Taj Safaris - Banjaar Tola, Kanha National Park, India
Taj Safaris’ third jungle safari lodge is situated along the banks of the Banjaar River, directly overlooking the heart of Kanha National Park. The luxurious, yet lightweight, ensuite tents have been designed in a contemporary style, with pressed bamboo wall panels, gorgeous bamboo floors and locally crafted furniture hewn from the timber of exotic Indian trees. The textiles have been designed in tones of delicate saffron and acid-washed green, with rich block-printed Madhya Pradesh cottons and silks. The atmosphere is light, ethereal and organic.
The lodge boasts two elegant camps of nine suites, each with its own intimate tented sitting area. Banjaar Tola has its own unique identity, celebrating the Bastar and Dogra art that hails from nearby Chattisgarh.
Kanha National Park
Kanha is one of India’s largest national parks, covering 1,945 km² and is located in the Maikal Hills of the Satpura Hills range in the south eastern part of the state of Madhya Pradesh. The Park has beautiful areas of sal forests, large bamboo stretches and lush green meadows.
In 1973, when Project Tiger was launched to save the tiger, Kanha was one of the nine reserves selected for the project. It is prime tiger country and is the project’s star success story.
Herds of animals are found in the central parklands, where approximately 22 animal species are regularly spotted, including the more unique species such as the three-striped palm squirrel, common langur, jackal, wild pig and black buck. Striped hyena, leopard, mouse deer and porcupine also reside here, as do the chinkara and ant-eating pangolin. Kanha is home to the highly endangered deer, the hardground barasingha, as well as sambar, chital and gaur. Kanha features approximately 70 tree species and is a bird watcher’s paradise, with over 200 recorded bird species.
Location and Transfers
Banjaar Tola is situated on the edge of the Banjaar River and overlooks the heart of Kanha National Park on the opposite bank.
The lodge is easily accessed by plane from Delhi via Jabalpur or Raipur, which are a 4 hour chauffeured road journey, the last 1.5 hours is a game drive.
The tented guest suites at Banjaar Tola are set along the banks of the Banjaar River, overlooking the core area of Kanha National Park, world renowned for its tiger viewing. Designed with a light footprint to protect the surrounding riverine environment, the 18 tented suites are set on raised platforms supported at only seven points on the ground. Wide glass doors open onto private decks overlooking the river, offering panoramic views of the wilderness beyond. Pressed bamboo floors and wall panels combine with fabrics in delicate tones of bleached saffron, forest green and earthy cinnamon to create a light and airy atmosphere. Raw timber furniture, canvas wardrobes, leather detailing and handcrafted furniture made from fallen trees and driftwood give a glamorous camping feel.
At breakfast your personal wake-up call will include the delivery of freshly squeezed orange juice, tea, coffee and homemade biscuits delivered through the butler hatch for you to enjoy before departing on your morning jungle safari. After a morning filled with adventure, return to the lodge for a hearty breakfast. 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 cheese. Hot breakfasts are also prepared according to guests’ preferences, with eggs and fresh breads. Or sample some traditional Indian fare: parathas (homemade salted pancakes with potatoes, paneer and cauliflower), poha (flat saffron rice with fresh vegetables), kathi rolls (Indian style wraps stuffed with chicken, lamb or vegetables) or pao bhaji (fresh bread rolls served with tomato and onion).
Mouthwatering lunch platters are served on the shady pool deck. After lunch, relax on the private veranda of your suite, watching jungle life pass by along the Banjaar River.
Later, at afternoon tea, you will be introduced to your expert &Beyond trained naturalist, who will give you a full orientation of what to expect on your safari drives into the jungle. You will then depart on your afternoon drive in an open 4×4 safari vehicle through the sal and bamboo forests and grassy clearings of Kanha. Pause at sunset point to watch the sun sinking down over the jungle and enjoy a thirst-quenching cocktail.
As you arrive back at the lodge after sunset, ice-cold signature cocktails are waiting to refresh you. Dinner may be served on the spacious jungle deck or even in a surprise jungle setting. Savour delicious Indian cooking, including Haandi dishes served in earthenware pots. After dinner, indulge in decadent desserts, served with tea, coffee or cognac. You will then be escorted back to your tented suite, where you will fall asleep listening to the sounds of the jungle drift across the Banjaar River.
Facilities and Activities
Dining & Sitting Area
Morning & Afternoon Jungle Safaris