Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mowgli Land - Pench Tiger Reserve - Getting there & our Stay

May 2010
Day 1: Mumbai to Nagpur
I had a first sample of wild life experience and corporate-style travel at Pench, Madhya Pradesh. I left on a jet plane from Mumbai to Nagpur, got a car to pick me up at the airport and drop me off at a lovely Guest House. From there we had a full evening to sample the charm of Nagpur and the food at Haldirams was the highlight of the day.

Day 2: Nagpur to Pench


THE DRIVE
At 9 am the next day we started upon the 90-odd kilometer drive to Pench Tiger Reserve. We drove along NH7 through which is a two-lane throughout. Pench Tiger Reserve is spread between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. However all three access points for tourists to the reserve fall in Madhya Pradesh, Turia gate being the most convenient.

(The route we took)

We reached Khawasa at 10.30 am after a comfortable journey. We parked our car at the comppound of Forest Rest House, Turia (is virtually on the main road on left hand side) and went to inspect our rooms that we had booked in advance.

OUR RESORT
To our dismay the FRH was in a very bad shape.and, had no coolers. Adding to our woes were the recurrent power cuts, no power back-up and a 7 km drive to reach the Pench Reserve Main gate. We decided to scout for an alternate location to stay. I called up Just Dial, but in vain. Ultimately the FRH staff directed us to Kipling’s Court at Turia (A MPSTDC resort) which is a 5-minute drive from the reserve main gate.

Kipling's court is a very well maintained jungle resort. The entrance to the lobby charms the visitors with paintings from Jungle Book. The lobby is warm with wood accents and tones of brown. The staff was friendly and I got a good feelign about the resort.

The resort boosts of A/C  (RS. 4000/-) and non-A/C (Rs. 3000/-) deluxe rooms (extra charge for extra bed) and a decently clean dormatory at Rs. 700 per person. The resort also has a central dining area, well maintained lawn, conference room, indoor games and jeep/guide facility for the safari.

Food is buffet style and except for people staying in dorms, non-veg food is available to each person. However, on request you can enjoy a non-veg delicacy even though you maybe staying n the dorm by payng a nominal charge.

We were five people and hence opted to stay in the dormatory. The Dorms were clean and had a cooler. There are 3-indian style lavatories and three-washrooms in the dormatory common area. Overall the dorms were a great value for money especially since accomodation in most wild life reserves is expensive due to prevelance of seasonal tourists.

There are other staying options/hotels which can be booked from the MP tourism website.

Read about our Afternoon Safari here (photos slideshow included!)

6 comments:

Thinking Aloud said...

Good coverage. Keep it up.

Neenu said...

Pls contact me. neenu.babu@yaatrika.com

Oshtorombha said...

hi preeti i am Nandita Roy from Calcutta. Planning to visit Pench in January 2011 with three friends. We were trying to book rooms in the Forest Rest House but none of the numbers in the website seem to work. Could you kindly suggest a contact?
Also, you have said that the FRH is quite bad.. but is it absolutely uninhabitable? The other places are sorta way over our budget..

thanks a lot.
my email id is roynandita5@gmail.com

please try and help. Thanks again! :)

Preeti Datar said...

Hie Nandita,
please find the contact details for FRH and other accomodation below-

details of all the accommodations below:-

(a) Field Director, Project Tiger (MP), Seoni
Phone 07692-223794, 222169 Fax 07692 – 223204
For booking of Forest Rest Houses at Karmajhiri (Rooms / Dorms) Two units, Tourist Hut at Karmajhiri and FRH at Khawasa.

(b) Bison Retreat at Rukhad on NH7 and Kipling’s Court at Pench can be booking online on MPSTDC website www.mptourism.com/accomm/index.html where availability also can be checked. Phone no of Bison Retreat is 07695-290130 and at Kiplings Court is 07695 – 232830, 232855 and fax is 07695 - 232850.

(c) FRH at Sillari in Maharashtra (32 Km from Pench Main Gate in MP at Turia) can be booked with DCF, Nagpur at 0712 – 2524624. FRH at Totaldoh can be booked with Field Director, Project Tiger (Maharashtra), Nagpur at 0712 – 2560748.

(d) MTDC Resort at Sillari (understand the management is in private hands) can be booked by speaking to Mr Kale, Manager at 07114 – 691415 (Rate Rs 1400 for AC Double and Rs 1000 for Non AC Double).

Further, FRH was not livable when we went there due to summer and power cut, now its winter, power cut is not a big issue so but it is still little bit of roughing it out for girls, however, the jeep that they hire would pick them up from FRH too, to go to pench. The distance thus (between FRH and Pench) does not matter.

Bison Retreat is also a good budget accommmodation because even FRH today charges RS 900 a day. Do look up Bison retreat. However, you may have to enter Pench from other gate in case you live there.

Oshtorombha said...

Thank you ever so much, Preeti. :)
Will start calling up these places tomorrow.
also thinking of visiting marble rocks in bhedaghat for a day. basically four of us will be in wardha for a conference and then set out. pench is finalized. now just trying to figure out how to go about marble rocks.

thanks so very much again! its a lot of help. :)

Preeti Datar said...

well the marble rocks called bhedaghat is fab. you can take a bus from nagpur to jabalpur (takes about 6-7 hours) and then take a tempo/rickshaw to dhuadhar/bhedaghat. it's a lovely place :)

enjoy your trip!

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