Ratan Mahal

Ratanmahal Sanctuary – A Weekend Getaway’s Itinerary


This trip was one of those few trips that actually keep delaying for some or the other reason. Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary is around 131 kms from Vadodara in the State of Gujarat. It comes in the Dahod district in the Central Gujarat. Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the only two Sanctuaries in Gujarat habitating Sloth Bears. Out of the two sanctuaries, Ratanmahal has the maximum population of the Sloth Bears.

It is always recommended to travel in a group at any Wildlife Sanctuary. The major reason is the safety of the travelers. So this was the reason for the long delay in making this trip a real one. Four of us with our two little tots were ever ready for this trip but the number wasn’t enough. You need to be a group of minimum 10 – 12 people to visit this place. And finally we came across the “Unplanned Team” through a common friend. They organize many other trips too. Finally, we had a chance to visit the Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary, so without giving any second thoughts we had booked our weekend trip with the “Unplanned Team”.

And here comes the detailed Itinerary of our weekend trip to the Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary. A few details of the place that you must be searching for before visiting the place are all mentioned in this post for your reference. We have tried covering most of the information that one may need to know about the place. Our trip started from Vadodara itself.  We started early in the morning so that we reach at our destination before lunch time.

Day 1

First Stop – Virasat Van for breakfast

Ratan Mahal

This was our first stop, and here we had some breakfast. We visited the place until our breakfast was getting ready. As the name suggests, it’s a garden. There is a small play area for the children also that has some rides. The most interesting part of this garden was a small manmade pond that was made in the center of the garden. There was a small wooden bridge on the pond to cross the pond. The garden was under renovation work, so the condition wasn’t too well. But the same garden in working condition would look awesome. After half an hour’s break we again started our journey towards Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary.

We reached there before our lunch time, as planned, and after half an hour’s break for getting fresh we were supposed to go for our lunch. This was our stay in Uddhalmahuda, Ratanmahal. Here comes the hindrance in the plan, the location of our stay. It is just awesome. We were so mesmerized with the view surrounding our stay, that we could definitely be ready to stay there for our complete trip without thinking of going to explore the actual Sanctuary. There are a few cottages, only two Wooden Hut Houses and a very beautiful lake. The Lake is being used even by the Bears for drinking water, as informed by the organizers. We could not stop there for a long time due to the next arrangements.

Our Stay

Ratan Mahal Tree House

 And here’s a little twist in the story. The surrounding of our stay’s location was mind boggling and the rooms of our stay were just the opposite. We first saw the view, maybe that’s why we did not refuse to stay there. Trust me, the rooms were pathetically below expectations. Now point to be noted here is that, you cannot expect to get anything better than we got, reason being all the properties for stay options there are owned by the government. There are only two AC hut houses and four non-AC rooms at that location.The major problem is that you don’t have any other private property to stay there. Kanjeta Eco Campsite is another location where you can find staying options. There are a few tent houses there. We did not check them out internally, but had seen them when we went for our trek.

Lake at Ratanmahal

And if you don’t want to stay then you may have to skip a few places from the list below and plan a one day trip to the Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are an adventure lover, then you can directly go for trekking to the Mira Waterfall and finish your one day picnic. Otherwise you can choose to be at the Sunset Point and visit the Sanctuary locally to give a peaceful one day picnic experience.

Food

Coming to our trip, we somehow managed to freshen up in those rooms provided. Now it was time to have some lunch. We were taken to the other segment of the Sanctuary for lunch. And here comes the mood changer. Completely traditional food, served in a little roadside food eatery hub. Important point to be noted here is that you will not find any hotel, restaurant, food zones or any fast food junctions there. You even can’t expect to get a lots of varieties in the packed food packets. There are very limited options that you get to fill your tummy.

We were totally in love with the food that had been served to us. This was the second thing we were in love with after reaching Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary. The special touch to the food was the Spicy Chutney that I had never had before. I was literary in search of the chef who had actually made that chutney. From there itself, we left for our first destination. It was the Sunset Point.

Attraction Of The Day – Sunset Point

Sunset at Ratanmahal

After a drive of around 30 minutes, we finally reached our destination. The drive to the Sunset Point wasn’t that pleasant. The roads weren’t that easy. Obviously because it is a forest area, it cannot have proper structured road. But you need to have MUV or an SUV to drive till the Sunset Point. The roads there are always being mended at some or the other point. When we were passing by such a point, we found a vehicle that had got stuck there. So stay careful.

