Punjab, the land of spellbinding fields and large-hearted people is a state in the northern part of India and is acclaimed for its cultural opulence. The very first impression when you visit Punjab that flashes in front of you are the lush green fields spread across miles, an overflowing glass of Lassi, the magnificent Gurudwaras and lavish food platters. Our very own Bollywood has also contributed in creating a flamboyant image of this agricultural state through its great cinematic presence in the movies.
The best way to be entranced by the majestic landscape of this destination is to spend a few days in a more rustic setup. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, waking up in the middle of the large agricultural land in a farmhouse, having the best of food and admiring the eye-arresting green fields for hours, is the way I had imagined my stay in Punjab.
My recent experience of traveling through Punjab, to a small town named Hoshiarpur, was one of its kind.
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Approximately 2-hour drive from Chandigarh; I negotiated my way through the narrow lanes of the village called Manaswal. Located on a plateau and surrounded by forests, Gaj Retreat resort became my abode for the weekend.The best weekend getaway in Hoshiarpur, this Eco resort flaunts its gorgeous green surroundings, Eco-friendly cottages, and a luxurious setup.
The environment-friendly resort has been designed carefully, by using local materials, to ensure that there is no negative impact on the environment. The resort has also been practicing the recycling and refuge-elimination programs to reduce carbon footprint in their surroundings. Well equipped with all the necessary setup, the resort hosts social gatherings, corporate outings, and weddings as well.
The Gaj Retreat has 32 rooms, comfortable tents, and chateaus with some great views from each one of the rooms. The well-furnished rooms are spacious and have its own allocated sitting area with separate bedrooms. They have 2 family Villas, comprising 3 independent bedrooms and living rooms, 4 Pool Villas and 12 signature Chateau rooms.
The chateau rooms offer uninterrupted views of the forest from the private balcony and also have a private pool on the ground floor. The best part of the poolside room is the luxury of spending quality time by the pool with privacy. To unwind in the midst of the forest, away from the city chaos, the resort can be a good option for a comfortable stay. Interestingly, they also have 6 luxury tents, inspired by the wildlife setting with exclusive views of the highlands of the plateau.
What really impressed me about the property is the serenity of nature around it. While offering an eco-friendly setup, the resort is also an ideal location for people who prefer solitude in their holidays.
What are the activities you can do here?
The Gaj Retreat offers a wide range of activities to their guests that include the nature walk, village trail, night safaris, ATV ride, and bicycle rides along with a few indoor games like pool/snooker table, table tennis, etc., as well. One of my favorite activities during my stay was the evening spent on the bank of the river with a stunning setup with lights and barbeque.
I also enjoyed the ATV rides on the undefined terrain near the resort. Though the track is not well defined and needs to be developed by the resort in the near future. If you want to see the rural villages and the rustic lifestyle of the people, you can opt for the village trail as well. Another most thrilling activity is the night safari in the forest. The resort offers exciting terrain for high adrenal rush activities like 4×4 off-roading, ATV/Quad Biking, etc.
Apart from that, they also have outdoor activities like swimming pool, badminton and obstacle course in the property.
What should not be missed?
If I came back with something memorable, it has to be my experience of visiting the iconic Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara. The aura of the place was so pure that you feel blessed to be there.
The white striking architecture, the unbiased faith of the devotees and the picturesque natural scenery around it, make the place one of the must-visit places in the Rupnagar district of Punjab.
I also had langar there.The selfless devotion of the people, feeding thousands of visitors daily and the “seva” that goes without saying, make the Gurudwaras of Punjab as one of the most celebrated examples of humanity.
When in Anandpur Sahib, don’t forget to visit Virasat-e-Khalsa museum. This is one of the finest museums I have ever visited so far. It will blow your mind with its presentation, especially the depiction of Punjab and its lifestyle through paintings.
The grand mural of the life in Punjab is such a brilliant depiction of the state from dawn to dusk that I was enthralled by the look of it. The changing colors and the music along with it were simply fantastic. Not just that, the museum takes you through the rich traditions, cultures, religion and the historical events through photographs, sculptures, life-size murals, inscriptions, and videos. Every turn in the museum introduces you to something new that enriches and broadens your knowledge about Sikhism. Though I did not have the permission to take pictures inside the museum, I strongly recommend a visit to this museum as it is quite distinctive.
This trip was organized by Travel correspondence /Blogger Group and sponsored by Gaj Retreat Resort.
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