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You'd Want To Go Truly Wild At This Eco-Friendly Jungle Lodge Near Jim Corbett National Park

    What Makes It Awesome?

    When I first heard about Vanghat Jungle Lodge, said to be one of the remotest wildlife lodges in the country and located on the fringes of Jim Corbett National Park, I was intrigued and excited. However, the moment I got out of our vehicle near the Baluli suspension bridge and started the hike towards the lodge, I began wondering, “Where exactly are we going?” Accompanied by staff from the place, I made the 2-km hike, panting and struggling to keep up before we reached the Ramganga river. A makeshift bamboo raft ferried us across to the lodge, the mere sight of it makes the whole ‘ordeal’ worth it! Conceptualised by Sumantha Ghosh, a renowned naturalist, Vanghat offers two kinds of stays – Stone Cottages and Mud Cottages. In fact, the lodge, led by concepts of conservation and maintaining harmony with the surroundings, is considered a pioneer in eco-friendly and sustainable tourism in the region. Constructed with locally-sourced clay and thatched roof, and inspired by the Van Gujjar tribal style, the Mud Cottage is where I settled in after an interesting chat with Sumantha. Being in the buffer zone of the National Park, Vanghat is known for the walking safaris and trails {of differing difficulty levels} they offer for guests. I ventured into the jungle with a local who is also a well-versed birder {a term they prefer to birdwatcher} and gaped at the birds he pointed out, ranging from the Mountain Hawk Eagle and the Tawny Fish Owl to the Great Hornbill and the vibrant Long-Tailed Broadbill. While we didn’t manage to spot any animals, we did come across pug marks {exciting enough for me!} from the night before and signs of an elephant’s trampling. After a whole day in the wild, birdwatching and taking in all the interesting facts, a meal of homemade dishes prepared with locally-sourced and organic ingredients awaited me when I got back to the lodge. Evenings here typically end with everyone gathering around a campfire, sharing stories and enjoying the eerie silence of the jungle all around.

    What Could Be Better?

    If I had a day longer, I could have squeezed in a stay at the government-run forest rest house in Dhikala {one of the five zones of the national park} to explore the place better, as recommended by Sumantha.

    What's My Pro Tip?

    Considering majority of the trip involves walking, an average level of fitness is recommended. Also, don’t forget to carry a pair of binoculars!

    Anything Else?

    Peeps, call on +91 9536702777 to book a room here or for any other deets.