Mahua Kothi Jungle Lodge

Mahua Kothi or homestead is named after the Mahua tree which is prized and revered in the region. 12 standalone luxury cottages blend into a 45 acre private forest on the periphery of the national park. The guest area overlooks a large grassland where monkeys and birds in vivid colours are a regular feature. The mud cottages or ‘Kutiyas’ are built in the local style of architecture. A bean shaped pool screened by a bamboo thicket and shaded by Mahua trees is perfect for cooling off at midday. The guest areas are housed in a large brick building with deep verandas overlooking a grassland ringed by a forest patch. The dining hall has a large fireplace to keep guests warm during chilly winter evenings. Guests delight in picking fresh vegetables and fruit from the lodge’s private organic gardens for a salad. A select menu of treatments offered by professional in-house masseurs is the perfect indulgence to top off a safari holiday.

The Mahua Kothi Lodge features 12 cottages, each of which is accessed by a spacious private courtyard with shaded seating and traditional stone floor. Interiors include wooden shutters, hand plastered mud walls washed with lime, roughly hewn wooden rafters and handmade pottery roof tiles. Floors are dressed in the locally sourced ‘Katni’ stone. Large wooden puppets adorn the walls while several small alcoves sport arches with geometric tribal patterns in keeping with local trends. A king-sized bed faces an enormous window overlooking a delightful wooded patch. A wide window seat with mattress covers and bolsters in tones of rust and burnt orange contrast delightfully with the vibrant green outside. Each ensuite bathroom features twin hand basins with vintage brass tap fittings placed in front of a glass window covering most of the wall. Bamboo blinds lined with raw silk can be drawn for a view of trees and bamboo thickets as guests ready for safari. The bath tub is lined beside a wall with beautiful ‘Jaali’ work while the step down shower area is provided with a shiny brass bucket and mug in case guests wish to take a ‘bucket bath’, as most rural Indians do.

A Nature Trail is ideal for adventurers looking for a closer communion with nature. Be it the nature trails offered in the buffer zone of the park or a leisurely nature walk, it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the smaller creatures. Butterflies, dung beetles scurrying about and multitudes of wildflowers are a few of the many delights best discovered on foot. At Mahua Kothi, the naturalists tailor-make the walk to showcase a combination of dense forest, grasslands and water bodies. Guests file past fields of the white tipped ‘Kans’ grass swaying in the breeze onto a pond to see one of the smallest ducks in the world – the Little Grebe. During Mahua season or around fruiting fig trees, numerous animals like deer, monkeys, squirrels and birds can be seen vying for the sweet treats. Skilful storytelling enraptures guests in the life cycle of a Giant Wood spider as they marvel at the engineering feat of one of the oldest web designs in the world. At the end of the walk, guests are able to identify numerous bird calls, have an understanding of many plants and their uses for animals and humans alike.

Jeep Safari
Twice daily safaris are conducted by expert naturalists in specially designed 4X4 vehicles with theatre style seating. Morning safaris start shortly after sunrise. Along with the thrill of tiger tracking is a memorable stop for a picnic breakfast complete with freshly plunged coffee and an assortment of teas. Afternoon safaris last a couple of hours and end at sunset. Bandhavgarh, with one of the highest tiger densities in the country makes for a safari with plenty of action. Guests are kept enthralled as the professionally trained naturalists interpret the jungle calls and read tracks of animals. A big predator on the move makes animals like deer and monkeys sound a warning, resulting in the jungle resounding with various alarm calls. These calls are then used by the naturalist to anticipate movements of the predator. Guests also learn to identify melodious bird song, like those of the Asian Koel, Magpie Robin and the Coppersmith Barbet. However, an unforgettable animal sound that stays long after the safari is done is the deep roar of a tiger either marking territory or calling for a mate. History buffs will delight in a visit to Shesh shaiyya to see the statue of Lord Vishnu and the ancient caves at BadiGufa.

Village Visit
The local villages are home to the indigenous Gond and Baiga tribals, said to be among the oldest surviving tribes in India. An interaction might give you some insight into their unique culture, which they have preserved for centuries.

By Air
Nagpur - 100 KM| Jabalpur - 220 KM 

By Rail
Nagpur - 100 KM| Jabalpur - 220 KM

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