Wild, wild weekend: Rediscovering Corbett

By 06:11 Friday 13 August 2021 ,

There are certain places around Delhi that I have visited a lot as a child and after growing up, simply shrugged them off as being too mainstream and not really worth another visit. Corbett was always one of those places for me: an easy, weekend destination that I've been to one too many times, with only but a jungle safari as its sole highlight. The last one year however, has forced us to rediscover such accessible places mainly because they were the only feasible options left, thanks to the pandemic. So my August highlight was rediscovering Corbett as a treasure trove of fascinating nature trails, an epicentre of thriving wilderness that goes beyond tiger-spotting, and a beautiful gushing riverside that will force you to slow down {for your own good}.

Tucked away from the crowded side of Corbett, the new Tree of Life property aptly called VanVilas Riveredge is just 6 hour train ride/ drive away from Delhi and gives you so much to do over a single weekend. With just 6 spacious rooms, the property fares as an excellent stay option especially when you're trying to avoid big crowds. Right outside the hotel's main gate is a river to have your morning/evening chai with. The surrounding villages are part of the Pawalgarh Reserve and is frequented by deers, elephants, leopards and even tigers regularly {the only reason why pets aren't allowed at the property}. Lush greenery, starlit skies, and uninterrupted peace except for the constant chatter of the birds, Tree of Life VanVilas Riveredge will have you feeling enriched and rejuvenated right from the moment you check in. 

The rooms at the property are kept simple yet luxurious and have a very charming, rustic vibe to them. Each room comes with a little outdoor sitting area overlooking the pool. There's also a Forest Deck at the top to get a complete view of the surrounding fields and mountains. It's a great spot to just sit together, have a meal or simply enjoy the sunset. The restaurant at VanVilas whips up some amazing North Indian, Kumaoni and Continental dishes as per your request, we enjoyed every single one of our meal experiences. 

There's plenty to do in and around the property. When you're not lazing around in the pool or chilling at the hammock, venture out into wild with the manager-cum-naturalist Ruturaj on some beautiful nature trails along side the river. You can spot plenty of birds, fascinating insects, and familiar and unfamiliar vegetation that your guide will tell you all about. The surrounding camps and properties also host adventure activities like ziplining and river crossing if you're in the mood for an adrenaline rush. The jeep safari to Corbett is slightly far from the property and needs to be booked in advance.

The best time to visit Tree of Life VanVilas Riveredge is the onset of winter, around mid November when the jungles are lush green because of the bygone monsoon and the safari is open for tourists {it remains closed from June 15th to November 14th}. 

Read about another one of my favourite TOL properties here. For more updates around food, fashion and travel, follow me on Instagram.

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