Known as the heart of the Indian Subcontinent, Madhya Pradesh has rich history and can be touted as the Mecca of Indian and Jain Temples. In fact, the culture of Madhya Pradesh remains unfazed even today. On the plus side, there is the presence of a very vibrant and exuberant wildlife in the Madhya Pradesh, not to mention the extensive biodiversity that you can observe here.
Khajuraho- The temple town of Khajuraho is famous for the eroticÃ‚Â Ã‚Â sculptures and often connected to the Kama sutra. It is only when you visit the beautiful town and it’s temples, you realise that the Ã‚Â temples of Khajuraho are much more than just “erotic sculpture temples”.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Khajuraho is a small town with 20,000 people . During peak season it gets almost 600 international tourist a day, in off season this number significantly reduces. That said , it was nice visiting Khajuraho in the off season as roads are empty, Ã‚Â we had the temples almost to ourselves for exploring, Ã‚Â we cycled on the boulevards without any problem and most importantly, hotel prices are really low!
We flew into Khajuraho by the midday flight from Varanasi. A short 40Ã‚Â minute Ã‚Â flight later we arrived at the beautiful ,secluded,Ã‚Â Ã‚Â quite town of Khajuraho. The airport is a 10 min drive from the “downtown” of Khajuraho – which is a 2 kms long Ã‚Â circular boulevard with hotels on either sides of the boulevard Ã‚Â and the Western Temples .Ã‚Â Khajuraho – the name comes from the numerous Date (kharjur) tress spread around the region during the period it was built in. Now, there is not a single Date tree left in the region.
All hotels in Khajuraho have only two floors- ground and first floor. They also do not have lifts. Please request for a room specifically on the ground floor incase you cannotÃ‚Â climb to the first floor. The airport is a 10 minute drive away from the hotels and normally Khajuraho gets 1 flight a day during off peak season and 2 flights a day during peak season.
While driving on the boulevard, you do feel like you are in the 1990 or 1980’s . This is because the hotels (the only construction you will see as you exit the airport) were constructed during those years. However, when you enter the hotels , you feel more like you are in the 2016
Since it was a nice and cloudy day, we choose to visit the temples in the afternoon. We visited the Western Temples with our guide and learnt about the history and architecture of the temples.Ã‚Â The temples of Khajuraho were built betweenÃ‚Â 950 and 1050 by the ChandelaÃ‚Â dynasty. There were originally over 85 temples which were constructed.About 25 temples are said to exist now.
The western temple compound consist of 6 temples; the temple of Lord Vishnu is considered the main temple. We learnt about different theories of Ã‚Â science and physics used to built the temple. From the angles the windows were placed at and the theory of ecology in the design to the depiction of all elements of a life, the temples were an extraordinary example of great architecture.
Later we walked around the compound and visited the other temples before returning to our hotel for some rest. In the evening we visited the temple site again for the Sound and light show. The show was nice with the temples light up in different colours. Shikhar Travels alwaysÃ‚Â recommends its client Ã‚Â to do the Sound and Light show after guided sightseeing of the temples so it is easy to keep up with the story .
The following morning , we relaxed at our hotel before departing at 3 pm for Panna National Park. We were excited and hopeful to view a Tiger. The National park is a 45 minute drive from Khajuraho. Our naturalist and driver , both came with a lot of experience and made the journey very exciting. We spotted one tiger, three crocodiles , numerous white spotted deers, peacock , peahens, Gray Langur, Sambar Deer and some beautiful brids.
The best part of our journey in Khajuraho was cycling- we hired cycles from our hotel and went on ride on the boulevard. The roads are always empty during off peak season and it was simply a beautiful experience, specially since we do not get to cycle at all in cities like Delhi.Ã‚Â We visited the Eastern Temples during our ride, which were not half as exciting as the Western Temples. Ã‚Â We skipped the Southern Temples entirely! But the experience of cycling on the boulevard was just fantastic.
