Explore the countryside and meet the Tharu people
Besides the national park there’s also a beautiful countryside to explore and friendly local people to meet. Customs and traditions differ from one part of Nepal to another. Bardiya is mainly inhabited by the indigenous Danguara Tharu people. They have their own language, customs and traditions.
A Tharu house is constructed with reed and bamboo, covered with a layer of mud and dung. The Tharus are self-supporting and live from farming and fishing. Many households keep buffaloes, goats, chickens and pigs. This is a place where time stands still. A walk through the rice fields or a bicycle tour along the river is a great way of exploring the countryside. You can also join the locals with fishing, dancing and cooking or join our family during the many festivals.
Have a look at the activitities you can experience and please contact us for more information.
Duration: 1 hour – half day
Wander around on the countryside and soak in the peace and serenity. We are more than happy to join you, but if you prefer to explore this beautiful area on your own, we can provide maps and directions. Many different short and longer walking and bicycle trails will lead you through small villages, rice fields and along the river. You can relax in the shade of the trees in the villages. Renting a bicycle or a motorbike gives you the opportunity to go slightly further afield, where fewer tourists visit.
Duration: 2 hours – full day
A motor or jeep tour is a great way to explore the countryside and the area around the Karnali river. A trip of 2 hours takes you over country lanes along rice fields and authentic villages. Here you will see how the Tharu people live. Beware of crossing buffalo cars and goat shepherds.
You can also make a day tour on the countryside along the southern side branches of the Geruwa / Karnali river. You will drive south to the Indian border where you will search for the rare Ganges River Dolphin. In the small town of Rajapur you will visit the water tower with hundreds of bats. You will continue your trip along the river to the former summer house of King Mahendra named ‘Tikapur Garden’. Before you return to Bardia Homestay you will make a stop in Chisapani, famous for its impressive bridge over the Karnali river and the delicious fresh fish.
You can make a motor tour sitting on the backside of the motor together with your guide or you can rent a motorbike. A jeep tour is very suitable for more than two persons.
Duration: 3 – 5 hours
By jeep, motorbike or bicycle you can make a tour on the countryside and visit small villages like Dalla and Kailashi, rich in Tharu culture. You can enjoy a nice Tharu lunch at a local home and go for a jungle walk in the community forest with good chances to spot rhinos and birds. This forest is an important corridor for animals traveling between Bardia National Park and Katarniaghat Wildlife sanctuary in India. The WWF is working together here with the inhabitants of the village to conserve this area. Inside the forest is also a treehouse where you can spend the night. See also our Bardia National Park activities ‘Sleeping in a treehouse’
Duration: 1 – 2 hours
The local people try to keep their traditions alive. They like to dance and to make musique during festivals like Tihar, when many people perform in our garden. The local Tharu dance group likes to perform for you anytime in the evening in our garden. The dance symbolizes many aspects of their life in nature. A beautiful and colourful show! Besides watching, you also have the opportunity to join them.
Duration: 1 hour to half day
De Tharu life has a rich history and many old habits are still alive. While joining the Tharu women with their regular activities you have the chance to learn more about the way they live. The women go daily to the river to catch fish. You will learn how to catch a fish with a net. And afterwards you can prepare and eat your own fish.
Our family members are small farmers and most of the time busy with working on the field to plant or harvest the rice and wheat. They still work in a traditional way. You’re welcome to help them and to experience the old fashioned way of farming.
Adding colour to the lives of Nepali’s are a number of festivals throughout the year, which they celebrate with special food and dancing. We celebrate festivals like Dashain (Nepal’s biggest annual festival, lasts for 15 days around September-October) and Tihar (festival of lights, around October-November) with Budhi’s family. You’re welcome to join us!
Duration: 2- 3 hours
Nepali food has been influenced by Indian and Tibetan styles of cooking. The regular Nepali meal is dal (lentil soup), bhat (boiled rice) and tarkari (curried vegetables), often accompanied by achar (pickle). Curried meat from chicken, goat or pork is very popular, but is saved for special occasions, as it is relatively more expensive. If you would like to extend your culinary skills to include Nepali food, we’ll be happy to teach. In a cooking class you learn how to make a good Dal Bhat, curried vegetables or Tharu food. And of course you should try to taste the local rice beer.
The Tharu women are very talented in making baskets which they carry on their head to transport goods. The baskets are made of bamboo or grass. Most baskets have natural colours and are decorated with flowers or tharu symbols like peacocks or deers. A great and orginal souvenir. We can help you with buying these baskets or smaller items made from grass and show you how the women make them. In this way you can support the financial empowerment of the women in our village.