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Central Reserves

Rating: Mid-range    

Junglemantra overview

Junglemantra is a small lodge at Bandhavgarh which opened in January 2006. It is set in a natural corridor connecting the core forests of Bandhavgarh and sharing its southern boundary with the park. The 32 acres of grounds, once overgrazed wasteland, are being reforested and restored to their natural state providing an important wildlife haven and extending the conservation of the area. Only 2 acres of the grounds are used for the lodge buildings and the rest, which include a 2 acre lake, provide habitat for lots of birds and other wildlife. Mammals such as jackals, jungle cat, civet cat, mongoose, jungle hare, Indian foxes, barking deer and sometimes even the big cats such as leopards and tigers have been seen right on the Junglemantra grounds.

There are just 8 cottages which have been cleverly constructed out of local bamboo. The resort is family owned and managed by British Asian Shalin Ramji and his wife Rhea, who have a strong bond with the local area, its people and wildlife, who relocated to Bandhavgarh from London.


Open:  Junglemantra is open the same dates as Bandhavgarh National Park, which is usually 15th October to 15th June.

Location:  Junglemantra is located in Bandhavgarh National Park, between the forests and buffer zones of the park. It is set in 25 acres of private grounds with woodland and a lake.  The nearest railway stations are Umaria and Katni, while Jabalpur airport about 2-3 hours’ drive away.

Rooms:  Accommodation is in 8 spacious rustic bamboo & wood cottages, with outdoor seating areas looking out towards the jungle. They have en-suite bathrooms and are comfortably furnished with large beds and traditional Indian textiles. Rooms are air cooled (there is no air conditioning), so can get hot in the warmer months from April onwards.   

Activities:  Morning and afternoon jeep safaris and elephant back safaris in Bandhavgarh National Park, relaxing in the grounds with its resident mammals, birds and reptiles, woodland picnics, visiting Bandhavgarh Fort, visiting the local village and school. This is a a good area for photography and the lodge owners are keen photographers.  

Facilities:  There is a large, raised outdoor seating and dining area with a central fireplace. There is also an indoor seating area. The lodge has a screening room for viewing wildlife films and guests’ own video footage and listen to talks by the in-house naturalists. The lodge serves breakfast, lunch, usually continental cuisine, and dinner, mostly Indian dishes. Junglemantra has its own bakery on-site producing fresh bread, croissants, cakes and pastries. Many of the ingredients come from the lodge’s kitchen garden and others are from local farms. On some evenings dancers from the local village perform for guests.

Dining:  Meals are taken communally.

Children:  Children of all ages are welcome, but rules apply.  

Health:  We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.

Communication:  There is no Wi-Fi internet access and most mobile ‘phones do not work well here. There are plans to get a land line and setup a Wi-Fi network. 

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
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