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Old 16th March 2020, 16:32   #1
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Default The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

Who would have thought, gorges could be as picturesque mountains.

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The plan to go home for Holi hadn't materialized due to various reasons. The coming weekend brought with it an increased pressure of engaging in something which involved travelling. The trip to Khajuraho was being discussed with friends for quite some time and instead of the larger group a party of 4 agreed to set-off on Friday itself. Bookings were done via Airbnb on Thursday. Safari Booking was done just before leaving from home. Had read about Pandav and Raneh falls being in the vicinity, and that's it. In totality, it was a - plan as you go - trip which was quite a success.


DAY-1 : Home to Khajuraho - Relax

DAY-2 : Western Group of Monuments - Pandav Falls - Panna National Park

DAY-3 : Raneh Falls - Return Home

Miscellaneous : Accommodation - Food - Entry Fee - Route - Animal Sightings - Bird Sightings

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Old 18th March 2020, 11:43   #2
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Default Day-1: Home to Khajuraho - Relax

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-day1.jpg

We had an uneventful start from Auraiya. The distance to be covered was 278 km and the there were only some concerns over Covid-19 spreading in various parts of the country. There weren't any advisories issued to restrict travel yet. Still, we prepared a bit. Got a set of bed linen and our own comforter . Packed our food for the night for two reasons; the route was unexplored and we didn't know any good places to stop for food and also tried to be safe with fresh cooked home food.

We were two couples enjoying the drive. My friend was navigating since he had been on this route but had a different destination. The route till Kalpi was straightforward. Roads were in a below average state. We expected a dreaded jam near Kalpi due to 4 lane-ing work, but somehow managed to cross without any log jams. The sun started to set and at the back of my mind, I had a feeling that we weren't making much progress relative to the time we'd been on-road. Crossing Rath could have been worse but there were no hindrances to our progress. Stopped for tea, which we had brought along in the thermos, near Panwari.

It was 7:30 by now and we were in complete darkness. This area is the UP-MP state border and the roads turned from below average to bad. We had the offline maps in the nav-unit and google to help guide us. The straight route from Panwari to Mahoba and from there to Malhara turned our to be the most intense. The route had no road signs, no milestones, no markings and no roads even at some places. With all the talk of spotting wildlife the coming day, it seemed like a sighting was around the corner. The average speed reduced further. Single track paved roads with no signs of human habitation lead us to Mahoba-Chatarpur road which was a short lived relief. 20 kms later we again were off road and in a little while at a point of no return. There were wild dogs and jackals roaming these tracks. I say tracks since the roads just had rubble laid on them long back for paving. Sections of concrete slabs required frequent changing of lanes. It was all kinds of unsafe road travel here. It was so bad that the maps were providing a better picture of the bends in the roads ahead. It took us almost an hour to cover 30-odd km.

Reaching the home stay at Khajuraho in 6 hrs was a big relief. The air had a little chill as there were some showers in this region earlier that day.

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Old 18th March 2020, 17:13   #3
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Default Day-2: Western Group of Monuments - Pandav Falls - Panna National Park

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-day2.jpg

The plan was to visit the western group of monuments, have lunch, reach the park entry gate in our own car and hire the safari vehicle there itself. On the way we would have time to visit Pandav Falls too. Hinauta was chosen since it is on the upper plateau and for variety sake. The park has three zones having a distinction due to their elevation. The one closest to the river; Madala, is the lowest and Hinauta is the highest with Pipartola being somewhere in between. Plans changed for the better and were less stressful in the end. A good long day worth all the effort that went into it.

-------------------------Khajuraho Group of Monuments-------------------------


The night went by without a bother due to the exhaustion from the drive. Woke up to the sounds of numerous birds, coming in from the window. Stepped out in the balcony to see that it was an overcast day. The walk around the monuments would be a comfortable one. Remembered being invited to this place in a similarly lit up day during winters a long time back. Got ready at a leisurely pace and had breakfast at the home stay. It is always Poha for breakfast, when in MP. Picked up the camera and walked to the ticket window which was 5 minutes away. A tour guide approached us and assured us of a detailed tour and a good time. Shook hands and we were in by 10:00 AM.

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The lush green gardens of today paint a different picture, but it was the forest that had consumed this site and as a result, protected it from human encroachment for so long.

