Trip Report - Bandhavgarh-Amarkantak-Kanha-Bhedaghat-Pachmarhi-Pench

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#16 Mar 16th, 2011, 08:48
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#16
@RWeHavingFunYet, thanks for all the good words, glad to know you liked it. My sincere thanks for helping to make out the names of the birds, I didn't know them and that's primarily the reason why I couldn't put the appropriate names in snaps. As per your comments now I have updated them.

Just to confirm a few things,

11th Snap here, It's an Adjutant Stork, am I right?

42nd Snap here, (Kanha snaps last row 3rd one) - I have just written as Owl, not sure if it is having any specific name.

37th Snap here (Kanha snaps, last but one row, 3rd one, just on top of the owl I mentioned), there is a female barasingha and you can see a bird on top of it, what is the name of the bird?

Have you noticed the Indian Giant Squirrel in 69th Snap (Pachmarhi lot)? I couldn't get a better picture because of its position and low light but it was having amazing colors.

Thanks again for your time and help.
#17 Mar 16th, 2011, 09:15
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#17
.

Saying Stork is OK. The name is Adjutant Stork.

Saying . Owl is OK. The name is Spotted Owlet.

The bird sitting on Barasingha is a Treepie. The name is Rufous Treepie.

I did notice the Giant Squirrel. There are several pictures of Squirrel on IndiaMike; see this: --> Giant Indian Squirrel.




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Last edited by RWeHavingFunYet; Mar 16th, 2011 at 17:55..
#18 Mar 16th, 2011, 15:38
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#18
Hi Kshil

thanks for your comment on Bori. Infact i approached in december last year to visit Bori. We didnt get the booking for Bori. We got FRH booking for Churna. We wanted to enter from panchmarhi. But that road was not opened for tourist. I heard the journey from pachmarhi to Churna-Bori-Madai is one of the best in MP. Since Pachmarhi to churna road (via dhupgarh)is closed for the time being, we could not make the trip. Only option was to go via Itarsi or madai. You have to get permission for Bori/Churna from Forest Dept @ Hosangabad. Unfortunately the forest dept didnt inform us that panarpani gate is closed. So we have to make it again soon. I stayed in Madai- FRH infront of Tawa river. It was great experience.
#19 Mar 16th, 2011, 21:59
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#19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RWeHavingFunYet View Post .

Saying Stork is OK. The name is Adjutant Stork.

Saying . Owl is OK. The name is Spotted Owlet.

The bird sitting on Barasingha is a Treepie. The name is Rufous Treepie.

I did notice the Giant Squirrel. There are several pictures of Squirrel on IndiaMike; see this: --> Giant Indian Squirrel.




.
Thanks RWHFY, I have updated the names of the snap accordingly. Thanks for link of Giant Squirrel, it's indeed nicely captured, the colors are really awesome!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by move on View Post Hi Kshil

thanks for your comment on Bori. Infact i approached in december last year to visit Bori. We didnt get the booking for Bori. We got FRH booking for Churna. We wanted to enter from panchmarhi. But that road was not opened for tourist. I heard the journey from pachmarhi to Churna-Bori-Madai is one of the best in MP. Since Pachmarhi to churna road (via dhupgarh)is closed for the time being, we could not make the trip. Only option was to go via Itarsi or madai. You have to get permission for Bori/Churna from Forest Dept @ Hosangabad. Unfortunately the forest dept didnt inform us that panarpani gate is closed. So we have to make it again soon. I stayed in Madai- FRH infront of Tawa river. It was great experience.
Hi Move On, we have seen the mentioned road from Dhupgarh, winding roads going through the hills of Satpura but as told by guide only a part of the road is metalled, rest is unmetalled road. Even the guide didn't tell us tha Panarpani gate is closed and it's unreachable from Pachmarhi, though he mentioned for 15 days its closed due to Shivaratri festival but from your post it seems it's closed atleast since December. Now your post is making me restless and feels like going to Bori/Churna/Madari soon. Please keep us updated here on your plans, journey and experience. So last December when they refused to allow you to proceed through Pachmarhi, have you gone to Hosangabad to get the permission and subsequently proceeded to Madai FRH from that end? Or your Madai FRH experience is from a different trip ?
#20 Mar 17th, 2011, 00:18
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#20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post Thanks RWHFY, I have updated the names of the snap accordingly. Thanks for link of Giant Squirrel, it's indeed nicely captured, the colors are really awesome!!