Shikhar Travels recommend Khajuraho as a two day destination. So you can enjoy the beautiful Ancient Temples and witness the Tigers at Panna National Park.
Polo Forest is a haven for Eco-friendly nature lovers and the adventurous. Polo-one of the most ancient historical sites in Gujarat, is also unique for its picturesque surroundings, Forest & Mills serving as refuge for fascinating flora & fauna. It is a Bird WatcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Delight being a sanctuary for over 200 species of Rare Birds. It also is an abode for Jungle fowl and a host of other species which are yet grimly holding on to this last habitat, thoroughly adorned by flowing rivulets and an unsullied lake. The area is surrounded with archeologically important Shiv Temple at Sarneshwar, Sadevant Savlings Deras, Surya Mandir, Lakhena Temple, Jain derasar, the ancient Polo Jain Nagri.The Polo Camp site is located in Vijayanagar taluka of Sabarkantha districts and is near to Vanaj Forest area, Harnav River and Damsite. It is 150 km from Ahmedabad and 70 km from Himatnagar. Presently at Polo Campsite, Nature Education Camps, Wild Life training and seminars are organized.
The ancient Polo city, a gateway to Rajasthan, was once used as a hiding place for rulers, concealed from enemies, citizens, angry wives, even from the sun, tucked between sacred hills on the east and west. It was built around the river Harnav, an ancient water body spoken of in the Puranas. It is believed to have been established in the 10th century by the Parihar kings of Idar, and was then conquered in the 15th century by the Rathod Rajputs of Marwar.Ã‚Â The name is derived from pol, the Marwari word for “gate,” signifying its status as a gateway between Gujarat and Rajasthan. It was built between Kalaliyo in the east, the highest peak in the area, and Mamrehchi in the west, considered sacred by the local adivasis.Ã‚Â Together they block sunlight for most of the day, which might provide an explanation for the otherwise mysterious abandonment of the ancient city.
The 400 square km area of dry mixed deciduous forest is most lush between September and December after the monsoon rains when the rivers are full, but at any time of the year it provides a rich wildlife experience. There are more than 450 species of medicinal plants, around 275 of birds, 30 of mammals, and 32 of reptiles. There are bears, panthers, leopards, hyenas, water fowl, raptors, passerines, and flying squirrels (mostly heard, rarely seen), all living under a canopy of diverse plants and trees. During winter, all manner of migratory birds occupy the forest; during the rainy season there are wetland birds
The life of the adivasi settlements are still rooted to the forest, and they sure can teach us a lesson or two in listening to the deep hum of the world that envelops these scattered whispers of human constructions.The fig trees, when in fruit, are good places to look out for the endangered Grey Hornbill and Brown-headed Barbet who will come to nibble. Grey Hornbills can also be found at a Banyan tree near the campsite, when it is out with its bright red fruit. On another tree on the other side of the camp look for woodpeckers, and fruit birds and prey birds at the top, especially during a particular half hour in the afternoon (the exact time of which changes).
Until recently, this area was not well-known, and saw very few visitors. The numbers have increased dramatically in the last few years, thanks to a few individuals working to promote its beauty and the following activities:
- Trekking on jungle trails alongside the pristine lake and rivulets
- Climbing mountains over 800 meters height.
- Exploring 1500 year old ruins
- Star gazing at night
- Bird watching, morning short walk in the natural greenery
- Herbal outings, river swimming
This increased flow comes with a price, however. It is important to remember, as visitors, to approach each destination and its inhabitants, human or otherwise, humbly, openly, and with the awareness that every interaction, no matter how slight, carries its own impact on the area whether we know it or not.
Just imagine yourself attired in Khaki clothing, wearing pith helmets and belted bush jackets, sitting in an open Gypsy cruising through a rugged lane formed in a dense forest? A forest where you have the opportunity to click a tiger in camouflage waiting to pounce on its unwary target. Or a beautiful lake surrounded by lavish green forests where animals of all kinds, from elephants and rhino, to small birds and swift deerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, come to quench their thirst. A mere imagination of such a situation has the potential to fill your nerves with immense thrill and adventure. And all this can be turned into a tangible reality with a wildlife safari in Central.
