A recent weekend getaway to Sariska Tiger Reserve and a stay at Sariska Manor, turned out to be perfect antidotes to my post-COVID fatigue. So, I thought of introducing this beautiful historical region as well as the luxurious property to readers through my words and captures.
First things first. Let me talk about Sariska Manor, a property that served as my home away from home to explore a region steeped in history and culture.
Where is Sariska Manor?
Sariska Manor is a luxury jungle lodge located in the Sariska National Park, Rajasthan. The sanctuary is spread across the rolling mountains of the Aravalli, stretching over approximately 1200 sq km, in the oldest regions of the country.
The Sariska Tiger Reserve is supposedly one of the oldest tiger reserve’s in India, and, as of today boasts of 23 tigers , a wide range of wildlife from leopards to striped hyenas, close to 200 bird varieties, and of course lush flora and fauna.
Sariska Manor near Tehla Gate
Yes! Sariska Manor abuts the fringes of the Sariska Tiger Reserve, while being located comfortably next to the Tehla Gate in the buffer zone — one of the two gates to embark on a safari into the tiger reserve [ the other being the Sariska gate] . Can there be a more perfectly located stay option to embark on a wildlife safari? Absolutely, not!
So, the perfect location laps up a few brownie points, right away. Am I being too generous? Not all.
As a family traveller and a wildlife enthusiast, the very first aspect that I take into consideration is : the distance between a property and the wildlife reserve’s gate [ to embark on a safari]. Because, if I am going to travel for two hours to reach the gate from my property of stay, and then end up with another 3-4 hours of safari, then it would be truly a back-breaking and restless experience. And, I don’t think anyone would be able to enjoy the whole trip completely.
I learnt this the hard way though, when we ended up travelling on bumpy roads for close to 90 mins to reach a tiger reserve in Uttarakhand, missed the golden hours, and completely spoiled the trip ourselves in spite of liberally shelling out currency notes.
Exactly why I like to opt for properties like Sariska Manor to embark on hassle-free wildlife safaris.
Ultimately, nothing like waking up early, hopping onto a jeep, and embarking on a safari as quickly as possible during the golden hours, isn’t it?
The rooms at Sariska Manor
The second aspect that I often consider while reviewing a property are the rooms [to hit the bed after a day long sightseeing and safari]. And, Sariska Manor did not disappoint me at this as well. With its colonial cottage-like vibes yet rooted in the local ethos, and a pleasing decor complementing its luxuriously spaced interiors, the rooms at Sariska Manor are truly elegant and functional.
The property surely does tick all aspects of a luxury jungle lodge, but the cherry on cake are the balconies facing citrus orchards and lush greenery. For guests with a keen interest in bird-watching, this is a paradise.
What can be greater joy than sitting leisurely while sipping piping hot-tea, and the birds themselves visit to pose for your lens? Bliss!
Apart from these, a few more aspects of the room at Sariska Manor that scored brownie points are: a thoughtfully placed pair of footwear [ one thing that most of us military families look forward to in our rooms- a pair for each of the occupant] , a full-sized mirror and no distractions in the form of television. Of course, I would have preferred a better wifi connection though. However, in a forested region like Sariska, I guess network connectivity is bound to be intermittent!
After location and the rooms, the third most important aspect that I look for in a property is food!
Lip-smacking fare at Sariska Manor
The management surely knows how to pamper the taste-buds of its guests during their stay at Sariska Manor. From local Rajasthani cuisine to continental, and from a simple kheer to the lip-smacking caramel pudding, the chefs of Sariska Manor can dish out a wide-variety of dishes.
I had a great time at the breakfast table as well, indulging in a sumptuous fare, complemented by an aptly brewed masala chai.
Do not miss out on the mashed potatoes, which were perfectly done, reminding of the ones I had in Russia! The small towns and hamlets in Russia dish out the best of the mashed potatoes with sour cream, by the way. And, Sariska Manor surprisingly replicated it.
Is it owing to the potatoes they procure or is it the magic of the chef? I leave it to you to decide.
Soothing premises of Sariska Manor
Having gone through hell while recuperating from COVID, Sariska Manor and its environs turned out to be a soothing balm to a battered soul like me. The crisp air devoid of Delhi-dust, freshly prepared food, the intoxicating air of the jungle, and the lush orchards of the property — all served as a great relief.
That the management has created a beautiful small pond around a natural spring is truly appreciable. The pond in turn has become a haven for birds of every size and colour, and so are the orchards of Sariska Manor that brim with trees of Amla, oranges and other citrus fruits.
The property grows its own seasonal vegetables, as well as recycles and reuses waste water. Being close to the core area of the Tiger Reserve, the management has made sure to keep the decibel levels low inside its premises. Hence, no speakers blaring out intolerable noise in the name of music.
And, there is a neatly maintained swimming pool to relax nerves.
Hospitality to a tee
Affable, polite, ever-ready to help without cringing, knowledgeable and well-mannered…these would be the adjectives to introduce the staff of Sariska Manor. And, each of the staff member has his/her heart at the right place!
A special mention about Mahes, the manager, who went all out to make us feel comfortable during our stay at Sariska Manor. A naturalist with over a decade of experience, Mahes is the go-to person for birders and wildlife enthusiasts staying at the property.
Off-beat experiences offered by Sariska Manor
Located in a region steeped in historical ruins, folklore, temples and stories dating back to the Mahabharata era, a stay at Sariska Manor provides an opportunity to its guests to indulge in various experiences, but not restricted to wildlife safaris.
The guests can opt to visit Bhangarh fort [ touted as the most haunted fort in Asia], the Neelkant temple and its surrounding ruins, the Mansarovar lake, as well as the Naugaj Digambar Jain temple ruins.
Not interested in architecture and heritage. No worries. Hike over the rugged and rounded rocks of the oldest fold mountains- Aravallis, to experience scintillating sunsets in the company of samosas and chai prepared with love by Sariska Manor. In short, you are invited to a high-tea amidst the expansive Aravallis !
Is that all? Well, no….actually.
Located in one of the darkest regions on earth, the night-sky of Sariska glitters with constellations, planets and stars, which otherwise isn’t visible under a city night-scape. Hence, star-gazers and astro-lovers too are in for a treat on a clear night.
So, basically, you will find your days as well as nights spent at Sariska Manor worth every penny!
Motivated to visit Sariska and stay at the property…then you should find the below information handy.
Best Season to Visit Sariska
This latest trip to the Sariska region is my second one in recent years, and I’ve been completely bowled over by the region’s beauty especially during the monsoons. The last time was when we embarked on a road-trip to Alwar from Delhi, and got to explore the other end of the Sariska National Park, however, it was during the winters.
Although, the sightings[ of spotting a tiger or a leopard] are much more easier during summers and winters, I find the post-monsoon seasons the most invigorating in the jungles, especially in a region like Sariska. It’s the time of the year when a forest looks like one —with brimming ponds and lakes, chirping birds, playful chitals, and jumping langurs.
How to reach Sariska Manor
Sariska Manor is located next to the south gate of the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as the Tehla gate.
It is around 200 km from Delhi, 110 km from Jaipur and 35 km from Alwar. It is well-connected by road transport like buses and taxis. While the nearest airport is at Jaipur, the closest railway station is at Alwar, which is just an hour’s drive from the property.
Parting words before I embark on my next trip
Refreshing open spaces, verdant rolling mountains and the charming avian friends calmed my nerves, while the hospitality rendered by management and staff of Sariska Manor pampered me thoroughly. I have shared my experience of staying at Sariska Manor succinctly, and plan to supplement this write-up in the coming weeks with other posts— focussing on the must-visit places in the Sariska region.
Meanwhile, do watch this reel on my experience at Sariska Manor, and I hope you found the post useful!
Should you still have any queries regarding the property or the experiences, feel free to ask them in the comments section, and I shall help you out as much as possible.