Hi Move On, we have seen the mentioned road from Dhupgarh, winding roads going through the hills of Satpura but as told by guide only a part of the road is metalled, rest is unmetalled road. Even the guide didn't tell us tha Panarpani gate is closed and it's unreachable from Pachmarhi, though he mentioned for 15 days its closed due to Shivaratri festival but from your post it seems it's closed atleast since December. Now your post is making me restless and feels like going to Bori/Churna/Madari soon. Please keep us updated here on your plans, journey and experience. So last December when they refused to allow you to proceed through Pachmarhi, have you gone to Hosangabad to get the permission and subsequently proceeded to Madai FRH from that end? Or your Madai FRH experience is from a different trip ?
Hello Kshil...I went to Madai prior to this trip a year back. I went thru Hosangabad - Babai - semri - sohagpur. Between Semri and Sohagpur there is a road goes right which takes to Madai. You hv to drive 17 km from main road to come to bank of tawa river. The other bank of Tawa river is Madai and the FRH is there only. While coming to Madai, I came to know about Bori, churna, Dhain etc and the 100-120 Km (approx)journey starting from Pachmarhi thru Dhupgarh and further down thru winding, hilly, jungle road to churna then to Bori. From there u can reach madai. This trip can be a 3-4nights trip staying each night in each locations. What I understand, Bori is the Oldest Tiger reserve of India. It was declaired as tiger reserve in 1862. This is what i heard from one of the Ex-Forest Ranger of Bori. However, I am looking for a connection to go via Itarsi. I hope, i can work out something from that side. Because from panarpani side I heard one wooden bridge was broken last year. which caused road block. and even if the road opens, You can go only with 4x4 car.
#21 Mar 17th, 2011, 02:46
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#21
Hi Kshil,

Great Trip Report and pics. Maybe an addition on the entrance fee for Bandhavgarh, suppose 1230 Rs if for Indian people, for foreigner it's 2030 Rs (for up to 6 people) and I heard it will be raised to 4030 Rs later this year.
One more recommendation for Tala Zone 1, as written the changes at Zone 1 to see a tiger seems to be much higher than the other zones. But it's always sold out in advance and you have to book about a month in advance to get a ticket.
Also the changes seeing a tiger on the morning drives (let's say from 6.30-9.00 AM, about 2,5 hrs) are much higher than seeing a tiger on the afternoon drives (the tigers don't start moving before 5.00 PM at 6.00 PM you have to be out of the park, so about 1 hr.) Of course you have no garantees but if you can choose, take the morning drives in zone 1.
You can also can choose youre guide in Bandhavgarh, so for foreigners it might be better to ask for a good English speaking guide who can also tell a lot about the park and wildlife.
I did 3 morning drives in Tala Zone 1 and on each drive a saw a tiger (even one eating a deer), did 2 evening drives in Zone 2 and did not see the tiger.
At the end of the next album you can see some pics of the tigers I saw in Bandhavgarh
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wereldr...7626105493163/

Last advice on accomodation, I stayed at the Baghela Resort and can recommend that. Had a good private room for 750 Rs and if you just show up they have some smaller rooms for which you don't have to pay (much) more than places like Kum Kum and Bagh Vihar (about 400 Rs, but much better quality.
#22 Mar 17th, 2011, 08:44
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#22
Quote:
Originally Posted by move on View Post Hello Kshil...I went to Madai prior to this trip a year back. I went thru Hosangabad - Babai - semri - sohagpur. Between Semri and Sohagpur there is a road goes right which takes to Madai. You hv to drive 17 km from main road to come to bank of tawa river. The other bank of Tawa river is Madai and the FRH is there only. While coming to Madai, I came to know about Bori, churna, Dhain etc and the 100-120 Km (approx)journey starting from Pachmarhi thru Dhupgarh and further down thru winding, hilly, jungle road to churna then to Bori. From there u can reach madai. This trip can be a 3-4nights trip staying each night in each locations. What I understand, Bori is the Oldest Tiger reserve of India. It was declaired as tiger reserve in 1862. This is what i heard from one of the Ex-Forest Ranger of Bori. However, I am looking for a connection to go via Itarsi. I hope, i can work out something from that side. Because from panarpani side I heard one wooden bridge was broken last year. which caused road block. and even if the road opens, You can go only with 4x4 car.
Hi Move on, the map suggests the road from Hosangabad - Babai - Semri - Sohagpur can be approached from Itarsi as well as Itarsi is between Hosangabad and Tawa. From Kolkata you can take Howah Mumbai Mail via Allahabad to reach Itarsi directly but as you need to collect forest permit from Hosangabad, you have to anyway backtrack to Hosangabad before starting your journey to Madai. The road you mentioned seems to be a interconnection road from Hosangabad / Itarsi main road to Tamia where it meets the main road from Matkuli to Seoni via Chindwara. The connector between Hosangabad and Tamia actually goes crossing the Tawa river, which you need to cross and then the road goes all through Bori WLS. So even if the Pachmarhi approach road is closed this can be accessed from either Hosangabad / Itarsi or Tamia. How you have crossed the Tawa River to reach Madai? Seems no bridge is there, also I can see a MP Tourism resort near Tawa Dam in that area.If I understand you correctly even if the Pachmarhi (dhupgarh) - Churna road is blocked because of a broken bridge and panarpani gate is closed, still it can be approached from Hosangabad/Itarsi end. The dhupgarh approach might very well require a 4X4 as you have to climb down from dhupgarh (highest point of Satpura) towards Bori.
#23 Mar 17th, 2011, 10:08
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#23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry05 View Post Hi Kshil,

