Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th February 2015, 02:27   #1
BHPian
 
lucifer1881's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 290
Thanked: 710 Times
Default Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

This is tough. Really tough. My last travelogue (Goa; been there, done that) was over three years ago. And it was featured on "Hot Threads" on the home page. So, no pressure to match that quality. Really.

So what is this one about? Not Goa, because I did not do it this year (shocking, indeed). Not Coorg, even though I did do it this year. Oh yes, one thing. My holiday calendar runs from August to July. Why? Because each year my holiday begins with Goa in the monsoons and ends with some other exotic place in the summer.

The last time the wife and I travelled for our anniversary, Khajuraho resulted the scandal, the romance, the joy, and mostly other non-printable words usually associated with a successful getaway with the one you love. This time, it was the mighty Satpura. Well, 'mighty' is relative. With its highest point at a mere 4429 feet above Mean Sea Level, it dwarfs in comparison to Kodaikanal at 6998 feet or Doddabetta at 8650 feet. But it is the mightiest that a mountain gets in the Heart of Incredible India Madhya Pradesh.

MP is possibly the state to have been traversed by most people in India geography helps. It is my favourite state. I love that it is the last bastion of the Great Indian Dhabas. I love that MPTDC runs the most bang for your buck hotels. I love that the people there don't try to rip you off. And I especially love that it is about a day's drive away from Hyderabad.

On 24 January 2015 at around 8:00am two souls got into their trusted steed and drove off. The steed was a 2004 Hyundai Elantra with 95000km on the odo at the time. The route chosen: Hyderabad Nagpur Rukhad. Rukhad was our place of halt for the night. Anyone, and their grandmother, who has driven between Nagpur and Jabalpur knows Rukhad. It is the place with that sexy Banyan tree, behind which is built the Bison Highway Treat.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7765.jpg
[A landmark no one will miss.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7738.jpg
[She rests after munching up 642km in 10 hours.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7762.jpg
[If ever there was a sunrise to wake up to, then this was it.]

Suitably refreshed and fed after a ginormous (yes, I am allowed to use words used by 4 year olds when there is no suitable alternative) breakfast, we hit the road to Pachmarhi. It was 9:00am. We took the long route: Lakhnadon Narsinghpur Gadarwara Pipariya Matkuli Pachmarhi. Why? Because we had time. It was a gorgeous day. The NH was beautifully built. And we had tanked up just after Rukhad.

The 300-odd km should have been a 5 hour drive. It took us 8.

We got off NH26 at Narsinghpur, and stopped right before the junction of SH22 to Pipariya for a steaming hot cup of chai. We got on SH22, paid the toll and everything was swell for exactly 3km. Then came the jam. It was the sugarcane harvest season. There were tractors and trucks on both sides of the road awaiting their turn to off-load their cargo at the sugar mill. Obviously, this resulted in the famous overtake jams that occur in the northern part of this great country. The jam would have taken days to clear.

This is where my faith in local knowledge was rewarded. Yet again. A taxi driver told me to turn around and follow him there was a village road we could take to bypass this jammed up stretch of the highway. I followed him.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7772.jpg
[4x4? What's that? The Elantra handled this and much worse with aplomb.]

Once we got back on the SH, normalcy was restored. We checked into Hotel Highlands at 5:00pm.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7785.jpg
[Hotel Highlands. Exactly what was said in the brochure. No more. No less.]

26 January 2015. Republic Day. The day before our seventh anniversary. Yes. Seven glorious years of bliss and frustration. Seven glorious years of affection and angst. Seven glorious years of hope and despair. Seven glorious years I would have spent with no one else.

We booked a Gypsy for a day's tour and did the usual tourist circuit Pandava Caves, Apsara Falls, Bees Falls, Dhoopgarh, etc. Please refer to any online website including this forum to learn more about any of the tourist places. My travelogues don't go down the road much travelled.

They meander to the paths less taken. In this case, they go to Satpura National Park, Madai Gate.

The day of the anniversary. 11:00am. We start the 100km drive to Madai. We chose Madai because it was the only entry to the park taking online bookings. It turned out to be an excellent choice.

The route: Pipariya Sohagpur Madai. We tanked up at Pipariya and stopped just after Sohagpur for lunch. Then we turned off the State Highway 22 onto the road to Madai.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7923.jpg
[This canal kept us good company for a while.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7928.jpg
[Show me a better pair. All pun intended.]

