Set amidst breath-taking surroundings and home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, and other wildlife, Vanghat is aesthetically and sustainably designed to perfectly align with nature.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Vanghat, known as a buffer zone, is located on the bank of Western Ramganga River, inside the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve, which is a forest division of CORBETT TIGER RESERVE.
Asia’s first national park was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park, and was renamed twice, first as Ramganga National Park in 1954-55 and later Jim Corbett National Park in 1955-56, and is currently located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Aimed to protect wildlife (especially the endangered Bengal Tiger), the park was renamed in order to honour the great wildlife conservationist, naturalist, and author Edward James Corbett, who played a key role in its establishment.
Corbett National Park comprises a 520.8 km2 (201.1 sq. miles) area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands, and a large lake. In 1974, it was chosen as the location for launching Project Tiger, an ambitious and well-known wildlife conservation project. To stop poaching and timber cutting, 797.72 km2 were added in 1991 as a buffer zone to the Corbett Tiger Reserve. This addition included the entire Kalagarh forest division, assimilating the 301.18 km2 (116.29 sq. miles) area of the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of the Kalagarh division.
The elevation ranges from 1,300 to 4,000ft (400 to 1,200 m). Winter nights are cold, but the days are bright and sunny. It rains from July to September.
The dense and moist deciduous forest mainly consists of Sal, Haldu, Ficus, Rohini, and mango trees. The forest covers almost 73% of the park; 10% of the area consists of grasslands. It houses around 110 tree species, 50 species of mammals, 650 bird species, and 25 reptile species.
The Northern Division (the buffer zone) of the Corbett Tiger Reserve was named Kalagarh Tiger Reserve (KTR) in 1974 when Project Tiger was launched in India. Kalagarh (KTR) is spread over 301.18 km2, which also includes the Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.
About 70 percent of the reserve falls in the Pauri Garhwal district and the rest in the Nainital and Almora districts.
- Provides jungle experiences without disturbing wildlife
- Practices sustainable life-style & community-based conservation
- Promotes responsible tourism
- Hosts wide varieties of flora and fauna
- Facilitates a meaningful learning environment for children
- Creates awareness about human and environmental health
Set amidst breath-taking surroundings and home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, and other wildlife, Vanghat is aesthetically and sustainably designed to perfectly align with nature. The lodge is composed of 9 cottages, 4 mud and thatched cottages, and 5 stone cottages. Each cottage can accommodate maximum of 3 guests, has an en-suite bathroom and a veranda.
Refreshingly simple, our dedication to making as small a footprint as possible is such that the cottages are raised off the ground to let reptiles and other wildlife pass unimpeded and are equipped with energy efficient fans instead of air conditioning and RO filtered drinking water instead of bottled. The toiletries provided are chosen specifically to be organic and safely biodegradable.
Our largest visitors are herds of elephants which amble through the valley, often peacefully between the buildings of the property itself, something accounted for in the design of the lodge, and their trail of browsed fruits and grasses is unmistakable. Wild boar and porcupine are our most rambunctious guests, leaving numerous holes and burrows in the wake of their rummaging.
Deer species, such as Barking Deer (also known as the Indian Muntjac) and large Sambar Deer are commonly seen in the valley, and troops of langurs often pass through. The Himalayan Goral (a shy goat-antelope species) can be frequently seen on the rock faces of the valley opposite the lodge, and the extremely rare Himalayan Serow Antelope was photographed here in what was likely a first for the region. The distinct alarm calls of these animals, echoing from the forest from dusk until dawn, tell us of a predator's presence.
Though sighted only on occasion, cat species are in abundance around Vanghat, with fresh pug marks seen almost daily in the valley all throughout the summer and winter months (November to June). The forests around Corbett Tiger Reserve are home to one of the highest densities of tigers outside any protected area (PA) in India. Leopards are also present, but are famously more circumspect of unwanted human contact than tigers. Other felines, such as jungle and leopard cats, and other predators including Indian python, cobra, mongoose, and marten, have been spotted. Both Sloth and Himalayan Black Bears are occasional visitors too.
The Western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand has one of richest and diverse bird habitats in Asia. Of the 1,248 species of birds found across India, over 621 have been spotted in our state, largely due to the altitude that varies from 400m to over 7800m in the Himalayas, leading to rich and varied forest types over a relatively small region. Birding is a specialty at Vanghat, and whether after a general introduction to the almost overwhelming array of avian fauna or on the hunt for a very specific species. Vanghat is situated in a range of hills that are a transition zone between the plains to the south and the mountains to the northeast, meaning that in this melting pot of habitats we see almost all of these species, either as residents or migrants.
