Nature is welcomed with open arms at the eco-friendly Aahana Resort near Corbett National Park, finds Amit Dixit
The first thing you notice—and you can’t help but—when you check into Aahana (‘first rays of the sun’) is an elevated walkway that curls over a narrow country path and connects the reception area with the rooms and the rest of the property.That land is part of the property but the proprietors did not wish to disrupt the traditional walking route used by the villages on either side of the resort. Had they not created the maloo creeper-enwrapped walkway, the villagers would have had to skirt the resort on their daily jaunts and travel several extra kilometres in the bargain.
The makers have indeed paid heed to small details that make the experience endearing right from the time you step in. Worn and waned a bit from the long drive we drove into a serene campus- not too far from the Khara Gate of the Jhirna range (that remains open throughout the year) – post sunset. The mellifluous strains of the Kumaoni Bagpipe and a local favourite drink made from flowers of the Rhododendron (Buransh) tree.
In keeping with their resolve to maintain the eco-system of the area and respect to the locals, the resort has allocated the space between the gates for village folk to pass through the day and for big cats to stroll should they feel, in the night.
Mr Barlow turns to me and says, “They’ve heard a tiger growl.”
My first reaction is that of excitement. Yes, waking up early in the morning is the toughest task, but it also always pays off. Mr Barlow’s genial temperament is replaced with a thrilled gleam in his eyes. “Come on, let’s continue.” I was a little taken aback by this bravado. Were we really walking towards the tiger, on foot?
Don’t worry about the big cats. A retreat at the Aahana Naturopathy Centre Spa in Aahana Resort, right outside Corbett National Park, will put your mind at ease.What’s this? Was there some kind of magic in the air? Or, is it the mellifluous notes of the sitar playing in the background that had brought the change in me? I was at Aahana – the Corbett Wilderness, a resort located next to the Bijrani zone of the Corbett National Park, India’s famous tiger reserve. I was there to try the resort’s Holistic Health Spa. Normally, I talk in a loud voice. But here I was talking in a quiet tone.