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Aahana – The Corbett Wilderness Where Luxury Meets Responsibility

Sometime back I visited Aahana Resorts right next to the Jim Corbettt National Park and this post is about my stay with the resort.  Before I write about my stay at the Aahana as well as some of the activities you can do within the resort. A post about my safari to the Jim Corbett National Park will follow in next few days. One of the challenges of wild life resorts is to maintain a balance between responsible earth friendly travel and luxury for the well heeled.  I was glad to see team Aahana proactively following eco-friendly policies while offering luxury services that are a reminiscent of old world charm effortlessly blended with modern amenities.

The Aahana resort is spread over 13.5 acres with 75 % of the area left open to more than 200 species of trees, shrubs, creepers & herbs grow naturally. As a policy the resort encourages natural growth cycle of the trees and shrubs which encourages native as well as migrant  bird species to visit the resort grounds. I myself spotted more than 25 different bird species within the resort premises which is only a fraction of 173 local and migrant bird species spotted there.

Aahana which means the first rays of morning Sun in Sanskrit, is situated about 15 minutes  from Ramnagar train station, which is conveniently connected to Delhi NCR. If you wish you can also drive from Delhi & nearby towns like Gurgaon, as the highway is well maintained but very busy. I arrived late in the night but the resort staff has called me in advance to check on me and made some dinner for me which was served en-suite. I say en-suite because I was staying in of the largest suits of the resort where I had a large living room, a huge balcony that was right next to the boundary of Bijrani Zone of the Corbett National Park. Later during a property tour I learned that the Aahana resort has many categories of rooms and they all have interesting names like

  • Aahana Family Suite
  • Corbett Club
  • Jim’s Retreat
  • Jungle Lore
  • Ranger Suite
  • The Villa

You can pick up the room as per your need and budget. Irrespective of the room size and name you will get wonderful views from large windows, well appointed sit out areas & complete peace of mind.  

From most of the rooms you are within an earshot of the Bijrani zone and from some of the rooms like the one I was staying in you can actually just sit in your balcony and see across the boundary wall and peek into the Jungle. Even when you are walking around the resort you will be cheered by bird-songs from the tree canopies. If you are patient enough the birds will soon come out and you will be able to photograph them easily. Somehow birds know when they are in a safe zone and once they are comfortable with your  presence you will be treated with a plethora of colorful birds ranging from Purple Sunbird to Coppersmith Barbet to Peacocks to Lapwings and many more.

Coming back to the eco-friendly practices at the Aahana resort I want to highlight some of the things that I personally observed and experienced first hand at the resort like

  • Organic Herb Garden that supplies fresh herbs to the resort kitchen.
  • Natural Waste Water Treatment Plant:  Aahana was one of the first luxury resorts in India to install 100 % Eco-Friendly waste water treatment plant using Canna Plants. Canna is a tuberous herbaceous plant, that is a distant relative of the Banana. It has a huge tuberous root system that effectively filters outs pollutants & cleans the water that can later be used for horticulture etc.  The best part is that you will not even come to know that you are standing next to a waste water treatment plant as the Cannas always have magnificent blooms that totally takes away your attention from the fact that the plants are silently working on cleaning the water.
  • Energy efficient lights & other pro planet practices: The resort uses energy efficient lights like LED etc. and also uses battery operated small vehicles for transporting goods and people within the resort premises, to reduce pollution withing the resort premises.  Besides the award winning  Canna  waste water treatment plant they also do active solid waste segregation and composting to ensure maximum recycling. The resort also has a no-waste policy and manages 100% of its waste in-house.. But what I really enjoyed was the Horse buggy that the guests can take for a ride to nearby villages in an eco-friendly way and enjoy a leisurely ride like the good old days  
  • Recharging Rainwater: While rainwater harvesting is a buzzword nowadays, at Aahana from the inception itself the resort was designed to take in account then natural topography of the land ensuring a natural flow of rainwater facilitating maximum water to be seep back into the ground.  As more than  70 % area of the resort is open to sky with gardens, lawns,  etc. rainwater naturally seeps into soil bringing up the water table. This ensures lush natural growth of trees on the property grounds and reduced need for irrigation during warmer months. 

How is the service and food at Aahana Resort ?

If you are a foodie then you are for a treat at Aahana. While many wild life resorts offer fairly routine stuff the Chefs at Aahana are experts in dishing out the best of Indian, Western, Thai, Chinese and Mediterranean choices. Everyday in  we were spoiled for choice from Dosa to Pancakes to pastas to order. I am not a very fussy eater but every once in a while I like to get a dish made to order which is more of an exclusion of an ingredient like say  – Capsicum or Coriander from a particular dish. Or to make the dish in my special desi Traveler Way. I was pleasantly surprised that not even once my special request was lost in translation from the service to kitchen and back to my table.  Trust me this is no ordinary feat considering the restaurant is fairly busy specially during breakfast and dinner times. 

I think the day to day active involvement of the founders Mrs. and Mr. Tripathi and there next generation in the management surely helps to keep things moving with clock wise precision ensuring service with a smile. I did had a chance to interact with Ms. Ayu Tripathi, Director of the resort who personally looks after various aspects of the resort and is always interacting with guests to take there feedback.

Overall I had a wonderful stay at the Aahana – The Corbett Wilderness and would recommend you to check it out if you are planning a trip to Jim Corbett national park. 

How to reach Aahana Resort :

Aahana resort is situated right next to the Bijrani Zone of Jim Corbett National Park in Sawaldeh village in Ram Nagar, and is well connected via train network from Ramnagar Railway station about 15 minutes away. The nearest airport Pantnagar is about  70 KM away and if you chose to drive from NCR it should take about 5 to 5.5 hours depending on traffic. 

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