Thursday Hops #19 – Banyan Retreat, Corbett

We did it! We took a super-mini vacation for the first time since Covid 19 struck.

Many of those needing a break from the Covid-induced, stay-at-home routine have started opting for mine-breaks at resorts within driving distance of their homes. If you are travelling in your own car, it is quite safe. No risk of infection from co-passengers. No need to keep track of quarantine guidelines of different states.

We opted for the Banyan Retreat Corbett in Ramnagar, which is around a 5-hour drive from Delhi.

The path leading to the resort was not very impressive, you need to drive on a 700-metre dirt road to get to the resort. As these are Covid times, the guard checked our temperature before letting us in.

Things started looking up after we entered the gate. We followed a tree-lined path to a spacious parking lot in front of the reception. The reception itself was well-lit and airy. After completing check-in formalities, we proceed to our cottage.

The Banyan Retreat gets its name from an old Banyan Tree on its grounds. Though definitely not the largest Banyan trees that I’ve seen (the ones in Bandhavgarh and Auroville, Pondicherry were huge in comparison), this one was big enough to not fit in a single pic.

Here’s a pic of the tree from the resort’s website, which gives a much better idea of its size.

As you can see, the cottages have been built in a circle around the tree. This reminded me of old havelis that had a Banyan or Peepal tree in the center of the courtyard.

Here’s a pic of the cottage that we stayed in.

After so many months of staying at home, the cottage felt luxurious.

Other attractions at the resort were its swimming pool and large grounds.

At dusk, a bonfire was lit in the lawn in front of the restaurant. Chairs were placed around the bonfire. The entire arrangement was under a dome-like structure that was decorated with Diwali lights. You could connect your mobile to the music system provided and play soothing music or peppy dance numbers, as desired. Soon, people were dancing around the bonfire.

In the morning, we walked to the banks of the Kosi river down another 700-800 meter road. At this time of the year, the river had subsided and looked deceptively gentle. We have seen this river swell during the monsoons and reach the steps of the resort we were staying in at the time.

After lunch, we returned to Delhi from our super-mini break, much refreshed.

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Published by Leena T Pandey

I have been reading voraciously since the age of five when I first discovered the joys of reading. I would lap up anything in print. Unrolling an emptied newspaper cone with one hand, stuffing roasted peanuts in my mouth with the other, all the while devouring the printed content on the cone with my eyes, was one of my first experiences in hedonistic pleasure. In fact, sometimes I feel that I am on an adventurous journey through the secret dreamworld of other people's imaginations, interspersed with occasional visits to my own life to attend events like graduation, first job, marriage, and so on. As a true-blue reader, I think I am uniquely qualified to comment on and critique other people's works of labour. I can tell exactly what puts the average reader to sleep, what sets their pulse racing, and what has them salivating for more. Write to me at leenatpandey@gmail.com.

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