Some So Rare Destinations and Experiences“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly. “I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can’t take more.” -Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Obviously Alice had never been to Darjeeling- a place where you just can’t refuse another cup of that refreshing brew. And take it as ipso facto: There’s no better place to experience tea drinking in the world than at the Glenburn Tea Estate. With over sixteen hundred acres of undulating tea plantations and two mighty torrents flowing through, you might indeed think it’s indeed ‘wonderland.’ Take time out in the ornate British style teak bungalows and experience the magic of tea. You will soon realize why they call it a rare destination when you watch the majestic Kanchenjunga beaming down as if to say, take your time, the world is at your command. The service too, is spellbinding. Well, this is one rare hotels and experiences you should definitely not miss in the east.
If you are thinking down south, check out Red Earth–Kabini, it has been rated as one of top five destinations, worldwide for wildlife. Yes, a dam called the Kabini divides Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks. Watch the nearly disappearing tigers, leopards, chital stags, and elephants at play in their very own domain. See the magnificent tern sweep down from the sky to catch fish from the river. If you are wondering about your own domain, don’t worry, the Red Earth-Kabini has everything from a swimming pool to a Jacuzzi and bicycle rides while the service is very, very personalized. Definitely a destination if you want to experience the best of both worlds.
Forsyth’s Lodge in central India offers a different type of wildlife experience: In the dark! Night vision binoculars set up in the machans allow you see animals in the dark. Well, you’ll get the big cats, but the main attraction here is smaller ones like the Indian civets, rusty spotted cats and the wild dogs called dhole. And night time is when the flora and nocturnal fauna create a different type of surreal illusion. You could go boating, on Jeep or on elephant back. Watch out for sloth bears the massive gaur, and the giant Malabar squirrel. The dozen odd cottages have every conceivable amenity you can think of, while the service immaculate. Forsyth’s Lodge is in Satpura, Madhya Pradesh and Satpura is where the seven hills unfold.
In the west, Castle Kanota beckons with a suite full of surprises. It has a different type of opulence altogether. It has a built–in museum and collection of some 10,000 rare books in a library that displays gold works. Frescoes and paintings abound on the ceilings and walls. There’s a Grand Durbar Hall and a fruit orchard too. Wine and dine in style with the food cooked according to recipes collected by Thakur Amar Singh Ji who even defined the type of metal to use as cooking pots some two centuries ago. Check out the celebrated Chandrahaas brew. In the perimeters of this medieval style castle you will find canons once brought from the British Navy for protection. The service is dignified; in tune with the royal atmosphere.
Up north, Neeralaya Raison is quaint resort up the mountains with riverside villas built from timber and stones to preserve a piece of mountain heritage in the Himalayas. Go for private hikes, mountain biking or fishing and rafting on the River Beas. This dainty little place has all the modern day comforts and yet is far away from the madding crowd so as to bring you that quantum of solace; amidst a tranquil and sylvan setting. The lofty peaks and the divine fresh air only add to charm. The food is flavourful, the atmosphere is pure and Nature friendly and service simply supreme.
Now that you have heard of five of the rare destinations and experiences you can expect, it’s time for action to get there. And don’t worry this was just a brief glimpse of places around the four corners and the center of India. There are lots of exciting rare hotels that can accommodate your style of luxury and ambiance.