Picture a vast expanse of lush, green fields, the chirping of birds in your ears, and you, being gently lulled to sleep in a hammock, breathing in fresh, clean, air. If you’re wondering where you are, you might very well be at Aahana-The Corbett Wilderness Resort. A resort in Corbett, close to the National Park lies this idyllic haven, perfect for those who’d like a break from a stressful life. Whether you’d like a few days away from the pollution of the metros to just rejuvenate or you need an adventure, Aahana is the place for you.
Started by Kamal and Sunita Tripathi in 2002, Aahana was built on land which was sandy and could support no agriculture. Ayu Tripathi, their daughter, who now looks over the resort’s workings, told us how they painstakingly took the time to change the terrain so it would support some farming and how much they believe in sustainability. The resort itself was built by local tradesmen and the people who work on the property too are all locals.
“We believe that sustainability is the key to overall development in everything we do at Aahana. We want to offer the best to all our guests without doing any damage to any of the forests or wildlife within Corbett,” Ayu told us.
Comfort at Aahana
Aahana consists of multiple villas, each with several rooms. As we walked to our villa, we passed the farm where Aahana grows multiple salad greens, citronella, and herbs, all of which are used at the resort. If you’re lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you feel), you might be able to spot monkeys which land up in the resort from time to time. Monkeys are known to attack, so at one point, on our way to the restaurant, we decided to take the longer route. That isn’t really a bad thing, considering how pretty the resort is.
The rooms are lovely, spacious and comfortable, with no cramped spaces. The attached balcony too is gorgeous, with a view of the expansive lawns. It’s perfect for those who’d like to spend a quiet morning with a cup of tea. The WiFi available only connected to one device, however, and the network can be spotty. So if you’re planning on catching up on work, we would suggest you use the lack of good network coverage as an excuse to unplug.
Lessons in nature
One of the benefits of staying at Aahana is being able to talk to their in-house naturalists, which is an experience unlike any other. As we walked, they pointed out different trees to us, as well as several different kinds of birds that they identified simply by sight. One of the lessons we learnt was that all the bamboo trees in the area are male, and they shed their outer layer and grow a new layer at the same time. This process takes about 20-30 years.
Another fun fact we learnt was that sandalwood trees are very cool, which means snakes coil themselves around these trees in the summer. So stay away from sandalwood trees when it’s hot outside! The resort will arrange a safari for you if you request it, but you need to ensure it’s booked way in advance, so the resort can secure the necessary permissions from the Corbett National Park.
Aahana offers several things to do for nature lovers. You can request the resort for a bicycle and do a nature ride or walk all over the grounds. You can also wake up early in the morning to go for a bird watching walk. For those with a more romantic bent of mind, request the resort to organise a buggy ride for you. Just a note, the horses are subject to availability, since the resort doesn’t own the horses themselves, but rents them from locals.
Beat the stress
Aahana has several packages available at their spa. You can figure out what you’d like to do depending on what you need. With top notch massage therapists and a host of holistic therapies available, say goodbye to any stress you may have. If you want to while away your time during the day, lounging by the pool, sipping your drink, you can do that too. Another standout for us was the food. The milk is fresh, and is sourced from cows on the property itself.
If you’re planning a trip to Corbett and are looking for an eco-friendly resort, Aahana would be a good pick. A 15-minute drive from Ramnagar railway station and a five-hour drive from Delhi, the time you spend here will not be easily forgotten. A room here starts from Rs. 15,000 a night. Look up their packages for couples and families on the website before booking.