Friday, August 29, 2014

Paharganj Delhi and Le ROI

One of the decisions we made when we planned to visit Delhi this time was to stay in the northwest part of the city and be acquainted with it. We had heard of the Salam Bombay Trust and the wonderful work it was doing. That the NGO had got children off the streets and had trained some of them to be tourist guides in this part of the city, whetted our appetite to know more. We had also heard from some international friends of how they enjoyed this part of the city especially its eclectic cuisine.
Paharganj has always been peopled from ancient times. The place is home to dargahs, mosques, temples and even a chabad centre. This part of Delhi is also famous for its share of budget hotels and hostels.

We decided to stay at the Le RoiHotel, less than a kilometer from the New Delhi Railway Station. We knew that the tourist hot spots were all within walking distance. It also made sense to take in a city scape on foot. Many parts of Paharganj were spruced up for the recently held commonwealth games. To walk the streets was to walk in the footsteps of people who had lived here centuries ago. The thread of life continues with the inhabitants of today. Delhi somehow takes one to a time when history was replete with happenings of all kinds. From all that ordered chaos to step into the ultra cool ambience of the Le Roi Hotel was a dream by itself! Having read some traveler comments, we expected and got good value for money and great service. The hotel with its sound proof windows helped shut off the noise of the outside and made our stay peaceful. Our decision to partake of the Le Roi hospitality was a good one. For one the offers and discounts made us save money so we could shop to our hearts content. This part of the country is a shopper’s delight. You name it and it is available. The other big advantage was the accessibility to the different spots we were keen to visit. The railway station being so close by was a big help.

Part of Paharganj has been carved into Lutyen’s Delhi. The grand architecture of the government and embassy buildings by itself was breathtaking. Paharganj also houses the official abode of the President of India. 

Our New Delhi stay was simply wonderful. Having understood that the Le Roi Hotel also has a unit at the CorbettNational Park, we are planning the next trip there after visiting Delhi and staying here one more time.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Corbett Safari

These days, time out or a holiday is just not a break from routines but also building in an activity that is pleasurable. With increasing awareness of the importance of health on the one side and considered leisure activities on the other, holiday makers are honing their travel time.  One such activity that is gaining popularity is a holiday with a safari. One of the best safaris in India is Jim Corbett Safari. Our chosen stay at the park was at the Le Roi Resort a Jim Corbett Resort. The resort situated as it was, on the edge of the national park, seemed the perfect place. Its location close to the Bijarani Gate of the Corbett Park seemed ideal for all that we had planned.  The resort is well maintained and well equipped to handle customer requests. We had our plans in place and were very happy that the resort staff went out of their way to accommodate our wishes and help us plan a superb time.

We planned the safari to be part jeep, part by canter with other tourists in the resort and part by elephant.  Being in the heart of the jungle and experiencing the wild made for memorable moments. The motor vehicles would go only this far. Deeper into the jungles, we had to rely on the elephants to carry us.

The Ramganga River, the Dhikala and Bijrani areas are popular safari areas of the jungle of the Corbett National Park. The jungles were thick with the trees and the undergrowth. We came across these carefully cultivated empty spaces which sprouted grass. This was part of the Park maintenance and made to attract deer to feed on these patches. Naturally the deer would attract the tigers. Apart from the wonderful tigers, the abundance of other wild life in the area like leopards, black bears wild birds and other mammals were also waiting to be discovered.

The Himalayan mountain regions of which the Corbett Park is a piece, is therefore rich in the bio diversity that is to be found in these parts. Apart from the tiger, bird lovers find the diverseness and variety of birds, a delight. We ‘googled’ later in the evening to learn at least some of the names of the gorgeous birds we were fortunate to have seen. The Corbett sal forests protect and provide for a whole range of species within its fold. The children wanted more. All good things have to come to an end and we left with a promise to return again.