It goes without saying that offbeat is the new cool, and exploring the little-known can make your soul sing. We were feeling exactly all those things before we were headed to Jawai Bandh, which is tucked in its jungle glory in the Pali District of Rajasthan. While the idea of staying in the middle of a jungle in a small city in Rajasthan (which we had never heard of before) sounded super exciting, we were a bit nervous.
We were introduced to Jawai Bandh as a small city in Rajasthan which is 160 kms away from Jodhpur. It is known to be a land of leopards, and definitely many from the wildlife family are spotted here. We were instantly excited but at the same time a bit edgy. However, let me tell you why this trip has been a pleasant and memorable experience that makes us say Jawai Bandh in Rajasthan is the jungle vacation you need.
1. Stay in luxury tents in the lap of nature
We were invited by Thour Nature Resorts in Jawai Bandh to stay in their cosy cottage and experience the resort’s hospitality.
We arrived at 6 AM in the morning, we were staying at one of the four cottages Thour Nature Resorts offers. The tent room was one of the best I’ve stayed in a jungle. The room was spacious, the bed was comfortable, equipped with an AC and heater keeping in mind the contrasting weather throughout the year. There is a seating area right outside the room to soak in the lovely ambience, it is also the perfect spot for breakfast, reading a book or getting some work done efficiently.
The food served here is simple, homely and delicious. All the vegetables are grown in the resort itself so you can expect delightful meals. We were in complete awe when we took a quick tour around the farm and had a glimpse of so many different fresh veggies grown right there.
Our recommendation would be their warm masala Maggi which was our special request during our stay and the staff politely obliged. The team is super welcoming and helpful. Customer satisfaction seems to be their key! The resort arranged a bonfire for us on both days to rejoice the weather and engage in good conversations and food.
We also had a special dinner set up on top of the hill within the resort – good food, music, fun conversation, bonfire and lot of candles made the evening a pleasant one!
Special shout-out to the owner Mr. Pankaj Swami, who was a gracious host and shared a bunch of interesting stories and facts about Jawai Bandh. Also, a special mention to Suresh Ji, who played multiple roles of being a caretaker, server, house-keeper and guide at the resort. He is a true hospitality Ninja.
What was also exciting is that we saw new cottages being built along with plans for a swimming pool, outdoor games section, kids’ area, fruit vegetation, etc. There are a bunch of interesting things WIP which will be a cherry on the cake for guests.
2. Memorable Safari Rides
Open Jeep Safaris are the most exciting ones, especially in the winter season. We could not have chosen a better time to visit Jawai Bandh. The temperature is around 7-8 degrees in the mornings and around 10-12 in the evening. For Mumbaikars like ourselves, this was definitely frosty and nippy. Thour Nature resort arranged two safaris for us (morning and evening).
The duration is around 3 hours and we got a mesmerising unfiltered view of the forest. The roads are mainly narrow and curvy so you are definitely in for a bumpy ride. Our guide Mr. Irfan had been working in Jawai Bandh for the past 8-10 years and was well aware of the area and their team does an R&D to follow the footsteps of the leopards to analyse their whereabouts. All the guides are well connected amongst themselves and call each other whenever any of them do spot the majestic animal in its full glory.
On our first safari which was in the evening, after going around, and witnessing a bunch of deers, pigs and peacocks, we spotted a leopard in one of the magnificent caves. The view is surreal, the leopard was huge, ferocious and looked carefree. He was probably resting for a while outside the cave waiting for the sun to set to proceed for his hunt for the day. Since we got a peak for a distance and leopard was sitting on top of the cave, we got a clear view through the binoculars. A cluster of jeeps gathered around the cave to be spectators of this gigantic animal. This was a sight we’d be holding on in our memories for a long time to come. However, it is noteworthy that while Jawai Bandh invites safari enthusiasts, it does not see a deluge of jeeps at a given point, thereby making the experience even more seamless.
3. Sunrise and Bird Watching at Jawai Dam
The Jawai Dam is a sight for the sore eyes, we were immersed in a breath-taking view of the sunrise, as the sun slowly ascended through the mountains, reflecting on the water. As you walk towards the dam, you can listen to the rustling of leaves, the birds cooing not afar. We parked our jeep here to fully soak in this beautiful view over a cup of chai. We also witnessed some migratory birds at the dam. It’s one of those, “Is this for real?” sites that you shouldn’t miss out on!
How to reach Jawai
Train- Overnight trains from Mumbai & Delhi take you to the Jawai Bandh station, Thour Nature Resorts is an hour’s drive from there.
Flight – The closest airports to Jawai Bandh are Udaipur & Jodhpur, Thour Nature Resorts in a 2.5 and 3 -hour drive respectively from there.
Book a memorable experience with Thour Nature Resorts
Plan a picturesque vacation in the lap of nature with Thour Nature Resorts, head here. You can also email them on firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S: We can’t emphasise enough on the fact that Jawai Bandh in Rajasthan is the jungle vacation you need! You will be surprised to know a Rajasthan beyond the conventional. Until next time, #StayCurious 😊