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PASHAN GARH, PANNA NATIONAL PARK

Signature Experiences

Safaris & Wildlife Viewing - Pashan Garh
Safari Drives

Twice daily Safari Drives 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. Afternoon safaris last a couple of hours and end at sunset. Pashan Garh is equidistant from Hinouta and Madla gates, two official entry points to the Panna National Park. Both gates lead to different habitats and offer panoramic views. The expert naturalists are always updated about animal movements, especially those of tigers and leopards and formulate the day’s safari plans keeping guest preferences in mind. Typically, morning drives tend to be longer in duration and may begin at Hinouta which is a plateau. This flat open woodland with rocky hills and grasslands is a good place to spot the Indian gazelle or the Chinkara as well as the Chowsingha or four horned antelopes. The deep gorge of Dhundhwa Sehais not only a photographer’s delight, it is a roosting spot for several vulture species as well as the Peregrine falcon.

Tiger Safaris
Nature Trails

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 wild flowers are a few of the many delights best discovered on foot. Surrounded by forests on all sides, this safari lodge has the luxury of offering guests a nature walk within its own 200 acre private forest. A winding walking trail has been created that snakes past open woods to denser tree cover and meadows. The professional naturalists share an orientation about the walk and guests can choose from a leisurely stroll under an hour long to a full-fledged walking safari lasting a couple of hours. Nearly a decade of sustained afforestation and a natural catchment area forming a small lake have made Pashan Garh a wilderness haven. An adventurous walk will bring guests across tracks of jackals, hyena, sambar, blue bull and on occasion a bear.

Flora at Bandhavgarh National Park 3x2
Panna Town Visit

Located at the base of the hill, a few kilometres from Pashan Garh is the quaint and sleepy Panna. It is a town that has many interesting features; the Pran Nath temple and the Baldeo temples to name a couple. The former is said to have been built in 1692, while the latter is a scaled down replica of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. A ruler of Panna is said to have visited the cathedral and falling in love with the building decided to replicate it in Panna. Panna has numerous other smaller temples and a street of stone masons, most of whom make mortar and pestles to be sold locally. There is a small museum housing interesting artefacts, especially sculpture, from the region. The local market offers delightful bargains and trinkets.

Ken River Panna National Park 3x2
Pandav Falls

Situated very close to the Madla gate of the Panna National Park, the Pandav falls are an unexpected surprise. The cascading waterfall plunges into a deep pool in a gorge that has ancient caves carved into rocks all around. Trees and shrubbery abound and this area is cool even in the hottest months. As per folklore, this was a hiding place for the Pandava family from the mythological epic Mahabharata. Until a few decades ago, the local royalty often camped here when out on hunts. An ancient shrine under a Banyan tree is still worshipped by locals.

Taj Safaris Organic Farms
Village visit

Pashan Garh is surrounded by miles of open forests which enfold several old human settlements. The two charming villages that guests often visit are Amjhiriya and Manki. Amjhiriya lies along the main road, beside a manmade lake. This village comprises almost exclusively of cattle herders. Manki is tucked away amid the wilderness and accessed by driving about twenty minutes on a dirt track. Residents of Manki keep cattle as well as being seasonal farmers who migrate to towns for work in the hotter months. It is interesting to see the similarities in the lodge architecture with the flat roofed stone houses of the villages. Evenings provide photographic opportunities as large herds of cows return home. The region being rich in diamonds, it is not unusual to see prospectors sifting earth in fields hoping to find a shiny rock that will change their fortunes. Guests are welcome to join in, on condition that they will have to hand over any precious finds to the landowner.

Mahua Kothi Lodge Chawki Dining
Stargazing

The Taj Safari lodge in Pashan Garh is located in pristine jungle environments, where guests have the luxury of viewing a vast expanse of very starry skies. After a day of adventure and excitement in the jungle, watching the brilliant night sky is a very relaxing activity. The constant North Star and the Milky Way are especially exciting to young guests. Listen to interesting trivia and stories as naturalists acquaint you to the life of the night sky.

Panna National Park Forest
Khajuraho Temple Tour

Just an hour drive from the lodge is the famed Khajuraho Temple complex. Devote half a day, touring this UNESCO World Heritage Site known to have been built by the Chandela Dynasty between 950 and 1050. The temples are famous for their nagara style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. This is where the annual Khajuraho Dance Festival takes place every year in February.

Wildlife viewing for kids by Taj Safaris 3x2
Junior Naturalist Program

For the adventurous youngsters with a love for all things wild, our Budding Naturalist programme is an interactive curriculum. Usually spanning three to four days, the program can be tweaked depending on the duration of stay. From early morning nature walks and safaris to late evening ‘frogging’ and star gazing sessions, this program covers as many aspects of the wild to get the young brigade on the go early on. At the end of the programme, the children go back with a new appreciation of the natural world, a certificate, a plethora of adventure stories and a feather in their hats.