If you are looking for luxury you are going to love the Taj Safaris lodges. I have now stayed at two of them, Banjar Tola and Bahgvan. They have two more at Panna and Bandhavgarh. Taj Safaris has a tie up African firm &Beyond. Together they create sheer magic. When I visited Banjar Tola I said it and I will say it again after coming back from Baghvan- Taj is beyond luxury. Luxury can be copied but it is the warmth of its employees that completely sets it apart. Both my trips have been on invitation.
Baghvan has 12 cottages. When I asked them if they are identical I was told in features yes but not otherwise as each cottage had to be built according to the space available for it. My cottage (#9) was smack in the middle of trees. In spite of having a beautiful room I spent far too much time outdoors. My cottage (and all other too) had a machan attached to it. It was my favorite haunt.
There was a divan placed in the center of the machan that the good folks at Baghvan can convert into a bed with curtains drawn. I gave it a try on my last night. But as I had an early morning flight from Nagpur I had a wake up call at 2.15 am. I could not settle on the machan and went back to sleep in my cozy room.
As you can see the room was beautifully done. I liked the Ganesha made out of towels. I removed it carefully to a chair. The next morning after I left for the safari, the staff shifted it to the windowsill. I think the only waking hours I spent the room were for drinking tea that came with the morning wake up call! Otherwise as soon as I would have some time I would run to the machan!
Now the bathroom was another story. The luggage area was in the large bathroom. There were two showers, one indoor and another outdoor. A staff from the lodge was comparing it with Banjar Tola and lamenting the fact that they have a bathtub where as Bhagvan doesn’t. I thought it is better to be without a bathtub inside the jungle. I didn’t mind it one bit. I had the outdoor shower. Now I have been lucky to stand beneath a waterfall but it was another kind of fun to stand beneath a shower outdoors with hot water to boot.
To give you a better idea about Baghvan, I captured a video. It is a cell phone video but you can still see how beautiful the place is!
Baghvan by Taj Safaris at Pench National Park, Madhya Pradesh
The only thing I have not mentioned till now is food. Do remember that all the supplies have to be sourced either from far away places like Mumbai or locally. If you like fresh food you would love the stuff they make from their own garden. Both at Baghvan and Banjar Tola they believe in feeding you till you start bursting at seams.
If you are looking for luxury in your jungle lodges look no further than Taj Safaris.