Machan Country Villa
The very first visual treat I got as I entered Machan Country Villa was the sight of four grand elephants lined together munching away their afternoon snack and I was already exhilarated even before my adventures had begun. The gorgeous boutique resort rests in a convenient location nearby a Tharu village called ‘Gochhada’ with scattered private cottages and longhouse sprawling in nature’s beauty and tranquility. This quite resort falls hidden away from the hustle of the city into this dreamy paradise.
The staff had me humbled and impressed by their attentive service and care. I was assisted to my private cottage as we walked pass tall shady trees that bordered the narrow stone path and vibrant flowers peeped from the lush green garden, being a nature enthusiast I was already in love with the place. Greeted by friendly smiles and refreshments by the genuinely caring staff I was certain to leave this place making plenty of new friends. The Machan’s garden genie offered me fresh berries plucked from the garden he tends (he loves his flowers). While eating berries and drinking the royal refreshment I engaged in the rustic and yet elegant environment created at Machan. The walls were made of bamboos and mud covered with colorful murals that is entwined with local decor giving a very tasteful vibe.
The room is softly touched with fine elements of the Tharu Culture combining both luxury and comfort. I took a moment to really feel pampered by the aura that filled my room. After a cool refreshing shower I headed for lunch, the food here in Machan is delightful and designed to make you relish the taste and flavors of the food offered. (I insisted on meeting the master chef!)
Elephant Safari Ride
After lunch and a relaxing break we were briefed about our activities. The first activity in line was the elephant safari ride, time for me to get up-close and personal with the incredible humble elephants and explore the jungle together. Safari rides gets extremely exciting when you know you are about to sit on an elephant and ride right into the heart of the jungle, what a way to experience the raw and authentic beauty of the Chitwan forest. Making a step by step invasion to different territories of the forest from grassland, sal to mixed forest where 70% of the Tharu Committee Forest we explored is made up of the sal forest. We were fortunate enough to bump into a herd of one-horned rhinos, I couldn’t help but gleam and be profoundly shaken by the splendor of such wondrous creatures. For those who are interested in wildlife and nature study this activity gives you the perfect chance to discover plenty of exotic flora and fauna. If lucky you might even see the royal tigers (I was very hopeful I would see these solidarity creatures).
We returned to the resort and on our way back we saw children engaged in playing games and taking dips in the shallow river in the warm summer evening. Shortly after dinner I attended a slide presentation to be enlightened in detail about the Chitwan forest and committee; making aware about the preservation of the wildlife and also to understand how important protecting wildlife is.
An evening chitchat with Dev dai the camp guide who talked about history to culture of Nepal and his fun experiences of working in Machan for almost over twenty seven years he says: ‘Our guest are our kings’ and undoubtedly the words rang true as I sincerely felt the majestic service Machan Country Villa offered. For me I will simply call it the Majestic Machan.
The next day we were up and early to go ahead with our bird watching plans. A short but memories walk from exploring the nearby Tharu villages to being enlightened by our knowledgeable guide whose memory on the area’s ecosystem runs deep. (You will also hearing him cooing or whistling back to the birds communicating enthusiastically)
This was the time to feed elephants, take plenty of photos of them, see them act funny because they love the attention and also learn more about them and the relations they share with the Mahout(their caretaker). The Machan Elephants are treated immense love and care, I was talking to one of the Mahout and he explained to me excitedly the timetable of the elephants. It was clear to me that they cherished their bond with these incredible creatures. We also got the chance to take the elephants for bath by the river. You can volunteer to scrub the elephant’s body give gentle massage as the Mahout directs. Isn’t that a wonderful treat for the elephants.
Jeep Safari/ Canoeing
I found myself stepping into the mysterious land, the dense forest intensified the thrill twice as much from the previous safari. The jeep drove through the forest on to the river banks. On reaching the river bank we were greeted by a bunch of thirsty monkeys they vanished into the forest as we unexpectedly interrupted their leisure time.
A humble canoe made from dug out tree trucks awaited for us along with Maji (boatman); although he spoke very little he greeted us with his humble smile. We waded our way across the Rapti River. For me this was the best way to wrap up the overall experience in the most relaxing manner. I was thrilled I hadn’t expected the river to be this gigantic, as we touched upon soft ripples and then slowly made our turn to rhythmic currents of the river I was really feeling rejuvenated. The setting sun, the vibrant forest that skirted the river, the scenic landscape of the Chitwan National Park; you will not want to blink even for a second. Of course counting the wild turtles and alligators and birds too this event could actually sum up a very big part of Chitwan for me.
We returned to the resort still mesmerized and soaking in the eventful day only to know we had more surprises to come. Later that evening we watched the cultural Tharu dance. Ending our night with dance, music and feasting away to the days I shared in Machan.
The very last but just the beginning
My three days bliss at Machan resort was amazing and extraordinary. Packed with activities and yet I was able to spend some quite time resting outside the cottage or just hanging out near the bar reading travel books or just listening to the quite peace. In this very place I created memories and friends to cherish for a very long time. Here’s a quote that can sum up my stay here ‘The Gods created a glorious painting filled with the wonders of the world in a single place, a place to be’.