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Accessible only by a 2 kilometer cross-country walk and raft across the river waters, Vanghat lodge is a wilderness paradise unlike anything else to be found around Jim Corbett National Park. One of the more isolated wildlife lodges in the country, it comprises 4 spacious thatched cottages set amidst the wilderness. A beacon of sustainable tourism in the modern era, the team at Vanghat makes a significant effort to ensure that the impact on the surrounding environment is kept to a minimum. The thatched cottages add a rustic and rural feel to the place and the property located on the fringes of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, blends in perfectly with its surroundings.
Cuisine: India, Tibetan, Continental
Summer – Min 17°C, Max 32°C
Winter – Min 0°C, Max 17°C
Monsoon – Min 13°C, Max 25°C, heaviest rainfall in July and August
Best Time To Visit: November to June
By Air: Pantnagar Airport (115 kms; 3-4 hrs)
By Train: Ramnagar Railway station (35 kms away; 1 hr)
By Road: Delhi (300 kms; 7-8 hrs)
THINGS TO DO
Walking Safari: There is no better way to truly experience the forest than by walking through it; one will often see and learn more on 100 meters of a walking trail than on a 2 hour game drive. Exploring tiger-rich Jim Corbett National Park on foot is forbidden, however as the property is situated within the Corbett Tiger Reserve, a buffer zone to the national park. Guided treks around are available. There are a number of walking trails from the lodge, varying in difficulty, such as routes into the hills that surround the property or along the river where numerous pug marks can often be seen. With new routes being added and the landscape changing with the seasons, no walk is ever the same; the unique draw of the forest can be strongly felt at Vanghat.
Birding: The Western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand has one of richest and most diverse bird habitats in Asia. Of the 1,248 species of birds found across India, over 621 have been spotted in the state largely due to the altitude varying from 400 meters to over 7,800 meters in the Himalayas, leading to rich and varied forest types in a relatively small region. Vanghat is situated in a range of hills that are a transition zone between the plains to the south and the mountains to the northeast, meaning that in this melting pot of habitats, we see almost all of these species, either as residents or migrants. The rich river habitat attracts Pallas’s, Lesser and Grey-headed Fish Eagle, numerous Kingfisher and the Brown Fish Owl. White-crested Laughingthrush, Common Green Magpie, The Great Hornbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue-winged Minla, Black-throated Tit, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch and Scarlet Minivets are among the other interesting species spotted in the area.
Angling: The area is home to some of the best spots to find the famous Mahseer and Goonch (Giant Cat-fish). The Upper Ramganga, that is the area above Kalagarh Dam in Corbett Tiger Reserve and the massive Ramganga reservoir into which it flows in the north eastern corner of Jim Corbett National Park, is a vital fish habitat. From here the Ramganga is a typical Himalayan river with deep pools that allow large fish to stay year round. With expert and experienced guides, the team at Vanghat can cater to seasoned anglers as well as beginners.
Wildlife Excursions: Corbett Tiger Reserve boasts a wide array of rare fauna such as three species of otter and many other fascinating mammals, all kinds of deer and other ungulates such as serow and nilgai, king cobras, giant river turtles and the enormous fish-eating gharial crocodiles, not to mention that Corbett also has one of the highest tiger densities on the planet. The reserve’s 1,288 square kilometers adjoin with neighboring reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries, forming perhaps the largest and most crucial band of forest and wild habitat of the great Himalayan foothills. Of the four zones in Corbett which permit entry to tourists, the Forest Rest-houses in the Dhikala and Bijrani zones offer the best facilities for overnight stays including canteens and backup electrical capacity. In addition the historic rest-house bungalows are tucked away in some of the most enchantingly picturesque settings within the park.