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Located in the central state of Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is situated in the Vindhya hills along the tranquil Ken River, one of the cleanest rivers in the world. The park itself is a vast plateau dominated by lush tropical forests, deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and thick teak forests.
The Pashan Garh lodge features a cluster of stone cottages huddled atop a small hill, offering magnificent views across the top of the forest and a large nearby watering hole, which has been host to resident antelope sightings. The lodge is a mere 50 kilometres from Khajuraho, one of the best-known tourist attractions in India, renowned for its 85 sandstone temples and sculptures that date back a thousand years.
The hotel is centrally located in the city. It is situated at a hygienic location in the Vindhya hills along the serene and cleanest Ken River. Nearest attractions to the hotel are Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajurah (2.8km), Lakshmana Temple (2.5km), Raj Mandir Palace (44.5km) and Zila Puratatva Sangrahalya (45km). The distance from Khajuraho Airport is 2.4km (Approx.), from Khajuraho Railway Station is 6km (Approx.) and from Panna Bus Stand is 44km (Approx.)
Pashan Garh, meaning "stone house", is comprised of 12 luxury stone cottages nestled high above the jungle fray, each offering a private verandah with stunning views of the lush tropical forest and nearby waterhole. The lodge draws inspiration from the dry-packed stone houses of the local Panna region. These houses differ from other Madhya Pradesh styles, with dramatic roofs constructed from massive slabs of irregularly shaped slate. Although the structures are rough, chunky and stony on the outside, the interiors are sleek and sensual.
The guest areas celebrate Haveli design, with a spacious central courtyard. The interiors are a contemporary mix of chocolate linens, block-printed black silks, celadon cottons and cotton lace chandeliers. The crocodile, which inhabits the nearby Ken River, is a delightfully recurring motif.
Dining in Pashan Garh is an experience in itself, featuring delicious Indian fare prepared by our expert chefs. No menu is ever the same and great care has been taken by the chef and the staff to celebrate the unique flavours and styles of the region.
In the mornings, guests wake up to steaming hot tea and coffee and a delicious pre-game drive breakfast spread. The butlers carry additional snacks for each guest to take along for the game drive. Guests who prefer to sleep till late enjoy a late morning breakfast on the verandah.
For lunch, guests have the option being served on the verandah or being escorted to a nearby rural setting near the park gate for a picnic. A poolside alfresco lunch is available as well. In the evening, guests have several dinner concepts to choose from.
Lakeside Bullock Cart Dinners
Guests can indulge in a jungle picnic on a dinner table setting fashioned out of a bullock cart. Each guest sits inside a personal space with glittering aromatic candles and beautiful sheer curtains. Each cart is parked some distance from each other to offer privacy as our butlers serve the food unobtrusively. After dinner, guests can gaze at stars while sipping cognac.
Dinner On The Deck
This is a family style service presented on the main dining deck. Lighted lanterns and sigris around the deck create a perfect ambience. The main dish is presented in a heated cooker and attentive butlers serve the side dishes.
This dinner is set up on the verandah in front of the guest’s cottage. Butlers and chefs shall engross the guest with an enchanting dinner. A treasure chest carrying food is left behind for the guests opting for self-service.
Guests may opt for dinners by the pool, palanquin dining in the bush from an ox care or a Haandi dinner served in earthenware pots.
A dessert platter with vintage Indian tins of sweets is served with a signature liqueur at the end of dinner.
As guests arrive at Pashan Garh, they are welcomed with a refreshing picnic lunch on the verandah or nearby in the park. Then the adventure begins. Once everyone gets settled, the Pashan Garh naturalist presents a fascinating orientation of what to expect on the safari drives. Guests will then depart on an afternoon drive in a rugged 4X4 through Panna’s exotic landscape, driving through the thick teak forests and rocky terrain, watching out for tigers in the bush and possibly spotting a crocodile napping on the shore of the river.
Throughout their stay, guests will travel in comfort in a specially designed Tata open 4x4 safari vehicle, indulge in twice-daily safaris in the reserve, tick off Panna’s ten Star Birds (a book listing the area’s top ten birds that bird-watchers can check off), or tour the sandstone temples of Khajuraho.
Inside the lodge, guests can linger over coffee and a book in the intimate sitting room or the shady deck outside. Or one can browse leisurely through the Safari Shop or library. All guests have access to the Infinity pool, which is nestled between rocky outcrops and overlooks a small stream
The heart of the Pashan Garh experience is in the interpretive safari and wildlife experience brought to the lodge by the expertise of conservation specialists, &beyond. Taj Safari guides undergoes an intensive 14-20 week training programme, the first of its kind in India. As a result, these expert naturalists are able to provide wildlife enthusiasts and high-end travelers with distinctive, interpretive wildlife experiences in India, which are based on a proven, and sustainable eco-tourism model. Their sharp understanding of the jungle seasons and animal behaviour truly makes for a memorable Safari experience.
Panna National Park
Panna is situated in the Vindhya Hill range and spreads over Panna and Chhatarpur districts in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh. Panna National Park is the most important protected area in the north-central highlands of India, as it links the eastern and western populations of wild animals through the Vindhya ranges. It is the only place where one can witness the rare gharial crocodile that inhabits the Ken River.
Panna is home to the majestic tiger as well as leopards, wolves, hyenas, jackals and the sloth bear. The reserve is also well known for sightings of nilgai, sambar, chital, wild boar and the gharial crocodile. The park is also home to more than 200 species of birds including the bar-headed goose, the honey buzzard, and the king vulture and the blossom-headed parakeet.
The park’s dry and hot climate, combined with shallow Vindhyan soils, has given rise to dry Teak and dry mixed forest. The dominating vegetation type is miscellaneous dry deciduous forest interspersed with grassland areas. Other major forest types are riverines, open grasslands, open woodlands with tall grasses and thorny woodlands. The characteristic floral species of this area include tree species such as Tectona grandis, Diospyros melanoxylon, Madhuca indica, Buchnania latifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Anogeissus pendula, Lannea coromandelica, and Bosswelia serrata.
Naturalists are more than just guides. Vigorously trained by &beyond, they have an encyclopedic knowledge of every inhabitant of the forests, and every secret nook and pathway of the wilderness. Warm, personable, and genuinely excited about sharing their knowledge, they are an integral part of what makes the Taj Safari experience unique.