Outlook Spotlight

The Pride of Madhya Pradesh, Jehan Numa Seeks Comfort Like Time Of Nawab By Aly Rashid, Director, Jehan Numa Wilderness

With four hotels under the brand, Jehan Numa has emerged as a fine collection of experiential luxury hotels in Madhya Pradesh.

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Bhopal, much like several princely states, was known for its fine hospitality. In the book ‘’A glimpse of an empire’’ by Jessica Douglas Home, there lies and excerpt of an experience of Lilah Wingfield a young Anglo-Irish lady who visited Bhopal on an Invitation from General Obaidullah Khan, my Great Grand Father. This visit dates back to 1911 and Lilah was completely overwhelmed by the hospitality extended to her by the General. In her words she described her stay in Bhopal as ‘’Living in a dream for a week”.  Her experiences included riding on horse back exploring the countryside, driving in custom made Cadillacs, cruising on the Bhopal Lake in state-of-the-art speed boats, going on duck shoots and being invited to several elaborate meals, the most notable one was a thirteen-course meal at the General’s residence Jehan Numa. The Jehan Numa hospitality dates back more than a century, it has only taken shape into a hospitality brand in 1983 when my father and his brother decided to convert the Jehan Numa Palace into a hotel. 

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Over the years we have continued this legacy and Jehan Numa has come to be known for its unique hospitality with a key focus on royal and luxurious living and cuisine. It is but natural for us to entertain like our ancestors. As a standalone hotel brand for over 25 years, in 2009, we branched out to Reni Pani Jungle Lodge located in Satpura Tiger Reserve as our first wildlife lodge. It was a natural progression. Wildlife and wilderness have always been a close subject for any royal family. In the years gone by it was shikar that dominated the proceedings but now, the only shots we take are with our cameras.

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The engagement with the wilderness is different but the interest in wildlife and conservation remains the same. So, we decided to marry the passion of wildlife with the profession of hospitality. Soon after that came the Jehan Numa Retreat which was a farm where we grew fodder for our horse breeding establishment. The Retreat is a fresh concept for the city, sprawled in 12 acres the hotel grows most of the produce it consumes. There is emphasis on spa and wellness and it is a great to use as base to explore Bhopal while living in green surroundings. Our latest offering is the Bori Safari Lodge, in Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, which is one of the most exciting upcoming wildlife destinations in Madhya Pradesh. With the launch of Bori Safari Lodge, we also launched Jehan Numa Wilderness, a boutique collection of wildlife lodges. 

With four hotels under the brand, Jehan Numa has emerged as a fine collection of experiential luxury hotels in Madhya Pradesh.

"In Bhopal we strive to create experiences that showcase the historicity and culture of this wonderful city and its surroundings with curated heritage walks and heritage drives. These walks and drives include visits to Taj Ul Masajid (Asia’s biggest mosque), Bhojpur Temple, Islamnagar, Bhopal’s museums and to the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sanchi and Bhimbetika. At our hotels we offer fine cuisine that has been passed down in our home kitchens for several generations. The most notable offering is the General’s Table, at Jehan Numa Palace, where guests can enjoy the menu that the General offered his guests. "

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"In Satpura and Bori, we run jungle lodges that are high on the sustainability quotient. In line with our philosophy, at Reni Pani we have worked closely with the forest department to create experiences that are non-motorised including walking, canoeing and camping. At Bori Sanctuary, ours is the first lodge, and we have helped set up a tourism model including inducting local guides and training them. Both our lodges employ locals so as to provide alternate income opportunities to forest dwellings communities so that they are motivated to conserve wildlife. We are also committed to conservation with support to the park management on various projects and through some charities. Our commitment to the local community is also strong and apart from employing we also support education and have adopted the local schools and provided infrastructure support to them. We also support projects to develop alternate livelihood options for forest dwelling communities." 

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 With hospitality having been inherited naturally into our family and infusion of professional management by the next generation, Jehan Numa has emerged as an iconic hospitality brand in Madhya Pradesh offering a unique brand of royal yet conscious luxury to our patrons.
 

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