Taj Safaris - Baghvan, Pench National Park, India
Baghvan is aptly named after one of India’s iconic symbols, the Bengal tiger
(bagh – tiger and van – forest). Pronounced ‘baaghvun’, this enchanting lodge is located on the edge of Pench National Park, a dry deciduous forest of predominantly teak trees and meandering jungle streams. A mere five-minute drive to the park’s entrance takes guests deep into the heart of the Indian jungle.
Breakfasts and lunches are served on a sweeping shaded deck surrounding the beautiful swimming pool and overlooking the nullah, a favoured route of the Pench tigers. Sunset is celebrated with cocktails under a huge Banyan tree whilst watching a giant flying squirrel perform breathtaking aerobatics.
Pench National Park
One of Central India’s lesser known reserves, Pench National Park is situated in the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh.
Dominated by hills, forests and valleys, this national park derives its name from the Pench River, which meanders its way through the entire stretch of the 757 km² park. The river runs from north to south, dividing the park into almost equal western and eastern halves – the well forested areas of Chhindwara and Seoni districts respectively. Kala Pahar, the park’s highest hill, reaches 650 m above sea level.
A typical Central Indian teak jungle, Pench supports a rich variety of wildlife, including the tiger, leopard, wild dog, gaur, sambar, chital and brilliant birdlife. The Park’s open habitat not only lends well to wildlife viewing, but it also offers striking views of the area’s sheer beauty. This national park received international recognition from Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, the Jungle Book.
Location and Transfers
Situated in Pench National Park in the Seoni District of southern Madhya Pradesh.
The drive from Nagpur Airport takes approximately 2 and a half hours.
The twelve charming stand alone suites have a contemporary bungalow feel with a cheeky 50’s ambience, with contrasting hues of copper and pale turquoise. The spacious suites comprise two inter-linked buildings. A covered inter-leading link takes guests to generously proportioned bathrooms with twin hand basins, separate w.c, and indoor and outdoor showers. Stairs lead guests up to a machan (a covered rooftop platform) which is perfect for romantic sleepouts, complete with mosquito net, overhead fan and hookah pipes.
Food is an integral part of Indian culture, with each region and religion lending its own unique influences. At Baghvan, guests delight in the delicious flavours of Central India. Different dishes are introduced at each meal, offering a range of mouthwatering dining experiences.
As guests arrive at Baghvan, they are welcomed with a refreshing ice-cold sweet and salty lime soda. Light, healthy lunches are served on a sweeping shaded deck surrounding the swimming pool and overlooking the nullah (dry riverbed), a favoured route of the Pench tigers. Alternately, lunch platters are delivered to the suite should guests opt for a leisurely meal in the privacy of their own bungalow.
Before guests venture off on their afternoon game drive, afternoon tea is served. After an exciting drive in the jungle, guests return to the lodge and whet their appetites with Baghvan’s signature pre-dinner cocktail.
Dinners are a true highlight, with an abundance of flavours and textures on offer. Snack on a light salad with pappadums and limes. Then delve into the traditional main dishes, including lentil soup, soft vegetables with peppers, chickpeas with tea leaves, paneer in mint and coriander, tandoori, roasted brinjal with green chili, red chilis stuffed with achar masala in jaggery curry, chicken korma – all served with an assortment of naan breads and fresh chutneys. Guests are invited to mingle with the expert Indian chefs in Baghvan’s interactive kitchen and learn how to prepare traditional dishes – recipes and spices provided! After dinner, guests indulge in decadent desserts or cheese platters, served with tea, coffee or cognac.
Each morning, personal wake-up calls include the delivery of basil-infused water to the suite. It is left quietly in the courtyard for the guests to enjoy along with tea, coffee and a morning snack, prior to departing on their safari. After a morning filled with adventures, guests return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast. Delectable breakfast platters are served on the veranda or in the lush vegetable garden in the morning sun. Enjoy freshly squeezed fruit and/or vegetable juice, or get hooked on the traditional Indian lassis! The various platters are laden with toast, jams and marmalades, chutneys, homemade muesli, fresh fruits, and assorted cheeses. Hot breakfasts are also prepared according to guest’s preferences, with eggs and fresh breads.
Facilities and Activities
Massages are available
Interactive kitchen – spills out into the dining area where guests are encouraged to learn how to prepare traditional Indian dishes
“Goings & Comings” Room – where guests arriving early or departing late can freshen up
Morning & Afternoon Jungle Safaris
Elephant Back Safaris