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Travel stories by a nature lover – stories about nature and life

Kanha & Bandhavgarh

March 2009

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A grand welcome

Deer at Baghira Log Huts
‘I have seen five deers’ – My daughter triumphantly announced as soon as I came out of the reception of Baghira Log Huts at Kisli after completion of checking-in formalities. ‘Deer? From the hotel? You must be joking’. She surely was joking!! As soon as we moved in our room, we saw not five but maybe fifteen of them outside our room. Have you seen a beauty pageant of deers? That is what gradually unfolded in front – pristine beauties strutted from one side to the other in front of us. A few peacocks joined them occasionally. What a place to stay!! And what a welcome!!!
After a long journey to Kisli, Kanha we were late for the evening safari. If only the train was not late by an hour! A quick stroll around the hotel ensured that even it had something even for those who did not want to go for safaris. A decent amount of wildlife viewing could be done sitting here. Deers, monkeys and peacocks roam inside the hotel premises or around the virtual periphery of the hotel all the time. A small watering hole within attracts a lot of animals – recently a group of bisons have been visiting it in the evenings almost regularly. In the early hours of the night the deep roar of an animal was heard for around 5 mins. Is it the tiger? Need to confirm it the next morning…

The Jungle Safari



In the meantime, while enjoying the surroundings, arrangements were done for the safari the next morning. The jeep will come at 5:45 AM and we would be sharing it another group staying in the same hotel. The morning was exceptionally cold and left us shivering and wearing not only one but a couple of shirts. I had no idea that it would be this cold and we were caught unawares without any warm clothing. Within a few minutes of entering the Kisli gate, we were on one of the dirt tracks. Our guide said that there were fresh bear foot marks on the ground – most probably a bear was nearby. For us, there could not have been a better start. We were tense and silent and within a minute a big sloth bear was viewed – some distance away under a mahua tree, busy relishing the fruits of the mahua tree. Barely had we seen enough of the bear, the guide signaled us to move on. He could hear the alarm calls of deer, indicating that a tiger could be in the vicinity. Our jeep moved on and about 50m ahead, we were stopped by the vehicle in front of us. A leopard had run beside their car, crossed the road and raced into the forest!!! Wow, that’s luck!!
We had a very rich experience for the remaining part of the safari. We saw herds of bison (gaur), barasingha deer, sambar deer and of course spotted deer. Its the default at Kanha – with around 21,000 of them. A tiger was spotted just around 30m off the road. It was resting in the shade beside a small pool of water. We waited for about an hour for it to make any movement, but it just lazily remained there, enjoying the water and the shade. The evening safari was equally enjoyable, although the duration was less.


Another two safaris the next day – we saw wild boar, barking deer, the barasingha from very near and a variety of birds. With the nearing of the mating season, the guides taught us the difference between the alarm call and mating call of the spotted deer. We were lucky to see two tigers and a leopard on this day. Both the tigers that we were able to view had been tracked by the elephants and a short elephant ride was required to go near the tigers. The first one hid itself among the long and dry grasses, but the second tiger was sitting just a couple of feet away from us. It remained calm and was not at all bothered by the elephants moving in its vicinity. Seeing the tiger from a distance of 2 ft was quite an experience.

Sunset at Kanha


A leopard was viewed in the evening – perched on top of a tree trunk. I felt the need of a good zoom lens, something which I did not have. And I felt jealous of the people around me who were carrying lenses like machine guns and capturing the leopard as if sitting 1ft away. Again a patient wait for an hour for it to move was futile – as it decided to maintain status quo, at least till we left. Our wait was not in vain – we were rewarded by a beautiful sunset with the sky flaring up in shades of red. A big herd of bisons had visited the watering hole adjacent to our hotel, but when we returned from the safari, only two of them were still there.
After spending three wonderful nights at Kisli, it was time to move towards Bandhavgarh. There are two Nature Trails from the Khatia gate – one 3 Km and another 8 Km. I had planned to do the 8Km trail on the morning of our departure. Unfortunately the car which was supposed to come in the early hours of the morning arrived late and we could not go to Khatia, which was 3.5 Km from Baghira Log Huts. May be next time….


