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Old 8th May 2010, 22:18   #31
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Default Visit Sarhi if you want to see Kanha away from the crowd

A lot of tourists visiting Kanha may not even know that Kanha National Park has a tourism zone called SARHI which is opened to public recently. This, being a relatively new zone, is still virgin and doesn't have the mad rush of tiger chasing jeeps. Many people may claim that Sarhi has very less tigers - so why go there ? But this is far from truth - as one local guide told me "No one goes there. So how do you know that there is less tigers ?" Jeep operators discourage tourists to visit this zone for a number of reasons. First, this zone is a little far from Kisli gate and hence costs them more. Second, going here means going against the trend. If sighting is poor at Kanha zone, it is poor for most jeeps and hence you can't blame the driver. But if sighting is below expectation in Sarhi, then the driver has to take the entire blame for "misguiding" the customer. Who wants to be in the bad books of customers ?
No, we didn't see any tiger at Sarhi but at one point, we were very very close to one after tracking its pugmarks. We could see a spotted deer giving alarm calls and was almost frozen but unfortunately the safari track leading to where the tiger was possibly hiding was closed for tourists. Park authorities often close some tracks when there are very small cubs or a very aggressive tiger in an area. We waited in that area for about 15 minutes and the alarm call continued throughout. But the tiger was not in a mood to come out.

Over to photos from Sarhi ...
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A Week-long Wildlife Adventure - Kanha & Bandhavgarh-img_0385_compressed.jpg  

A Week-long Wildlife Adventure - Kanha & Bandhavgarh-img_0415_compressed.jpg  

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Old 8th May 2010, 22:41   #32
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Fantastic pictures, would have liked more naration interleaved with pictures

thanks for sharing
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Old 9th May 2010, 07:41   #33
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Very nice snaps Saby. Waiting for more.
Pardon my ignorance. How is the route from Nagpur?
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Old 9th May 2010, 08:32   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very nice snaps Saby. Waiting for more.
Pardon my ignorance. How is the route from Nagpur?
From Nagpur you take NH -7.
Nagpur > Rukhar > Seoni. From Seoni you turn right for Chiraidongri. From Chiraidongri you turn right again for Khatia. Khatia to Kisli. From Nagpur to Kanha is approx 250-270 kms approx.


@SABYNAG >> When we book the jeep trip do we have the option to specify SARHI ?
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Old 9th May 2010, 08:51   #35
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Thanks. Your explanation PLUS Google maps, cleared my geography.
That means one still has distance to travel from Nagpur. Its not that close.
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Old 9th May 2010, 09:05   #36
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If you are coming from Blr. MPTDC has a 4 room stay option at Rukhar/Rookhad. Its supposedly very scenic too and iIts quite economical @approx Rs.480/night. Its best to book this in advance online MPTDC website, since they have only 4 rooms. Rukhar is approx 100kms from Nagpur.
So it would be a good idea to stop at Rookhar for the night and leave the next morning for Kanha. That way you would be well rested and also get to enjoy the scenic drive to Kanha in the morning. Anyways checkin time at the Baghira log hut is 12pm.
So one can check in at 12pm and take the jeep safari at 330 pm.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 9th May 2010 at 09:08.
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Old 9th May 2010, 11:12   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very nice snaps Saby. Waiting for more.
Pardon my ignorance. How is the route from Nagpur?
From Nagpur, there are two routes to reach Kanha depending on your place of stay. The lodges are crowed near two major gates - Khatia and Mukki and these two gates are in two different districts.
If you stay near Khatia gate, then you need to take NH7 from Nagpur and drive upto Seoni. Seoni is the mid-point of the journey distance-wise. From Seoni, it is a state highway all the way to Khatia. The road (NH as well as SH) is fantastic in the MP side. MH side (Nagpur district) is a bit crowded but this stretch is smaller (about 1hr drive). Total journey time is 5 hours with a 15 mins break.
If you stay near Mukki gate (Balaghat district), then you need to take NH6 from Nagpur and then a state highway from a place called Bhandara (if I remember correctly). The journey time is about 6-7 hours.

For either route, once you enter MP, you just need to follow the direction boards. MP highway direction boards are way ahead of Indian standards and is extremely friendly and useful for the first-timers - see it to believe it !

By the way, it is the same NH7 that connects Bangalore city and airport. So, if you don't stop at the airport and keep driving, one day you will reach Kanha !
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Old 9th May 2010, 11:45   #38
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Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
@SABYNAG >> When we book the jeep trip do we have the option to specify SARHI ?

