meghuli 3

Sandeep Mainali visits Meghauli an area that is slowly growing popular among tourists
We wanted to do something special and go somewhere new. Having travelled to other popular spots in Chitwan often, we planned somewhere new for this trip. Along with friends, I decided to explore the unexplored Meghauli area this time. After the shut down of all the hotel sand resorts inside the national park, Meghauli is the area growing in popularity for a good jungle and wildlife experience. There are a few good world class resorts already established as well as others under construction in the area. However, it is one of the areas that is still in the shadows and not popular with tourists as a destination. meghuli 2We hit the road at around 2 pm from Narayangarh, 35 kilometres away from Meghauli. The potholes, rough roads through the jungle and beautiful villages on our way already left us feeling adventurous. We decided to stay at the luxurious Barahi Jungle Lodge in Meghauli. The whole Meghauli area lies on the banks of the Rapti River with a magnificent view of dense forest across the river. Our guide took us around some Tharu and Kumal villages. After a short walk, we reached the meeting point of the Rapti and Narayani rivers. We were all amazed by the sunset here and didn’t miss the chance to capture those moments on our cameras. I wished we could have stayed there for a few hours just gazing at the beautiful dense green forests and listening to the pleasing sound of the rambling rivers but we had to head back to the resort as it was already getting dark. In the evening, the cultural programme accompanied by delicious food and drinks were very relaxing. The local villagers were all dressed in traditional attire and performed different cultural dances. It was entertaining as well as informative and we listened to them as they talked about the traditions and different rituals that prevailed among locals. We stayed by the pool which faces the forest and has an amazing outdoor bar. The outdoor setting with decorative lights and a peaceful quiet environment was really relaxing. meghuli 1We headed early to bed as we had an elephant ride planned early in the morning. We were looking forward to it as the jungle is so dense and our guide informed us that Andrauli Community forest is teeming with wildlife. We were told that the last group were lucky enough to see a tiger which further added to our excitement. The next morning we were up early and ready for our elephant ride. We had two elephants waiting for us. As the giant grey creatures took us around the dense forest we were lucky enough to see a total of eight one horned rhinos, spotted deer, monkeys and peacocks. We rode around for a while on Pawankali, our elephant in desperate search of the elusive tiger. It was definitely one of the best jungle safaris I had experienced. Unfortunately, we had to head back finally with no sighting of a tiger. The sun was already up and we were just waiting to reach the resort to jump into the lavish pool to beat the scorching heat. The cool water and the beautiful view of the dense green forest were exactly what we needed at the end of a hectic day. Sadly, we soon had to prepare for our departure. The greenery, fresh air and rich culture and hospitality in Meghauli provided a great escape for a vacation unlike other places. The place mesmerises with its well conserved natural beauty. It is a perfect destination for nature lovers and for anyone who is looking for a break from their daily routined life in the city.

The author is a hotelier who loves to travel.