I Am So Fascinated By Bandavgarh National Park in MP
I am always ready to visit Wild Life Sanctuaries. I was fortunate to visit Bandhavgarh National Park in MP, not once but twice. Both trips are etched in my memory so beautifully. First time I had organized a Fam Trip of a group of media friends at the invitation of ‘Pugdundee Safaris’ and boy…that trip was something…so much fun, laughter, camaraderie, dining, walks, treks and what not!
The stay at ‘King’s Lodge’ was very comfortable. Nicely situated between Sal forested hills of Bandhavgarh National Park in a large natural forested estate of 14 hectares in a small tribal village, The lodge is only a ten minutes drive from the Tala gate of the national park. Besides the incredible location, it is their experienced naturalist team, and commitment towards conservation and local communities, that sets it outstanding and stole our hearts. We got independent cottage rooms and some of us met some wild pals roaring around freely near our cottages in the night. Were we scared? No I don’t know why? Maybe when you visit such places, the team prepares you so well to have rendezvous with the locals!!
The safaris to the Park were very enjoyable as expected. I love the drama which the animal world creates for us human beings who are forever raiding in their territory. Sometimes I feel the monkeys and langurs are making monkeys out of us, especially when they give those ‘warning calls’ which make all of us go in a tizzy. The deer, the peacocks, the sambhar – they all get together and make those famous sounds which guides call as ‘warning call’ for tigers’ movement. That sets the stage of suspense perfect.
Look Beyond The Tiger
But I believe, while sighting Tiger is of course, great idea but how about enjoying the bigger picture – the lovely sal trees, the imposing Bandhavgarh Fort which rises 811 meters in the heart of the national park. A remarkable feature of the fort is the number of fine 10th century rock sculpture depicting the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Did you know that there are 12th century temples near the fort??
This is the uniqueness of Bandavgarh Park and it has a special place in archaeology. Unfortunately, the trek to the Fort is not allowed any more. But the jeep can go till Lord Vishnu statue. Here you get to see the most beautiful Shesh Shayya, Vishnuji in laying position with umbrella of “Shesh Nag”and a majestic shivling.
Let Tiger be not the only aim in your mind, and enjoy sighting of other animals. Bird lovers can truly revel in the company of yellow crowned woodpecker, crested serpent eagle, white-eyed buzzard, white-browed fantail, greater racket tailed drongo, Malabar pied hornbill, etc.
How I Reached
I took an overnight train, Chattisgarh Sampark Kranti and got down at Umaria station from where, incidentally, tropic of cancer passes through.
From there I got on to a short beautiful drive of 30 minutes. We were already in the jungle environs.
The sign on the platform reminded us this was the southernmost place where we have ever been.
Did you know : The tropic of cancer is the degree of latitude where the sun is exactly overhead, in the zenith, at noon in summer???
My Favourite Activities At The Earth Lodge
• Dining with my friends at the well laid out multi-cuisine dining hall.
• Some outdoor gossip at ‘Forest Grill’ – An outdoor barbeque venue.
• Looking forward to Alfresco bush dinner venues.
• Spend ME Time at Nature library.
• Bird watching from the Machan.
• Interactive sessions with wildlife experts every evening.
• Indulge in In house spa with Ayurvedic massages.
• Walk near Organic kitchen garden.
• Walk in Butterfly garden.
* Enjoying Performance Of Local Folk Musicians