The rich river habitat attracts Pallas's Lesser and Grey-headed Fish Eagle, numerous kingfishers, Brown and Tawny Fish Owl, which at dusk are more often heard than seen. The emblematic Great Hornbills journey daily up and down the valley, their vast wings audible in flight, and sometimes have been spotted feeding on the ficus trees on the riverside opposite camp. Brown Dipper, Wall creeper, and several species of Fork tail (the Spotted and Little Fork tail being the most common), Plumbeous and White-capped Water Redstarts, and several wagtail species are amongst the altitude migrant visitors to the area.
Walking in the forest reveals the vocal White-throated and White-crested Laughing thrush and the beautiful but vociferous Common Green Magpie. In the upper-canopy, scan for colourful Long-tailed Broadbill and Maroon Orioles and hunting parties of Blue-winged Minla, Black-throated Tit, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, and Scarlet Minivets. Plain-backed and the much sought-after Scaly Thrush prefer to forage in the undergrowth between Sal trees, where one also comes across Kaleej Pheasants and Jungle fowl.
Apart from the immense Golden Mahseer and Goonch (a giant catfish); Smooth-coated Otters and Mugger Crocodiles are also seen around Vanghat.
There is no better way to truly experience the forest than by walking through it. One will often see and learn more on 100m of a trail than on a 2-hour game drive. Exploring tiger-rich Jim Corbett National Park on foot is forbidden. However, as we are situated with in the Corbett Tiger Reserve and are a buffer zone to the national park, we offer expertly guided treks around Vanghat in an equally stunning and species-rich environment.
On foot, your senses are heightened in the wilderness, and will take in far more of your surroundings, from noticing lizards scuttle out of your path to the myriad of birdcalls and rustling in the undergrowth. Accompanied by a keen tracker, you will learn to identify species by their sounds, their footprints, and the evidence left in their wake, such as a tiger's scratch markings on trees, a wild boar's earthen excavations, or the aftermath of an elephant’s browsing on plant life. Compared to exploring in a 4x4, you may see fewer large mammals, but nothing quite tops the thrill of seeing wildlife on foot, and it is not unusual for safari-goers to find themselves sharing the landscape with deer, elephants, and occasionally, big cats.
There are a number of walking trails from the lodge, varying in difficulty, such as routes into the hills that surround us or along the river where numerous pug marks can often be seen. With new routes being added and the landscape changing with the seasons, no walk is ever the same; the unique draw of the forest can be strongly felt at Vanghat.
Guided Walking Safari – Vanghat
Kalagarh Tiger Reserve (Division Corbett Tiger Reserve), Uttarakhand
Broad-leafed & riverine forest of the western Himalayan foothills.
October till April.
Goral Goat Antelope, Otters, and Rhesus & Langurs Primates. Over 400 bird species including 50 raptor species.
Tiger, Leopard, Asian Elephant, Otters, and Serow etc.
On the northern fringes of the famed Corbett Tiger Reserve, on the banks of the Ramganga Reserve, the wildlife -rich community forests near
Vanghat lodge offer the finest walking safari experience in the western Himalayan foothills. Expert local lodge guides are fine trackers and bird experts. Riverine forests along the Ramganga offer sightings of Otters, Ghoral and Serow mountain goats, as well as Barking Deer and Sambhar. About 50 species of birds of prey indicate the rich bird life of the valley - raptors like the Lesser Fish Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Mountain Hawk Eagle are commonly sighted. Great Hornbills are often heard and seen above the valley. The presence of Tigers, Leopards & Asian Elephants adds great adventure to this walking nature excursion.
Delhi – Marchula – Trek to Vanghat. Overnight at Vanghat – 1 .8 Km
Details: Meet our representative at Delhi Station/Airport and transfer to vehicle. The drive is for about 4-5hrs from Delhi. Once you arrive at the Ramganga valley, the Baluli suspension bridge is a visible and prominent landmark. It is here that you leave your car and if you are self -driving you park your car at our parking near the Solluna resort. You will be greeted by your guide and porters who will guide you to remote Vanghat. This walk over the Ramganga suspension bridge and then through the sleepy village of Baluli and riverine forest is an excellent introduction to the valley and can prove to be the most personally satisfying way of reaching the Lodge. At the end of this trail, a short ride on a bamboo raft give you a taste of the adventures to come and ferries you to remote Vanghat.
It’s refreshing to watch Mahseer and Kalabas fishes in the crystal-clear waters of the Ramganga. The birdlife here - the White capped and Plumbeous water Redstarts, Pied and Grey wagtails - is fairly abundant. The loud shrill call of the lesser and Pallas’s fish eagles greets visitors to this densely wooded wildlife valley. The Ramganga valley is home to over 50 species of birds of Prey. Lunch is followed by an hour -long rest. Before your trek you’ll be briefed by your trekking forest guide on various aspects of safety and precautions.