At first sight the monuments - which were temples at one time seem very inconspicuous. Temples built today specially like the Akshardham temple definitely trump in size and grandeur. Much like how in all walks of life quantity has taken precedence over quality. The western group of monuments is a collection of few significantly preserved temples out of the 22 temples in and around Khajuraho. They were built by the rulers of the Chandela dynasty in the Bundelkhand region.

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Each ruler built a temple during his rein, the sizes differed due to their reverence and the economic health of the kingdom.

As you walk closer, you start getting acquainted to the actual scale of these structures. These temples would have been a task to build back in the 9th-11th century. Sand ramps were built to lay the stones. The sandstone has been laid down using a mortise and tenon jointing technique. That itself is a marvel specially when you look at the symmetry in these ancient structures.The weathering on the rocks lends them the mystic look of the relics from centuries ago.

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At times, they look like they were carved out of wood.

Kandariya Mahadev temple is the the largest of the lot and gets its name from the entrance to the sanctum looking like a cave in a mountain. Owing to its taller elevation, it could accommodate three main panels (3-levels) of sculptures on its exterior, other smaller temples have just two. All the temples were made in the same format - a main temple on a raised platform with 4 temples dedicated to smaller deities on the 4 corners of the platform - the smaller temples have not survived the test of time except for in the Laxman Temple.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-3a.jpg
That's a 6-foot me, barely reaching the upper most of the lower three bands of carvings depicting the sea, land and air.

An explanation to the famous erotic sculptures on the outer walls in the words of the tour guide we hired was that, "the rulers were worried about the regressive connotations being attached to intimacy in those days. As a result, to embrace it as a part of life and to increase the strength of the kingdom, the rulers commissioned these sculptures on the temples."

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-4.jpg
The panels are not just focused on erotica - they have depictions of all walks of life - religion, war, education, entertainment, victory, valour, justice and the social order.

One cannot appreciate the detail, in the form and though along with the message that each sculpture carries on their own. Example:
  • There was a statue in which a lady is pulling out a thorn (a pleasurable inconvenience) from her foot with a smile on her face.
  • There are statues with scorpions on the body. The scorpion has different connotations based on which part of the body it is placed on. On the stomach = hunger; on the thigh = lust.
  • Similarly there is an elephant which is in a state of musth and is trampling its mahout which is a depiction of the importance of having control on ones desires.

Contrary to belief, the erotic sculptures are not significant in number. This is the reason why I strongly recommend everyone visiting Khajuraho to hire a tour guide. The money spent is well worth it and your visit will surely be a more insightful than cursory.



The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-5.jpg
A pile-up of elephants. The last one has the laugh.
This is a special one that caught my attention. Look at how the riders on the collided elephants have been unsettled.

The gardens have some very old trees. The perfect place for spotting owls. Pointed out by the guide was this pair of spotted owlet. He later arranged for the safari gypsy for us and also suggested a place to eat on the way. Hiring the guide definitely paid out in more ways than one.

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The curious yet, steady gaze of the owls.

By mid day we were totally immersed in the complexity and the detailing on the sculptures. With the customary photos done. We got talking about the renovation work done on the temples. Some temples looked like a random arrangement of rocks and plaster. It was only in 1984 that UNESCO had provided guidelines for restoration of the monuments. Restoration work was to be done with plain rock or panels only. As a result you can differentiate it from the original structure.

We gradually moved out of the complex and the ladies started checking out souvenir shops. There is a mini market right outside. We took a leisurely stroll, bought some brass work and had a cup of tea while the Safari vehicle was being arranged. Walked back to the home stay and loaded supplies for the remaining part of the day into the open Gypsy. A quick discussion with the driver revealed that the entry gate pre-booked by us was at the other end of the forest. we literally needed to rush to Pandav Falls. On the way we had lunch at a dhaba with some delicious kheer for dessert.


-------------------------Pandav Falls-------------------------


These falls are quite unique. They are not the usual waterfalls with water gushing out of them but quite a geological wonder of a different kind. Bundelkhand region lies in the Vindhyachal Range of mountains. This region is dotted with some very interesting rock formations. The first thing that struck me as we entered the parking area near the falls was that the steps approaching the falls were descending. I was expecting to crane my neck up to look at the falls. They turned out to be a gorge in the sedimentary rock plateau.

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A panoramic view of Pandav Falls from the viewpoint below.

The falls themselves were a gentle trickle from between the layers of the sedimentary rock. It is the water from the River Ken (locally called Karnavati) which finds its way through the rock and trickles down. The gentle trickle has resulted in limestone stalactites. Never imagined seeing these here. At the back of my mind, I added it to the bonus sighting from the trip.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-8b.jpg
A slice of Earth's crust. Patchy limestone deposits below, the layers of sedimentary rock in between and the forest cover on top.

