The mosaic of landscapes, manicured green lands, mud houses and vaguely visible hills from a distance. With wind in my hair and wish list in my head, I was slowly travelling deep into the forest to experience a completely new world of diversity. The earthy smell, the sound of wind, and the blazing sun rays well spread across the miles. Popping my head out of the window, when I felt the warmth of the sun and a cold breeze at the same time, I realized that I had already travelled far away to be amidst this gorgeous forest land.
After almost 4 hours drive from the city of lakes (Bhopal), I entered the main gate of the Forsyth Lodge in Satpura National Park. Nestled in the midst of 44 acres of jungle at the end of the Satpura Tiger Reserve, Forsyth Lodge is a perfect gateway to experience the wilderness. The beautifully crafted rustic look of the lodge is truly impressive.
The sense of belongingness in the wild can be felt instantly once you step inside the lodge. With all the modern amenities, Forsyth Lodge is equipped with everything to spoil you with choices. Twelve Luxury Cottages, Machhan Terraces, Spa , Library, Safari Shop, and Swimming Pool, it has redefined luxury at its best.
I was pretty impressed by the whole aura of the surrounding. The warm hospitality was appreciable. Soon I was handed over the keys of my private luxury cottage named Goonja.
From the wooden furniture, décor, the small intricate details to the private backyard, it was like a beautiful dream. There was literally nothing more that I could have asked for.
The beauty of staying at Forsyth Lodge is to experience wildlife like never before. It offers a complete experience, a tradition beyond tigers. From specially curated activities like Jungle Safari, Elephant Safari, Nature walk, Star gazing to Canoeing in Denwa River and more. I was lucky to experience most of it during my stay.
It was 4 pm. After having steaming coffee with home cooked cookies, I with my fellow travellers got ready with Naturalist David for our very first Jungle Safari. Driving through the undefined terrain of the villages, we were heading towards the forest. The sky turned into an orange canvas with those colour patterns looking like a freshly drawn painting.
Dusk was far more gorgeous than I expected.As we were moving deep into the forest, darkness had slowly fallen. Our quest for spotting few wild animals took us to those narrow trails in the middle of the jungle.
Though, those living in the bush refused to show up. But what I enjoyed the most was gazing stars on my way back from the safari. Suddenly there were millions of stars visible in the sky. In complete silence, when the profound sound of wind dominated the surrounding, the galaxy was exploding to my senses. It was undoubtedly an unworldly experience.
After a super delicious dinner and the conversation with fellow travellers, I decided to call it a day. But before I headed towards my cottage, I was briefed by David about the next day schedule which sounded pretty exciting to me.
It was 5 am.The knock on my door was getting stronger and I realized in no time that I was already late for the Nature Walk with David. Getting up so early to have a nature walk was not sounding that enticing to a person like me who hardly sees the rising sun throughout the year.
Soon after a cup of hot coffee, we set out for another thrilling experience in the Satpura National park. The park is sprawled over an expense of 524 sq. km of protected forests. The Satpura Tight Reserve covers an extremely diverse eco-system which includes Sal and Teak dominated forests. It also has several open patches and grassland providing ideal habitat for wildlife. Mostly known for Tigers, the Satpura Tiger Reserve also flaunts a good number of Leopards, Sambars, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Giant Squirrels, Giant Flying Squirrels, Wild Boars , etc. A large numbers of birds can be found in the forest as well. Interestingly, Satpura National Park is also considered a haven for these fascinating and the most colourful butterflies.
We reached the bank of the Denwa River to take a boat ride to reach the core zone of the forest.
I must admit the fact that after getting into the boat, when I saw the rising sun behind those layers of hills and the golden reflection of the sun rays in the water, I was not regretful at all to sacrifice my morning sleep for this gorgeous and most beautiful morning.
When the Sun trickled through the thick foliage overhead, I spotted fresh footprints of a leopard. As we followed the footprints, an alarming call rang through the still air, announcing the presence of a leopard close by. We were not so lucky enough to spot it except David who had a rare glimpse of the leopard from a distance. It was one of its kind experiences.
Driving in the dawn to the bank of Denwa River, boat ride with the rising sun, taking a nature walk in the core zone and having breakfast in the forest of Satpura National Park was like an experience of a lifetime.A walk in the periphery of the forest is a great way to get the sense of belongingness to the nature. I had never imagined in my entire life that one fine day I will be walking along with wild animals in the deep forest.
After having a well spread brunch at the lodge, we exchanged experiences with fellow travellers. It was 2 pm when we were set out for another expedition to the other part of Satpura Tiger Reserve.
Interestingly, we were lucky to spot a few wild animals this time. Starting from Monkeys, spotted Deer, Sambars, Bison, Sloth Bear, and even a Crocodile.
The best moment was when we spotted the Sloth Bear with his two cubs in the middle of the jungle. It was a thrilling experience to see Sloth Bears from such a close distance.
Apart from that, David was explaining about the different flora and fauna of the forest and also introduced us to some species as well. It was such a pleasure to experience wildlife with a Naturalist like David, who is not only a knowledgeable person, but also has the patience to explain each and everything in details.
With the setting sun and darkness following, the white boat was merely visible in the dock. My ear was attuned to the rhythmic sound of the water so much that it literally overpowered the sound of the speed boat. As I was sailing through the Denwa River, I felt as if I had left a part of me in the middle of the dense forest. From taking a night safari in the forest, nature walks in the core zone, experiencing the wilderness to scintillating star gazing, I lived each moment. And I am undeniably hooked.
To know more about Forsyth Lodge , Please visit https://www.forsythlodge.com/
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