Adventure in the lap of luxury – A visit to Ranthambore National Park and The Oberoi Vanyavilas
“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”
Jhumpa Laheiri, Interpreter of Maladies.
Truthfully there has been nothing ordinary about my spontaneous, 4-day adventure to Ranthambore, Rajasthan. This is the 3rd time in the last 12 months that I have returned to Ranthambore National Park, yet it doesn’t cease to amaze me. Living in a big city and traveling to others constantly, makes you appreciate the serenity that comes with being in the wilderness. But when this serenity is accompanied by the unparalleled thrill of seeing the handsomest wildcat – that’s when the magic really happens. Add to that being spoiled at one of the world’s best hotels and you are assured an experience of a lifetime!
Located in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is a must visit for those who seek to see the Tiger in the wild. The gorgeous vista of the daunting fort, atop the Aravali mountain range, overlooking the forest is quite a sight. Every morning of my trip began with an early safari drive, which allowed me to watch the sun rise over park as it painted the fort golden. Even though my visit this April was during the summer time, the mornings were cool and the fresh oxygen in the forest was reenergizing. The game drive through the forest in an army type jeep was rough and bumpy. However, the views and landscapes inside the forest made up for it. The expanse and sheer magnitude of the wilderness ensures you have a constant smile on your face, as do the other animal’s inquisitive looks as you pass them by. Ranthambore National Park is home to more than 700 species of birds and animals and although the tiger is the main attraction, there isn’t a dull moment for nature lovers. Many tourists could go their entire vacations without seeing a tiger, as only 20% of this massive park is open to tourism. Luckily my friend and I were not a part of the unfortunate few. We saw T24, the largest male in the park, 2 days in a row from a distance of less than 20 feet. Talk about not being able to breathe- having a tiger stare into your eyes is a paralyzing yet enthralling experience!
The tiger was the highlight of the trip but our hotel was a close second. This was my third stay at the Oberoi Vanyavilas and I could swear it gets better every time. This spectacular property from the Oberoi hotels, exceeds every expectation you have of it. From the very first gourmet breakfast the master chef’s serve up to the very last moment before you leave, it awes you and impresses you every step of the way. It is also undoubtedly one of the Oberoi’s most exclusive properties. It’s no wonder that in season room tariffs are nearly $1000 per night! Located in the Jungle at the mouth of the National Park, the property has only 25 luxurious tented rooms, private butler service, excellent food and amenities that one can’t get enough of. The service and staff are par excellence and you are sure to be made to feel like royalty! A swim at the gorgeous swimming pool after a hot afternoon safari is blissful, as is their poolside rose iced tea. If me gushing about it isn’t proof enough, check out their impressive list of accolades and awards from the most honourable names in the travel business. There’s a reason this place is voted one of the world’s best resorts!
Check out TNTs article for more information on Ranthambore national park and the hotel review for Vanyavilas.
Make this a part of your bucket list,