I recently had a fam trip in central India and my first destination was Pench – the original Mowgli country! I landed in Nagpur and travelled by road to Pench which takes about 2 hours and 40 mins. The roads are splendid and they take you through beautiful countryside of the heart of India – Madhya Pradesh. The villages are particularly clean and traditional. The farms are mostly corn crops that gives out a golden tinge to acres of landscapes as you drive past it.
At Pench, I was hosted by Jamtara Wilderness Camp in Pench. A lovely original hotel with high quality tented accommodations, attentive & amiable staff, and fantastic food. I also enjoyed chatting with their naturalists and the General Manager, Neel took excellent care of me while I was there. I insisted on trying local delicacies and it was a delectable culinary journey, absolutely worth it! Among others, I tried the local spicy egg curry (recipe to follow!) with light and fluffy phulkas (Indian bread) and the local favourite spirit, Mahua – made from the flowers of Mahua Trees. That evening I went on a village walk into the Jamtara village. Jamtara is what I call a happy and content village. I saw kids playing outside, old women sitting out on stone benches chattering, men and women working in the fields, some of them taking a break on machans (An erected platform made of wood, used mostly to nap or watch over the fields in the night) – overall a peaceful sight to behold. My guide Ajay was excellent, he is a local from Madhya Pradesh and was kind enough to take me into one of the houses. The family was happy to chat with me and offered me some tea which was delicious! It was a Wednesday and to my luck there was a weekly village market that day and trust me it was a treat – small & colourful! I also tried Phulkis (Local version of Pani Puri or Water balls) and many children accompanied me on this treat!
I hadn’t realized until nightfall that I hadn’t called home to inform my family that I have reached safely and am having a great time. Well, I considered calling them and I see that there is no mobile network! Well, at first it freaked me out, but by next day it started growing on me. It is quite amazing to be disconnected from the world and connect with nature – which is exactly what the highlight of visit here was. No facebook, twitter or whatsapp. Pure self-indulgence!
The following morning, I went on a game drive to Pench, which is quite different from all other game drives so far. The Jungle is quite thick & lush full of teak trees. I shall not write more about my Jungle experience as it is one to be experienced and not written about. I endeavour to keep the suspense alive!
I also covered Kanha, Satpura and Bhopal which I will be talking about in the coming weeks. Should you wish to receive updates, please subscribe to our blog.