Trip To Panna And Khajuraho

I had for long wanted to see the forests of Madhya Pradesh. The wish finally got fulfilled this June when I got the opportunity to visit Panna and Khajuraho after a small personal visit to Allahabad. We reached Satna after a four hour train ride from Allahabad. Our hotel, the MP tourism run Jungle Camp, Madla was another 90 km from Satna. Jungle Camp,Madla is situated right at the Madla gate of the Panna Tiger Reserve at the edge of a pristine forest. The Ken river flows nearby.
The resort at which we stayed and the breath taking sunset observed from the Ken bridge
Since we had arrived at around 2 pm on the 22nd of June, we had a choice between opting for a Jungle safari at 3:30 pm or visiting Khajuraho( famed worldwide for its ancient temples with erotic sculptures) which was just 25 km from our hotel. We opted for the latter. The resort staff was helpful enough to arrange for a vehicle that would take us to Khajuraho. Soon we were speeding down NH 75, a narrow but well mettled road that runs through the tropical deciduous forest of the Panna Tiger Reserve. It is one of the most scenic drives that one can take. The road is undulating and goes up and down with the table top topography of the Vindhyan forest it runs through.
It took us 30 minutes to reach Khajuraho. The western group of temples loomed ahead of us as we proceeding after parking our vehicle. These temples are over a thousand years old and each individual temple has been carved out of a single piece of rock. They are a World Heritage Sight and deservedly so. The temple complex was quite well maintained and the temple structures themselves were in surprisingly good shape. Credit here must go to the Archaeological Survey of India. We visited each temple and what surprised us was the unique character that each temple projected. The carvings on the temple are exquisite and surprisingly detailed. Scenes depicted range cover everything from the elegant to the raw, from the seductive to the carnal. After a rather extended round of photography, we decided to head back to the Jungle Camp. The bridge that spans the Ken river presented the most colourful sunset one can imagine. Pure delight for the pollution ravaged eyes.
The exquisite carving and monolithic structures at Khajuraho
Early next morning we set out for the jungle safari. We climbed into the Gypsy vehicle we had hired for the purpose and hoping for the best we entered the Madla Gate of the Panna Tiger Reserve. The first 40 minutes of our drive was more than fruitful. We saw spotted deer, Chinkaras, a sloth bear and a monster 15 foot crocodile. It seems our luck was at its crescendo.

A 360 degree panorama of the view from a watch tower in Panna Tiger Reserve. The table top topography is visible.

However, the good times did not last long. In the following 3 hours that we spent driving through the arid and rocky landscape, we could only add Sambhar deer, nilgai and a few birds to our tally. The tiger did not oblige us with an appearance.However, the sights and sounds of the jungle were a delight to the soul. The jungle seemed to amplify the chirping of the birds and the dry thorny landscape had a certain worn out beauty that is difficult to describe.

The last leg of our safari was a drive to the Pandav Falls. Here a hill stream falls into a pool of emerald green water surrounded by tall lush tress. The beauty of the place is spell binding and is a pleasant contrast to the arid landscape surrounding it. After spending a good 45 minutes we wound up our safari  and returned to our hotel and so ended a short whirl wind tour.
A 360 degree panorama of Pandav falls
This tour has left me with a yearning to visit Panna again and spend more time in solitude amidst the chirping of the birds and howling of the wind as it blows through the forest.

Slideshow of pictures from the entire trip

2 comments to Trip To Panna And Khajuraho

  • Tanya  says:

    Lovely pics! Loved reading the post. Thanks for sharing the awesome pics. I visited the Ankur's blog of yours, wanted to comment but after reading the already present one's I withdraw the idea 😉 Lovely blog 🙂

  • Khajuraho  says:

    Well I too have dream to visit Khajuraho, Panna & much more places it's truly amazing place everyone should visit there.

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