In The Heart of Incredible India ( part 2 ) – Madhai, Satpuda National Park !

In  The  Heart  of  Incredible  India ( part 2 ) – Madhai, Satpuda  National  Park !

… by  now  we  were  hungry  for  more … our  appetite  whetted  by  the  Timarni  experience. Madhai  was  the  new  hotspot, nestled  in  the  Satpudas. We  planned  to  visit  Tawa  Dam  on  the  way.  Built  on  the  Tawa  river, it  has  created  one  of  the  largest  water  bodies  in  MP. It  is  also  the  largest earthen  dam  and  irrigates  thousands  of  hectares  of  agricultural  land. The  dam  which  began  in  ’58  was  completed  in  ‘78. The  reservoir  is  indeed spectacular  and  an  attractive  tourist  spot. Tawa  has  definitely  brought  prosperity  to  the  region. It  forms  the  western  boundary  of  the  Satpuda  National  Park  and  the  Bori  Wildlife  Reserve.

… a  wonderful  sighting, enroute  to  Tawa

Wooly Necked Stork

Wooly Necked  Stork  or  Ciconia  episcopus

… fabulous  terrain,  enroute  to  Tawa ! 

On way to Tawa

On way to Tawa

We  set  off  from  Timarni  and  reached  Tawa  by  lunch  time. After  a  leisurely  but  a  simple  lunch,  we  took  a  boat  cruise  on  this  huge  water  body. The  waterscape  is  fabulous  and  emphasizes  the sheer  expanse  of  the  reservoir.

… a  wonderful  sighting, as  we  explored  Tawa  Dam  area !

Common  Hawk  Cuckoo  or  Hierococcyx  varius

Common Hawk Cuckoo or Hierococcyx varius

… Majestic, Magnificent  Tawa  Reservoir !

The  Magnificent  Tawa  Reservoir

The  Magnificent  Tawa  Reservoir

… enjoying  the  inevitable  boat  cruise !

SVS  and  USS ... enjoying  the  boat  cruise :)

SVS and USS … enjoying the boat cruise :)

… amazing  floaters – the  water  striders !

Water  Striders

Water  Striders

… lovely  flowers  near  the  water’s  edge !

American  Mint, 'Vilayati  Tulas'  or  Hyptis  suaveolens

American Mint, ‘Vilayati Tulas’, ‘Jungli  Tulas’ or Hyptis suaveolens

The  evening   stop over  was  the  rest  house  in  Suhaagpur,  a  town  close  by.  These  are  relics  from  times  gone  by … some  extending  back  to  the  Raj  days. We  still  remember  the  log  rest  house  in  Bori  Bothi, an  amazingly  dense  and  green  forest, from  an  earlier  visit. Morning  was  busy  as  we  had  to  get  ready  and  reach  Madhai.  The  vehicle  gets  you  up  to  the  waters  of  Denwa  river, which  drains  in  to  the  Tawa  Reservoir  and  a  ferry  takes  you  across  to  the  forest  and  that  is  where  we  had  our  accommodation.

… nasty  surprise  in  our  bathroom … HORNETS !!! (  one  can’t  be  too  careful  about  unwanted guests  in  the  accommodation  in  such areas ! It  helps  to  have  a  quick  look  around ! )  

Hornets  nest  in  the  bathroom !

Hornets nest in the bathroom !

Madhai  is  a  beautiful  forest. In  fact, most  of  the  Satpudas  had a  fabulous  forest  cover. Unfortunately  recent  times  have  seen  some  destruction  of  this  green  cover  but  still  a  lot  of  it  remains. And  now,  the  Satpuda  National  Park, Pachmarhi  Sanctuary   along  with  the  Bori   Sanctuary  form  the  rich  Pachmarhi Biosphere. It  is  a  UNESCO  designated  Biosphere  Reserve ( 2009 ) This  is  a  wonderful  deciduous  forest, dominated  by  teak, with  an  undulating terrain, deep  ravines, water  bodies, rocky  outcrops   and  has  an  amazing  flora  fauna  and  the  top  ones  are  the  tiger, leopard, sloth  bear, gaur  … the  list  is  seemingly  endless !

… amazing  Madhai !

Beautiful  forest  with  the  Ghost  Tree

Beautiful forest with the Ghost Tree

… great  terrain  and  water  bodies !

Amazing  Terrain  and  Water  Bodies

Amazing Terrain and Water Bodies

 … an  inviting  water  body !

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

… some  birds  at  the  water  body !

Grey  Heron  or  Ardea  cinerea

Patient  &  Intense : Grey Heron or Ardea cinerea

Long  legged  beauty : Black  winged  Stilt  or  Himantopus  himantopus

Long legged beauty : Black winged Stilt or Himantopus himantopus

There  is  a  trail  to  Pachmarhi  and  also  another  to the  * Choorana  Range. Our  safaris  were  very  exciting  to  say  the  least.  and  although we did  not  sight  the  tiger  or  the  leopard  a  lot  of  the  jungle  folks  gave  us  ‘darshan’. The  bird  life  is  rich  as  well  and  our  sighting  of  the  nightjar  is  forever  etched  in  our  minds.

