And I hear you calling!
The moment I was offered an invitation to the Kasara Highway Cycle Riding tour, I was excited and accepted it. I am always looking forward to new experiences and challenges. The tour aimed to combine cycling and wildlife safari in Chitwan.
The cycling tour kicked off from Baluwatar, Kathmandu to Kasara Jungle Resort, Chitwan covering 172 kilometres. The journey started on September 18, and we returned on September 20, 2015. I had no prior experience in cycling as an adventure sport and I did not even own a bicycle! The organisers arranged a brand new cycles for the entire team.
It was a small team of seven cyclists and I was the only female rider in the team. We also had two photographers who followed us in an escort vehicle. The General Manager of Kasara Jungle Resort, Yadav Bantawa ensured that it was a lifetime experience.
Day 1: Challenging and satisfying
My father dropped me to the Kasara office Baluwatar at 5:45 am, when I reached there all the cyclists were already geared up for the ride. I was excited as well as nervous as it was the first time I was cycling such a long distance. We set off from the office premises at around 6 am. It was a herculean task to peddle in the city. However, I felt protected as I was escorted and guided by other cyclists.
Taking some tea breaks in between we reached Riverside Springs Resort, Kurintar for brunch. The view from the resort was spectacular and refreshing. After brunch we again geared up for the ride. The trails from Nagdhunga to Chitwan are around 50 per cent downhill and 50 per cent uphill. It was a challenge for cyclists to peddle up in the scorching heat on the bumpy highway. However, we kept on peddling until we reached our destination. It was quite an achievement to complete the entire ride and we were all very proud of ourselves.
We reached the resort at about 7:30 pm and were welcomed by two grand elephants and the Kasara team. After gulping down energising herbal drinks we headed to our respective rooms to freshen up. We then gathered in the restaurant for a scrumptious dinner! We feasted on a traditional thali which consisted of chicken curry, vegetables, rice and other dishes and rounded up our meal with brownies.
Exhausted and satisfied I headed to my room for a good night’s sleep.
Day 2: Simple luxury and retreat
I woke up early to the sound of a chirping bird. I was surrounded by greenery and the room consisted of minimalist design that inculcated traditional local materials and architectural heritage. Kasara is built on the theme of openness and water.
After a hearty breakfast, Bantawa showed me around the remarkable jungle resort. There was a bar which could be turned into a dance floor, restaurant and so on. There are around 35 rooms in the
resort, a swimming pool and two VIP villas with private swimming pools. It has a large conference hall, yoga room and spa. The day was eventful as we went to bathe the elephant and tree plantation in Madi village was followed by a Tharu dance in the evening. Kasara initiated to plant 500 trees in Madi village and we joined hands to promote environmental conservation. We ended the day in fun and frolic; singing, playing the guitar and enjoying the music.
On the final day I woke up at 5:30 am and we headed out for an elephant safari in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park. It was a pleasant experience to travel through the mesmerising forest and observe the prized one-horned rhinoceros. Other animals that we saw were spotted and hog deer, various breeds of colourful and unique birds.
The elephant ride made me realise how lucky we are to be born in a country where the mighty Himalayas can be viewed from the plain terrains of Tarai. After we returned from the safari we all had a quick breakfast, packed our bags and boarded the bus back to Kathmandu.
Overall it was a great experience at Kasara. The staffs were friendly and the food was delicious. The resort is a must visit for nature lovers. This tour gave me an opportunity to reflect upon my bond with nature. The journey introduced me to cycling and interesting people along the way. It made me recognise my personal endurance, strength and weakness. It has taught me a lesson that you just have to have the courage and there will be supporting hands along the way to help you get closer to your goals!
Keep peddling and keep moving!
KASARA at a glance
Activities: Cycling, elephant safaris and elephant bathing, jeep safaris, nature walks, bird watching, swimming, Tharu village tour and Tharu cultural dance.
Accommodation: 35 upscale rooms with private water garden courtyards and two VIP villas with a private infinity plunge pools.
Facilities: Spa, Confrence Hall, Yoga Hall, Bar, Restaurant
Contact: Head Office Baluwatar, 01-4437571, 01-4438570
Kasara Jungle Resort is a perfect holiday destination for nature lovers. The minimalist architectural design, friendly staff and knowlegeable naturalists add to the beauty of the resort. Right from the herbal welcome drink to the final meal all the delicacies served were scrumptious. Every moment at Kasara was delightful!