Route

Jabalpur—25 km/45 min—Bhedaghat—193 km/5 hrs (via Bargi Dam and Baihar)—Kanha—193 km/4.5 hrs (via Seoni)—Pench—210 km/4 hrs—Jabalpur

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On a boat ride on the Narmada, the scenic Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat.
On a boat ride on the Narmada, the scenic Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat.

Day 1 BHEDAGHAT

Grab lunch on the go in Jabalpur and head straight to Bhedaghat. The half-day excursion allows you to explore the stunning natural landscapes on the fringes of Jabalpur. Bhedaghat is best known for the Marble Rocks—towering cliffs of pale marble that rise on either side of the Narmada River. Meander down the channel by boat, as guides point out animal shapes in the contours of the rock face. Pick up a hand-carved marble souvenir, and drive five minutes away to the thundering Dhuandhar Falls. For a close-up view, walk the long path that curves around the falls to the river. Ride the Narmada Ropeway above the falls for a beautiful aerial perspective of the river crashing down in a 100-foot drop.

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Located on the bank of the river Narmada, Tilwara ghat is one of several spots around the country, where some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed.
Located on the bank of the river Narmada, Tilwara ghat is one of several spots around the country, where some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed.

Day 2 KANHA

Depart early for Kanha National Park’s Mukki Gate so you are in time for an afternoon game drive (3-6 p.m). Look into the dense canopy of towering sal, tendu, and crocodile bark trees, thriving with nearly 300 bird species. Jungle transforms to wide grasslands, where the regal barasingha like to roam.

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Kanha National Park, also the largest national park in Central India, is a mix of meadows and sal forests.
Kanha National Park, also the largest national park in Central India, is a mix of meadows and sal forests.

The Bamni Dadar plateau dominates the Mukki zone, purple in the lowering sun. Drive past narrow streams and wide waterbodies, where animals come to quench their thirst. Exit the park and drive across the wide Banjar River, where tigers sometimes sprawl on the muddy banks. Overnight at the luxurious tents at Shergarh.

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Sunlight reflecting through the open grassland of Kanha National Park during the evening.
Sunlight reflecting through the open grassland of Kanha National Park during the evening.

Day 3 PENCH

After a quick breakfast, go on a nature walk in the park’s buffer zone or just within Shergarh’s grounds, where the waist-high wild grass is the perfect habitat for jungle cats and ground birds like lapwings.

Arrive at Pench Tree Lodge by lunch. Located near the Pench National Park’s quiet Karmajhiri Gate, the bucolic countryside is perfect for long cycle rides. Ride past expansive cornfields and a scattering of mud homes. Spot a number of brightly coloured birds along the way, like the Indian roller and the black-headed oriole.

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Wild animals often come out to drink water at streams like this one in Pench National Park.
Wild animals often come out to drink water at streams like this one in Pench National Park.

Day 4 PENCH-JABALPUR

Head into the 757 sq km Pench National Park for a morning safari (6-11 a.m). Pench stands apart from Kanha with its teak forests and rocky terrain. Deep gorges of black rock are the prime habitat of the stealthy leopard. Young, slender teak trees allow you to look deep into the forest and spot nilgai, chital, and gaur. The grasslands conceal jackals and dhole. Stop and observe birdlife by the wide Pench River, bordered on one side by forest and on the other, by grassland. Exit the park by 11 a.m and head back to Jabalpur after lunch at the lodge.

THE INFORMATION

Motel Marble Rocks

Address: Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh 483053.

Tel: +91 76128 30424

Tariff: Doubles from ₹3,290, plus taxes.

Boating at Marble Rocks

Hours: Operational from Oct 15–Jun 15, but can start earlier if the monsoon recedes.

Tariff: Shared boat rides cost ₹50 per person, while a private boat (seats 5) starts at ₹400.

Narmada Ropeway

Hours: 10.30 a.m.-6 p.m., closed for lunch from 1.30 p.m.–2 p.m.; Closed for the monsoon.

Tariff: Round-trip tickets cost ₹95 per person.

Shergarh

Address:  Kanha Tiger Reserve, Village Bahmni, Post Kareli, Tehsil Baihar, District Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh 481111

Open: Oct 15-May 15 only

Website: www.shergarh.com

Tel: +91 90981 87346

Tariff: Luxury tented doubles cost 15,000 per night, including meals, plus taxes.

Pench Tree Lodge

Address: Pench Tree Lodge, Pench National Park, Gram Sarrahirri, Tehsil Kurai, Seoni, Near Karmajhiri Gate

Website: www.penchtreelodge.com

Tel: +91 124 2970497

Tariff: Tree house doubles cost 16,000 per night inclusive of all meals and taxes; add-on one (shared) jeep safari for an additional ₹4,000 per night.

Safaris

Open: Oct 1-Jun 30

Hours: Twice daily open-top jeep safaris from 6 a.m. to 11a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; park is closed on Wednesday afternoon.

Booking: Book permits online at forest.mponline.gov.in/.

Entry: In Kanha, permits per jeep cost ₹1,550 for the core zones and ₹1,250 for the buffer zones. In Pench, permits per jeep cost ₹1,500. Each jeep seats six. Vehicle and guide charges are extra and payable at the gate, shared by all occupants of the jeep. Carry government-approved photo ID.

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