We reach Madai and do the formalities for entry. Then we take a boat and cross the lake behind the Tawa dam. Satpura National Park awaits us on the other side.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7950.jpg
[The lake before the Park. Precisely the reason why this Park attracts very few tourists getting there is not easy. And that is a good thing.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8087.jpg
[On-board the Gypsy, into the jungle we go.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7964.jpg
[Sambar. Big cats will be around.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7997.jpg
[Waiting for the Big Cat.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_7976.jpg
[Can you spot him? Isn't he magnificent?]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8016_forprint.jpg
[How about this for a shot? Prey in his mouth and all.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8021.jpg
[And back up the tree he goes.]

Providence was not only smiling, she was firing her blessings on all cylinders. A leopard spotting on the day of the anniversary. Life does not get better than this.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8141.jpg
[One of the many watering holes in this jungle.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8143.jpg
[The National bird takes flight.]

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8175.jpg
[A parting shot of the lake.]

That, as they say, is that. Two days in the Satpuras. Three days on the road. A perfect holiday.

Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log-_mg_8186.jpg
[Our climb down Pachmarhi on the morning of the 28th.]
lucifer1881 is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2015, 14:45   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: B'lore-Manipal
Posts: 22,384
Thanked: 14,314 Times
Default Re: Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

A nice and cute travelogue. Is sighting a leopard a common affair here? It is pretty tough in the jungles of the south, despite high numbers of predators.
Samurai is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2015, 17:14   #3
BHPian
 
caged_nomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Delhi/ Hyderaba
Posts: 36
Thanked: 38 Times
Default Re: Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

Three days on the road, that implies that you did the return leg in one day? how many hours did you take and how are the road conditions?
caged_nomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2015, 00:02   #4
BHPian
 
lucifer1881's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 290
Thanked: 710 Times
Default Re: Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
A nice and cute travelogue. Is sighting a leopard a common affair here? It is pretty tough in the jungles of the south, despite high numbers of predators.
Thank you .

This leopard is a juvenile at a year and a half old. Leopard sightings are rare. But our guide told us that this one seems to not mind having vehicles around too much.
Quote:
Originally Posted by caged_nomad View Post
Three days on the road, that implies that you did the return leg in one day? how many hours did you take and how are the road conditions?
Yes. Return leg in one day. Route: Pachmarhi - Matkuli - Chhindwara - Nagpur - Hyderabad. Distance about 750 odd km. Doable in 12.5 hours easy. Except for the Hinganghat - Pandharkawada stretch which is still a nightmare, the rest of the route is absolutely fantastic. The Matkuli - Chhindwara stretch is unbelievably good. Superb quality tarmac on mountain roads, sweeping left and right handers. You can take a corner at any speed you desire - the only limiting factor being your body.
lucifer1881 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2015, 20:57   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
nilanjanray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,826
Thanked: 2,386 Times
Default Re: Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
A nice and cute travelogue. Is sighting a leopard a common affair here? It is pretty tough in the jungles of the south, despite high numbers of predators.
Last few months leopard sightings there have been fantastic. I am in touch with a few folks from Forsyth Lodge, every day they are posting photos of leopards on FB.

Kabini is great for leopards. So is Yala in Sri Lanka and Bera in Rajasthan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucifer1881 View Post
Thank you .

This leopard is a juvenile at a year and a half old. Leopard sightings are rare. But our guide told us that this one seems to not mind having vehicles around too much.
Nice to see another Satpuras travelogue. Underrated national park. I had done a 5-day roadtrip - Bangalore to Madhai and back - end of Dec. Stayed at Rukhad too :-)

Is that leopard one of the brothers that are being sighted almost everyday since Dec?

I have a soft corner for Satpuras - I used to visit Pachmarhi often when I was a kid. The place still retains its old colonial charm. Primarily because of army and police bases.

Last edited by nilanjanray : 25th February 2015 at 21:03.
nilanjanray is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2015, 03:59   #6
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: "Luck-City", TS
Posts: 699
Thanked: 344 Times
Default Re: Satpura - Quick Jaunt, Quicker Log

[Can you spot him? Isn't he magnificent?]

No. Not at first glance.

Yes, but only after having seen the next two photos and scrolling back up.

Awesome style of writing.

Thanks for sharing.

I am convinced this should be my next holiday.
hyd_traveller is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Satpura National Park - The little jewel of MP sarmarishi Travelogues 23 2nd October 2013 10:25
Which is quicker Bike or Car ? Rehaan Technical Stuff 60 17th May 2005 22:44


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 13:49.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks