If you are seeking a wildlife holiday which also leaves you feeling healthier, happier and more relaxed, this groundbreaking Naturetrek wildlife and yoga combination could be the answer! Yoga, a system of exercises that emerged an astonishing 5,000 years ago to foster both physical and mental well-being, has its origins in northern India. These exercises are documented in the Vedas, the oldest records of Indian culture, and yoga’s founders were the great sages, famed for their remarkable powers of physical and mental concentration. Yoga today combines stylised postures with exercises in deep breathing and meditation, the word itself being derived from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to join together’s — the ultimate aim of yoga being to unite the human soul with the universal spirit.
Our base for this holiday will be Tarangi Resort, or similar, situated in the buffer zone forest on the edge of Corbett National Park. Whilst here, we will rise early and focus each morning on exploring Corbett in search of the park’s Tigers and fabulous range of other mammals and birds. Then, after lunch each day, and a suitable period at leisure, we’sll offer a daily yoga class each afternoon and evening, each lesson carefully tailored to the level of experience of the participants. In addition, informal talks on yoga lifestyle will also be given. The flexibility offered by the yoga instructors here will provide for both newcomers to yoga as well as more experienced aficionados. All you will need are reasonably good health, a yoga mat and a willingness to have fun and take healthy exercise in inspiring natural surroundings.
Indeed, the delightful situation of Tarangi Resort puts us in utter harmony with nature. Its 21 cottages are set in 13 lush acres of landscaped grounds beneath the Himalayan foothills and, nearby, on a fast-flowing river, White-capped River Chats and Plumbeous Redstarts flit among the boulders whilst Brown Dippers plunge in and out of the torrent. Wallcreepers not infrequently explore the rocky shoreline here and the shaggy crested Himalayan Pied Kingfisher is another regular visitor. The surrounding forests are also rich in birdlife and, unlike the nearby national park, it is possible to explore these on foot which greatly increases the number of birds and smaller mammals we should see. The lodge has been especially designed with yoga in mind, and incorporates both a meditation and yoga hall; it also offers Ayurvedic treatments and has a large riverside swimming pool. Private vegetable and herb gardens supply the restaurant inside, while the rural situation and the Himalaya to the north ensure a rich supply of healthy fresh air. Indeed, it is our aim that when you leave Tarangi Resort, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and possess a sense of accomplishment.
Our holiday begins, however, in India’s capital, Delhi. From here we’ll enjoy a birdwatching visit to Okhla Barrage, on the Yamuna River, home to a wealth of waterbirds and passerines. We will then take a train north-east into the scenic forested hills and wide river valleys of Corbett National Park where we have a chance of seeing Tiger and Indian Elephant plus a fine supporting cast of mammals and birds. We will be spending six days in Corbett, the famous national park named in honour of Jim Corbett. He was born in nearby Nainital in 1875 and, for over 30 years during the first half of the 20th century, he achieved ‘god-like’s status in these hills as he rid them of 19 man-eating Tigers and Leopards that between them claimed over 1,200 lives. His modest accounts of these exploits became bestselling books, but by 1920 he was turning to photography, one of that early breed of naturalists to turn from hunter to conservationist, and was duly honoured when Corbett National Park was founded in 1957. Here the wealth and diversity that Corbett experienced throughout the Kumaon hills remains protected today within the jungles and forested hills of Corbett National Park. As well as a mouth-watering selection of sub-Himalayan birds, the park also supports a wealth of mammals, among them Indian Elephants, Wild Boar, and herds of deer which are the prey of a healthy population of Leopards and Tigers, all of which we will search for on elephant back and jeep. We will also look for the rare fish-eating Gharial Crocodiles along Corbett’s fast-flowing rivers, where enigmatic Ibisbills and Wallcreepers may also be found in winter.
Our holiday concludes back in Delhi, but participants may choose to extend their visit in a variety of ways, whether with a visit to another of the well-known Tiger Reserves, such as Ranthambore or Suklaphanta, or by further pursuing their interest in yoga with a visit to an Indian ashram.