Route: Jabalpur—85 km/2 hrs (via Amjhar and Chaurai Khurd)—Ghughwa—97 km/2 hrs (via Shahpura and Umaria)—Bandhavgarh (Tala village )—160 km/3.5 hrs—Jabalpur
Day 1 GHUGHWA- TALA
Hit the road as soon as you arrive in Jabalpur. En route to Bandhavgarh, stop at the wonderfully untamed Ghughwa Fossil Park, where 65-million-year-old fossils of eucalyptus, palms, and other plants are displayed on outdoor plinths. Step in to the museum to learn the fascinating story of how Central India’s landscapes evolved over millions of years.
After checking-in to your lodge in Bandhavgarh, spend the evening exploring Tala village at the national park’s Tala gate. Nearly all the 20 families here are engaged in bamboo crafts, providing furnishings and decor to many of the lodges in the area. Watch them weave intricate baskets and lampshades, and place an order if you like something. Overnight at the charming Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge, a wooded property with independent cottages, ideally located near the Tala gate.
Day 2 BANDHAVGARH
An early morning game drive (from 6-11a.m.) will take you through Bandhavgarh’s lush grasslands and forests of sal, bamboo, and mahua. Each zone offers the chance to experience a different landscape: forested hillocks, riverine plains, vast meadows, and ancient caves. Formerly the hunting ground of the maharajas of Rewa, the reserve now thrives with animal and bird life and is among the world’s most densely populated tiger habitats. While driving through the woodland, keep an eye out for dhole, gaur, sambar, and herds of chital. The canopy abounds with langurs, and 250 bird species, including MP’s beautiful black-white-and-orange-hued state bird, the Asian paradise flycatcher. Get a hearty lunch at your lodge before the long ride back to Jabalpur.
Ghughwa Fossil Park
Address: MP State Highway 11, Dindori district
Hours: Daily 8 a.m.- 5.30 p.m.
Entry: Indians ₹11; foreigners ₹165.
Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge
Address: Tala Gate, Bandhavgarh National Park
Tel: 011 26516770
Tariff: Doubles ₹8,500 per night, includes all meals and taxes.
Visit MP Tourism