Wednesday, December 3, 2008

26/11 & Aftermath - Tourism

The terror attack on Mumbai on twenty sixth November can be described as worst nightmare for India ever. The senseless massacre by hate mongers left India stunned and the whole World. Not only Indians but some Americans, British, Israeli and citizens of other nationalities touring India succumbed to the brutal assault.

India is being targeted for its rising economy, positive International image and all things good in the country. My tribute to the unfortunate victims and condolences to near and dear one's.

Who and where hate mongers are nurtured is a matter of investigation? HE! HE! (Sic!)

Like everything else tourism too has suffered especially tiger tourism which has become a flourishing industry of late.

Less tourists would be visiting Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves due to the fear and unfound insecurity that has set in among tourists both local and International. Tiger Tourism help made friends for the endangered tiger without doubt. More and more people turn to conservation on experiencing wild jungle safaris all over the World so in India.

Other victims are the hotels in Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks and elsewhere in tiger reserves all over the country. Not forgetting the local communities that benefited from hotel industries around the safari parks and the local economy in toto. But India is a resilient Nation and so are its masses. The recovery will be quick.

Wildlife tourism has come as a boon to hotel and travel industry in India and in other economies all over the World. For many small Nations tourism including wildlife tourism and birding has come about with blessings as the mainstay of the economy. When turbulence occurs the poverty stricken citizens are the first to suffer.

That night of horror and after was a butchery of anything that walked as in the days of old when ruthless senseless hunting and deforestation was in vogue. People who come to love and respect nature are the most peaceful non violent people on Earth because they have learned to respect and preserve all life forms.

The societies that are tackling the menace of extremism and rabid fundamentalist ideologies (sometimes state sponsored) should encourage education in nature conservation fervidly among its masses to root out violence in any form.

National progress comes as a result of quality of its people, a few unchecked rabid elements within like rotten apple end up destroying the whole Nation eventually.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tiger Sighting Galore

Bengal Tiger
Tiger Safari
The best tiger habitats in India give tourists not only a panoramic view of the nature bounty but fantastic tiger sightings as well.

India's Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park offer best sightings of tigers in the wild. This is the sole reason why wildlife safaris are so much appreciated in these parks. Apart from high density of tigers these parks have the best tourism infrastructure.

They are the best managed wildlife parks in the country and have best accommodation with wildlife resorts at Kanha and Bandhavgarh in tandem with world class facilities.

These preserves offer not only tiger sighting but fantastic viewing of Indian wildlife and birds as well. Winters are the best time for birding trips while animal watching is best in the dry season as herds gather around water holes in the park. Most of the water holes and small rivers dry out in the buffer zones and periphery but remain filled due to excellent ecosystem that prevails in the core zones where tourism is most active.

Tiger viewing is a thrilling experience what with new tigers being sighted and tigresses with cubs. Nothing can be more exciting then seeing a tiger family - mothers and cubs. The parks are prolific breeding grounds for tigers and hold the future of the magnificent but endangered animal in India.

Those fortunate enough to see the tiger carry home a lifelong memory of having witnessed nature's rarest wonder. Seeing the tiger is like witnessing life itself it is so much a part of us. When you see the tiger in the wild you realize that life is real.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tiger Safari at Bandhavgarh

One of the top tourist destination to see the tiger Bandhavgarh National Park is World famous. Although it is smaller than Kanha National Park and Pench it is as popular . BTR has the highest density of tigers in India.

It was a chance introduction to this tiny paradise thanks to kind courtesy of Maharani of Rewa. As usual the family had planned to take our guests to Kanha National Park somewhere in early seventies. But at the last moment the booking was canceled as some dignitary was arriving at the rest house there.

It was kindness of Maharani of Rewa who permitted us to stay at the Royal Kothi at Tala in Bandhavgarh upon hearing of our predicament. Hence it was a first visit to the great place for my family (not me). I went there after two years. Since the first visit Bandhavhgarh National Park had sunk into our hearts and had become a regular haunt.

It was here that I saw my first male tiger on elephant back and then there were lot of tiger sightings that followed upon my many visits. In the seventies the park was much less visited and hotel accommodation began with the setting up of white tiger lodge by MPTDC. The sole accommodation till then was the forest rest at Kanha.

Bandhavgarh now under Project Tiger is a small reserve with area of approx 450 Although under PT the area of about 1100 in encompassed for conservation. Of the 450 about 125 sq km constitutes the tourist zone. Tigers are regularly seen in grassy meadows here.

The game is in plenty and the extinct Gaur or Indian bison has been re-introduced as per reports. It will be some time before the Gaur recovers here if they do at all. But one can see a lot of magnificent antlered Sambar deer and Spotted deer. Barking deer and Four Horned deer are oft seen. The Leopard is seen with luck but tigers are in plenty and most seen here.