Great Trip Report and pics. Maybe an addition on the entrance fee for Bandhavgarh, suppose 1230 Rs if for Indian people, for foreigner it's 2030 Rs (for up to 6 people) and I heard it will be raised to 4030 Rs later this year.
One more recommendation for Tala Zone 1, as written the changes at Zone 1 to see a tiger seems to be much higher than the other zones. But it's always sold out in advance and you have to book about a month in advance to get a ticket.
Also the changes seeing a tiger on the morning drives (let's say from 6.30-9.00 AM, about 2,5 hrs) are much higher than seeing a tiger on the afternoon drives (the tigers don't start moving before 5.00 PM at 6.00 PM you have to be out of the park, so about 1 hr.) Of course you have no garantees but if you can choose, take the morning drives in zone 1.
You can also can choose youre guide in Bandhavgarh, so for foreigners it might be better to ask for a good English speaking guide who can also tell a lot about the park and wildlife.
I did 3 morning drives in Tala Zone 1 and on each drive a saw a tiger (even one eating a deer), did 2 evening drives in Zone 2 and did not see the tiger.
At the end of the next album you can see some pics of the tigers I saw in Bandhavgarh
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wereldr...7626105493163/

Last advice on accomodation, I stayed at the Baghela Resort and can recommend that. Had a good private room for 750 Rs and if you just show up they have some smaller rooms for which you don't have to pay (much) more than places like Kum Kum and Bagh Vihar (about 400 Rs, but much better quality.
Hi Harry05,

Thanks for your words of appreciation. My sincere thanks for pointing out the Entry Fees for foreigners, that I completely missed out. I have corrected the report now attached a snap showing all different types of charge based on various factors like car type, size, tourist's nationality etc.

Yes your observation on Tiger sighting in morning may be correct but I have seen tiger in all 4 safaris (2 morning and 2 evening in Bandhavgarh) even saw tiger in Kanha in all 3 safaris (2 Morning and 1 in evening where evening safari was even better, had a road crossing of 4 tigers). My understanding is rather than timing, it may well be a chance and also for Bandhavgarh as you have taken all the evening safaris in zone2 (Magadhi) you may have missed it, Tala Zone1 is more likely for a tiger spotting, which I agree 100% with you, even during my visit, we have seen tiger every time where as people who gone to zone2 didn't have any sighting.

Thanks for accommodation tips, please share the Guest House Number if you can.

I have checked your flicker pics and it's awesome specially the tiger eating the deer. When exactly you visited Bandhavgarh? Is it a very recent trip then you would have also found the route A is closed, only B/C and D are opened in zone1
#24 Mar 17th, 2011, 10:51
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#24
Kaushik, as usual, your travelogues are encyclopedias and a do-it-yourself kit! Thanks for all the useful info.

I am impressed that MP roads have improved so radically in the last couple of years from what were the worst roads in India. The route you took from Bandhavgarh to Kanha via Amarkantak looks very short. FRom what you say, roads from Dindore-Amarkantak were great, as also the routes south to Kanha. I remember they used to be dirt roads once upon a time all the way from Jabalpur.

I am a little confused about the Kisli/Kanha-Mukki road - I thought it was open all times. Or are there 2 roads, one of them restricted and the other open?

