An early morning three-hour drive earlier this monsoon led us to a verdant getaway to one of the largest mangrove forests in the world- The Sundarbans. The trip to review Techno India Group's newly launched property Jhore Jole Jongole at Jharkhali, we couldn’t help but consider this as a much-needed break from the urban hullabaloo and daily chaos of city life. A quick bag packing errand after a long week at work, kept us waiting, eager to set off to the land of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
After a quick breakfast at TopCat CCU, we started off on a pale and partially rainy day for our destination which lay about 100km away. It was an impressively smooth ride on Basanti Highway, off Topsia EM Bypass, surrounded by acres of green scenery providing a soothing visual to sore eyes.
Luckily this time, to reach the resort we didn't have to negotiate the deltaic rivers on cumbersome jetties or ferries. After crossing the Basanti Bridge it takes another 50 minutes to reach the nine-acre property. Located right beyond Jharkhali Police Station, Jhore Jole Jongole is an eco-heritage resort providing a panoramic view of the lush greenery one wishes to see in the mangroves. Owing to the recent developments, the property stands true to its brand with just forests and natural water reservoirs surrounding it.
As we stepped in, we were welcomed by walkways floating over a sprawling, well-maintained water body creating a maze. Each of its paths leads to either two storied spacious cottages or a restaurant, or a garden with a special amphitheater dedicated to baul performances. The two storied cottages offer deluxe to premium accommodation for guests and offer a 360-degree view of the landscape. The water bodies reflecting amber hues of the Sunset create a spectacular sight for residing guests. We also were happy with the spacious parking arrangement in the backyard decked with colourful murals of local animals.
You can also while away the time on paddle boats floating on the nearby water bodies at an additional charge and we wished there were eco-cycles too in the list of in-house activities. The premium rooms that we were put up in were as spacious as a studio apartment with all sorts of amenities, be it a queen-sized bed, a coffee table with two cushioned, statement ebony chairs, a study table with a drawer chest, a three-door wardrobe and a dresser.
The property also makes sure to provide you with luxurious treatment in as many ways as possible. You need not fret about leaving your toiletries behind and heading off to a land with no doorstep delivery options, as the washrooms are loaded with everything you might need under the roof.
We went for a short trip to the nearby Tiger Rescue Centre right beside the Herobhanga River that connects the famed Matla and Bidyadhari rivers of the delta region. Just five minutes from the property, a rescue centre was launched just a few years ago to provide a safe haven for injured, old and new born tigers and crocodiles rescued from local habitats. The centre is also home to a wide range of natural flora and fauna such as Sundari trees, deers, monkeys and rare birds.
Our next stop happened to be the Herobhanga ferry right beside the park. We were mesmerised by the sight made brighter by the clear sky, turning the Herobhanga waters into an exquisite shade of turquoise. While the impact of saline erosion and back to back cyclones are evident on the concrete pathways, a five minute stop at the ferry is truly worthwhile. It was also from here that we embarked on a customised four-hour river cruise the next day for an up-close view of nature at its wildest best. The autumnal sun made the river look more alluring with gleaming ripples reminding us of TV shows on the Amazon.
You can choose handpicked organic honey as a gift for your family and friends from shops lining the road leading to the ferry. And if you have enough time to delve deeper into the lives of the locals, you can request the property to arrange for a neighbouring village tour.
Meals at the restaurant in the property are a homely affair with true comfort dishes from Bengali, North Indian and Chinese cuisines. Simply put Jhore Jole Jongole makes for a great weekend trip in the wilderness that's affordable and relaxing.
Room prices start at Rs. 3000 onwards