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.

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Wood-boring insects often lay eggs in the cracks of the tree bark.
Wood-boring insects often lay eggs in the cracks of the tree bark.

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.

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Ghughwa National Fossil Park in Ghughwa, is the largest fossil park in Asia and the second-largest in the world.
Ghughwa National Fossil Park in Ghughwa, is the largest fossil park in Asia and the second-largest in the world.
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An artefact made of a coconut shell, for sale at Malaya Handicrafts and Café in Tala Village.
An artefact made of a coconut shell, for sale at Malaya Handicrafts and Café in Tala Village.

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.

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A family of Bamboo craftsmen
A family of Bamboo craftsmen
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A woman making Bamboo artefacts
A woman making Bamboo artefacts
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Traditional chorno on display at Samode Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh
Traditional chorno on display at Samode Safari Lodge in Bandhavgarh
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A sculpture dating back to 12th century at Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur
A sculpture dating back to 12th century at Rani Durgavati Museum in Jabalpur

THE INFORMATION

 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

Website: www.bandhavgarhjunglelodge.com

Tel:  011 26516770

Tariff: Doubles ₹8,500 per night, includes all meals and taxes.

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