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Old 9th April 2011, 17:04   #61
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Quite interesting discoveries!
Did you shop for Bastar tribal handicrafts at Kondagaon on the way from Jagdalpur to Kanker?
Can you post the contact details of the palace hotel?
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Old 10th April 2011, 11:02   #62
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Quite interesting discoveries!
Did you shop for Bastar tribal handicrafts at Kondagaon on the way from Jagdalpur to Kanker?
Can you post the contact details of the palace hotel?
Kumar sir,

yes, it was a discovery of sorts! We were first ones to be lodged in Chuikadan palace! It is still under restoration and will take some more time before the painted rooms are available, possibly in October when new season starts.

If you want to stay in either Kanker Palace, Chuikadan or Bastar Jungle resort, here is their website.

http://kankerpalace.com/

You can speak to Jai, who is a good guy. His number is available in the website. The charges for Chiukadan is high and is not value for money as of now. I conveyed this to Jai as well

Yes, we definitely went to Kondagaon and bought lot of stuff. I will be writing seperately on Bastar's amazing handicrafts later.
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Old 11th April 2011, 22:30   #63
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Bhoramdeo Temple Complex - The Khajuraho of Chattisgarh

I always believe that the most exciting part of any travel experience starts with planning. The excitement increases as you google for details, talk to friends to know their experiences, find out small nuances of the place etc., Specailly so when you are going to an offbeat place like Chattisgarh. As we started doing our research, some places became must sees – Chitrakote falls, Tribals, Chiukadan palace and to that list was added Bhoramdeo – The Khajuraho of Chattisgarh.

A good breakfast in Chiukadan made us ready for the long drive. The road from Chiukadan to Bhoramdeo via Kanwardha is excellent. Driving in central India between March and May is a colourful experience. No doubt it will be hot, but you will see the colourful “Flame of the Forest” trees in full bloom in abundance. To our bad luck, we did not come across many of them in Bastar. As a tree lover, I was disappointed. But here in Kanwardha, my wishes came true and there were many. Interspersed in the fields, they made the landscape look beautiful. My memories went back to my train journeys between Nagpur and Itarsi in summers when the train slowly chugged away through Vindhya ranges with riot of red/pink colour of “Flame of the forest” trees. As we came out of Kanwardha, here they were in full bloom!!
Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-foff.jpg

Excitement mounted as we crossed the welcome arch of Bhoramdeo temple complex. The tourism department and Archaeological survey of India have joined together to maintain this place neat. There are good restaurants for eats and Chattisgarh Tourism has Bhoramdeo Jungle resort as well. We had to wait for couple of minutes as the circuitous road led us to Bhoramdeo temple. The temple is not imposing like the ones in South India. The temple complex is small. But the setting of the temple in middle of the forest next to a pristine lake gives it a serene feeling.
Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bhoramdeo.jpg

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Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-8.jpg

The temple is a little gem. This reminded me of the Jain temple at Ranakpur near Udaipur in Rajasthan in the middle of forests. The temple architecture is similar to the ones in Khajuraho. If I am not wrong, the same group of rulers’ were responsible for building this. I wonder as to what made them to build the temple in the middle of jungle!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-61.jpg

The walls of the temple are embellished with erotic figures of men and women in different poses of making love. The carvings are intricate and capture the mood of the lovers very well. I don’t want to deliberate much on this. Like they say, “seeing is believing” and here are the pictures.

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-1.jpg

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-2.jpg

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Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-4.jpg

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has Shiva linga. It is located few steps below the ground. The entrance to the sanctum sanctorum has some beautiful figurines as well.

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-san.jpg

Our next stop was “Madwa Mahal” situated a kilometre away from Bhoramdeo. ‘Madwa’ is a word from the local dialect synonymous to marriage pandal. Madwa Mahal was originally a Shiva temple but due its shape, like a marriage shamiyana, it is known as “Madwa Mahal”. This is a small temple dedicated to Shiva. The erogenous idols of this temple are also extremely beautiful. On the outer walls there are as many as 54 erotic sculptures in different poses. These asanas from the “Kamasutra”, are truly an epitome of eternal love and beauty. The Nagwanshi Kings were believed to be practitioners of ‘Tantra’ as their contemporaries in Khajuraho.

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-9.jpg

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bho-10.jpg

We have not been to Khajuraho. Bhoramdeo was like a trailer and Khajuraho the main movie! We decided to take the road through the wild life sanctuary to Chilpi - instead of highway - on our way to Kanha. Though the road was bad, it was worth the trouble as we went through dense forests with a hope of seeing some wild life. We did see some langurs and deer. Our hope of seeing the tiger was not fulfilled.

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-.jpg

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-bnp.jpg

Possibly that had to wait and Kanha was to be THE PLACE!!

Next stop – Tiger spotting in Kanha, the wilderness paradise.
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Old 11th April 2011, 22:43   #64
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Very nice round trip you had sir! What was an eyeopener for me was that, tourist travel all the way from Bangalore to CG does exist! The water fall is definitely the crowning glory!