Sunset at Ratanmahal

Coming back to the Sunset Point, It had a marvelously spectacular view. There is a nice sitting arrangement made there where you can easily spend some quality time with the Mother Nature. Away from the hustles and bustles of the city life, this place is certainly a must to visit. The pure and the pollution free air there made us feel so awesome, that we wanted to stay there forever. You will definitely forget about everything else when you are there.

Geographical significance of this place is that it is on the borders of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. We did spend a good time there and got a few clicks of the location too. Then was the time to leave, as it isn’t safe staying in the forest area in the dark. So as it started to become a bit dark, we had to leave with a heavy heart filled with lots of peace at the same time.

https://youtu.be/9as9nRFZn_A

End of Day 1

Finally we reached back to our staying place which was not at all pleasant. We got fresh and had to assemble for the Camp fire and Night Sky Observation. Due to some reason, the camp fire did not happen. So we went up the wooden tree house for the sky observation. But soon the number of people increased there and our babies seemed to be getting a bit uncomfortable so we left that activity. We came down to the lakeside to enjoy the beauty and the serenity of the nature. But soon, our son, found a boulder there. As such he loves climbing everything, and this was a perfect place to climb. So we got busy making him climb there. Here’s a short video of the same. It was real fun looking at our little baby enjoy the nature to its fullest.

Day 2

Start of the Day – 2

Nardha Camp Ratanmahal

Early morning we left for the trek to the Naladha Waterfall, also known as Jaldhara Waterfall. If you are an adventure lover, then this trek is for you. Not much difficult, but the trek definitely gives you a wonderful trekking experience. Being a forest area you constantly need to remain alert. You should always remain ready to “expect the unexpected” at such places. We were more cautious, as we had two little kids with us.

Exploring the Sanctuary

We started our trek and were informed not to make much noise. Obviously the unpleasant noise in the complete silent forest is not at all appreciated. The Nature was speaking softly to us in its own language. We could here soft whistles of the birds. The flaura and the fauna around us were giving us a wonderful freshness. My little tot was sleeping on his father’s shoulder for half of our way. After almost half of the trek you will be able to hear the sounds of water coming from the Waterfall. Soon you will start to see the small streams of water flowing down the way. And then suddenly everything around you changes. The atmosphere around you changes. Cold atmosphere with the misty water droplets hitting our face excited our kids a lot.

Jaldhara Waterfall Ratanmahal

We thought we have reached the waterfall. But that was not true. We were nowhere near the Waterfall. Finally we reached to the Jaldhara Waterfall. There are big rocks to serve you as a sitting arrangement. We sat there for than an hour. The place was so pleasant, calm and serene. Little fishes in the stagnant water beneath the waterfall, the sound of the water flowing down the waterfall. Everything was so quite around us. None of us were speaking about anything. We sat there quietly, even our kids weren’t speaking much, which was very surprising. Kids you know, they can never sit quietly at any place for longer than a minute. We all were busy enjoying the moments with ourselves. Geographical significance of this place too is the same as the Sunset point. The Waterfall is shared by the Borders of the two state – Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Trekking Experience

After spending good enough time with the Nature and ourselves, all of us left the place. If you have previous trekking experience, then you must be aware that descending a trek is quite easier then climbing. We have good enough experience of trekking, so we knew many things beforehand. I said this because, even after having that good enough experience, I myself slipped off while coming down. By God’s grace, I did not get much hurt. Just a few bruises and a little sprain near the ankle.

If you have been to the Polo Forest for the trekking, then this one is almost the same. If we compare this one with our trek in the Idar, then this one is not even 50 percent difficult. You can read about them here :

Polo – http://www.crazytravellers.com/polo-forest-experience-nature-heritage-adventure-real-version/

Idar – http://www.crazytravellers.com/idariyo-gadh-a-hill-with-steps-rocks-and-more-than-15-places-worth-visiting-on-the-hill-itself/

Termination of our Trip

This trip had surely served the purpose of giving us a proper refreshing break from our routine schedules. Being so much mesmerized with the peace of the place, we did not emphasize on leaving the place as per our schedule. After the trek we came back to our stay to freshen up ourselves and pack our bags for the return. We started late from Ratanmahal Wildlife Sanctuary to head for our hometown. And naturally, we reached at our place quite late from the actual time decided. But the trip and its beautiful memories were all worth it.

Happy Travelling……….

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