Far away from the concrete jungles in the state, Satpura Tiger Reserve in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh lands us into a wilderness of woods. With a land area of 1427 km2 one can get to feel the existence of nature in its extreme raw and real form.
The wild walk takes us away from the human wants; No Telephone network, No Internet and No Electricity. All we have around is the aroma of the jungle and abundance of fresh air that is meant to purify our mind, body and soul. It gives you a lifetime memory of being social with nature and wildlife.
An amazing biodiversity has blossomed in Satpura forest over years. The adventure of spotting, identifying and meeting some of the most beautiful fauna and flora species in their natural habitat brings us close to the art of God.
The jungle stretch offers us a variety of transport options like Jeep Safari, Boat Safari, Elephant Ride or even Trekking. These all are the exploratory ways to view the jungle from its highs, lows and all possible sides.
As we touch the forest boundaries, hundreds of birds can be seen and heard; humming the welcome tunes and songs of nature, most common being Indian Roller, Cormorants, Lapwing, Dove, Egrets, Serpant Eagle, Myna, Bulbul, Wild Crow, Heron.
The wildlife multiplies as we move into the dense forests; thousands of trees that stand long and strong where a few include Bamboo, Sal, Teak and also a few smaller varieties in the shades of green like the Grasses, Lantanas and Bushes.
The journey gets exciting when one can experience the process of alarm calls between the Langurs and Cheetals hinting the visitors that there is a Tiger somewhere close. Well, Satpura is a land of Tigers and spotting them makes your visit a triumph. Others species include Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Sambhar, Nilgai, Monitor Lizard, Marsh Crocodile, Indian Bison, Wood Spider, Fire Ants, Leopards. The Giant Squirrel is the heartbeat and native species of Satpura forests and rare to find. The best time to spot these species is during June-November.
Apart from the flora and fauna, Satpura Tiger Reserve is also a home to caves, tunnels and rock shelters that narrate the stories of earliest human civilizations. The rock paintings and stone carvings add a cultural richness to the forest range giving it an edge over the other ranges in Madhya Pradesh.
To take care of the lodging and food, the forest department has something more to offer. The entire range is divided into small corridors that are decorated with wooden huts for residence purpose. This jungle is strictly a No Plastic Zone. Visitors can stay in the natural setting and experience the jungle life with the Chulha-cooked delicacies and solar power systems. This special arrangement is made only when the visitors agree to abide all rules of the jungle and wish to stay in peace with nature and wildlife.
The forest experience doesn’t end here. The Satpura Tiger Reserve is a place for nature lovers who apart from spending a vacation also wish to record films, click photographs, and write jungle diaries and poems. The waterfalls, deep valleys, ponds, backwaters, mountain views and light of the sun sweeping in from branches of the tall trees are picturesque.
So while you pack your backs and launch yourself for a fun jungle ride, make sure you have done a quick reading on the wildlife species, animal behavior and human dos and don’ts in the jungle. If you are a nature courtesan, Satpura is all set to serve you at its best! - Nikita Kothari