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Experiences in Bandhavgarh National Park

Nature Trails
A Nature Trail is ideal for adventurers looking for a closer communion with nature. Be it the nature trails offered in the buffer zone of the park or a leisurely nature walk, it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the smaller creatures. Butterflies, dung beetles scurrying about and multitudes of wildflowers are a few of the many delights best discovered on foot. At Mahua Kothi, the naturalists tailor-make the walk to showcase a combination of dense forest, grasslands and water bodies. Guests file past fields of the white tipped ‘Kans’ grass swaying in the breeze onto a pond to see one of the smallest ducks in the world – the Little Grebe. During Mahua season or around fruiting fig trees, numerous animals like deer, monkeys, squirrels and birds can be seen vying for the sweet treats. Skilful storytelling enraptures guests in the life cycle of a Giant Wood spider as they marvel at the engineering feat of one of the oldest web designs in the world. At the end of the walk, guests are able to identify numerous bird calls, have an understanding of many plants and their uses for animals and humans alike.
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Local Interactions
The local villages are home to the indigenous Gond and Baiga tribals, said to be among the oldest surviving tribes in India. An interaction might give you some insight into their unique culture, which they have preserved for centuries.
Local Villages at Bandhavgarh 1x1
Safari Drives
Twice daily safaris are conducted by expert naturalists in specially designed 4X4 vehicles with theatre style seating. Morning safaris start shortly after sunrise. Along with the thrill of tiger tracking is a memorable stop for a picnic breakfast complete with freshly plunged coffee and an assortment of teas. Afternoon safaris last a couple of hours and end at sunset. Bandhavgarh, with one of the highest tiger densities in the country makes for a safari with plenty of action. Guests are kept enthralled as the professionally trained naturalists interpret the jungle calls and read tracks of animals. A big predator on the move makes animals like deer and monkeys sound a warning, resulting in the jungle resounding with various alarm calls. These calls are then used by the naturalist to anticipate movements of the predator. Guests also learn to identify melodious bird song, like those of the Asian Koel, Magpie Robin and the Coppersmith Barbet. However, an unforgettable animal sound that stays long after the safari is done is the deep roar of a tiger either marking territory or calling for a mate. History buffs will delight in a visit to Shesh shaiyya to see the statue of Lord Vishnu and the ancient caves at BadiGufa.
Mahua Kothi - a Taj Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh National Park
Village Visit
Rural areas around National parks are dotted with picturesque villages and farms. It is a way of life still untouched in many ways. Guests at Mahua Kothi have the option of visiting one of several villages, with popular ones being Rancha and Dobha. These villages are located on the periphery of the national park where farming is still practised in age old methods with simple tools and remarkable ingenuity. Tribes like Baiga, Gond and Kol among others, live in single storey houses with cow dung plastered open courtyards. It is wonderful to walk down the quiet lanes besides houses with tiled roofs overrun with pumpkin and bitter gourd vines. Most of the tribes in the region were once hunter gatherers, who are now adapting to modern life. Many find work as trackers and guards in the national park owing to their understanding of nature and animal behaviour.
CSR Activities by Taj at Bandhavgarh 1
Enjoy Bird Watching
Bandhavgarh’s wide variety of wild habitats is known to harbour several bird species, most notably the Sarus cranes that arrive to breed in the rains. The record of largest numbers spotted at one time stands at around two hundred and fifty, so carry your binoculars as you roam the marshes and hilly woodlands.
Wildlife Bandhavgarh National Park 1x1
Breathe Easy On A Nature Walk
Get some fresh air and an in-depth knowledge of the local flora and fauna on a guided nature trail through the fringes of the forest.
Nature Walk at Bandhavgarh National Park
The Taj Safari lodge in Mahua Kothi is located in pristine jungle environments, where guests have the luxury of viewing a vast expanse of very starry skies. After a day of adventure and excitement in the jungle, watching the brilliant night sky is a very relaxing activity. The constant North Star and the Milky Way are especially exciting to young guests. Listen to interesting trivia and stories as naturalists acquaint you to the life of the night sky.
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Chaupal Dining
‘Chaupal’, is a Hindi term for a community meeting place in a village and usually forms a hub for socialising for locals. The Chaupal at Mahua Kothi is located beside the organic kitchen garden. This clearing with a packed earth floor surrounded by row upon row of tomatoes, lettuce, spring onions and other greens; makes for a most inviting alfresco dining spot. A dinner here features intimate table set up for guests, a bonfire around which are placed string beds made comfortable with mattresses and bolsters. An old open Jeep forms the bar and guests can watch live spit (skewer) roasting, customary khud (pit) cooking with local Baghelkhandi flavours. Tribal dancers perform an ancient routine and guests are welcome to join in. The ambience recreates an authentic experience of a traditional local feast for guests to enjoy.
Chawki Dining Experience at Mahua Kothi, a Taj Safari Lodge
Mahua Dinner
A tall Mahua Tree stands at the edge of the grassland alongside a picture perfect lily pond. Tables are set up under the large canopy of this Mahua tree. Lit by lanterns hanging from branches, this intimate setting is most cheerful and inviting in contrast to the darkness after sunset. The Mahua Dinner chiefly features Indian barbecued dishes. Guests watch the chefs deftly manoeuver skewers and breads in the tandoor as they explain the recipes. The Mahua dinner is a unique dining experience accompanied by the occasional calls of frogs from the pond.
Private Dining at Banjaar Tola, Kanha National Park
Rooftop Dining
As dusk falls over the jungle, guests make their way up to the flat terrace of the guest area building to admire the pink glow of the setting sun. Elegantly set tables are placed around the terrace with a common seating area in the middle. Illuminated in a warm glow by lanterns and candles, it is the perfect spot for cocktails and dinner under an indigo sky.
Fresh Organic Ingredients Mahua Kothi, a Taj Safari Lodge
Bonnet Breakfast
A sumptuous breakfast laid out on the safari vehicle bonnet deep in the jungle. Freshly baked muffins and cookies along with sandwiches, fresh fruit and hot kathi rolls are washed down with freshly plunged coffee or an assortment of teas. A perfect refuelling for the rest of the morning safari.
Indulgent Breakfast at Mahua Kothi, a Taj Safari Lodge
Private Courtyard Dining
Each cottage at Mahua Kothi has a spacious open courtyard where an intimate dining experience is created. A romantic candle lit table is strewn with flower petals while champagne chills in the bucket. Delectable food from a specially created menu is discreetly served by a private butler. It is a memorable jungle dining experience to be shared with loved ones.
Interactive Culinary Sessions at Mahua Kothi, a Taj Safari Lodge