Satpura ke ghane jungle mein a beautiful poem by Bhavani Prasad Mishra set the tone for my experience of wildlife expedition at Satpura National Park which is part of Satpura Range.
The Satpura Range hills rises in eastern Gujarat are one of the major mountain range in India. Hills ranges run parallel to the another great range, the Vindhya Range to the north and meet with it at Amarkantak. Dhupgarh is situated Near Pachmarhi and one of the famous and only hill station in entire central India.
Here’s list of National Parks of India
- Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
- Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat
- Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh
- Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
- Bandipur National Park, Karnataka
Safari, jungle walk, experiencing the dense Satpura National Park and getting close to the animals was facilitated to me by Forsyth Lodge for promoting their upcoming program “the Forsyth experience”.
Getting to the Forsyth Lodge/Satpura National Park-Location
One has to travel approx 180 Kms/111 Miles from the capital city Bhopal. The Forsyth Lodge is situated at the edge of the Satpura national park, next to the village of Sarangpur.The dense park is located after one crosses the Denwa River. The private taxi will take 4 hrs from Raja Bhoj Airport Bhopal or Bhopal train junction.
Itarsi Railway Station which lies on the route of Mumbai –Howrah train line can be another good faster way to reach the lodge (65Kms/40 Miles)
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The Forsyth Lodge-Experience wilderness
Nestled in the midst of 44 acres of the jungle at the end of Satpura Tiger Reserve. Forsyth Lodge is your gateway into verdant natural surroundings coupled with the concept of natural living or I call it community living.
Forsyth Lodge management’s focus is to give sustainable wildlife experience to its guests and also to the community. Through a constant partnership with the park administration and the local community, Forsyth Lodge has crafted an array of wildness experience that suits every guest.
Some of the unique concept offered by Forsyth Lodge-
- 12 luxury cottages, air-conditioned with few exclusive Machhan Terraces
- In-house Swimming pool
- Hygienic Kitchen
- Safari/local community Shop
- Unique dining experiences- Open, terrace, hall, etc
- Library- a collection of national geography, wildlife books
- Spa area
- Bunch of experienced, professional and hard-working team
The Forsyth Excursions- A complete experience
Unlock the dense Satpura national park mysteries with the bunch of activities planned and included as part of the Forsyth Lodge Experience. Get close to the homes of majestic animals, follow the trails and tracks.Take off the beaten path, and experience the awesome landscape that nature offers in its very original way.
Jeep Safari– Four-wheel open jeep safari to experience the Satpura national park. One might get lucky to have a glimpse of sloth bear and her kids
Bird watching– Known for bird’s paradise and aided with trained naturalists, enjoy watching the free birds which keep flocking from one tree to other
Jungle walks-Every nature lover and naturalist’s dream. Voyage into Satpura national park on foot and get the chance to see the animals like never before
Canoe Safari– Enjoy the magic of being in Canoe, paddle quietly along the shore. This will be a truly out of the world experience to cherish life long
Star Gazing– How about seeing the bright stars and taking note of constellations up in the clear sky? Also, the offering is quite and comfy bonfire.
All about the Forsyth Lodge Stay-
Forsyth’s consists of 12 independent cottages built in an arc around the lodge building. The lodge is a two-storey building that opens out on to Satpura range mountains view. Cottages are built out of cob.
Responsible ways of building that go well with community living also aid in moderating temperatures through the variations of summer and winter.
The cottage provided to me was large, spacious with an attached super clean bathroom. A sit out with every cottage was a bonus addition to enjoying the coffee/tea sip.
I was told by manager Rishi that Lodge is the frequent visitors in the form of barking deer in the backyard of the property. Eco-Friendly swimming –the pool is no more than a stone’s throw from each of the cottages.
The dining experience was another reason to be at Forsyth Lodge. I had the opportunity to enjoy my food in open, in the hall or under the stars. Once a week, women from nearby villages come in to cook for Forsyth’s guest- a nice initiative to empower the women for a better future.
All the support staff at Forsyth Lodge are locals from the villages around Satpura who have been trained to work to the best level. All these and many more such initiatives as narrated by Rishi does make a positive impact in supporting the local community.
Wildlife of Satpura Park–Night Safari, Morning Jeep Safari, Jungle walk, Canoe Safari
The first activity planned was a night safari around the jungle periphery. The idea of a night outing was to try and spot nocturnal animals, birds – these are usually active only after dark. A powerful flashlight is used to scan the surroundings as we drive around the jungle boundary. Night safari at Satpura national park should be in the best things to do the activity.
The next day started at 5 AM, getting a wakeup call from the staff and being served fresh coffee. Advice is to stack up yourself well with woolen as the park can be extremely cold in the morning and during the winter season (Dec-Feb).
We started for the morning jeep safari in the jungle. A short drive took us to the bank of the Denwa river’s backwaters. This is what separates the jungle reserve from the rest of the inhabited world around. This also acts as a natural barrier for the park from poachers. The safari started out with a bit of excitement – we had sightings of bears with her kids, spotted deer, and gaurs.
There were alarm calls from the deer indicating the presence of a big cat nearby however as they say only lucky one get to see the tiger in the jungle. Nevertheless, we moved on and saw Indian sambar deer having their morning breakfast. Look out for the impressive ghost tree, the frankincense tree, and more as you go deep inside the jungle.
The Jeep Safari will take you through the Madhai meadow to breakfast at a pile of volcanic rock, overlooking a stream. Set aside about four hours if you’d like to do this the right way—by the stop-whisper-peer-whisper-start method.
An evening jungle walk is another talk when we speak about the Satpura national park. Get off the vehicle tracks and strike out across the forest and allow the wild to envelop you. This is a thrill in any wild place but doubly so in tiger territory. Do not worry; you will be accompanied by forest guard and Forsyth’s experience team.
The Satpura Reserve is one of only two protected forests in India where visitors are allowed the privilege of walking through a designated area. The jungle walk is the best to experience during at dawn. You will see the curious deer spotting at you or wild boar eating in a group.
The next early morning we were all ready for the last activity planned and that was a Canoe ride in the Denwa backwater around the Satpura national park. The park management introduced 3-man canoes for two guests and a boatman who will take you across the Denwa into its many little bays and inlets.
Here you may observe, unobtrusively, animals stopping to drink, or shy marsh mugger crocodiles sunning themselves. The slowly sailing in the water itself added the memory to remember for.
The three days spent at The Forsyth Lodge have left the best learning experience for me about the jungle, birds, calls from deer the community living and many more.
Best time to visit Satpura National Park Reserve
Satpura National Park in the Satpura Range of Hoshangabad district in Madhya Pradesh is open for visitors from 16th October to 30th June. The National Park is closed for the visitor from 01st July till 15th October during monsoon. Along with adjoining Pachmarhi & Bori Sanctuaries, Satpura National Park covers 1427 km. Otherwise, it covers an area of 524 km. Satpura National Park is less crowded and commercialized.
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