Also throws up lots of insights about the state, which I was not aware off.
Thank you once again for sharing.
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Old 12th April 2011, 00:15   #65
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

I was born and brought up in Jamshedpur, now settled in Bangalore, but CG is my native. Roots are Chuikhadaan, khairagarh.
Going through this travelogue brings back lot of memories. Still, every 3-4 years I go to these places, but trips are very short and mainly out of Bhilai. We still have house, lands in these parts. Thanks Fauji, I guess its time for one more visit.
Not sure whether you visited Dongargarh, Bambaleswari Mata. Its a nice pilgrimage.
Just for info - Western CG ( Rajnandgoan and near by ) areas are not so much infected by Moists, but they do exists for sure. But, I havent heard of any bad incident in or near to Rajnandgoan.
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Old 12th April 2011, 19:31   #66
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very nice round trip you had sir! What was an eyeopener for me was that, tourist travel all the way from Bangalore to CG does exist! The water fall is definitely the crowning glory!

Also throws up lots of insights about the state, which I was not aware off.
Thank you once again for sharing.
Thanks Ampere. We were quite sceptical in the begining. But the first stretch from Bangalore to Vizag - we could make it comfortably because of excellent NH 5 - made us confident. Also, the roads in Chattisgarh is so good that it is a pleasure to drive in this state. Frankly, we needed another seven days which would have helped us cover Northern regions of Chattisgarh which are beautiful, specailly Mainpat. Ideally. the best season is September when everything is green in the region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogesh.janghel View Post
I was born and brought up in Jamshedpur, now settled in Bangalore, but CG is my native. Roots are Chuikhadaan, khairagarh.
Going through this travelogue brings back lot of memories. Still, every 3-4 years I go to these places, but trips are very short and mainly out of Bhilai. We still have house, lands in these parts. Thanks Fauji, I guess its time for one more visit.
Not sure whether you visited Dongargarh, Bambaleswari Mata. Its a nice pilgrimage.
Just for info - Western CG ( Rajnandgoan and near by ) areas are not so much infected by Moists, but they do exists for sure. But, I havent heard of any bad incident in or near to Rajnandgoan.
Thanks Yogesh. We could not go to Dongargarh. Fell short of time. See my comments above. We needed another week to do justice. We never faced any problems of Maoists wherever we went. Of course, we avoided core maoist areas!!
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Old 13th April 2011, 16:09   #67
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Kanha, here we come!!

After Chilpi, we bid good bye to Chattisgarh and entered MP.

We had booked accomodation in Kisli and that meant we have to drive another 50 KMs from Mukki which is the closer gate to Chilpi. It makes sense to stay in Mukki if you are coming to Kanha from Chattisgarh. If you are coming from Jabalpur, then Kisli is closer. But this was not an issue as we had enough time on our hand and we did the drive leiseurely through the forests.

The first few KMs were good and as we entered the buffer zone of Kanha, the road condition was bad for close to 8 KMs. We were driving slowly and expecting some wild guests to show up on the road!! It had rained on previous days and we could smell the freshness of the earth. The dry grass was sprouting and the forest looked welcoming.

The Scorpio as we enter the buffer zone (look ate the sprouts of green grass on the road side)

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-2471.jpg

The frist sight of the wilderness and the green expanse was spell binding

The green meadows flanked by trees

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-248.jpg

We were all excited on what was in store for next two days as we continued our journey towards Kisli.

To be continued.
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Old 14th April 2011, 11:42   #68
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

This is a great write up, loved the painted walls , just hooked to it. Definitely the state holds a lot for touring.

Cheers !!!
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Old 15th April 2011, 23:30   #69
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This is a great write up, loved the painted walls , just hooked to it. Definitely the state holds a lot for touring.

Cheers !!!
Thanks Milestone. Chiukadan is a gem in making if they do a net job of restoration. Chattisgarh has lot of potential but facilities for tourists are still poor. The grand finale is still coming!!
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Old 18th April 2011, 16:25   #70
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In Kanha, waiting for excitement to begin

The drive from Mukki to Kisli was exciting as most part of it goes through the buffer zone of National park. We came across small villages nestled on the periphery of the park. The summer rains had made the place green. As we passed though the villages we came across this curious architecture to hold the roofing of the house. We peeped in to see the house and to my surprise thare were cluster of houses within – similar to Vatara (Kannada) or Agraharam (Tamil) or Wade (Marathi). It was quite interesting.

The Village house

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-250.jpg

At Baihar, we stopped for a cup of tea and for the first time in the last one week I was seeing jalebis! I knew that MP is famous for jalebis – good old memories of MHOW and Indore - and I did not want to miss a chance to hog on these juicy stuff. Both my wife and I have sweet tooth and we do not let go of any good sweets! Half kilo of jalebi was chopped off by all three of us! Watered down by good tea – would have loved hot milk rather – we packed some doodh peda for munching on the way.

