It’s often said that some experiences are worth sharing-I had a close encounter with the flora n fauna of Kanha during my recent trip there. The trip was planned at a very short notice and the way things panned out made it all the more memorable. My husband has done our bookings at “Chitvan Jungle Lodge” (“Rated as No 1 Lodge in Kanha by Tripadvisor”, “Rated as Outstanding Practice Lodge by Toft Tigers“) as the name suggests the wonderful experience that we had made us leave our heart and soul in the environments of Kanha.
The literal interpretation of Chitvan goes like this, there was dense jungle there (before men started settlements there) was teeming with Cheetahs, and, the word for ‘jungle’ in Hindi is van. So, the people around started to call that locality as Cheetah-van, which was later modified as Chitvan. That’s what we were told by the person closely associated with the project.
The first and foremost was the first impression of the Lodge as we entered the premises…..the hotel staff was waiting for us, in fact it would not be incorrect to say that they were monitoring our move since we left Nagpur. This surely made us feel welcomed. What can be more relaxing after a long drive is to be received with warmth over a welcome drink and moist towels – a refreshing feel engulfed me. The lobby was impressive and had antique furniture. A small shop containing souvenirs and gifts instantly caught my attention.
There we were briefed on the do’s and don’ts and all this while our luggage was smoothly shifted to our room. The General Manager of the hotel was briefing us while we were escorted to the suite and on arrival there a quick brief on facilities provided and the need to conserve natural resources especially on the electricity and water supply was done. Rooms were spacious and tastefully decorated.
There was backup electricity and hot water supply along with a well stocked mini fridge. The suite that we occupied was on an elevated level and the rooms were displaying the photos of Tigers with small knowledgeable tidbits of information. The accomdation is based on five elements i.e. Pritvi(Earth), jal(water), agni(fire), akaash( sky) and vaayu( air). We stayed in Prithvi Suites: With a big Saja tree in the centre of the block, these Suites stand tall, and grand. Each Suite is 900sq. ft. with some unique suite features like spacious sitting area with sofa bed, work area with attached terrace overlooking Maikal hills.
Seeing these pics of big cats our expectations were increased. By the time we refreshed ourselves, the lunch was served. Infact the dinning hall is a big morale booster to the avid traveller as it boasts of large dinning tables and a well laid out sumptuous buffet. There is a swimming pool outside and tribal wall paintings adorning the walls adds to the ambience.
Post lunch we retired to our rooms for a small nap and were woken up with a call for enjoying the refreshing Lemon grass tea served hot. We were briefed that our booking for the safari was confirmed and we shall be entering the Kanha National Park through Mukki gate.
Post dinner we were approached by Naren Mallik, a naturalist who was accompanying us and shared the timelines we had to follow. We were now primed and anxious in anticipation to meet the beast on his own turf the next day.
With excitement writ large on our face we got ready to board the gypsy for our foray into Jungle Safari at Kanha and left Chitvan at 0530h. It’s a 15 minutes drive to Mukki gate were our credentials were checked and a guide of the forest dept boarded our gypsy. While we were waiting in queue there was a commotion followed by loud noises, shouting and a forest ranger gypsy whirl past in a hurry – the reason for this heightened activity was that a Tiger was spotted outside the jungle fence pretty close and forest staff was cautioning all the visitors to remain in their gypsy vehicles. The area was flushed with excitement – was this going to be our first sighting even before we’ve entered the forest !!!
If you have missed the exciting stories on tiger sighting you can check My instinct helps me
Wanna see majestic cats in their natural habitat? Click I could-make it to tiger forest
I shall discuss about the unique tribal method of ‘Zeer Pots’, keeping the veggies fresh for long without refrigeration along with photos of Chitvan’s Organic garden in my next post which is worth sharing. Till then good bye 🙂
Road Map to reach Chitvan