SUITES AND TERRACED LAWNS
The 20 acre IORA The Retreat Kaziranga in Assam is at once warm, comfy and modern. At entry, after a couple of hours’ drive from Jorhat, Iora did not look to be much but, as I stepped into the reception area, the beautiful and sprawling 20-acre resort revealed itself to be warm and welcoming.
Located in Kohora, just outside Kaziranga National Park, its rooms are spacious, kitted out in warm colours, and very comfy. Some of the suites resemble modest-sized apartments. Almost all the rooms overlook the landscaped lawns and terraced gardens of the resort; some suites look out on a range of hills behind the resort covered with tea plantations. A large swimming pool nestles below the terraced gardens while a spa and coffee shop are located elsewhere. In the evening, when I returned from rhino-sighting in Kaziranga, the place was buzzing. After a short stint in the spa, I headed for a meal. The air was nippy but not uncomfortable and people crowded the al fresco space attached to the main restaurant. The bar, Iron Wood, was pulsating with music, while a giant screen displayed the Indian cricket team’s latest triumph.
I chose Bhatbaan for a traditional Assamese thali, with khar (a kind of dal), aloo pitika (mashed potato), tenga (fish dish), assorted fritters made with sliced brinjal, bottle gourd, a kind of leaf, mutton curry, and a range of curries made with various vegetables and greens. There were also four chutneys, each with a distinctive taste: hot, spicy, tangy, slightly bitter…all this was accompanied by rice, which is the Assamese staple. Never having tasted Assamese food, I enjoyed the feast.
Address : Iora—The Retreat, Bogorijuri, P.O. Kohora, Kaziranga National Park, Dist. Golaghat, Assam—785109.
Call : 09957193550, kazirangasafari.com.
Tariff : Rs. 3,350 onwards plus taxes, inclusive of breakfast.
Reach : Iora is about 90 km from Jorhat, the nearest airport, and about 240 km from Guwahati. The nearest railhead is Golaghat (35 km).
What To Do : Apart from jeep and elephant safaris, go on tea garden, factory and village tours, and dolphin sighting tours.