Evening trail Champions trail – 3km
This short but wholesome trail covers within itself three distinct habitats, namely Broad -leafed Moist, Grasslands and Riverine. It is a wonderful trail to acclimatize oneself to the forests of Vanghat. Pugmarks of Tigers, Leopards and signs of Elephant are regularly seen. Sambhar & Barking Deer signify the rich wildlife of the Valley. In evening sit by campfire for soup & beverages followed by dinner. Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Ruskin Bond Trail – 8 km
Gradient Mostly gentle with about 1.5 km of steep climb.
Start about with an early tea/ coffee at the Hide, our dining thatch, followed by a safety briefing. Few forest walks will be more beautiful than this one hence we named it after one of Uttarakhand’s favourite forest authors. We cross over the Ramganga over a bamboo raft and after the initial 100 meters of steep walk along an Elephant trail (yes it’s amazing to realize that the Asian Elephant is such a hill animal) this forest hike goes up to the plateau of the abandoned Barasi village where we regularly spot Leaf Birds, Crimson Sunbird, Long tailed Minivets, Chestnut Bellied Rock thrush, Maroon and Black Hooded Oriole and often in the bushes Sambhar, Barking and locally rare Spotted Deer. As the trail runs along the Ramganga, Lesser & Pallas’s fish eagles are often sighted as they scan the abundant fish in the river. We enter the dense patch of the Broadbill cascade - a magnet for Gorals, Sambhar & Langur. The elusive Himalayan Serow goat antelope has sometimes been spotted here.
Since the trail runs on a vantage point overlooking the Ramganga, Smooth Coated Otters have often been sighted. Brown and the rare Tawny fish Owl patiently await on their favourite perches overlooking the Ramganga below. Pallas’s and Lesser Fish Eagles regularly turn up. Do spend some quiet quality time at the stone benches we lovingly call the tea shop overlooking the Ramganga bend with great opportunity to observe wildlife as you sip a refreshing cup of tea.
Breakfast will be served in the forest.
Return back to lodge for lunch
Evening trail Great Hornbill trail – 2km
Detail This somewhat steep trail is amidst Sal forest and offers a marvellous view of the meandering Ramganga. Common green Magpie, Red billed blue Magpie, Long tailed Broadbill are often sighted here. It’s a wonderful sight to encounter Great Hornbills here since we are at a vantage point - so heavily built are these birds that one can hear their wings flapping when they fly over the forest. Today our guide will give you a wildlife presentation over campfire whilst your relish hot soup and & beverages followed by dinner.
Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Bagroti hill trek – 1 4 km
Gradient Mostly steep with about 4 km of gentle trek
Detail After early tea/ coffee we cross over the Ramganga yet again, on the bamboo raft. The Sal dominated forest of Barasi offer signs of tiger & leopard spoor, Elephant signs too are in abundance. Birds found in the immediate vicinity are Tesias, Green Magpies, Nepal Wren Babblers, and Scimitar Babbler, etc. Great Hornbill, Lesser & Pallas’s Fish Eagles are commonly sighted. The small cascades we pass offer regular sightings of Forktails, Brown Dippers & Wall creeper. The waterfall in the Barasi forest is one of best spots for the rarely sighted forest beauty the Long -tailed Broadbill and the unusual looking Long- billed Thrush. As we gain altitude to the sleepy village of Bagroti, wildlife sightings get more Himalayan with Ghoral and Barking Deer. Birdlife will be dominated by Himalayan Griffons & the majestic Lammergeyer. The genuine smiles and the warm hospitality of these forest mountain dwellers will humble you. Co -existence of Man & Wildlife is evident here, and so are the challenges. Hot breakfast may be served at Barasi and lunch at Ghiroli amidst spectacular landscape.
Evening trail: Riverside trek – 2km.
Detail: Most of this hike is amidst a broad trail cut amidst grassland habitats and bushes rich in edible berries of Ber and lantana are home to astonishing flocks of Slaty headed, plum headed rose breasted Parakeets, Blue throated, Coppersmith, Lineated and Great Barbets, Red whiskered, Himalayan & Black Crested Bulbuls. The grassland will have Hume’s, Grey headed and chestnut headed, puff throated Warbler, Grey breasted Ashy and striated Prinia. Woodpeckers are fulvous breasted, grey capped pygmy, and Grey Headed, Lesser Yellow Nape and Greater Yellow - nape. The fascinating tiny Collared Falconet is often seen hunting down birds as big as them and bigger. Grasslands resound with constant calls of White Crested Laughing thrushes and the often heard but shy Rusty cheeked Scimitar Babbler. The riverine ecosystem of the Ramganga is incredibly rich and boasts of rare but locally common species like Lesser & Pallas’s fish eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle. Altitudinal migrants that the valley eagerly awaits post monsoon are little and Spotted Forktails, Brown Dipper and the magical Wall creeper.
Wildlife presentation over campfire whilst your relish hot soup and & beverages followed by dinner.
Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Morning trek around Vanghat before departure – 2 – 4 km
Detail An easy trail around Vanghat takes us into a rich Broad -leafed moist forest and runs for about 750 meters amidst towering broad-leafed trees of Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Tun (Toona sinensis), Sal (Shorea robusta), Rohini (Mallotus philippensis) and Kanju (Pongamia pinnata) etc. Numerous skulking species such as Chestnut headed Tesias, Blue winged Minla/ Siva, Red billed Leiothrix, Common Green & Red billed blue Magpies, Tawny & Brown fish Owl, Black chinned Babbler, Himalayan Blue Tailed, White Throated, Red-breasted, Slaty Blue, Little Pied and Yellow bellied Flycatcher etc. are often spotted.
After hot breakfast depart for onward destination.
Tour officially ends here.
Kalagarh Tiger Reserve
Vanghat Jungle Lodge
- Accommodation for 3 nights on twin sharing basis in above mentioned Lodge
- Return ground transfers by AC Vehicle from Delhi
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary as B,L,D (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Guided Walking Safaris at Vanghat
- Porters & helpers on arrival to transfer luggage to camp from Marchula
- Professional Wildlife naturalist host of the trip
- GST 5%
- Additional / personal use of vehicle.
- Extended stay due to weather conditions or any situation not in human control.
- Any personal expenses, room service and special orders, mineral waters, non-alcoholic beverages, tips, phone calls, laundry etc.
- Any extra excursions or sightseeing apart from the above specified itinerary.
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Camera fees.
- Airfares/Rail fares
- Anything Specifically NOT mentioned in includes.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE (Per person)
At the time of booking 50%
30 days before Departure 75%
15 days before departure 100%
Cancellation period Cancellation Charges on Cost
More than 30 days 25%
30 to 21 days 50%
21 to 15 days 80%
Less than 15 days or No show 100%
Sunglasses with UV protection
A dust protection mask
Personal Bottle (To avoid plastic use – 1LtrsX2)
Small backpack for trails (10Ltrs)
Only dull coloured clothes (Green, brown, Beige, Camouflage)
Camera (At owners risk) with proper equipment for photography (As per need)
Fleece/Jacket (temperatures drop in the forest to below 10 degree Celsius
Energy bars for trails
Vanghat is a secluded forest lodge with no mobile & wifi connectivity. There is a signal spot (Jio Point) just 100mtrs from camp where one can use Jio 4G network or Airtel 4G network. Hence kindly be prepared and carry extra sim with these networks if you don’t have one.
To avoid usage of high electricity camp provides HOT WATER in a bucket for bathing on demand.
Do not carry too much for the trip. Travel light and preferably in a rucksack.
Do not carry lot of food items along, even if you have please keep it with the restaurant staff since the food may attract lot of uninvited visitors.
Wildlife safaris/Bird watching is a matter of luck and opportunity. No guarantee of any sighting is made. Neither of our associates will quote that, although we try our best to spot and show you as much as nature allows us to.
Birdwatching is a hobby and not a race, hence request all birders to maintain discipline at all times.
Bird watching is an art of silence and key observation.
Avoid Pointing out directly to a bird that might flush the bird away.
Do not get too close to a bird for a photograph that you flush it away.
Birdwatching should be enjoyed by binoculars and the fun is to spot them, identify them and if you still have some time with the bird photograph them.
Never enter the forest with an intention of spotting a single species, it will only disappoint you. The forest is a gift packet with a lot to surprise with. Listen to our naturalist for more wonderful experience.
Our walks are not target species specific (Unless specified)
We explore everything we find uncommon and need to be explained.
Any demand for spotting a single species in any jeep will not be entertained by the guide or the tour leader as there are other travellers who would want to see the birds etc.
Respect & honour everything that is in the forest and it has to offer you.
Enjoy being in the forest and you will feel much happier away from the concrete chaos.
Respect the local, tribes, guards, guides, drivers, officers and all animals.
Front seat of the Gypsy is always reserved for the Guide or Guard.
No extra room will be made for photographers, respecting other travellers. (For photographers it is recommended to opt for higher options)
No littering in the forest strictly. (what goes comes back the same way)
Camera fees & guide tips to be paid separately & directly.
Kindly follow the instructions given by the tour leader and the guide for your own safety.
Vanghat is a secluded forest lodge with no mobile & Wi-Fi connectivity. There is a signal spot (Jio Point) just 100mtrs from camp where one can use Jio 4G network or Airtel 4G network. Hence kindly be prepared and carry extra sim with these networks if you don’t have one.
To avoid usage of high electricity camp provides HOT WATER in a bucket for bathing on demand.
Do not carry too much for the trip. Travel light and preferably in a rucksack.
Do not carry lot of food items along even if you have please keep it with the restaurant staff since the food may attract lot of uninvited visitors in the cottages.