Chambal Safari Lodge, Bah.

Old Apr 17th, 2022, 11:17 PM
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Chambal Safari Lodge, Bah.

The Chambal Safari Lodge, is located some 45 miles east of Agra. This distance can be covered from Delhi in about 4 hours, owing to the fact that the destination is connected by both the Yamuna (Taj) and the Agra-Lucknow Expressways. After you have hit the 53rd Milestone on the latter expressway, you will exit and turn right, along an excellent road, to Bah. Chambal Safari Lodge lies 2 miles short of Bah. The property is part of a private 35 acre Farm & dense forest land, owned by RPS Jarar & his charming wife Anu.

We arrived at Lodge at about 3PM on 15 April to be greeted by Bachuu Singh at the gate, who quickly proceeded to get our baggage shifted to our respective rooms, while we were escorted to the reception area for a welcome glass of fresh juice! Our first impression was the serenity of this property, enveloped by stately old trees of many varieties, including Tamarind, Mahuwa, Kadam, Sheesham, Neem, Acacia and many more. A small movement attracted my attention, which on closer scrutiny revealed the presence of Blue bulls, in the dense foliage, not far from our allotted villa! The large rooms are simply furnished but very comfortable, air conditioned, with tea/coffee maker, a sofa set and a few books on the shelf. A large ensuite washroom has all the amenities for a comfortable stay. There is a power backup. The large windows complete the picture of a cosy forest lodge. That evening we relaxed on the deep verandah watching the birds and animals, which came to drink on the waterbody not far from our rooms. Sandwiches and a hot cup of tea, enhanced our appetite for a sumptuous dinner, later on.

We were briefed by the Lodge manager on the daily activities at the lodge.

We were ready at 5 next morning for the Boat safari on the river Chambal. While the summer time is early, the winter timings are less taxing and could be as late as 7:30AM! It takes about half an hour’s drive through the Chambal ravines to arrive on the Ghat where the lodge motor boat was ready to take us downstream. On the way, we saw a lone jackal feeding on a dead animal by the side of the road. The safari was one of the most interesting activities of this kind we have ever undertaken. There were marsh crocodiles basking in the sun, Indian Gharials floating on the surface water, Gangetic dolphins splashing about, turtles and a variety of water birds to complete the inventory. The winter months bring migratory birds in large flocks to these areas and we were told, the sky is full of them and the cacophony of their calls! We were back in the lodge at about 9:15. Gajendra Singh, the lodge naturalist, who took us to the safari, has an excellent knowledge of flora and fauna.

That evening we went to the Holipura Heritage village to see some old Havelis and Bateshwar temples on the river Yamuna. The Cattle fair that is annually held at Bateshwar a few days before the Festival of lights (Deepawali) is quite a spectacle, where thousands of horses, cattle & bullocks are traded. It is the second largest after the Sonepur fair in Bihar. The British cavalry used to wait for this fair to purchase horses for military use, in days of yore.

In spite of the hot weather, there were a number of guests staying at the lodge. The meals were singularly delicious and not a dish repeated for the three days we were there. The staff is well trained, attentive without being obtrusive. We wanted to have a mutton dish, as the wilderness the goats feed on in the ravines, bring a natural taste to the meat without being ‘nutty’. The chef produced an excellent melt in the mouth dish on one of the evenings!

The ambiance was excellent. The owners intermingle with the guests each evening, on the lawns, where one could have an engaging conversation with them on a variety of topics including agriculture and forestry!

Happy travels!

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