Small game and bird life is exciting. Added advantage is the historical remains of erstwhile dynasties and the Fort at Bandhavgarh is supposed to date back to 2000 years in history. Bandhavgarh has the most enchanting landscape among parks of Central India.

To reach this park one can drive down from Jabalpur which is a rail head and an airport connected with Delhi. Else one can catch Utkal Express from Delhi which is overnight and alight at Umaria station about 32 km from the Park gate.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tiger Tourism

Recently I was at Kanha at the invitation of Mr. Roshan Mishra manager of Van Vilas Resort at Kanha. It was a wonderful dinner meet with sumptuous Indian cuisine served delicately..he!He!

I keep on meeting Roshan as he is a frequent visitor to Jabalpur. His is an affable fellow with deep interest in wildlife and a good perspective of tiger tourism at Kanha. Our discussion often moves around from wildlife to tiger as key stone species and tourism which so overwhelmingly looms large at Kanha come tiger safari time.

Though few months afore 1st October hectic activity starts. Management awakens after a nap at Kanha hotels to gear up for the coming tiger safari season. But generally there are days when the hotel top brass is relaxed whence all scheduled chores function well. The staff is well trained at Celebration Van Vilas Resort and hence work goes smooth.

Amidst Naturalists there is a constant debate going on regarding pro and cons of tiger safari in Central Indian National Parks. No doubt the Kanha Lodges define tiger tourism and how it should be conducted. The park authorities frame rules and manage, besides which they have very little role to play especially in tourism.

The crux of the discussion now a days is - the guest experience. Earlier and to some extent now tiger tourism at Kanha was limited to tiger chase. Once the tiger was sighted interest in Kanha dimmed and some tourist left earlier than planned.

But the lodges at Kanha began to give greater inputs employed naturalists, trained staff, increased amenities at the lodges to engage tourist to a greater extent. This began to deliver holistic perspective of Kanha to the tourists. The trained nature guides began to unfold Kanha and tourist began to see the real Kanha besides the tiger.

Kanha landscape got deserved attention so did the birds, small game, floral elements and reptiles and butterflies. This is an on going process arising out of investment not only in properties but expert man power as well.

The resort owners have realized that though the tiger sighting is the main attraction of Kanha a more holistic approach is required to increase tourism potential of the park.

Kanha has so much to offer apart from tigers - it is a biodiversity that overwhelms and amazes each and everyone only good extrapolation is required.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Booking Park Excursion Entry

To book a park excursion entry or entries to Kanha tiger reserve or Pench, Bandhavgarh and Panna national parks in Madhya Pradesh, an online booking should be made before hand in order to avoid running into a closed gate due to fixed carrying capacity as per new rules regarding number of vehicle entry allowed in the parks .

Park Entry Online Booking

The online booking page also leads to information on tariff and availability of excursions on given date in the national parks or tiger reserves.

Bookings at the portal above can be paid for by credit card. For cash payment one need to use service of authorized kiosks of the government. The kiosks are situated only in Madhya Pradesh at present. Find list of about three hundred kiosks on the portal.

Hotel owners will also be able to book excursions into the national parks using the online facility subject to conditions mentions on the portal.

MP Online Hotel Owners

In case of bookings made in advance the passengers in a vehicle have to give names, IDs for verification.

Park gate also provides advance booking. MP Online is ready to appoint more lodges as their kiosks.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tiger Resorts

It is resting time for denizens of Kanha but the open season is nearing. After monsoons the parks in Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh open for tiger safari in India.

The establishment of the parks was from the point of view to conserve tigers and other wild animals. Most of the parks in India are declared as tiger reserves since they are being assisted by Project tiger that plays a key role in conservation of the species of Indian tiger. However they have also ended up as the most preferred destinations for wildlife safari to see the tiger in India.

Tiger enthusiasts, conservationists and wildlife photographers eagerly wait for the parks to open. Not only the above but the wildlife resort owners too await the opening of the park as their business depends upon tiger tourism.

The most popular parks in MP are Kanha National Park in Central India in Satpura range, Pench tiger reserve in Seoni Hills and Bandhavgarh National Park in Vindhya range. These are the most preferred destinations for Indian safaris and birding. There are lot of budget and luxury lodges a and resorts that cater to ever burgeoning tourism in these centers of wildlife attractions in India.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kanha Resort - Van Vilas

Resort RoomsVan Vilas Hotel Room
Hotel Interiors
Pool at Kanha Resort

These are the images of famous "Van Vilas Kanha Resort" venture of Celebration group of hotels at Raipur City where the HQ is based.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kanha Wildlife - Swamp Deer

It is a wonderful experience to be at Kanha National Park in Central India. This 2000 sq km park teems with wildlife and its biodiversity overwhelms. When I first visited Kanha in the year nineteen seventy one it was on the verge of recovery from past depredation and reckless hunting that took place earlier.

