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  • Writer's pictureMichael Swamy

The Himalayan Outback Lodge - Marchula

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Some of the best trips are the impromptu ones, a quick trip to Delhi ensured a quick trip to Corbett and collect some data for “Cooking Wild” the BackpackChef Series. On meeting DK the head for India Inbound from Mysteries Of India we decided to head out together to Marchula instead. Am glad we made that decision for it indeed turned out to be magical.

“The Western Ramganga River Lodge” in Uttarakhand also known as The Himalayan Outback stood on the banks of the Ramganga river and across the stream in the riverbed stood the buffer to the great Corbett national park. Tall trees with varied hues of green foliage and woodlands stood witness to the many animals that resided in the park. The lodge is just 4 kms from the famed iron built Marchula Bridge along a dusty road to a welcoming patch of forest.

For those that love travel and don’t care about luxury it is the perfect blend of both. The ever courteous staff and friendly atmosphere makes you feel at home instantly. One doesn’t need air conditioning in this part of the world and the air coolers were just right for the rooms. Well one needs the room to just crash in for the night and use the amenities which were substantial for a camp.

I love fishing and the enticement to relearn fly fishing was too much to miss out on. The long treks through the many villages and and searching for birds in the canopies of the trees and along the river bed with my Tamron Zoom lens and new Canon Mirrorless camera with tripod in tow was a favourable experience indeed. From kingfishers to chestnut headed bee eaters, to 3 different species of mynahs. Corbett is home to over 17 species of woodpeckers and we did capture a few images albeit fleetingly.
We missed out on seeing the goral which is a mountain goat, tigers and the elusive yellow throat martin, but it was birds I was after this trip. The beauty of the place makes it all the more reason to visit the lodge again in the winter when there are more birds to be seen and the river full after the rains. Taking a bit of time off to spend with the chefs and getting a few tips on the local fare which they serve to guests when requested. The food could do with a bit of refinement and the crockery too and though I found a lack of local literature missing on the flora and fauna of the place and a wildlife checklist that I would have loved referring to, not being there it was fun.

Its a place to see the birds,just great to chill with a book and be lost in the magic of Corbett. Its a place to take a stroll with the guides along the stony riverbed. Its a place to take off your shoes and cool your feet in the river. Its a place for fun and visual excitement. Its a place of serenity and well-being and if your in search of your inner self then its the best place to be at.
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