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A PERFECT PLACE


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A PERFECT PLACE


Central India - with its rolling hills and mixed forests, indigenous Gond and Baiga tribal people, and few tourists - is the perfect place for a comfortable but authentic experience of rural Indian life and landscape.

We encourage travellers to allow themselves a slow-paced adventure, with time to absorb the wealth of images and impressions that will flood the senses. 

We meet most of our guests before they travel to spend time discussing their interests and putting together an itinerary that best suits them.

The real experience

By choosing one or two main locations for their holiday, guests have the chance to get to know the people in whose country they are a visitor. Real interaction can take place with time for friendships to develop and for experiences to be shared. We help visitors see India as it is lived by so many Indians yet seen by few foreigners.

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explore at your own pace

Guests have time to learn the lie of the land and the rhythms of everyday life, with visits to pottery and weaving villages, tribal markets and local schools. The countryside is safe and the people friendly and most guests feel confident enough to do a little solitary exploration on foot or by bicycle.

So much to see

Walks or Cycle rides in the Maikal Hills are a must for those who are able: from easy strolls in the forest to day long walks or rides with overnight stays in villages. The beautiful bike ride from Kanha National Park back to Bhoramdeo with a night or two camping en route is a particularly lovely way to see the landscape.

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Our Destinations


Our Destinations


We hope that all of our guests will spend at least a few days at our Indian base, Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat (BJR). This is a wonderful opportunity to see India at village level.  The medieval temple complex of Bhoramdeo is a just a minute’s walk from BJR and the Maikal hills provide a stunning backdrop, home to tigers, bears and leopards, along with a diversity of birds and butterflies. Accommodation is simple but comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms, shady verandas overlooking the garden, and excellent cooking.

Kanha National Park is a three-hour drive (or three-day walk) from Bhoramdeo and one of India’s finest sites for viewing tigers. We like our guests to stay at Shergarh Tented Camp, on a quiet edge of the National Park, in room-sized, solid-floored, canvas tents with splendid attached bathrooms and wood-fired water heaters, overlooking a huge pool with dragonflies, frogs and birds. A professional naturalist is on hand for all guests; while expert in finding tigers and leopards he and all at Shergarh are keen to show that, although tourism in National Parks is probably the tiger’s greatest hope for survival, there is more to the forest than big cats.

At the western end of the Satpura range (whose eastern edge begins with Chhattisgarh’s Maikal hills) lies Satpura National Park. Here is Reni Pani, one of the most luxurious of the destinations we use, comprising six individual cottages in forty acres of land managed for wildlife. Recent sightings include leopards and bears, and within the National Park, tigers. Satpura is one of the few National Parks that can be explored on foot, as well as by canoe and boat, while Reni Pani also offers bike rides and night drives. 

From Reni Pani it is a three hour drive (via the extraordinary prehistoric cave paintings at Bhimbetka - a World Heritage Site at which you may well be the only visitor) to Bhopal, a fine historic city, famous for all the wrong reasons. Here is Jehan Numa Retreat, run by the same family as Reni Pani and also adjacent to a nature reserve. Most rooms have verandas overlooking vegetable gardens that supply the kitchen, whose food is in the superb Mughlai tradition.


NB All our accommodation-providers employ their staff year-round, despite the tourist season in rural areas only running from October to April. This ensures them a regular income and helps prevent migration to the cities.

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Getting Here


Getting Here


 

International Transit

Most guests will fly in to Delhi or Mumbai. There are direct flights from London that take about nine hours; prices for direct flights range from £500 - £650 but you may be able to find something cheaper if you don’t mind changing planes in the Middle East. Kolkata, an interesting and enjoyable city, is not served by direct flights from the UK, but good connections are available via the Middle East. We generally recommend an overnight stay in the city of arrival, before flying down to Raipur or Bhopal, which takes an hour or two. We will have someone there to meet you at each airport.

MUMBAI

Good, affordable and well-positioned accommodation is hard to find here. Happily, Abode Boutique Hotel is a beautifully designed, centrally located hotel with rooms to suit a range of budgets. It supports a number of ethically-driven businesses: their spa has blind masseurs, the taxi drivers they supply are Muslim women, and the tours they recommend are via a company of whose profits 80% go to charity.

Delhi

There are many options in this vast city. We favour Colonel’s Retreat for those who want to be in the city. It’s a smart guest house in relatively leafy Defence Colony, with a great rooftop restaurant and just a short walk to the metro. For a gloriously soft, very Anglo, landing or a pampered last night, Tikli Bottom is an out of town home stay. A beautiful Lutyens style bungalow set in lush gardens with kind, old-school, English hosts.