Destinations for Treehouses, Safari, Camping, Jungle Stay Holidays in India

The most unique holidays in india | Best holiday trips in india

For many people, the ultimate trip of a lifetime. All totally WILD

Holidays are coming. If you did not get a chance to plan that grand foreign vacation, time to think about creating unforgettable, adventurous and chilling experiences in India.  We are talking about experiencing the wild. There are plenty of incredible and life changing experiences waiting just to be explored.

Included here is everything from a stay in treehouse, to camping in the wilderness, wildlife safari and a jungle stay. Know that a knowledge guide will have the power to convert your holiday from “passive tour” to lifetime experiences. So, it may be just alright to splurge on hiring one.

TIP: Wherever you go or whatever you do, remember the Golden Rule “Don’t run, on seeing you as neither competition nor prey, the wild will walk away”.

Wayanad wildlife sanctuary, Kerela

Specialty: Stay in treehouse

Wayanad’s landscape combines mountain scenery with paddy fields and wildlife animals, all in one frame.  It’s where the city dwellers escape for a quick break into unspoilt nature. Contiguous to the protected areas of Nagarhole in Karnataka on the north-east side and Mudumalai of Tamilnadu on the south –east, the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is also popularly known as the abode of Kerala’s tribal population. It’s an excellent place to spot wild elephants, peacocks, deer and langurs.

The best accommodation is scattered around Wayanad.

Also read: Meghalaya itinerary | Best treehouses to explore, Best Road trips in India & 61 places to visit in India before turning 40

Experiences not to miss:

Suspended from a tree trunk and canopied in leafy branches with beautiful views below, your childhood dream of living in a treehouse can totally come true in Wayanad. Ranging from luxurious to rustic, there are atleast half a dozen treehouse options buried in the middle of the jungle around here. Most come fitted with all modern-day amenities and the view from top is magical!

How to reach

Nearest city: Kozhikode Nearest airport: Calicut (65 km) Nearest railway station: Kozhikode Station

Approx budget range $$$$

Things to do

  • Hop on a two-hour jeep safari to experience the wild from either of the two sanctuary entrances. There is no difference in the chances of spotting animals or visiting arrangements from either enterance. Trekking is not permitted inside the sanctuary.
  • Take the steep climb to the Edakkal Caves to see a rare collection of petroglyphs dating back over 3000 years. This is the only place in India with Stone Age carvings.
  • Join a bamboo-craft workshop for ₹1500 or shop for beautifully crafted artefacts made with bamboo at Uravu.

Other wildlife places to consider 

Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Pariyar National Park, Mudumalai National Park and Nagarhole National Park

Bandhavgarh tiger reserve, Madhya pradesh

Specialty: Safari

If your only wish for visiting a wild life sanctuary is to see a tiger, look no further. Explore your love for pure wildlife at Bandhavgarh- the erstwhile hunting grounds of local maharajas. Luxury and royalty have hardly been strangers in this part of the country so it is only apt that these jungles are home to the majestic and fearsome Royal Bengal Tigers. The density of the Tiger population at Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. You are also likely to see herds of Nilgai, Chausingha, Chital, Chinkara, Wild Boar and sometimes a Fox or Jackal.

Experiences not to miss:

Bandhavgarh easily tops the charts when it comes to wildlife safari experiences. Modern lodgings offer bespoke safaris ranging from basic rough it out to uber luxurious outings on jeep or elephant.  The trained naturalists interpret each animal sound echoing around you and motions you to freeze when the calm is abruptly broken by the crying to terrified animals alarming each other that the visually commanding Roya Bengal Tiger is on the prowl. The morning safaris, starting between 5.30am and 6.45am (depending on the season) are longer than afternoon safaris (starting at 3pm) and tend to produce more tiger sightings.

Also read: Best Road Trips that give a glimpse of jungle safari

How to reach

Nearest city: Jabalpur Nearest airport: Khajuraho Airport (225 km) or Jabalpur Airport (158 km) Nearest railway station: Katni Station or Umaria Station

Most resorts can arrange a pickup for a fee.

Approx budget range $$$$

Things to do

  • Live like Mowgli at the Treehouse Hideaway and see a wild cat or wild boar from your dining area.
  • The one hour trek to the Bandhavgarh fort takes you 2000 year down the history lane.
  • Want to see 40 million years old fossil that look like ordinary rocks, drive down to the Fossil National Park. Archaeologist have identified them dating back to the  late Jurassic or the early and mid-Cretaceous age.
  • Visit the Interpretation Centre Museum that exhibits the history and legends of Bandhavgarh and some superb tiger photos.

