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The Bandhavgarh National Park lies in the heart of the Vindhyan Mountain Range in central India in the State of Madhya Pradesh ( see map). The Sal forest in the valleys forms its landscape and majestic tree clad hills are the backdrop. It is famous for a wide variety of wildlife and archaeological remains. The park area is hilly and is dominated by the majestic Bandhavgarh Fort, built in the 14th century. The fort and the adjacent hills have a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period.

The regular road from Khajuraho was prone to flooding every monsoon and had been shut down for repair and an alternate route was being used. To make a long story short we arrive in Bandhavgarh ten hours later hungry, bruised and tired from the constant bumping. A point to note here is that it is not possible to arrive by road from Khajuraho any sooner, so the visitor should be prepared and have a packed lunch. Also note that the roads in Madhya Pradesh are almost non existant outside the city limits and no facilities of any sort are available to the traveller; "you are srictly on your own" as our driver told us.

The Bandhavgarh Jungle Camp, which was going to be our home for the next three nights, was located on the Maharaja of Rewa’s hunting ground. His hunting lodge is used to serve dinner and house the staff. The resident manager Mr. Dushwant Singh warmly greeted us. When we mentioned we did not have any lunch he quickly put together sandwiches and boiled eggs and steaming cups of tea and coffee.

He then handed us a list of rules and regulation and amenities available and the camp hands took our luggage to the two tents assigned to us. We were pleasantly surprised by the tents, which had three compartments. Each tent had two generous size twin beds with bookcase headboard and complete with two table lamps in the first compartment. The next came a dressing area, again of generous proportions and a light fixture, this is where we dumped all our luggage. The last compartment in the back was divided into three sections and amply lit, a flushing toilet, a tiled shower cubicle with running hot and cold water and a sink with lighted mirror and a 220-v receptacle. Zippered flaps separated the three main compartments. The first two compartments had mud floor with rugs on them and the bathroom area had a concrete floor.

We freshened up and went to the campfire. This was in the center of a large gazebo with open sides and chairs all around the fire. The camp staff was very prompt and helpful with drinks. While we sat by the campfire and listened to Mr. Dushwant Singh narrate the history of the Bhandhavgarh and discuss the wildlife, the camp staff kept bringing in plateful of steaming hot and tasty Onion Pakoras. We spent a pleasant evening along with the other guests of the camp and soon it was dinnertime. Dinner was served in the dinning room of the Lodge. It was a five course Indian dinner complete with soup, dessert and beverage. We enjoyed the delicious meal while participating in intersting conversation and being waited on by the ever-helpful staff. Over dinner we also discussed what the plans for the next day was and the wake up times.

As we left the lodge to walk back to our tents we realized that night had fallen and it was quite cold. The sky was clear and brightly lit up with billions of stars. We made a mental note to spend some time looking at the stars the next evening. In our tent we were again pleasantly surprised to find hot water bottles under the blankets on the bed to keep them warm and we settled down for a toasty sound sleep.

Accessibility National Park Accomodations


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