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
… fabulous terrain, enroute 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 !
… Majestic, Magnificent Tawa Reservoir !
… enjoying the inevitable boat cruise !
… amazing floaters – the water striders !
… lovely flowers near the water’s edge !
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 ! )
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 !
… great terrain and water bodies !
… an inviting water body !
… some birds at the water body !
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’
… one must be extremely careful with the trash at the campsite ! … Deer with 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 !
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