One of the widely cherished wildlife spots in Central India that registers substantial footfall every year is Bandhavgarh National Park. Situated in the Sahdol district of Madhya Pradesh, Bandhavgarh is known for a dense population of big cats, especially the Royal Bengal Tiger and leopards. Nestled in Vindhyan Mountains, this scenic park is covered with reeds and marshes. In addition to tiger, in Bandhavgarh youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also come across several other intriguing wild animals, like Chital, Dhole, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Hyena, Langur, Rhesus, Monkey, Chinkara, Porcupine, just to name a few.
Another gem in the crown of Indian wildlife is Kanha National Park. Situated along the borders of Balaghat and Mandla districts of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha is hailed as the most natural habitat for wild beings. Lush sal and bamboo forest, picturesque ravines, flanked with green meadows served as an inspiration to Rudyard KiplingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s epic literary work Ã¢â‚¬ËœJungle BookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. The Park is popular for the Royal Bengal Tiger and Swamp Deer. Some strict conservation policies and concerted efforts have made the place rank amongst the most well-maintained parks in Asia.
Both these places treasure incredibly large varieties of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rarest species of flora and fauna, making them the perfect destinations for an outing with family and friends. Exploring these parks wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take even an effort more than letting us know about your touring plans. So get set for a adventurous wildlife safari with Shikhar Travels. Cheers……….
Check the link to know more:Ã‚Â http://www.shikhar.com/category.asp?CatID=18
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The exclusive topography of India has made the country home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. These huge varieties include some of the rarest species and a majority of them are being preserved in various national parks as well as wildlife sanctuaries. Indian national parks and sanctuaries are famous world over for tigers, elephants, colorful birds, rhinoceros, lions, to mention a few. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always a visual treat to have an adventurous wildlife safari in India, and Shikhar Travels is all-equipped to make your expedition a memorable experience. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the list of top wildlife spots that shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be missed out when you are in India for a jungle safari:
- Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary – Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, this fascinating sanctuary ranks among one of the finest bird sanctuaries across the globe. It comprises as many as 365 varieties of birds from 57 distinct families. Of all the bird species, endangered Siberian Cranes are perhaps the most awaited. Ã‚Â http://shikhar.com/package.asp?PackID=108
- Corbett National Park – Initially established as Hailey National Park back in August 1936, it was rechristened as Ramganga National Park in 1952. However, it was eventually renamed as Jim Corbett National Park in the year 1957, in the commemoration of late Jim Corbett, a renowned traveler and wildlife photographer who had helped in setting up the park. Ã‚Â It is famous worldwide for its big cats, especially Tiger. In spite of immense efforts from environmentalists and the Indian government, Tiger population has been dwindling in India. However, Corbett National Park is among few places in the world where Tigers can still be seen.
- Gir Lion Sanctuary – This popular sanctuary houses the Asiatic lion, which once inhabited a broad stretch of land from Greece through India, encompassing Asia Minor and Persia. Along with the Asiatic lion, the sanctuary also has a considerable variety of smaller animals, preys, etc.
- Periyar National Park – Nestled in the picturesque land of Kerala, Periyar National Park stands in one of the IndiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most visited national parks. It is established around an artificial lake dotted with snags of deadwood that offers perches to several waterbirds. It is regarded as the finest habitat for Asiatic Elephants.
- Ranthambore National Park – Located in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan, Ranthambore National Park is popular for tigers. The park is touted as an engrossing place where you can see the majestic predators in the wild. Tigers can be seen in the daytime too. The fascinating atmosphere and the amicable wild cats of the preserve have together made Ranthambore National Park as one of the most-filmed wildlife reserves across the world.
So if you wish to come vis-a-vis with the Indian tiger, or see those wonderful Siberian Cranes, then just pack your bag and get geared for a thrilling jungle safari with Shikhar Travels.