Which route did you take from Pachmarhi to Pench? And how good were the roads?
H V Kumar
#25 Mar 17th, 2011, 11:44
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#25
HVK,

Thanks for your appreciation.

Yes I was surprised to see the quality of roads and I must say very few states can match the quality of MP State Highways at this moments. It's simply superb. We have travelled 1400km and hardly 10 to 15 km bad road we have experienced in between. Rest all are excellent and car can move around 90 to 100 all through. The roads are mostly going through sparsely populated region and hence no chance of even a stray goat/dog would come to road. I enjoyed it thoroughly after Arunachal experience

On the roads in details:

Katni - Bandhavgarh (Tala) - Excellent

Bandhavgarh (Tala) - Umaria - Shahpura - Dindori - Amarkantak - Excellent and very newly built.

Amarkantak - Dindori - Chabi - Chougan - Mandla - Kanha (Khatia) - Excellent except the Mandla town part where its as expected congested.

Kanha - Mandla - Jabalpur - Bhedaghat - Excellent except few stretches of around 10/15km where road between Mandla and jabalpur where work is currently going on, so these would be perfect in a month time I expect. Also Jabalpur city traffic is a problem but you can bypass that it seems, we had to enter into the city to buy some food items.

Bhedaghat to Bargi via Jabalpur-Seoni-Nagpur road which again was great

Bargi - Back to Bhedaghat - Shahpura - Narsimhapur - Kareli - Gadarwara - Pipariya - Pachmarhi - Excellent all through, even Pipariya - Pachmarhi ghat section is widened and improved. We left Jabalpur - Bhopal NH-12 at Shahpura and moved to Hoshangabad route which as per driver is much better than NH.

Pachmarhi - Matkuli - Tamia - Chhindwara (between chindwara and Seoni, you would get a right fork to Pench NP if you plan for Jhamtara range) - Seoni (At Seoni you would hit Delhi - Chennai Golden Quadrilateral arm, whose one end goes towards Delhi via Lakhnadon, Narsimhapur, Sagar etc..and other towards Nagpur. You have to take Nagpur side and as usual to go right you have to take the exit forked towards left. We made a mistake and take right exit to merged towards Jabalpur (Northern) end and then had to travel 5 km extra to get a diversion to Nagpur bound lane.) - Rookhad (after Rookhad you get a right fork to Pench NP again if you plan for Karmajhiri range) - Khawasa and from Khawasa you finally take right to leave Nagpur Highay and hit Pench NP, Touria Zone.

So Pachmarhi - Pench drive would be decided based on which zone of Pench NP you want to visit.

The Seoni - Nagpur road is being converted to 4 lanes as part of Golden Quadrilateral and not completed but drive was awesome as all through pachmarhi to pench road was brilliant. First sign of bad roads we got when we approached Nagpur, the moment we crossed over to Maharashtra.

This is my first trip to Kanha and I really can't believe the Jabalpur - Kanha dirt road. I must say then, that MP has set an example how fast road infrastructures can be developed. You must take a MP trip soon, for a person like you who is so passionate in driving, it would be a great time for sure.

I have noticed even for smallest towns they have made or in process of making bypass to maintain speed in State/National Highways.

On Kanha Kisli - Mukki Gate, I was talking about the roads that is gone through forest core area, this needs permission from Forest and can be used on some specific days of week even with a diesel car as told by guides. I am not too sure but seems like there is an alternate all time open roads from Kisli to Mukki that is out of park core area, going through buffer zones where there are many villages located.
#26 Mar 17th, 2011, 12:29
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#26
@kshil - finally managed to get some time and do a first quick pass through your OP.

Really an awesome tour report with plenty of details and written in a 'personal-and-intersting-to-read' style that I liked very much. Congrats! You have gathered great amount of details (just like in your NE report) and have everything at your fingetips to respond to the readers' queries (including road conditions, that HVK always wants to know).

