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Located in the north-central province of Madhya Pradesh, Bhandhavgarh is one of India's largest national parks, and a popular destination for foreign visitors and domestic tourists alike. Stretched over dense forests, river valleys, and tall grassland, Bandhavgarh is home to 250 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, and several large cats, among them a large population of Bengal tigers and Asian leopards. Interestingly enough, Bandhavgarh also contains several historical ruins, namely statues and former castles from more chaotic times.
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A popular saying about Bandhavgarh goes, “In any other park, you are lucky if you see a tiger; in Bandhavgarh, you are unlucky if you don’t see at least one.” Due to the dense tiger population, tiger sightings are so frequent here that some of the tigers within the park, namely a female named Seeta, gained fame for being the most photographed tiger in the world.
In addition to Bandhavgarh's big cats, see and photograph barking deer, sambar, nilgai, Indian wolf, hyena and gaur, or Indian bison, recently reintroduced into the park.
Situated on a hill rising 2,661 feet (811 meters) above sea level, Bandhavgarh Fort may date back almost two millennia. For centuries, the fort has changed hands between various dynasties; now, while it is still owned by the Maharaja of Rewa, a nearby ruler, it remains abandoned, its only inhabitants a small population of vultures.
Visit the Baghel Museum, a repository of the possessions of the King of Rewa. Bandhavgarh National Park was once his personal hunting grounds, and within the museum are some interesting possessions, including the stuffed body of a white tiger.
For a stunning view of the surrounding national park, hike up Climber's Point.
Observe the park's numerous tigers from atop the back of an elephant. Your guides, as well as the elephant's mahouts, or handlers, will travel with you to ensure your safety in this up-close experience.
Mandla Plant Fossils National Park
Located about 60 miles (96 kilometers) from Bandhavgarh, this park contains plant fossils that might be as old as 150 million years. Once thought to be part of a deep ocean, Mandla's most common fossils are those of mollusks, some of which are almost 40 million years old.
Search for the elusive and majestic Bengal Tiger on this thrilling 11-day luxury private jet journey. You’ll fly in comfort and style between India’s most famous national parks, Ranthambhore, Khana, and Bandhavgarh, riding safaris and birdwatching, while sleeping in some of India’s most luxurious hotels.
Escape into the wilds of India’s safaris on an exciting 12-day adventure through Panna, Bandhavgarh, and Kanha National Parks, where you’ll search for the mighty, elusive Bengal Tiger. You’ll explore ancient forts, hike to majestic viewpoints, and interact with exotic animals while staying in luxury hotels.
Outside the wild confines of Bandhavgarh lies the Taj Mahua Kothi Lodge. Spread over forty acres and built on the site of a former tented camp once used by aristocracy and the British colonial elite, Mahua features twelve cottages, called kutiyas, or shelters in Hindi. Each of the cottages features fireplaces, large windows, handmade pottery, locally-sourced textiles, all-natural soaps, creams, and lotions from Jiva Spa, plush beds, air-conditioning, in-room safes, en suite bathrooms, and tasteful, locally-inspired designs. Meals at Mahua Kothi are served rather informally; breakfasts are eaten either on the road, or in Mahua Kothi’s vegetable garden; lunch can be had by the pool, during the safari, or under the shade of the nearby trees; and dinners, featuring roasts, thalis, or assortments of small dishes, are enjoyed under the stars and accompanied by performances. Amenities include a full-service spa offering Ayurvedic and western treatments, a swimming pool, a library, and yoga lessons. Mahua Kothi lies a scenic, five-hour drive from Khajuraho’s airport.
Samode Safari Lodge
Located in the heart of tiger country, adjacent to the sprawling Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Samode Safari Lodge is designed around a series of individual safari lodges. Two main lodges with wide, comfortable lounges on the top floor open onto observation decks with machans, or hunterâ€™s blinds, to help guests stay hidden â€“ all the better to observe wildlife. The Samode Safari Lodge consists of individual chalets, each with a lounge, a tastefully decorated, elegant bedroom with an attached, immaculate bathroom and dressing area, and a private veranda looking out onto the natural surroundings of Bandhavgarh. The Samodeâ€™s dining options are varied and plentiful; guests may dine in comfort and luxury at the signature restaurant, sample barbecued fare by the glow of the campfire, savor long meals by the pool, or sit down to quiet, intimate meals in the privacy of their own chalet. The Samodeâ€™s amenities include a recreation room, a library, an art gallery, and a swimming pool. As the Samode is situated in a remote part of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, it is a long drive; the lodge lies four hours from Khajuraho airport, and five hours from Jabalpur airport. Guests may also fly by private charter to a nearby airstrip at Umaria, or take the train to Umaria and Katni, respectively 30 kilometers (19 miles) and 80 kilometers (50 miles) away.