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Next Page >>> Bandhavgarh

Kanha Bandhavgarh Route Map Information


  1. Britishraj said:

    The story was excellent and the photograhs ‘A-Mazing’ do you have an exhibition of your work in Calcutta? Is it expensve to go on safari?

    All the photos are truly inspiring

    Thanks for sharing them with us.

    Posted on September 16th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

  2. admin said:

    Thank you Britishraj for your compliment. No, I do not have any exhibitions – as far as photography is concerned, I have a long long way to go.
    I have provided the details of Safari charges in the ‘Information’ tab of my post. In Kanha & Bandhavgarh, 4 hours of safari for 6 persons costs around Rs 1700. We tried to share with other families where possible.

    Posted on September 17th, 2009 at 4:34 am

  3. July said:

    The pictures are wonderful. We will be visiting Kanha this Dec.Thanks for sharing your experience. MP tourism is asking for Rs. 3500 for safari per trip. We are two adults and two children. Is it reasonable.

    Posted on November 1st, 2009 at 2:58 pm

  4. admin said:

    July, each safari cost for me was approximately around Rs 1700. This is the cost per jeep, carrying upto 6 persons, and includes jeep rental, park entry fee and guide charges.
    However, if you are not an Indian national, the cost is pretty high(a very unfortunate Indian policy). In that case the cost is approximately Rs 3500. I assume that you are not an Indian national.

    Posted on November 1st, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  5. July said:

    My husband is not an Indian but I am so I don’t know how they ware going to charge us and I have a 4 year old daughter with us.

    Posted on November 1st, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  6. admin said:

    July, I think you should insist for an Indian rate. It seems that they have given you a foreigner rate.

    Posted on November 2nd, 2009 at 7:00 am

  7. Gandharv Jain said:

    What would be the cost of a trip to bandavgarh including food stay& travel cost for 4 guys.!?
    As well as for kanha!?

    Posted on March 22nd, 2010 at 8:47 am

  8. admin said:

    Hi Gandharv,

    Very difficult to say. All categories of hotels are present – cheap & expensive. Dormitory accommodation will be cheap. AC rooms will be expensive. So it will depend on your choice of accommodation and number of days you want to spend. Only the cost of safari is fixed and I have mentioned it in my posts.

    Posted on April 6th, 2010 at 9:37 am

  9. Nilanjan said:

    Very nice detailed information provided here. It was very helpful.
    However, one thing I noticed is that the rates have changed I think for the safaris. It will be helpful to update with the current rates.

    Posted on January 11th, 2012 at 11:06 am

  10. Maria said:

    Interesting pelobrm!Well let’s make the assumption (perhaps not correct) that every deer has the same chance of being caught–the deer the conservationist brought into the area, and the deer that were there before. The deer he brought in were 800, the deer there before are unknown.So he then catches 612 and 153 are tagged. That means that 153/612 represents the ratio of deers brought to deers already there. 153/612 is .25, exactly 1 quarter (how convenient!)So the deer he brought in are 1/4 of the total deer, meaning the deer that were already there are the other 3/4. He brought in 800 deer, and there were three times that many there already, or 2400 deer. Now there are 3200 deer, including the ones that were there and the ones he brought in.EDIT NOOOO, that’s wrong. I read the question again. He didn’t bring in the 800 deer, he caught them there. That means the 800 deer are subtracted from the total population. The 800 is still 1/4 of the group, though, so the total population is still 3200.References :

    Posted on February 6th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  11. Sudeepta said:

    Please let me know what is the distance between kanha and bandhavgarh, and how much time it will take. we are planning to travel 12 -15 people, so is there any bus services available? or how much it may cost if we book Innova.

    Posted on November 5th, 2013 at 1:34 pm

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