With so many long weekends in October, it’s certainly a great opportunity to buckle up, strap your backpack on and go travel! And if you are living in the vicinity of Mumba, Pune or Nagpur, then I certainly have one of the most amazing places to recommend. If nature and quiet escape over a refreshing visit to the woods is your perfect idea of a long weekend, then you’re certainly in for a treat with this post of mine.
I had the opportunity to visit WelcomHeritage‘s Jungle Home in Pench, Nagpur some time back. Considering this is a long weekend and the Pench Tiger Reserve will open up, there’s a great chance for you to visit the beautiful place to not only enjoy the beauty of nature, but also surround yourself with some of the most amazing experiences, views and a few activities that completely define the heritage of the beautiful wilderness across the jungle.
Situated across the border of Madhya Pradhesh and Nagpur on the banks of Pench River, this tiger reserve and national park is gloriously famous for it being the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and its character Mowgli is based on Pench National Park. While many naturalists and wildlife lovers would like to visit this place for it’s natural beauty, our trip at the Welcom Heritage Jungle Home gave us an opportunity to experience a lot more than just the trip across wilderness.
The almost magical feeling of leaving behind the hustle and bustle and driving into the woods of solitude gives you an enchanting experience of what was to come. With a magical sight of the beautifully rustic and amazingly comfortable feeling of being in a Jungle Home as soon as you reach WelcomHeritage made us realize that we were in for a treat.
The quacking ducks in the yard, ambiance of the cottage like room, comfort and luxury of a great accommodation, the balcony view surrounded by plantations, a great swimming pool view and of course the friendly staff and really delicious food set the precedent for a great long weekend stay to come. We reached the place around noon and after a few hours of rest we were all geared up to start sinking in the feeling of being actually away yet, being connected with ourselves.
The quacking ducks going on about themselves in the yard…
A Vintage Car at the entrance of the Hotel.
The rustic Statues welcome you as soon as you enter the hotel lobby
While we waited for our rooms to get arranged, we took a look at a few magazines giving us a sneak peek at what we could expect here.
A beautiful pool view as soon as you leave the lobby to head to your room
The ambiance set, just right to start off this experience…
Best thing after a long drive to lay down and get absolutely ready for the long weekend ahead.
A balcony view accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee should be a perfect idea if you want some fresh air.
A sumptuous Lunch at Panache Restaurant within WelcomHeritage
Terrace Restaurant surrounded by some amazing view, makes for the best place to enjoy delicious food.
After settling down and relaxing for a few hours, one of the first things that we did was a visit to a Pottery Farm near Khawasa village. Driving up there in a open Gypsy meandering across the highway into a village was quite surreal.
The WelcomHeritage in house Gypsy
We’re all set to head toward Khawasa Village
Away from the comforts of our luxury, the rustic views, cloudy skies and rooftops await us for a magical spectacle.
Some really good shots if you’re into Rural Exploration of sorts
A first view of the abundant handmade pots within the Pottery Village
We catch a glimpse of some childhood innocence and happiness as they wave out to our lens
The Master potter Tukaram Gonde in action!
Carving out some really amazing magic with his expert hands!
Art in Action – Finished Pots
But what was much more than just surreal, was the artistic experience of the Potter who not only showed that Pottery is one of the most beautiful art forms, but also gave us a chance to try some of it hands on. Considering I had an injured finger from an accident earlier that week, my partner and travel blogger of the Feet On the Map fame, decided to give it a shot.
Besides enjoying the art form itself, the fascinating curiosity of how these folks have been doing this for years and the skills they show gave us an understanding of how difficult this art is to master and what kind of practice these guys must have had to come to this state of artisan expertise.
The next day was going to be an early beginning. The fresh cold air in the morning, the quiet and serene feeling of the woods, muddy trails, since it had rained the night before made for a great environment to sink in the true feeling of the woods and what would be even more exciting would be a sight of the Tiger. The good folks at Welcom Heritage arranged for a Safari into the deep woods of the Tiger reserve and we hoped for a sighting of the great wild cat of the Pench Tiger Reserve. But mind you, the Jungle is not just popular for it’s tigers, but also a host of other animals, which will have you really delighted if you’re one of the nature loving and interested in wildlife photography. A satiation for your soul and your lens for sure. They have two Safaris, one in the morning and another in the afternoon where you will be driven into the park with the Hotel gypsy along with an official guide of the park. You can truly experience the wilderness in its true colors. Some of which as you see here.
A Jackal resting in style!
Some Motherly love in the wild…
The Indian Roller
Oriental Honey Buzzard
A Peacock going on about behind some trees.
A pair of Owlet. This was hard to spot, because of the camouflage… But it made for a great candid shot.
Spotted Deer! You’ll find quite some herds of these in the Jungle
Sambar grazing on some grass.
The Blue Bull
There was a kill made a few days ago where one of the Tiger’s had hunted down a Sambar and had been feeding off it along with a couple of it’s tiger cubs. Unfortunately, we weren’t fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the Tiger, while one of the gypsies who went along with us from our Hotel, were lucky enough to spot the Tiger. But we kind of make did with his paw!
But if you head down to the reserve now, since it’s hot, you might be able to spot it, especially near water bodies. If not for once, maybe a second trip should seal the deal. Still, it was a great run as we spotted quite a lot of animals, the rare bird, Indian Hornbill was quite the sight and some of the beauty lies in the fact that we got to experience the wild in it’s truest sense. That made up for everything for sure!
The Indian Hornbill – A very rare bird, endangered species.
If you have some time to kill in this month full of long weekends and holidays, and if you are a nature lover then this place is certainly something that deserves your attention.
A special Note: This trip into the wild was possible, on the invitation of WelcomHeritage, a joint venture between ITC Ltd and Jodhana Heritage that represents some of the best traditions of heritage hospitality and tourism in India. It offer’s over 40 exclusive heritage destinations, ranging from grand palaces to traditional havelis and magnificent forts; quiet nature resorts in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh & Goa. In Pench, we stayed at WelcomHeritage’s Jungle Home.
Have you been to Pench National Park yet? Did you experience anything beyond the wild? If not, do give it a shot and let me know how you found it. What say?