Over time, various rulers from the region had built a shrine in this natural abode which looks very out of place. The man-made structure is in total conflict with the natural formations here. These falls are a part of the Panna National Park and thus are protected and monitored by the forest department. There is wildlife here too, but due to paucity of time couldn't soak in the environment as much as I would have otherwise wanted. We soon climbed back up and were headed to Hinouta Gate for the evening safari.


-------------------------Panna National Park-------------------------


This was my second visit to the park. I could vaguely remember going for 2 safaris here in the past. That was a long time ago and we were a larger group requiring two vehicles at that time. I could recall the general layout of the park and selected the Hinauta Gate of entry. The park entry is very well managed. While waiting at the gate of entry our driver got a call from the forest department asking why he had been speeding for the last 1 hour. These gypsies have trackers and are rigorously monitored. We were just in time for the 3:00 PM entry where we showed the permit at the counter and paid the guide fee and Mr. Kailash joined us for the guided tour inside.

The park has three main zones and only the entry is controlled through various gates, the exit can be done from any of them. Entering from Hinauta meant that we would begin at the top of the plateau and would gradually descent to the lower regions along the Eastern bank of Ken. The first sighting was a patrolling elephant with a calf returning back to the stables. This elephant was named Vatsala and is supposed to be close to 100 years old. The flat top meant the vegetation was of a grassland type. This is typical raptor territory. Had we been in this area a little later towards the evening we could have spotter a few falcons while they roost. We did spot a black winged kite soaring above and a few eagles circling at a distance deep into the forest.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-9a.jpg
Vatsala is revered as the grandma of the park. At her age she has almost lost her sight.

We soon stopped at the Vulture point where we saw the view of the gorge in the opening post. This place is called Dhundwa Gorge (Khaai) due to the mist that settles in the gorge in the mornings. This site is known for its Vulture colony. At the time there were Long Billed Vultures and Indian White-back Vultures in good numbers. Seeing them take flight from so close helped reveal the size of these enormous birds. That is a reason why Vultures nest on cliffs that can support their weigh and not on branches of trees. I believe the ridge lift phenomenon (rising air) also helps these birds to fly with less effort. The younger birds were being coaxed every now and then to fly a sortie to practice their flight by the bigger birds. The white marks on the cliffs are there from the droppings of these gigantic birds. They were nonplussed by our presence at the view-point. I wonder if the gorge below provides enough food for them all, or do they fly farther away in search for it?

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Vulture Point, Dhundwa Khaai

As we ambled along the landscape, the trail led us through a few sightings of Spotted Deer. We caught a fawn suckling for milk. It felt quite protected next to its mother and continued it till we left.

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The idyllic Mother Cow and Calf pose recreated.

A little further, we stopped to listen to radio chatter at a check-post from a distance. This would let us know the next area to visit for a sighting. Our guide informed us that there are two tigresses in the park with cubs. One had a 11 month old cub and the other had two which were close to 2 years old. Groups had sighted the tigress with the single cub near Madala gate in the morning. The tigress usually leaves the cubs in a safe spot in her territory while she surveys it during the day. We had already told our guide to helps us see other wildlife too and not just focus on the Tiger. People get really crazy and competitive about this and ruin the peace and clam of the jungle.



As we listened to the radio chatter, the opening in the trees provided a calming view of the river

Further down the trail near Pipartola, as we were watching the wild boars foraging the grass for tubers, another group crossed us and informed us of a sighting of a Bear they just had. We were hooked. The guide and the driver were told to follow the lead. Bear sightings are very rare. Even rarer than Tigers, since bears are mostly nocturnal. The grass in this area was taller and we were edging slowly closer to the place where it had been spotted. Instinctively, we were all looking in the grass and soon enough getting more and more disappointed as we crossed each upcoming bend in the trail. We came to an opening and were trying to spot in all directions. And Lo!.. we hear clear rustling in a berry bush. The canopy definitely had some movement but could a bear be sitting on top? We were quite surprised. It was too, suggested by a momentary pause in its movements. That animal was busy munching berries. We re-positioned the vehicle a few times to get a better look at it but had no luck...

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A little while later, it decided to move out.


The bear in action.

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Taking a look around to see if there are any ripe leftovers (that fell down) worth a munch.

