My recent trip to Sariska with a friend has made me to refresh all the thoughts I had previously about the destination. The destination has now come alive with a lot of things to offer in the rural district of Dausa in Rajasthan. Sariska National Park now offers very good Tiger sightings apart from other wildlife in the park. Tiger and Leopard sightings are more frequent nowadays and soon it will become one of the favourite spot for the wildlife lovers apart from Ranthambore. Certainly the pandemic and the lockdown in the country has changed the life of many and people are more cautious towards nature and the society.
Experience an old world charm of royalty in nature is what you can expect at Gajlaxmi Palace, only an hour-and-a-half drive from Cuttack. It is a royal palace built way up on Megha hill that overlooks vast stretches of forests, dotted occasionally by small villages. So thick is the forest that to a casual eye it is impossible to locate the palace from the highway. The view from the palace is incredible. And it is teeming with wildlife – birds, elephants, deers, civets, monkeys and wild boars are in plenty, while an occasional leopard may make a casual appearance.
The Palace has been converted into homestay and is owned by Kumar Saheb’s son Jitendra Singh Deo and daughter in law Navneeta and turned their age old home / Palace into a holiday destination to share their experience of mysticism of royalty set in the heart of nature. The food that comes from the kitchen is local and comes from the organic farm along the house. It has also a blend of Rajasthan’s royalty courtesy due to Navneeta’s connect to Chittorgarh and Maharana Pratap.
The thrill of being in the wild begins from within the dwelling. The Palace has a verandah that is shrouded in an eerie quietness. But to a keen ear the endless rustle of leaves and animal calls come from far.
Stepping out is not allowed unless accompanied with a trained forest guard. There are a few jungle trails that one can walk down in the morning and they offer splendid opportunities for small game and bird watching. Much of the wildlife viewing is at the only water hole in the region and strategically placed a few minutes from the palace.
If you are a Nature lover or wildlife enthusiast, keen on birding in India, a nature photographer, enjoy trekking & Jeep Safari or simply love the outdoor greens, the Gajlaxmi Palace, Dhenkanal is the perfect holiday destination for you. The foothills of Megha have something for everyone. You may get a chance of sightseeing animals like elephants, wild boars, barking deer, rabbits, jungle fowls, pea fowls, civet cats etc. in their natural habitat if you are lucky.
Experience a unique vacation with your personal hosts, being treated as royalty, enjoying all the comforts of home at Gajlaxmi Palace.
Homestays provides the travelers – A home away from home, with all the comforts & facilities for whatever duration it takes, to discover the highs & Lows, at incredible affordable prices. As the Homestay at Gajlaxmi Palace, experience the hospitality of the Royal Family & the unique feeling imparted while staying in a home & interacting with people of a different culture. The cross section represented here is carefully chosen by recognized homestays that will not hesitate to go the extra yard or make the additional effort to make your trip a pleasant & more memorable one.
Things to see: Temples, Wildlife & Bird watching, Trekking, Tribal Life & Culture, Tribal Handicrafts, Rich & diversified Flora.
Nature Trekking, Wildlife Photography, Picnics, Angling, Jeep Safari, Tribal Tours, Star Gazing etc.
What an amazing experience staying at The Country Retreat Farm house which is surrounded by fields with no concrete houses visible till the extent of your visibility.
It is certainly an experience for those who are willing to spend few nights away from the hustling and bustling modern cities. The retreat is truly authentic. It has a courtyard to sit and read books during the day and a small garden for the early morning and evening tea breaks.
The farm has a total of 4 guest rooms which are uniquely decorated.They are furnished with antiques and artifacts of the bygone era. It is incomparable with any other homestays or bed and breakfast Inn’s.
The delicacies served during meals at the property are delicious. You get to experience the authentic Rajasthani cuisine with local spices (you might not get the same taste anywhere).
Bankli is very small village in the Pali district of Rajasthan and one can notice only few houses enroute.The area is fascinating, quiet and very close to the nature.
The nearest railhead from Bankli is Jawai Bandh which is approx. 22 kms away. Falna is one of the important station in that route where a lot of trains stop there, it is approx. 40 kms away from Bankli.
Bankli is remote and very unique.
The major attractions in and around Bankli are as below:
Leopard Safari at Jawai Hills
Jeep Safari followed by hike to the Mallinath Cave Temple
Bird watching at Wetland which is also called the Rann
Jeep Safari through the countryside of Rajasthan, remote and rustic villages, visit to local schools and witness the Nomadic Rabari tribes
Elephant Rock Hike
Excursion to the famous Ranakpur Jain Temple Complex followed by a visit to the hidden waterfalls in the area
Excursion to Jawai Dam, the large reservoir is home to various migratory and residential birds including crocodiles
Jawai is one of the places which have a good number of Leopard populations in Rajasthan. It offers a lifetime experience spotting and sighting the Leopard in open. The landscape of the region is breath-taking with rocky Mountains, caves and the Jawai Dam. Unlike other national parks in India, the game drive is organized in an open Jeep either at Sunrise or Sunset. However the best sighting is during the night when the Leopards are out to the nearby villages for hunting. The sighting are almost next to zero during the day as they mostly relax in their caves and come out only in the evenings to sit on the boulders, waiting for darkness and for their next prey.
The terrain is a mix of rocky boulders, forests and open landscape adjoining local villages which makes an abode for the Leopards.
Jawai is the only place in Rajasthan and in India where Leopards and Humans co-exist with each other in complete harmony. There has NOT been a single incident reported from the area where Leopards have attacked any humans for food.
Bera Safari Lodge
Bera Safari Lodge is a Luxury homestay in Jawai Hills which is surrounded by rocky boulders which has a very high possibility of Leopard sighting from the property itself if you are lucky.
Jawai has a population of around 40-50 Leopards in the Aravali regions of Godwad/Bera/Jawai. The area is also inhabited by the Rabari Tribe (The Shepherds/Herdsmen) and they can be easily recognized by their Red/Maroon Turbans.
Best properties to stay are the Bera Safari Lodge, Godwad Safari Camp and definitely the Sujan Jawai Camp. There are also other properties in the area like Amritara Jawai Sagar, Jawai Castle Resort, Castle Bera, The Country Retreat Farmstay in Bankli etc.
The region is famous for the Leopards and Shepherds i.e. Rabaris. Animal found in the area are Indian Leopard, Chinkaras, Desert Cat, Indian Wolf, Pythons, Jungle Cat, Blue Bulls etc.
The Leopard Safari in the Jawai Hills does not require passport details or passport scanned copies as the area does not fall under the forest department and not controlled by them. The local authorities and the government are working hard to stop the mining activities happening around the area in the wake of conservation efforts to save the wildlife.
Jawai Hills is a picturesque location in the Pali district of Rajasthan . It is home to the most adaptable Indian Leopard of the subcontinent as well as the Rabari Tribe.
Jawai is one of the few places in India where one can easily sight leopards and also other wild animals and migratory birds.
The name Jawai is derived from the dam built across the Jawai river which is a tributary of Luni river and is also called the Jawai Bandh or Jawai Dam. The dam was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur in the year 1957.