… some  jungle  ’folks’  who  gave  us  ’darshan’ :)

Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, 'Harial'  or Treron  phoenicoptera

Yellow Footed Green Pigeon, ‘Harial’ or Treron phoenicoptera

Spotted  Deer  or  Axis  axis

Spotted Deer or Axis axis

Male  Sambar  in  the  rugged  landscape

Male Sambar – Ruso  unicolor –  in the rugged landscape

Cute  Innocence : Sambar, a  young  one !

Cute Innocence : Sambar, a young one !

Sambar  mother  and  the  calf

Feeling  Secure  with  Mother :  Sambar  Mother  and  calf

Mother  Sambar  and  Calf  at  a  water  body

Mother Sambar and Calf at a water body

Indian  Bisons  or  'Gaurs'  or  Bos  gaurus

Indian Bisons or ‘Gaurs’ or Bos gaurus

Indian  Bisons  or  'Gaurs'  or  Bos  gaurus

Indian Bisons or ‘Gaur’ or Bos gaurus

Sloth  Bear  or  Melursus  ursinus

Sloth Bear or Melursus ursinus 

Wild  Boar  or  Sus  scrofa

Wild Boar or Sus scrofa 

Greater  Racket  Tailed  Drongo  or  Dicrurus  paradiseus

Elegant  coiffure : Greater Racket Tailed Drongo or Dicrurus paradiseus 

Malabar  Pied  Hornbill  or  Anthrococeros  coronatus

Malabar Pied Hornbill or Anthrococeros coronatus

Changeable  Hawk  Eagle  or  Nisaetus / Pizaetus  cirrhatus

The  Watchful  Hunter :   Changeable Hawk Eagle or Nisaetus / Pizaetus cirrhatus 

Savanna  Night jar  or  Caprimulgus  affinis

“Bet  You  Can’t  See  Me !” : Savanna Night jar or Caprimulgus affinis

… one  must  be  extremely  careful  with  the  trash  at  the  campsite ! … Deer  with  a  plastic  bag !

Deer  at  a  dust  bin  eating  out  of  a  PLASTIC  BAG !

ALARMING & DANGEROUS : Deer at a dust bin eating out of a PLASTIC BAG !

One  more  highlight  was  our  trail  with  the  forest  guard. There  is  perhaps  no better  manner  in  which  to  see  and  get  the  feel  of  the  forest  than  exploring  it  on  foot … with  an  experienced  guide, of  course ! Suddenly  the  forest  opens  up  a  dialogue  with  you  and  reveals  some  of  its  wonderful  secrets. I  wished  we  could  go  on … but  walking  on  the  forest  floor  can  be  taxing  and  we  also  had  some  time  constraints  … we  had  to  leave  Madhai  and  head  back  to  our  base, Timarni,  in  good  daylight.

… one  of  the  sightings  on  the  trail !

Pied  Kingfisher  or  Ceryle  rudis

Pied Kingfisher or Ceryle rudis

 

going  home, crossing  a  water  body  on  a  barge !

Going  Home ... crossing  a  water  body  on  a  barge !

Going Home … crossing a water body on a barge !

On  our  return  journey, we  visited  the  Devi  temple  at  Salkanpur, atop  a  hill. The premises  offer  a  grand  vista  of  the  region  and  also  boasts  of   a  ropeway. This is a  crowded  place  and  the  devout  throng  in  very  large  numbers, including  some  of  the  ‘who’s who’  of  MP. Post  Devi  darshan,  blessed  as  we  all  were, we  headed  home, with  one  fabulous  destination  behind  us  and  a  bundle  of  those  vivid  memories  with  us  forever.

* our  recent  outing  to  Choorana  Range  coming  soon  in  part  3  – highlights …   wild  dog  kill  and  flying  squirrels :)

Sanjeev  Shevade    

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5 Responses to In The Heart of Incredible India ( part 2 ) – Madhai, Satpuda National Park !

  1. anil kamdar says:

    it is excellent-amazing rare photographs-reflects your insight in the subject-continue and lage raho-all my best wishes are with u.

  2. Abhijit Gadre says:

    It was really a great experience to be with SVS and USS on such a wonderful trip.
    We got to know the names of different birds in our neighborhood.
    Central India (our Madhya Pradesh )
    is abundant in wildlife and there is soo much to explore here.

    Waiting for more such trips and Safaris with you.
    This is just a trailer …..there is a lot to explore more..
    ‘Dekhte reh jaoge’

    • Dear Abhijit,
      Exploring MP has been very exciting and we have to thank all of you for making it possible.

      And we cannot agree more … there is indeed so much to explore in MP or for that matter in our Incredible India … jaroor dekhenge :)

  3. tushar patil says:

    Beautifully narrated …… Awesome images… Changable Hawk eagle, Hornets and Deer with plastic are my favorite.

    TFS

  4. Rajesh Nath says:

    Wonderful..

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