The evening safari has a time restriction. If you leave out the entry and exit formalities, you are left with just two and a half hours of productive time to explore the Jungle. Sightings also depends on what your focus is and the time of the day. Early mornings and evenings are when the jungle is the most active. The afternoons are usually lazy.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-12.jpg
The river Ken, flowing calmly through the park.

After the bear sighting we picked up a trail close to the river bank where a few birds could be seen. There were some which were in the grass and moved too quickly to be identified. I was missing my dad since the Guide wasn't that observant. We were approaching Madala and the landscape had changed considerably.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-13.jpg
Rufous-backed Shrike

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Small Bee Eater

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Plum-headed Parakeet

Moving on we had another hour or so left. We were discussing how eventful it was to see the bear. We didn't know what was in store for us. A few groups crossed us and were quite happy to see the lone Tiger cub and confirmed that it was alone. The tigress was aloof, so the cub was staying put. The guide and the driver discussed strategies with the drivers in the vehicles coming from the area where they had spotted it. We also came across some forest guards pinging the tracker of the tigress as we were en-route. They have strict instructions not to discuss their observations with the tourists, we understood and didn't pursue. We entered a thicket which was flanked by a slope and could hear alarm calls from deer but the animals were not visible. We trod further where in a quiet culvert crossing three other groups were waiting to spot the cub. This was the place where others had seen it but it had since then moved further into the forest and was now out of sight. Langurs and Deer were occasionally letting out alarm calls. The ladies in our gypsy were being very vocally hopeful. We decided to stay here a little longer than usual. A noisy group passed us and blocked the crossing as they spotted an alligator/crocodile.

A lone eagle swept across and perched on a tree while they were busy with the crocodile. Got a closer glimpse of it through the lens. It was a thristy crested serpent eagle. Looked quite striking in the dim light around the culvert.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-16.jpg
Crested Serpent Eagle

Another 15 minutes had passed and we thought of moving back and up along the trail to get a glimpse of the cub if it had revealed itself. Luckily for us, as the noisy group gave way for us to pass, the gypsy in front of us signaled to us, we could barely hear them say leopard, and could spotted some swift movement on the rocky slope nearby leading up to a small hill-top. It was indeed a leopard. far away to spot with the naked-eye. The binoculars gave us a clearer picture. It had settled down as it knew it had been spotted. What looked like a patch of rocks and stubbly grass was actually the leopard when zoomed in on.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-17.jpg
Nature's camouflage at its best - I thought.

Just when we began thinking of the successful visit to the forest we were having, there were a few groups passing us and said that the cub is visible again. Would we get to catch a glimpse? We rushed back up the trail and came across a group that was saying it could see the cub and was not budging to let others have a look. We dismissed them off by showing some pictures of the leopard. And sure indeed we could see the juvenile. A playful little tiger, sitting in the grass, fending off flies that were irritating it. Facing us at quite a distance. Took some very blurry pictures, no matter how hard we tried. Decided to take a good look through the binoculars and store the image in our minds.

It was a little unfortunate that we spotted it towards the end of or tour and din't have more time to see it move about, but with all the other sightings of the day we weren't complaining. we quickly moved to the Madala gate for exit. There was some confusion as we (the driver and the guide) could be fined for exceeding the prescribed 6:00 PM exit time. There was a long queue which turned out to be district health dept. personnel scanning tourists for temperature and common symptoms of flu. Foreign and out of state travelers were being asked to fill up a form which required them to mention their immediate itinerary.

We said goodbye to our guide at the gate and tipped him too. On the drive back home the driver took us from a different route which was through a small village. The drive back required us to don the jackets. It was a chilly ride back to the home stay. For dinner we had decided to have a relaxed one at Raja Cafe located in the mini market opposite to the monuments. We could hear the narration from the light and sound show that runs in the evening as we had dinner on the rooftop.

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Old 19th March 2020, 17:37   #4
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Default Day-3: Raneh Falls - Return Home

On the last day of our trip we decided to have breakfast in one of the cafes in the market. Packed our bags and got them in the car by 9:30 soon afetr settling the bill with the home stay. I cleaned up the windshield while the bags were being loaded. Soon after the breakfast and a quick visit to a unique temple with a 9' tall idol that is still worshiped today, we headed to Raneh Falls.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-whatsapp-image-20200325-12.43.41.jpeg
Matangeshvara Temple, Khajuraho

Not expecting much, other than another water fall, we found the entry fee of 700 bucks quite steep. From there to the Ghariyal Sanctuary is a good 8 km drive on a jungle trail. You need to have your own vehicle to go there. Even two wheelers are allowed. We crossed a canal and MP Ecotourism cottages on the way which can be booked for overnight stay. The guide took us to the farthest point on the trail which is the the Ghariyal (Aligator) Sanctuary. The view point is high up and there is a boating center which was not functional at the time we visited. From there we could make out that the river flows through a canyon opening up to the palins in a distance.