I had some years ago done a circular MP-tour and covered similar ground .... though not Amarkantak, Bandhavgarh and Pench. Will be reading in detail and may ask some doubts after that.
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#27 Mar 17th, 2011, 13:03
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#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post Hi Move on, the map suggests the road from Hosangabad - Babai - Semri - Sohagpur can be approached from Itarsi as well as Itarsi is between Hosangabad and Tawa. From Kolkata you can take Howah Mumbai Mail via Allahabad to reach Itarsi directly but as you need to collect forest permit from Hosangabad, you have to anyway backtrack to Hosangabad before starting your journey to Madai. The road you mentioned seems to be a interconnection road from Hosangabad / Itarsi main road to Tamia where it meets the main road from Matkuli to Seoni via Chindwara. The connector between Hosangabad and Tamia actually goes crossing the Tawa river, which you need to cross and then the road goes all through Bori WLS. So even if the Pachmarhi approach road is closed this can be accessed from either Hosangabad / Itarsi or Tamia. How you have crossed the Tawa River to reach Madai? Seems no bridge is there, also I can see a MP Tourism resort near Tawa Dam in that area.If I understand you correctly even if the Pachmarhi (dhupgarh) - Churna road is blocked because of a broken bridge and panarpani gate is closed, still it can be approached from Hosangabad/Itarsi end. The dhupgarh approach might very well require a 4X4 as you have to climb down from dhupgarh (highest point of Satpura) towards Bori.
To reach madai, the best route is to go via hosangabad or piparia. You have to come to Semri or sohagpur and in between these places you have a road from NH 22 which takes you to the south towards Tawa river(17Km). You have to keep the car this side of the river and cross the river by boat. There is no bridge on the river and Forest dept ferry is the only option.One you cross the river you will get the FRH on the other bank. I was surprised to see deers roaming like goats inside FRH campus. when we were having our foods there, deers were stading next to us to watching. They were so friendly even they like to get into your laps.

But i think you can go to Churna from Madai also. But you need vehicle from Forest dept as you cant take the car inside forest bcoz of no bridge over tawa. Infact you can do a boat ride in Tawa river from madai upto Tawa dam and come back to madai. Tawa river has lots of crocodiles. So you have to be careful.

To reach churna and Bori ...the other option is to go to Itarsi then to Bhawra or Shahpur and then you can enter forest.
#28 Mar 17th, 2011, 13:21
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#28
Hi Kshil,

I was in Bandhavgarh on march 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Yes, route A was still closed since last year when a female tiger was killed by a car there.
Baghela Resort: http://baghelaresortbandhavgarh.com/contact.htm
Mobile No. 09926686686
e-mail: mail@baghelaresortbandhavgarh. com (although I think e-mail is not read daily, at least it took me a while before a got response).

Harry
#29 Mar 17th, 2011, 14:16
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#29
@Harry05, once again thanks for the information. For you I was able to correct a mistake on Park Entry Fees information and again this additional information helps. I have updated the main thread in post 2 with the information you provided. Actually a lot on Bandhavgarh / Kanha / Pench were discussed in IM but those are spreaded across various threads in such a way, I found it quite difficult to collect the information. So putting them in one place might help others. But problem is the threads can't be updated after some particular days of posting (may be 2 / 3 days I guess), so not sure what to do if we need to update something else few days later, may be the MODS could be helpful then.

So you visited just a week after my visit and great to know you have seen tiger all three times in morning safaris. Morning safaris are more attractive to me too as the ambience seems to be much better but Bandhavgarh should be managed in a better way, it's surprising to see there is no toilet in the center point, Kanha is much better manager park I would say.

@ks_bluechip, Thanks for your valuable comments and glad to know you liked it. Usually I keep notes of information in a pad which I carry always with me and then at end of day do some work on that to keep the information in a little structured manner. Information is key, this I realize always whenever I start planning for a new trip. Kanha/ Bandhavgarh are quite popular places in that sense and you would find a lot of discussion on both the places but if someone wants budget stay option there, it would be quite timetaking to find out the same or you may have to open a new thread. That's a pain so I always try to put as much information as possible in the report.

In your round trip of MP, you haven't visited Bandhavgarh, Amarkantak and Pench, so what all places you have covered in that trip? If you haven't been to Chattisgarh, I can see a good circuit covering these left over places in MP and Chattisgarh in card
#30 Mar 17th, 2011, 15:06
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#30
My MP Round trip was by my Indica Car in Dec-2005. It was a 3500+ KM Circular route seeing most of MP tourist places.

The route was like this (MP part in bold):

Mumbai - Dhule >> Mandu - Indore - Ujjain - Sehore - Sanchi - Udaygiri -Vidisha - Bhopal - Pachmarhi -Kanha NP - Jabalpur - Bhedaghat - Katni - Satna - Khajuraho - Orcha - Jhansi - Shivpuri - Dewas - Pithampur - Mahua >> Nashik - Mumbai

Details with some pics are here in this MP-blog-page.

What kind of a circular route would you suggest, to cover Chattisgarh (from Mumbai) along with anything else in MP I missed?
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