Jim Corbett National Park, in Uttarakhand, is one of my favourite places to go to. This year for my summer vacations, my mother and I with her friend and her son stayed in a resort named The Golden Tusk. We went to Ramnagar by train from Old Delhi Railway Station. I was so excited to see an open jeep with ‘The Golden Tusk’ written on it waiting for us at the station. We reached around 9 in the night and it was so exciting to travel in the open jeep. We saw many fireflies on the way and I thought I even heard an elephant trumpeting. Suresh Sir, the naturalist from the resort who had come to pick us up from the station told us that we were only 5 kms away from the National Park, but the jungle was close by.
We were welcome in the lobby of the resort with a very nice drink that was made out of fresh litchis. Since it was late, we only had time to have dinner in the beautiful restaurant and then go to our room – I was told it is a “Country View Suite” – and that I would be able to see the village from the balcony in the morning.
The best feeling was to wake up in the morning to the sound of peacocks singing. We took a bath and went for breakfast since our ‘Jungle Safari’ was to happen only the next day. After breakfast, we were taken on a tour of the property. I was so excited to see tents that were actually rooms! Even though they were tents, but it was nothing like just a simple tent – these air-conditioned ‘rooms’ had a big sitting area, bedroom, changing room and bathroom – all inside one tent! I made sure to tell my mother that we will stay in these tents on our next visit.
We saw many birds that I have never seen in the city in the resort. There were robins, barbets and even treepies flying freely. The lotus pond had lilies in many different colours and I spotted a terrapin under a leaf as well.
After spending an hour exploring the resort, we decided to take on the ‘adventure activities’. So my friend Revant and I went on the Burma Bridge first. We also did rappelling and went on the commando net. Wall climbing was a little difficult, but there was an instructor who helped us. But the most exciting was flying fox.
We were really hungry and went to The Golden Forest – that is what the restaurant is called. I had really nice pasta. After resting for a little while, we all were eager to go to the swimming pool. The resort has three different pools – one for babies and toddlers, one for children and one for adults. It was so nice that I had to be pulled out of the pool after two hours! But the morning safari the next day meant that we sleep early.
I was surprised to see how close we were to the main forest. The first ‘wildlife’ we spotted was a herd of deer that crossed the road to get into a grassland. Sitting in the open jeep, it was very exciting. The resort had also packed a small picnic of sandwiches. We quickly ate them before entering the main forest. The naturalist, Suresh Sir was with us and I was so happy to see him pick up an empty plastic bottle from the dust-road that someone else may have thrown. I felt so good when he explained how we should be responsible towards nature. We didn’t see any tigers, but we saw lots of birds that Suresh Sir helped us identify – Great Hornbills, Green Bee-eaters, jungle fowls, shikras and many others. We also saw wild boars, deer, elephants and a jackal. It was time to return to the resort after a good 3-4 hours. I was eager to get back into the pool or do other interesting things.
The best thing I liked about The Golden Tusk was that there are so many things children can do! Cycling, reading, walking and the amazing adventure activities. Sometimes on holidays, I get bored sitting inside the hotel room, just watching TV. But here, at The Golden Tusk, even three days seemed less because there was so much to make it exciting. I will go to The Golden Tusk again in my winter vacations and stay there for much longer.
You must visit The Golden Tusk to see if what I am saying is true!
You can make reservations here: www.thegoldentusk.com
Text and images by Angadveer Singh
(Angadveer Singh, 9 years, studies in Class IV and is a budding writer who also takes his own pictures.)