UnHoliday excursions. Visit an elephant camp for an interactive session with the mahouts, or sample authentic delicacies of the Terai region.
1. Tanda Village Visit
Set out on an outing to the enchanting rustic environs of Tanda town, a lively village that consists of a modest bunch of families, situated in the centre of Kishanpur Tiger Reserve. Hear about the exciting stories of man-creature clashes; living without electricity, schools or even medical facilities, yet thriving naturally – collecting their own nourishment, curing their ailments, and adoring the woodland’s divine beings.
2. Exclusive Safari In The Maillani Forest
Take the road less travelled and enjoy an impressive game drive into the fabled forest of Maillani. This scenic ride is primarily dominated by miles of sal forest, interspersed with glorious examples of local flora like the flame of the forest and the silk cotton tree. In a sacred grove stands an ancient shrine of a Hindu saint, covered by hundreds of tinkling bells. Immerse yourself in your surroundings with the insightful information shared by your own naturalist as you explore the forests. With an abundance of wildlife, the ride promises plenty of beautiful captures to take home.
3. A Day In The Life Of The Tharu Tribe
A drive to a hamlet on the Indo-Nepal border brings to you to the isolated abode of the Tharu Tribe. These tribes have lived intimately with the wilderness and their conventions mirror their relationship with life in the woods. They possess impeccable hunting skills and exceptional craftmanship, along with farming.
Witness the warmth of the Tharu people as you savour their food, prepared fresh in a demonstration of traditional cooking by the women of the house. Indulge in their ancient cultures, including a session with the ‘dancing boys’, which is an ancient custom where young men dress up in bright, colourful costumes and dance like women. Make sure you walk through vivid markets to pick up fresh produce being sold alongside indigenous jewellery and other local products.
4. The Frog Temple of Oel
Apart from wildlife safaris, there’s a lot you can do when you#UnHolidayAtDudhwa. The dreamy Frog Temple of Oel twill pull you into a magical world, usually found only inside the pages of an ancient tale. The architecture, murals and figurines of Hindu mythology at this rustic temple takes you back to the 19th Century. Legend has it that the temple was once built by a king, after he a celestial frog blessed him with great fortune and health. However, the presiding god here is Lord Shiva and not the frog. Intriguing, right?
5. A Birdwatcher’s Delight: Sharada River
During winters, Sharada River witnesses a spectacle of nature, with numerous bar-headed geese, shell drakes, pochards and tufted ducks migrating to the flood plains, making it their annual breeding ground. Traverse through remote villages, which give way to a thrilling, off-road experience, before finally arriving at a breathtaking waterscape.
Interact with local fishermen, who lead nomadic lives, and stop for a brief chat with animal herders, who readily share their space with wild animals like tigers, leopards and wolves. Sip on a refreshing cocktail as you witness one of the most spectacular sunsets here.
Indulge In #UnHoliday Activities
Journey across sprawling farmlands on a cycle or embark on a captivating stroll into Sathiyana Forest or follow the trail along the river stream, lined with sugarcane fields, where rare animals reside in the forests of Terai.
1. Birdwatching In Dudhwa
Home to over 500 species of birds, Dudhwa is an ideal spot for birdwatching in India. It transforms into a breeding ground during winters, where you can see birds fleeting-in with happy chirps, all over the place. It can fetch you the most picture-perfect shots of rare and colorful birds species like the drongos, silver-bill munia, baya weaver, cattle egret, cinnamon bittern, kingfishers, falcons, kites, owls and pheasant-tailed jacana. The wetlands, marsh and swamps make a prime habitat for birds like the pied kingfisher, purple swamp-hen and Eurasian thick-knee.
Board a small canoe to admire these winged creatures from close quarters. The beautiful memory of the colour-blast and the sweet chirping of these birds shall linger in your mind, for a lifetime. Meet friendly locals and visit the homes of farmers, decorated with age-old motifs and designs of innate workmanship. Ride meandering roads through an authentic rural setting to Tharu Villages and relish the sight of women in colourful clothing and farmers singing as they work in the fields.
3. Uncover The Legacy Of Billy Arjan Singh
Find out about the history of Dudhwa National Park, which isn’t just a shelter for tigers but also a sanctuary of different species that are on the precarious edge of extinction. Learn about the incredible Billy Arjan Singh, who envisioned creating a cradle of nature. He sought to provide ideal conditions to imperiled species so they can flourish and live freely in their characteristic living space.
Experience the life struggles of Billy Arjan Singh, who lived and battled for these woods. Listen as your specialist educates you on the life and times of this legend, who was an Indian hunter-turned-conservationist, and a prolific writer who authored numerous books. His home is now a museum and the region itself is an expansion of the Dudhwa National Park, serving as a perfect natural habitat for winged creatures and mammals.
Ultimate Luxury In The Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa
Wake up to the sweet fragrance of wild flowers, chirping of exotic birds, and the distant sounds of big cats in the wild. Take a stroll down the forest, sit by the clear stream, get carried away in seamless dreams, and feel the magic that dwells in the pleasant calm of the jungle.
The Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa, is a 19th century colonial safari-themed building refurbished into a heritage lodge and is set amid one of India’s most prominent forest reserves. With personal butlers at your service, an in-house tour manager, a boutique shop, doctor-on-call service, an extensive in-house library, and a sinuous swimming pool set amid the jungle, TUTC ensures you a safe, comfortable and indulgent #UnHoliday At Dudhwa.
When you #UnHoliday At Dudhwa, you travel like kings & queens and experience every moment profoundly. Here, you are not just tourists, but royal spectators humbled by the creatures of the jungle.
To know more about our #UnHoliday experience at Dudhwa, take a look at this video blog:
Make this unique experience your own with inspired jungle living at TUTC Dudhwa!
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