We tracked back to a site called the nature trail which is a tall and wide wall along the ridge of the canyon. The canyon here, features igneous rocks and is believably from prehistoric times. It is quite different from the gorges we saw the previous day which featured sedimentary rocks. As per the guide there are five dominant types of rock found in the area, namely - Dolerite, Granite, Jasper, Quartz and Basalt. The jagged edges clearly show the different weathering pattern compared to softer rocks like sandstone. These probably just cleave and fall apart due to thermal and seismic effects before the river gets time to wear them out smoothly.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-21.jpg
Rock Art

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A closer view. The red rock is mostly Granite.

And the third stop as we retreated was Raneh Falls. It is a group of waterfalls, 10-30 meter in height, formed when the river Ken plunges into the canyon. There is a rest area and a number of view-points set-up for tourists. The rest area has a small canteen too. An interpretation center provides pictures of the wildlife in this area. There is ample parking space available and the trees provide a cool shade for one to rest after the kilometer long nature trail. As the river swells up during monsoon, a few streams get engulfed by the river and only the very tall ones are visible.


The tallest of this season.

On the way back the guide took us along the canal to the Bariyarpur Check Dam. This is the dam upstream of the falls before the canyon section we visited begins. The river flows north in this part. The locals carelessly use this dam as a river crossing. Behind those gates is the river being kept on check.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-23.jpg
Another day in their lives but definitely a remarkable one in ours.

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Rocks from the riverbed. Geologist's sought, for identification.

The whole circuit took us almost 3 hours to cover in which we did not walk the trail due to the mid-day heat. We dropped off the guide at the ticketing window along wit a tip and headed to Khajuraho in search for a place for lunch. Had initially thought of a buffet at one of the star hotels but decided against it since we were nearing the closing time. We happened to enquirer at MPTDC Hotel Payal who were catering to a big group asked us to go to Jhankar which is also managed by the same group. The lunch we had there deserves a special mention. It was the closest to home cooked food we had on the entire journey. Replenished plenty of liquids during lunch. The property seemed well managed and had a nice layout. Have already decided to stay here if I visit again.

The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-day3.jpg
The task at hand after lunch.

The route back home was a bit different based on everyone;'s suggestion. The unfortunate part is that the road works on this route are in the same state they were during my last visit, 12 years ago. Frequent diversions, unpaved sections and very scarce milestones. The drive from Charatpur to Harpalpur was really frustrating. Stopped for dinner at a dhaba on the outskirts of Orai. We narrowly escaped the 4-5 km long jam at Kalpi by acting on the suggestion of a passer-by to turn around while we could and driving on the "wrong side" which had no traffic at all. It took us 7 hrs to complete the journey back home.

With the news of increase in the number of COVID-19 cases detected pouring in throughout the day. We were glad to be back without encountering any checks on the way. The drive back was exhausting enough and the time of arrival left us with no option other than calling it a day.

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Old 20th March 2020, 17:04   #5
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Default Miscellaneous



-:Route and Travel Time:-


The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-22.jpg
The route definitely tickled the AWD components.


From Auraiya to Khajuraho (278km): Auraiya>Purkhyan>Kalpi>Orai>Rath>Panwari>Maharajpu r>Rajnagar>Khajuraho | 6 Hr.

From Khajuraho to Pandav Falls (32km): | 45 Minutes

From Pandav Falls to Hinauta Gate (23km): | 40 minutes

Fron Madala Gate to Khajuraho (24km): | 35 minutes

From Khajuraho to Raneh Falls (25km): | 40 Minutes

From Khajuraho to Auraiya (300km): Khaluraho>Chhatarpur>Nowgaon>Harpalpur>Rath>Orai>K alpi>Purkhyan>Auraiya | 7 Hrs


-:Accommodation:-

We booked a home-stay through Airbnb - Shri Ram Tourist Home. It had around 10 rooms and a dorm too. The place was a 5 minute walk away from the monuments. Part of this homesttay was being run as an OYO too. Had little expectations from it though. The host was courteous and helped us re-heat the packed food we brought with us for Day-1. The breakfast next morning was tasty. Though the rooms were clean we had anyways decided to take our own linen.

