Why 2018 Is The Year To Get Closer To Nature In Madhya Pradesh

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Photo of by Varun Suchday

Madhya Pradesh has been at the forefront of India's tiger revolution, responsible for bringing back our national animal from the brink of extinction. But, did you know that the state is also responsible for bringing three species of vultures and the endemic hard ground barasinghas back from the brink of extinction? Visit Madhya Pradesh's stunning hill stations, verdant biosphere reserves, pristine valleys and colourful tribal villages to witness the state's successful efforts to preserve and promote its wonders. The state is also promoting holistic, responsible travel by providing local communities with training programmes, and promoting eco-resorts and sustainable lodges throughout the state.

All of these efforts have resulted in natural destinations that will give you once-in-a-lifetime experiences wherever you travel within the state. So, here are the five places in Madhya Pradesh, where you can get close to nature in its most pristine form while also minding your own carbon footprint.

Situated 1,100 metres above sea level, Pachmarhi is one of the most popular hill-stations in the state. It lies in the Satpura range and is famously known as the 'Queen of Satpura'. It is a popular monsoon destination and the perfect place to escape the hustle-bustle of city life for a few days of peaceful coexistence with nature. The place is extremely rich in natural resources and wildlife, and was recognised internationally in 2009 when UNESCO added the hill-station and its surrounding areas to its list of biosphere reserves. The Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve is home to a rich variety of endemic flora and fauna, including tigers, leopards, wild boars, gaur, chital deer, rhesus macaques, nilgai, Indian fox, and flying squirrel among others.

When to visit Pachmarhi

Pachmarhi is a year-round destination, but it is exceptionally beautiful during monsoon (July to September). If you wish to visit the nearby Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary, it remains open from 1st October to 15th June.

How to get to Pachmarhi

Bhopal airport (195 km) is the nearest airport with regular flights from Gwalior, Mumbai and Delhi. The nearest railway station is Pipariya (50 km). It is on the Mumbai-Howrah line and is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. By road, you can get to Pachmarhi by bus/taxi from Bhopal (195 km), Nagpur, Jabalpur, Chhindwara, and Pipariya.

Where to stay

Golf View

Photo of Why 2018 Is The Year To Get Closer To Nature In Madhya Pradesh by Varun Suchday

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC)-run Glen View (₹4,500 for double) has 25 well-furnished AC rooms with an Indian restaurant and well-stocked bar. If you're looking for a hilly hideout, this is the place to stay. If you're looking for something slightly more luxurious, Golf View (₹6,500 for double) is a great option that gives you a splendid chance to stay amidst nature.

Situated very close to Pachmarhi, is another natural gem – Satpura National Park, which is a part of the larger Satpura Tiger Reserve. It is a unique central Indian highland ecosystem that boasts of over 1,300 species of animals. It was founded by veteran ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, which is why the place is extremely popular for bird watching and witnessing marsh crocodiles. If you're looking for a tryst with nature, it doesn't get much better than Satpura National Park. You can spend days here witnessing flora and fauna in its natural habitat and go back home with cherished experiences.

When to visit Satpura National Park

Satpura National Park is open from 1st October to 15th June.

How to get to Satpura National Park

Bhopal airport (200 km) is the nearest airport with regular flights from Gwalior, Mumbai and Delhi. The nearest railway station is Pipariya (50 km). It is on the Mumbai-Howrah line and is well connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. You can get to Satpura by bus/taxi from Bhopal, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Chhindwara, and Pipariya.

Where to stay

Satpura Retreat

Photo of Why 2018 Is The Year To Get Closer To Nature In Madhya Pradesh by Varun Suchday

Satpura Retreat (₹2,990 for double), a heritage hotel set up in a colonial building, is a great state-run option for budget and mid-range travellers. Denwa Backwater Escape (₹14,500 for double) on the other hand is a great option for a luxury stay near the national park.

