In the fourth and final part of the series on Sariska, traveler and writer Shireen Bharucha draws a vivid description of Sterling Holidays Sariska – Tiger Heaven, the newest addition to our family of resorts, and literally a heaven for all those who love to find peace far from the madding crowd.
On the second day of our stay, my husband and I explore the environs of Tiger Heaven. The sylvan surroundings are delightful with numerous trees, shrubs and plants. The beautiful flowering trees attract birds. The Bauhinia Variegata or Indian Orchid tree with its exquisite five petalled blooms in hues of pink entice parakeet who make a meal of the flowers. Birds in large numbers feed on the lusciously golden fruit of the Bead Tree also known as White Cedar which has delicate lilac flowers. The Flame of the Forest also called Bastard Teak bears flamboyant, heady scented, bright orange-red blossoms which lure bees and butterflies. Giant beehives hang from a couple of trees and atop one tree is a nest. Yet other trees have large triangular spider webs. Outside Machan is a wide canopied Red Mulberry Tree that has succulent fruit throughout the year, attracting a myriad species of birds. The dainty, deep red shoe flowers and red and pink roses are gorgeous. Behind the swimming pool is a patch of light blue floss flowers which tempt bees and colourful butterflies. Rarely do so many butterflies converge at one spot. This place could be converted into a little butterfly garden.
The resort is also great for birding. Not only do we see all the birds that we saw on the safari, but some that we did not see, like the Indian grey hornbill and the brown backed, white throated kingfisher. Water birds are not seen here. Peafowl, rock pigeons, half-collared doves do not restrict themselves to the trees, but perch on the roofs of cottages, or strut near the swimming pool. Red-wattled lapwings are a common sight.
Later, we accompany Mr. Sarkar to the resort’s waterhole where a trio of sambar quenching their thirst makes for a thrilling sight. We are also shown the special feeding area for peafowl.
As we walk back to our room we watch children play cricket, badminton and of course swim. This sprawling resort offers plenty of scope for outdoor games.
From the rear balcony of our room we get a feel of charming rural life. The turbaned and dhoti clad men sit around on benches outside their residence sipping tea, while the women wearing multi huedghagras (skirts) with self colouredcholis(blouses) and bright ghoongats (veils) work in the fields harvesting the wheat manually. Children play with a pet white goat with a braided orange collar around its neck, reminding one of the nursery rhyme Mary Had A Little Lamb! The buffalos are chained to their posts. A little black pup playfully nuzzles its mother.
After tea we saunter along a path from the resort which leads to the main road. It’s a pleasant walk lined with pretty lantana, on which butterflies sit, milkweed and other wild flowers. We come across the usual birds and some more like a partridge, a black red start and other small birds we are unable to identify. A lone palm squirrel scampers around. We watch the sun set in splendorous hues of gold and rosette over the Aravalli Range.
This scenic resort is sheer ‘heaven’ for those who wish to get away from the madding crowd. There is nature to be seen and heard in every nook and cranny. To quote Heinrich Heine, a German poet (1797-1856): “The great pulsation of nature beats too in my breast, and when I carol aloud, I am answered by a thousand-fold echo. I hear a thousand nightingales…..and Earth trembles with ecstasy, her flowers are hymns, which she sings in inspiration to the sun…” How true!
The views expressed by the author are in her personal capacity.