Cost: INR 990/- per night for a douple occupancy room.

I would rather book the hotels run by MP tourism if I visit next rather than the home-stay. This was an impromptu trip and we didn't have much time to evaluate options.


-:Food:-

Homestay: Fresh cooked and tasty. Does the job. approx INR 100/- per head.

Dhaba food: Fresh and a bit heavy. approx INR 120/- per head.

Raja Cafe: Nice rooftop with a great view. Items which foreigners miss while in India, are on the menu. Serving size is good. Beer is served without much surcharge. approx INR 550/- per head for dinner with desert.

Maharaja Cafe: A similar kind of cafe which copied the format from Raja Cafe. Feels less special and has less well managed. Breakfast was decent. You can order coffee and tea by the pot. approx. INR 160/- per head.

Hotel Jhankaar: Great, food with home cooked feel. Light and delicious. Standard serving size. Veg-Pulao was an aromatic delight. approx INR 250/- per head with desert.


-:Entry fee to various sites:-

All the three sites, Panna NP, Pandav and Raneh Falls are managed under the MP eco-tourism banner and have an entry fee and guide fee that needs to be paid.

Pandav Falls:
Entry Fee: INR 300/- per vehicle (not required if you have the permit to the National park on the same day.
Guide Fee: INR 100/-

Paanna National Park:
Permit Fee: INR 1550/- per vehicle (6 seating).
Guide Fee: INR 480/-
Vehicle Fee: 2500/- (for Khajuraho-Pandav Falls-Hinauta entry and Madala exit-Khajuraho)
Raneh Falls:
Entry Fee: INR 600/- per vehicle
Guide Fee: INR 100/-

-:Animal sightings:-

Spotted Deer
Sambhar Deer
Asian Black Bear
Black Tailed Mongoose
Wild Boars
Panther
Tiger


-:Bird Sightings:-

Long Billed Vulture
Indian White-back Vulture
Small Bee Eater
Rufous-backed Shrike
Black-winged Kite
Spotted Owlet
Wire Tailed Swallow
Asian Pied Starling
Black Drongo
European Roller
Greater Coucal
Lesser Pied Kingfisher
Plum-headed Parakeet


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho-img_1204.jpg
Pictures courtesy - The Crew



Special thanks to BHP-ian Shubhendra for his valuable inputs which helped us plant the trip better.

Last edited by Tgo : 25th March 2020 at 15:42.
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Old 25th March 2020, 15:58   #6
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Default Re: The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

Mod note: Thread moved to Travelogues from Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 25th March 2020, 17:39   #7
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Default Re: The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

Super!

Have been to Panna and Khajuharo, but a long time ago. Planning to go again post-monsoon (and post-corona, of course!) this year.

Remember Panna being a lot less crowded with tourists compared to NPs like Ranthambore and Corbett. Is that still the case? Can I just show up and book a safari on a weekday?

Last edited by am1m : 25th March 2020 at 17:40.
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Old 26th March 2020, 08:51   #8
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Default Re: The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

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Super!
Remember Panna being a lot less crowded with tourists compared to NPs like Ranthambore and Corbett. Is that still the case? Can I just show up and book a safari on a weekday?
Absolutely true. We could book a day in advance and there were many slots which were empty.

Permits/Bookings close by 4 PM the day before and can be done at least a week in advance. You still have to book the Safari Vehicle and pay the Guide fee. There are a number of websites that claim to book safari for Panna NP, this one is the official website. You'll have to register by opening an account first.
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Old 26th March 2020, 11:16   #9
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Default Re: The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

Nice pictures Tgo.

Khajuraho is on my list but I am not sure which national park to cover, Panna or Kanha. Thinking of keeping Bhopal as the base to travel around to these places. Which one would you recommend? Expecting Panna to be a lot less crowded than Kanha, but I could visit Kanha from Nagpur as well. Staying in Mumbai, Panna could be a little too far for me to visit.
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Old 26th March 2020, 13:22   #10
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Default Re: The escapade to Panna National Park and Khajuraho

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Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Which one would you recommend? Expecting Panna to be a lot less crowded than Kanha, but I could visit Kanha from Nagpur as well. Staying in Mumbai, Panna could be a little too far for me to visit.
If Khajuraho can wait, and you're more interested in wildlife, then it is better to stick to Nagpur to Kanha and Pench. I have found touristy places in MP to be generally less crowded.
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