Escape to a Timeless Sanctuary


Escape to a Timeless Sanctuary

When I arrived in Pokhara last December 2020, it seemed the whole city was in a deep slumber because of the pandemic. The Annapurna Himal and the supporting hills were shrouded by the winter haze. Empty streets were filled with the warmth of afternoon light. Arriving in Pokhara, the virgin goddess Mt. Fishtail is always there to greet you, her towering height commanding every view. She entertains you at times by playing hide-and-seek between a veil of clouds. For me, Pokhara represents a repository of my sweet childhood memories because I grew up in a nearby village. However, this time, I was heading for a secluded serenity to renew, retreat, relax, rejoice and generally contemplate life’s intricacies.

Tiger Mountain Lodge

Tiger Mountain Lodge

“Take a leisurely stroll around the lodge and continue exploring outdoors with a hike through the surrounding countryside farms and forest. You may decide to stay indoors exploring an eclectic collection of Himalayan literature in Col. Jimmy’s Library or indulge complementary therapies.”

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is settled on a hillside around 1,000 feet, above the surrounding forests and lakes that characterize the Pokhara Valley. The quintessential private cottages built of hand-crafted stone with slate roofs feature spacious verandas which provide tantalizing glimpses of the awe-inspiring mountains. The Interiors are simple, comfortable and feature original art, historic photographs and specially made traditional Tibetan rugs. It is a special place for those seeking a peaceful haven where you are surrounded by serene, nature-driven energy. The inviting infinity pool with its magnificent view pays homage to the Mountain Goddess.

The Covid19 pandemic has encouraged Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge to refine its programs to care for guests in more mindful ways. They have incorporated moments of contemplation into layers of activities. The lodge has long adopted sustainable practices embracing nature-centric eco-tourism. Recently, the lodge evolved this to a higher level of truly Regenerative Tourism – where one raises the bar from ‘do no further harm’ to active repair and replenishing. This enables the natural environment, local communities and the visiting traveller to thrive through meaningful connections made with a true sense of place. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is a pioneer of Regenerative Tourism in Nepal while providing a truly unique experience and style for guests.

BIRDWATCHING & LOCAL WALKS

Tiger Mountain Lodge

This splendid region is crisscrossed with forest and farmland trails for splendid birdwatching opportunities. The adjacent community forests house a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Be sure to appreciate Nepal’s national flower, the Tree Rhododendron (R. arboretum). Nepal contains 3% of the world’s plant species and many are in Pokhara because of its variations in altitude and rainfall. Be sure to venture out on a tour with one of the lodge’s expert local guides who can explore wildlife, local culture, or just share gentle exercise. Pokhara is home to approximately 467 bird species. In addition, the lodge guides have identified over 290 butterfly species in the grounds alone. Lt. Col. Jimmy Roberts was one of the greatest Himalayan mountaineer-explorers of his era and is renowned as the Father of Trekking in Nepal. His company, Mountain Travel Nepal, forms the Mountain of Tiger Mountain alongside Tiger Tops, pioneer of wildlife safari tourism in Nepal’s Terai. Tiger Mountain thus enjoys a rich heritage going back to the dawn of tourism in Nepal. We enjoyed an easy hike on part of the same trail as organized by Jimmy Roberts for HRH the Prince Charles back in 1980. They are developing a new forest walk called Ban Magan (Forest Meditation) a contemplative walk akin to the Japanese Shinrin Yoku.

COOKING & CULINARY ART

cooking

Cooking with the Chef Lalu was, above all, fun. He is a master-craftsman showing his love of cooking and his years of experience. He creates a fusion between Nepali and western cuisine. The delicious food enhances to the whole lodge experience. In the style of a home, the lodge’s table d’hôte hides a breadth of choice. The mantra is ‘Just Ask.’ Lalu has woven the repertoire of authentic Nepalese and international cuisine around local seasonal and traditional varieties of grains, fresh meat and faithful to the principles of the Slow Food Movement. Those wishing to follow special diets, vegan or vegetarian, Ayurvedic or gluten free are assured that everything is made fresh for them including vegan milks and butters.

MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS

meditation at tiger mountain lodge

Hindu Vedas teach that sighting the Himalaya will purge your sins. The mountains draw you to meditate, pray, or indulge in quietness. This enhances your spiritual purity and helps you obtain peace. The grounds are natural wilderness which encouraging conservation and providing a host of quiet corners for guests to enjoy. A local yoga guru, Swami Dhyan Sagar, provides guests with guided yoga and meditation to suit all levels of experience. Periodically Yoga Retreats are also held. The garden by the pool creates a serene atmosphere which invites you to practice meditation and mindfulness. This experience elevates your inner sense of magic, letting the quiet energy of nature restore mind, body and soul.

LASTING IMPRESSION

Tiger Mountain Lodge

While staying at Tiger Mountain I learned that over 80% of the current staff had joined the company and worked on the construction of the lodge, twenty-four years ago. This continuity has imbued the atmosphere with a timeless quiet confidence and deft service. There is a sense of pride in what has been achieved but without any hint of arrogance. The focus is solely on ensuring guests’ wishes are anticipated and provided. Many guests return time and again, naturally. In this secluded haven, enveloped by the sounds of nature, I felt the intrinsic pulse of Gaia (Earth – mother of all life.). Sitting quietly and gazing at the twilight horizon, time slowed and , I felt completely one with the environment. If you are looking for an escape to relax, unwind and indulge in some mindfulness, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is the perfect place for you. When you leave the lodge, you will return to your daily life feeling invigorated and refreshed.

Photos: Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge Archive

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