Certainly. Just let your safari operator know which zone you want to visit - Kanha, Mukki or Sarhi. If you don't ask, safari operator assumes that you want to go to Kanha zone. For every safari, a permit form is filled up (you fill it up or someone else fills it on your behalf) and the zone preference needs to be indicated in the form.

You can even book your safari entry permit online for any park in MP at

Search for the Excursion Availability

Just remember that online booking is only for the entry permit. You still have to arrange for a safari vehicle. MP allows to take your own car (petrol) inside but it is recommended that you hire a 4x4 safari vehicle for better experience. A jeep can be easily hired at Khatia gate or Mocha village for INR 1000 or less.
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Old 9th May 2010, 12:23   #39
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More on how to reach Kanha :

There are three major gateways for Kanha. These are

Jabalpur (Air / Rail) : Jabalpur is about 3-4hr drive from Kanha (Khatia gate). This is a convenient landing point for people coming from North India.

Nagpur (Air / Rail / Bus) : Nagpur is about 5hr drive from Khatia gate and is a convenient landing point for people coming from South India and Maharashtra.

Gondia (Rail) : Gondia is about 3hr drive from Mukki and 4hr from Khatia gate. This is a convenient Rail-only landing point for people coming from East India.
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Old 9th May 2010, 16:29   #40
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Sabynag, Great Pics and travelogue. Did you do Pench or Tadoba too. I believe they are close by.
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Old 9th May 2010, 19:14   #41
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Sabynag, Great Pics and travelogue. Did you do Pench or Tadoba too. I believe they are close by.
I visited Pench back in 2008. I really wanted to make it to Tadoba this time but lack of decent accomodation option at reasonable price forced me to drop it from my itinerary.

Last edited by sabynag : 9th May 2010 at 19:24.
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Old 9th May 2010, 20:29   #42
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Default Kanha to Bandhavgarh

Bandhavgarh is 250km away from Kanha and takes about 5hrs by car. The road is excellent and scenic all through. The last 30km stretch (Umaria to Tala) is a bit bumpy but it may have been kept broken intentionally. This stretch cuts through the park and animal crossings are frequent. A broken road is certainly a better alternative to speed limit boards for Indian drivers when it comes to keeping speed at check.

Bandhavgarh has 4 tourism zones - Tala, Magadhi, Khitauli and Panpatha. Tala is the most preferred zone for all tourists coming to Bandhavgarh, tiger density being highest in this zone.

We stayed at Treehouse Hideaway. This lodge is perhaps the only lodge other than MPTDC White Tiger Lodge which shares its boundary with the Tala zone of the park. With just 5 treehouses spread in a 21 acre forested ground, this lodge has an amazing wild ambience. During check-in, we were warned not to venture out of our room at night without asking for an escort. At night and early in the morning, we were always escorted from and to our treehouse. At this lodge, human sighting is extremely rare unless you really want to see one and make some effort to do so. Meal time and safari time are the only opportunity to see other guests.

Lets begin our Bandhavgarh journey with a few snaps of Treehouse Hideaway ...
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Last edited by sabynag : 9th May 2010 at 20:35.
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Old 9th May 2010, 22:42   #43
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Wow the treehouse looks awesome.
Sabynag, thanks for the detailed info on the roads to Kanha.
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Old 9th May 2010, 22:44   #44
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Lovely photos there saby. The owl is a prized catch!
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:45   #45
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Default A little on Bandhavgarh safari routes and rules

Bandhavgarh, though carries the reputation of having the highest tiger density in the tourism zone compared to any other park in India, has a legacy of poor discipline and over-crowding of jeeps. The park authorities finally took some bold steps after a cub death last year which, according to some reports, sustained injury from a safari vehicle. Now, jeep movement in Tala zone is highly restricted with four fixed routes - A, B, C and D. Every vehicle is assigned a fixed route to go in and another to come out. For example, you can get route C to go in and route A to come out. All routes converge at a center point inside forest from where the return journey starts. Even if you don't see a tiger on your route and hear or see others sighting a big cat in another route, you can't go there - the jeep and the guide will be banned for 15 days with a Rs.500 fine. It's the 15-day ban that hurts them hard and so no guide ever takes a chance. A mobile patrol of forest officials keep a constant vigil on route discipline.

Contrary to popular belief that some routes are better than the others, I felt that all routes are equally good. I was lucky to see all 4 routes in just two safari drives that I took here and spotted tigers in every single one of them.

Unlike Kanha, Bandhavgarh doesn't have Tiger Show. They stopped this circus sometime last year.
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