Getaway to Sauraha

Sauraha lies in the Chitwan District of Nepal and is situated close to the Rapti River and the Chitwan National Park. It is located 160 kilometers (kms) by road from Kathmandu, 155 kms from Pokhara, and 160 kms from the Indian border at Sunauli.

The Tharu village of Badrahani located near Sauraha is like a living museum where you can see mud and clay houses with thatched roofs. With time, there has been development of lots of hotels, resorts, restaurants and cafes to provide easy accommodations for tourists. So there is both upper-scale jungle lodge accommodation for tourists as well as modest ones.

Sauraha is famous for its jungle safaris which allow you to be close to nature. You might really like the laidback atmosphere and stay longer than you had originally planned. The small village has a few restaurants and local-style eateries as well. There is hardly any traffic here and the ambience is tranquil. You will want to spend at least one day in the national park, and a couple more days to walk and bike around. So you should give yourself at least a minimum of three days.

Getting There
In addition to good road access, Sauraha has good air connections through Bharatpur Airport with regular daily air services from Pokhara and Kathmandu. The airport lies just 15 kilometers to the west of Sauraha. If you take the flight to Bharatpur, it can cost around Rs 3,300 for one way. From there you can take a jeep or bus which takes about one hour to reach Sauraha. If you want to travel by bus, there are tourist buses available which usually takes off from Jamal at around 6 am. The tourist buses are a bit expensive but are very comfortable. There are actually other kinds of buses available too from Kathmandu that can reach you to your destination. There are cheaper Birgunj-bound buses which will drop you at Tadi Bazaar which is about four kilometers north of Bharatpur where you can easily get local buses, taxis, rickshaws, tanga/pony carts which will take you to Sauraha.

Trip Highlights
Sauraha is an ideal place for a vacation at any time of the year. With a large variety of activities and attractions, the trip will appeal to travelers of all ages with diverse tastes and preferences. The best part about Sauraha is that there are a lot of outdoor activities that you can enjoy. You can watch the sunrise and sunset over the national park and go for jungle safaris on foot or in a jeep and you can be close to nature and witness the natural beauty.

Elephant rides are very famous in Chitwan and if it’s your first time, then you’ll be really excited to spot various animals like rhinoceros and deer on your way. Another fun thing to do is watch the elephants being given a bath which you can try yourself as well. You can also take the canoe trip on the river.

Another activity that you may enjoy is bird watching in and around the jungle, especially at Das Hajar Tal (20,000 lakes), a wetland area which is approximately 10 kilometers northwest from Sauraha.

You can also hire a bike and wander around in the nearby Tharu villages and observe their lifestyle. You shouldn’t also miss the Tharu dance and cultural shows.

Trip Essentials
Since there’s going to be a lot of outdoor activities to indulge in, the most important thing you shouldn’t miss are your comfortable shoes. You should carry light clothes with you but also carry a windcheater just in case there are slight breezes in the evening. Don’t forget your summer hats, sunscreen lotion and umbrellas as well.

The weather at Sauraha is hotter than in Kathmandu. So be prepared to face the scorching sun. There can also be occasional showers but the temperature is comparatively warmer.

source: republica, 27 Sept 2013

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