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Central India

Often overlooked, but rich in culture and flourishing with wildlife

We always suggest that you start with Central India’s cultural sites, as there truly are some wonders to behold. The Hindu and Jain temples at Khajuraho are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and famed for their erotic sculptures. The 10th century site rivals the likes of Bagan and Angkor Wat, and the carvings are executed in exquisite detail.

Don’t miss the neolithic rock paintings at Bhimbetka, or the impressive Bateshwar Temple citadel. In Gwalior, the red sandstone fortress and Sahastra-bahu Temple are remarkable. Jahangir Mahal is a palatial backdrop to exquisitely manicured lawns and the complex of the riverside chhatris and temples in Orchha conjures wistful fairytale daydreams in the mind.

In terms of wildlife watching, the highlight of Central India is the Bandhavgarh National Park. Bandhavgarh’s concentration of tiger is amongst the highest in India, and there are significant numbers of nilgai, gaur, Indian wolf, sambar deer, and striped hyena as well.
 
Combine Bandhavgarh with time at the Kanha Tiger Reserve to maximise your chances of wild tiger spotting. Kipling based The Jungle Book on this landscape and its animal inhabitants, so keep your eyes peeled for the creatures which inspired not only Sher Khan but also Baloo, Bagheera, Kaa, and the monkey tribe.
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Accommodation:
Mahua Kothi

The Mahua Kothi takes its name from the mahua tree, which is revered as the tree of life by local people. Set within the bounds of the Bandhavgarh National Park, you’ll gaze out from your kutiya cottage and be greeted by the elegant canes of a bamboo thicket.

Accommodation:
Singinawa Jungle Lodge

Tiger spotting, rain showers, and candlelit dinners set the Singinawa Jungle Lodge apart from other accommodation offerings in Kanha National Park. This is an area famous for its tiger population and bamboo forests, and it reputedly inspired Rudyard Kipling to write The Jungle Book.

Accommodation:
Samode Safari Lodge

Samode Safari Lodge is a cosy retreat in the heart of Bandhavgarh National Park, a former private game reserve of the Maharajas of Rewa with exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. Kick back and relax in one of India’s most beautiful luxury lodges.

Accommodation:
Reni Pani Jungle Lodge

Reni Pani is the name of a tribal village bordering the Satpura Tiger Reserve. The Reni Pani Jungle Lodge therefore pays homage to its human neighbours at the same time as welcoming you into the forests for sightings of Sher Khan and other characters from Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale.

Accommodation:
Pashan Garh

The Taj hotel group is renowned for its luxurious city properties, but with Pashan Garh it has ventured out into the wilderness of the Panna National Park, and with considerable success. The brand’s world class service and facilities are matched with prime birding and nature trails.

Accommodation:
Banjaar Tola

Kanha National Park - one of the preeminent destinations for tiger spotting in India - has long needed a luxurious tented tent. And now, thanks to &Beyond, it has Banjaar Tola. Natural motifs in the architecture and decor blur the lines between the outside and inside.