The Bollywood actor lists London, New York and Paris among his all-time favourite destinations
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OT: Which is your favourite hotel in the world?
Dia Mirza: I recently visited Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh and stayed at Baghvan (from Rs 25,300 per person per night; www.tajsafaris.com).
OT: When did you visit?
Dia Mirza: At the end of last year — and, I must admit, I was left wishing I have had more time there.
OT: What made it memorable?
Dia Mirza: Its location and surrounding landscape! The Pench river close by, the open hilly terrain, teak forests and jungle streams... You can be extremely close to nature — you can smell the forest — and yet be comfortable in your own suite. And I loved the outdoor sleep-outs in the machaans. Spotting a tiger made the trip even more worthwhile!
OT: Is the food worth hunting down?
Dia Mirza: Meal times were adventurous — I don’t remember what I ate, but I remember how I ate it! I had a meal on a deck overlooking the dried-up riverbed — and spotted a tigress crossing with her cubs. We went for a picnic to Khoka Lake and the bajra rotis in our hamper were yummy. I learnt how to make a masala roti from the chef!
OT: What else did you learn there?
Dia Mirza: I went for treks around the villages and was amazed at the lifestyle and craft of the Gond tribes. Baghvan exudes tranquillity. I made the most of it, watching birds at the pool deck — hornbills, kingfishers, barbets, minivets, orioles, wagtails and other birds I actually learnt the names of — or just relaxing in my suite.
OT: Would you like to visit again?
Dia Mirza: I can’t wait to get back!
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