A hidden treasure of Madhya Pradesh, Tamia is a small but relatively unexplored forest destination that offers true nature lovers a chance to interact with the surrounding environment without any disturbance. Located on a hilltop, it has beautiful views of the Patalkot valley as well as the dense jungles surrounding it. The Tamia village was inaccessible for a long time, as a result of which commercialisation still hasn't planted its roots here. Those looking for a quiet, uninterrupted getaway with nature will love Tamia.

When to visit Tamia

Tamia is a year-round destination, but especially pleasant to visit during the monsoon months (June to September).

How to get to Tamia

The nearest airport is Nagpur (185 km), which has daily flights from Bhopal, Delhi and Mumbai. The closest railway station is Nagpur (205 km). You can reach Tamia by taxi/bus from Bhopal, Nagpur, Jabalpur, Chhindwara, and Pipariya.

Where to stay

Given its undiscovered terrain, stay options in Tamia are limited. Your best bet is the Madhya Pradesh Tourism-run Tourist Motel (₹1,990 for two) which offers a basic, clean and well-maintained accommodation right in Tamia. If you're willing to stay a little further, Hotel Kusum Residency (₹1,500 for two) in Chhindwara is a decent place to put for a couple of nights.

A visit to Madai will change the meaning of the phrase "blue waters and lush green surroundings" for you. Located at the entrance of Satpura – one of India's most exquisite forests – this small village will have you awestruck with its spell-binding views, tranquil environment and rich wildlife. Few places in the country can compete with this tiny little natural haven. Close to it, you will also find the Tawa dam and reservoir, which offers some of the best views in the area and is perfect for watching the sunset.

When to visit Madai

Madai is a year-round destination, but especially pleasant to visit during the monsoon months (June to September).

How to get to Madai

Bhopal airport (120km) is the nearest airport with regular flights from Gwalior, Mumbai and Delhi. Sohagpur (17km) is the closest railway station. It is on the main rail line between Kolkata and Mumbai and is well connected to Jabalpur and Bhopal. Regular bus/cab services are available from Bhopal (120 km) and Indore (268 km).

Where to stay

Reni Pani Jungle Resort

Photo of Why 2018 Is The Year To Get Closer To Nature In Madhya Pradesh by Varun Suchday

There are a number of budget resorts and hotels in Sohagpur, which is just around 20km from Madai. The Madai Resort (₹2,100 for two) is a good option with air-conditioned rooms and great views. If you're looking for a more luxurious stay, Reni Pani Jungle Resort (₹26,000 for two) is a great option.

Kanha National Park is Madhya Pradesh's largest tiger reserve. The evergreen sal forests of Kanha provide shelter to leopards, sloth bears, barasinghas, dhole, guar, Indian python, 300 species of birds, and of course, the emperor of the jungle. However, the feel good story of Kanha is associated with the endemic hard ground barasingha, the state animal. Twenty years ago their numbers were dropping like flies. Individuals and organizations worked hard to protect this antelope species and today these magnificent creatures can be seen grazing all around the reserve.

When to visit Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park is open from 15th October to 30th June.

How to get to Kanha National Park

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur at 266 km is the nearest airport. Jabalpur railway station, 169 km away, is the closest train station. Jabalpur (175 km), Nagpur (266 km) and Raipur (219 km) are the closest cities where you can find private taxis to Kanha.

Where to stay

Kanha Village Eco

Photo of Why 2018 Is The Year To Get Closer To Nature In Madhya Pradesh by Varun Suchday

Kanha Eco Lodge and Kanha Village Eco Resort (₹7,459 for double), two eco-friendly accommodation options near Kanha National Park, feature eco-friendly mud houses, solar lights, organic composting, rainwater harvesting and provide employment to locals. For a closer to nature experience, stay at Kanha Jungle Lodge (₹11,000 for double) and check out their solar cooking, worm composting, organic farm and medicinal plant garden. They also organize stargazing sessions and nature walks.

Have you been to Madhya Pradesh or heard about their wildlife conservation efforts? Share your experiences in the comments section below or write your own travelogue and share it with millions. And, subscribe to Tripoto Youtube Channel for stunning videos.

In association with Madhya Pradesh Tourism