Most timely conservation effort was an endeavor to save the Hard Ground Barasingha or Swamp Deer (Cervus duavcelli branderi) by George Schaller and the park management. From just + - sixty six animals to a population of around 350 + now is indeed a remarkable recovery for this sensitive and fragile animal. Incidentally as the manager of "The Celebration Van Vilas Kanha" wildlife resort informed me that Kanha is famous for saving this rare species which is a unique endeavor - the tiger comes second to contribute to Kanha's fame.

The deer is indeed an epitome of magnificence and far surpasses all wild animals in terms of beauty and grace. It is a gentle creature as it's appearance suggests and a silent one as well except in the mating season in November and December. During the rut the male deers vocalize almost continuously to attract the females. Their multi-tined horns (Twelve horned deer)are bedecked with tufts of fresh grass picked up from the ground to impress the females. The territorial fights to take over the females are common but hardly any blood shed or mortality takes place.

For those tourists interested in photographing this animal the best time is of course the rut. Most favored spots of the deer at Kanha is Kanha meadow, Bisanpura, Sondhar and Sonf where they breed.

Swamp deers like Bison are susceptible to rinderpest and foot and mouth disease which is transmitted by the cattle around the park. This deer is also totally dependent upon grasslands as it survives mostly on some species of grass found at Kanha.

But with proactive conservation measures in place the population of this endangered species is expected to grow in near future.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Van Vilas Eden at Kanha

Restaurant Van Vilas Lodge
Van Vilas Resort at Kanha

Kanha is epitome of natures bounty. It defines inviolate, untouched and intact nature as God made it. In more technical lingo it is an intact ecosystem with perfect food chain. At Kanha the food pyramid is filled to brim with the tiger sitting at the top. Kanha celebrates life and augurs hope for the future of the earth and humanity.

Van Vilas

Situated in the depth of Mocha village at the periphery of Kanha National Park, Van Vilas hotel at Kanha offers peace and tranquility. Like Kanha it exemplifies nature and compliments the surrounding tropical greenery and rustic charm.

The owners are a group with three star hotels in Raipur in Chhattisarh, Barnawapara and Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. At Van Vilas no stone has been left unturned in order to create a wildlife resort as a wildlife resort should be. The architecture is an amalgamation of forest scape with traditional structures of India. The cool comfort and luxurious ambiance that the luxury resort offers sends squeals of delight on first sight.

Yes! Van Vilas is what every nature loving tourist would have imagined about a wildlife resort before stepping in here. It gels well with concepts of responsible eco-tourism.

Apart from the luxury and comfort Van Vilas generates a feeling of elation especially being a part of the nature which a city set up would never deliver.

Like erstwhile hunting loges Van Vilas is a modern concept that goes hand in hand with tiger safaris and birding. Like a hunting lodge it keeps you confined to the core elements of nature and wildlife. You do not slide back to chaotic urbanity -from which you have just escaped- you are kept united with the jungle and its denizens.

At Van Vilas you experience serenity, seclusion, elation and total conformity with nature. You can sleep in air conditioned comfort, dine on gastronomic delights churned by expert chefs and laze around the pool amidst gentle drafts of cool clean air.

You are miles away from chaotic urbanity - amidst nature and wildlife - birds, butterflies and wild animals that enchant you to no end. At Van Vilas in Kanha it is time to celebrate life and relish nature's offerings.

I am eagerly waiting for the season's start when tiger safari begins in October after the monsoon. That's when I will enjoy the hospitality of Van Vilas at Kanha again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Welcome to Wildlife Resorts Blog

Welcome to Indian Wildlife Resorts and Lodges Blog

This blog is about top wildlife resorts, hotels and lodges in India. The accommodation at wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks is an interesting feature which is very much a part of eco-tourism and wildlife safaris in Central India.

I will blog mainly on hotel accommodation at Chhattisgarh state, Raipur town, Barnawapara sanctuary and Jabalpur, Kanha, Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh state. These places are very popular for wildlife travels in Central India. The main aspects that this blog covers is to highlight various accommodations that the author finds worthy to write about. Indian wildlife resorts are an exciting safari experience which every traveler all over the World should experience.

The luxury resorts and jungle camps are specially designed to cater to the taste of all tourists, wildlife lovers, naturalists and nature photographers who travel a long distance in their quest to see the tiger and Indian wildlife. The wildlife photographers visit these wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks to photograph tigers and other rare and endangered wild animals and birds. The lodges offer unique cuisine which is influenced by the local tribal food habits. The hotel surroundings is a lush green tropical greenery unique to Indian forests. The staff is expert at service and wildlife savvy according a stay at these places ---A feeling of well being at its best!

This blog is also for interesting accounts of Indian wildlife and environment. The enchanting Indian wildlife attracts tourists from all over the World and of course India. The journey to the wilderness is a unique experience and accommodation is as well a matter of great interest. The hotel owners give a unique exclusive touch to their properties and create an environment that adds to the holistic experience of tiger safari at Indian tiger reserves.