If tiger-filled forests, lots of adventure and a super-comfortable stay is what you’re looking to pack your holiday with, then our list of luxury forest resorts in Kanha, the place where Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli grew up in, may just be right for you. Like most national parks, this one opens its gates to travellers right after monsoons and is open from the month of October through June.
A lush forest in the Maikal Hills of the Satpura Range, the Kanha National Park is part of the ‘Save the Tiger’ program and one of the nine tiger reserves where its tiger population and the ecosystem are being protected. Spread over 750 square miles, the verdant landscape comprises of sal forests, clusters of bamboo and rolling meadows. Whether you’re exploring the place on elephant-back or in an open Gypsy, you’re sure to spot deer, sloth bears, leopards, a myriad of birds, and maybe, even the king of the jungle himself.
Overlooking the core zones of the forest, the BanjaarTola lodge, which is part of the Taj Safaris lodge hotel, comprises of two camps with nine luxury suites each as well as a tented area for guests who prefer to camp out in style. Spread over 90-acres, this forest lodge promises to go all out to create bespoke experiences for their guests, complete with farm-to-table meals in the midst of wilderness, lantern-lit dinners by the river, interactive culinary sessions with their in-house chefs, and treat after treat rolled out from the kitchen in Bundelkhandi style.
Cost starts at: Rs 12,750 per night*
Location: Kanha National Park, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh 481111
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Kanha Earth Lodge
Spread over 16 acres of forested area and situated in a small village in Kanha’s buffer zone, the Kanha Earth Lodge is just 30 minutes from the park gates. The property that’s all about rustic chic, comfort and luxury with a local flavor, offers 12 bungalows with en suite bathrooms and porches to lounge in. Built in Gond-style architecture, the lodge has been created with waste wood and local stone. Once you’re here, you can explore the forests through jeep safaris, or cycle/walk to enjoy the local sights, or even sway on the back of an elephant as it takes you into the jungle, in search of a tiger. For art lovers, there are workshops with tribal Gond artists, on prior request.
Cost starts at:Rs 16,000 per night*
Location:P.O. Sarekha Village -NarnaKanha National Park, Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh 481111
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Courtyard House Kanha
Combining the warmth of a home stay with the adventure of a forest lodge is what Courtyard House Kanha is all about. A quaint and chic boutique hotel created by Kanha hoteliers, Neelesh and Kirty Agarwal, the property has five large and airy rooms with wide windows to take in the local landscape and plush settings to make your stay cozy. Whether you want to picnic by the river, trek through the forest, mingle with the village folk or enjoy tiger stories by a bonfire, the Courtyard House Kanha promises a basketful of treats for its guests.
Cost starts at: Rs 6,500per night*
Location: KanhaPatpara,, Madhya Pradesh 481768
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For those who want to relax with a book on their porch or fill up their itinerary with forest walks and village tours, here’s a place to head to. For families who want the comfort of a cottage, there are two-bedroom apartments with a kitchenette andone-room cozy cottages to choose from, while the campers among you, have the option of living in a tent equipped with modern amenities. A pool-side restaurant and a cafe as well as a fitness centre and alibrary add to the comfort and charm of Soulacia.
Cost starts at: Rs 10,000per night*
Location: Village Katia, Post Kisli, District Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, India 481 768
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A niche forest lodge with four suites named after elements of nature – Jal, Prithvi, Akash and Mahasagar, Chitvan is a place for those who’re looking for an exclusive experience. With theme-based décor, each sun-filled room mirrors the color scheme of the name it has been bequeathed with. The food offered at the in-house restaurant is hearty and purely organic, which makes for a rare gastronomical. Chitvan also promises to bring the local experiences right to your doorstep. Guests can go on safaris and nature walks with naturalists; learn more about the plethora of bird and butterfly population; and, even ride in bullock carts and visit the local market to get a taste of village life in this part of the country.
Cost starts at: Rs 8,000per night*
Location: Village Samnapur, Post Mukki, Kanha National Park, Tehsil Baihar, District Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, Pin: 481111
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With this list in your back pocket, all you need to pack is a pair of binoculars, a jungle hat and lots of enthusiasm for a holiday in tiger country!
*Prices may vary