We reached our resort “Wild Chalet” by 3 PM and we were really hungry. The setting of the resort looked lovely. Located on the banks of Banjar River, the life line of Kanha, it is a small resort of twenty odd cottages.

The Banjara river as seen from our Cottage

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-293.jpg

A sandy beach

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-284.jpg

The Dining block of Wild Chalet

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-wc-dh1.jpg

We asked Eric, the affable manager for a good room and he was kind enough to give us the best room in the resort – Cottage number 12. Since we were three, it fitted in very well. The cottage was tucked in a corner facing the river and had two huge bed rooms with a bath in the middle. The sit out was spacious and that was to be our adda for the next two days!

Our Cottage

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-our-cott1.jpg

The team at Wild Chalet must be one of the best I have come across. We were sceptical when we reserved in this resort. This was a last minute confirmation as we did don’t get in “Kanha earth lodge”, our first choice. But Eric and team makes you feel so much at home, that you will come back with fond memories. Eric da Cunha, the Manager is from Mangalore who has made Kanha is home for last twenty years and all through in Wild Chalet which is one of the oldest resorts in Kanha! He is a well respected naturalist in the area. He has built a good team who have been working in the resort for last ten to fifteen years which is highly creditable given the fact the way hospitality industry works.

The lunch of Palak Panneer, Dal and Bindi was god sent. Charles, the Chief chef of the resort is an amiable man from Kerala was taking care of our needs. Hot phulkas with Dal and palak made us hog like anything. In fact, I was eating good phulkas after a long time – the hotels in Bangalore don’t do it anymore.

Rested for a while, we thought of spending the evening exploring the river side. Talking to Kaptan Singh, the Naturalist and Asst manager in the resort we got the information that one can see wild animals including tiger around the river during hard summer months of May/June. We were not so lucky in March. However, we saw this elephant belonging to neighbouring Kipling Camp taking bath and playing in the water. There were some water drongos and other birds as well.

After spending a relaxed evening in the quiet Banjara River, we were looking forward to an exciting day the next morning.

Lazing around in Banjara

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-251.jpg

The elephant enjoying its bath!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-ele-21.jpg

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-ele1.jpg

As we finished our dinner, Kaptan singh said " Wake up call at 4.30 and please be ready to leave for safari at 5.15 AM".

Our jungle experience was to start!!
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Old 18th April 2011, 17:04   #71
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Good one, Start your jungle ride soon. I hope you did your drive at Mukki rather than Kisli.
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Old 19th April 2011, 19:57   #72
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Good one, Start your jungle ride soon. I hope you did your drive at Mukki rather than Kisli.
Thanks Subrat.

The jungle ride will begin soon!! It will be from Kisli. Ideally it should have been from Mukki as we were driving into Kanha from Chattisgarh. But when we booked accomodation we did not notice it and booked in Kisli. This made us drive an extra 50 KMs which was not bad as we drove through the buffer zone most of the distance.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 16:23   #73
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Quite a drive of discovery in little-known Chattisgarh.

A few Qs on the route you took?

Kanker-Charma-Lohara-Raj Nandgaon-Kharagarh-Chuikadan-Birora-Lohara-Kawardha-Bhoramdeo-Borla-Chilpi-Mukki-Kisli?

I thought you have to go via Chilpi when you are coming from Kawardha?
And the route you took from Mukki to Kisli runs through teh Park and is not the one around it via Karanjia? Are any permits required to go through it? Noight driving restrictions on any of the routes you took?
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Old 22nd April 2011, 18:17   #74
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Quite a drive of discovery in little-known Chattisgarh.

A few Qs on the route you took?

Kanker-Charma-Lohara-Raj Nandgaon-Kharagarh-Chuikadan-Birora-Lohara-Kawardha-Bhoramdeo-Borla-Chilpi-Mukki-Kisli?

I thought you have to go via Chilpi when you are coming from Kawardha?
And the route you took from Mukki to Kisli runs through teh Park and is not the one around it via Karanjia? Are any permits required to go through it? Noight driving restrictions on any of the routes you took?
Thanks Kumar sir.

The route we took was

Kanker - Charma - Ballod - Lohara - Rajnanadgaon - Khairagarh - Chiukadan - Khaira - Silheti - Kanwardha - Bhoramdeo - Chilpi via Bhoramdeo wild life sanctuary ( we did not come back to highway) - Mukki - Baihar - Umardehi - Sarekha - Patpara - Mocha.

At Patpara we entered through forest check post and it was a good but kuchha road. Will be difficult to do in rains. Except for the last stretch of around 10 KMs, the road condition is quite good through villages.

No, we did not go via Karanjia and the road we took was through the buffer zone of sanctuary. No permits are neded. You make entry at forest check posts. That's all. I am not sure they allow night driving. I dont think so.
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Old 22nd April 2011, 20:00   #75
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

The erotica pics are :-) :-P !

I must say this is an amazing route and amazing trip thus far. It is hard work writing and sharing pics with us.

Thanks for that ....please keepthe wheels rolling !
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