Other wildlife places to consider 

Kanha National Park, Pench National Park & Panna National Park are all famous for Tiger Safaris

Spiti valley, Himachal pradesh

Specialty: Go camping

With fewer tourists, the Spiti valley offers unreal postcard landscapes and attracts hordes of bikers for one of India’s most loved biking trip routes. Spiti is not a regular hill station, it is a high-altitude dessert virtually untouched by time. Visualize virgin blue skies, endless meadows of gorgeous valleys with colorful Buddhist flags fluttering in the breeze. Spiti means the “The Middle Land” and is located right between the India and Tibet giving it a very distinctive Buddhist flavour. The turquoise-grey Spiti river flows swiftly at the base of the mountains and snow-capped peaks are a common sight here, no matter what the is.

Spiti is the eco-traveller’s dream.

Experiences not to miss:

Wondering if you can pitch your own tent, the answer is absolutely yes. Choose a site in any village alongside a river for your once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the adventures of camping in the remote Himalayas, in your DIY tent. Choosing a site close to the locals will give you some sense of security from both wild animals and unexpected weather changes. Alternatively, you can also book yourself a camp with facilities of hot water, meals, doctor and a professional guide. The campsite near Chandra Tal is the largest camping ground in Spiti Valley.

How to reach

Nearest city: Chandigarh Nearest airport: Kullu Airport (245 km) or Chandigarh Airport(522 km) Nearest railway station: Jogindernagar Station

Approx budget range $$$

Things to do

  • Visit the Pin Valley National Park which is set amidst frozen rivers and home to rare species of famous Himalayan Snow leopards and its prey.
  • Offer your prayers at the various Monasteries such as Key, Dhankar and Tabo which have withstood the test of time.
  • Camping in Spiti is usually combined with trekking. Some treks last for days and for your night stay you have to pitch camps under the stars.
  • With villages situated at an altitude of 10-15,00 fts, star gazing is one of the best pastimes in Spiti. Who knows, you may even spot a shooting star.

Other wildlife places to consider 

Churdhar Sanctuary, Maharana Pratap Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Great Himalayan National Park

The Sundarbans, West bengal

Specialty: Jungle Stay

One of the largest of its kind in the world, the Sundarbans is a contiguous mishmash of water channels and semi-submerged mangroves forming an enormous river delta buzzing with biodiversity and wildlife. This jaw dropping 2585 sq km mangrove sanctuary also boasts of the largest concentration of tigers on the planet. Taking a motorboat into the broad waterways is your best chance to spot this commanding beast who often swim across the delta’s innumerable water channels.

The date of the last tiger-spotting is routinely updated at the Mangrove Interpretation Centre. This UNESCO site lies on the delta of Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal.

Experiences not to miss:

If you love to experience the chills that go down your spine when the wild calls and hisses, a jungle stay in Sundarbans is sure to turn out into your epic adventure. Story has it that tigers sometimes come inside the jungle lodge looking for shelter from rains. Expect fuss free ambience, a

blissful world that shields you from your television, newspapers, Internet and (sometimes) telephone. You will be treated to locally sourced ingredients and exceptionally fresh food.

Other wildlife places to consider 

Chapramari Wildlife forest, Ramnabagan Wildlife Sanctuary and Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

How to reach

Nearest city: Kolkata Nearest airport: Dum Dum Airport (166km) Nearest railway station: Canning Station

Approx budget range $

Things to do

  • Watching wildlife, such as the playful gangetic dolphins, water monitors, luminescent kingfishers or the unannounced 5m-long saltwater crocodiles.
  • Plan a Night Safari in Sunderbans to witness the rarest Phytoplanktons – a mesmerising formation of microscopic marine algae that glow in the night.
  • Make a pit stop at Netidhopani to seek blessings at the 400-year old temple set amidst ancient houses and picture perfect lake.
  • Take in the sundowner sitting quietly atop a watch tower, capture the stunning panorama in your lens or memory while animals come up and close to drink water at nearby freshwater source.

Conclusion

Are your ready to book your complete wilderness experience?

“The wilderness holds answers to questions we have not yet learned to ask” – Nancy Wynne Newhall, American photography critic

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