These are some of the best lodges and resorts in Manas National Park that promise a blissful time in the wilderness. By Karan Kaushik
Located on the India-Bhutan border, on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River, Manas National Park adorns many hats. It’s a biosphere hotspot, a Project Tiger and Project Elephant Reserve, a birding haven, and a natural world heritage site. The jungles once served as the hunting ground of the royals of Assam. It was in 1990 that it was declared a national park. From thrilling jeep safaris to lovely jungle trails, and lush tea plantations, the national park has a lot in store.
Reconnect with nature at these lodges and resorts in Manas National Park
Located right outside the park gate, The Bansbari Lodge is the most sought-after jungle lodge in Manas National Park. The property offers 16 double rooms with hot and cold water and impeccable room service. Flanked by lush tea estates on one side and the sylvan foothills of the Himalayas on the other, the lodge also hosts dance performances in the evenings on request. Other facilities include a well-equipped library, and a dining room that serves Indian, Chinese, and Continental cuisine.
Where: Manas National Park, Barpeta-Manas Road, Barpeta, Assam
You could describe Sikhiri Cottages as a man-grown forest that houses cottages for a rustic and into-the-woods experience. The idyllic nature retreat is conveniently located at the edge of the forest boundary near the Bansbari entrance gate of Manas National Park. The property gets its name from the Bodo word for butterflies. On offer here are bamboo cottages. Each can accommodate two to three guests. Facilities include attached bathrooms with 24 hours running water, well-maintained verandahs, dining space, a fireplace, and a private sit-out garden.
Where: Manas National Park, Village Barangabari, District Baksa, BTAD Barengabari, Assam
This property enjoys a superb location near the Fatehbad Tea Estate and the entrance of the Bansbari Range. The rooms here are spacious, clean, and airy. Each room comes with an attached dressing room and en-suite bathrooms. They also organise jungle safaris, birdwatching trails, bonfire nights, and village walks for guests. A prime attraction of the property is the beautiful open-air theatre, where guests are enthralled by folk performances. The property is also called Birina Eco Camp Lodge or Birina Tourist Lodge. It once served as a tea bungalow.
Where: Manas National Park, Near Fatemabad Tea factory P.O, Barangabari, Assam
Next up on our list of resorts in Manas National Park is Florican Jungle Cottage. An all-time favourite among regular wildlifers, the property is managed by a grass-root conservation NGO in Bansbari. The property features six Assamese thatched cottages with attached bathrooms. The staff here has been trained by Help Tourism. They conduct jungle rides and birdwatching treks. They can also arrange cultural performances on request. Meals at Florican are a highlight of the stay.
Where: Near Bansbari Range Office, Manas National Park.Baksa, Assam
A quick google search about Hornbill Eco Camp will tell you that guests who have stayed here have only nice things to say about the property. While most have praised their warm and friendly staff, some have written highly about their food and service. Owned and run by the congenial Sanjit Das, the property is located in Jyoti Gaon. They offer tented camps, which come with well-manicured gardens and private parking. From the sounds of elephant trumps and muntjac barks to absolutely crisp air, the retreat makes for a rejuvenating experience.
Where: Manas National Park, Rupahi Road, Kahibari, Assam
One of the most popular resorts in Manas National Park, this comparatively new property has gained immense popularity in a matter of just a few years. The property enjoys a nice location. Encompassed by aromatic tea plantations, the retreat has clean and comfy rooms. They also serve traditional Assamese delicacies, making your experience a memorable one. Ask them to help you with jeep safaris and river rafting trips, and they would be happy to assist.
Where: Gyatigaon, P O Barengabari, Bansbari, Assam
Nestled on the edge of Manas National Park, Eagle Nest Eco Retreat provides a mesmerising view of the national park. The resort is surrounded by several local attractions. The upscale property features comfortable and spacious rooms, huts, and tents. Their restaurant dishes out mouthwatering Assamese and Indian fare. The resort has a well-equipped health club, while a swimming pool is also in the works. From air-conditioned rooms to bamboo huts to camping tents, the property offers decent stay options.
Where: Manas National Park, Kahibari, Assam