Mahua Kothi is really top of the range luxury accommodation at Bandhavgarh. The lodge consists of charming individual Kutiyas (little houses) built in traditional style - complete with carefully crafted crooked walls! Each is accessed through private courtyards with shaded seating, traditional swings and traditional mud floors.
These cottage rooms at Mahua Kothi have been stylishly built with wooden shutters, and tapered mud-coloured walls which are finished by hand in lime and earth washes. They have open rafters with roughly-hewn wooden beams, handmade pottery roof tiles, and floors dressed in katni stone strips set in lime mortar. All the cottages have ensuite bathrooms with twin hand basins mounted on a wooden log, indoor shower, bath, separate w.c. and house gowns in traditional local cloth.
Mahua Kothi is furnished with richly coloured local textiles in shades of rust and burnt orange, roll-down mats to keep the early morning sun out, ceiling fans and air conditioning. I could go on, but it would spoil the element of discovery in staying in such a great place.
Mahua Kothi has been developed by a partnership between Indian hoteliers Taj, and wildlife experts CC Africa, bringing expertise from two continents and merging very different styles.
What they have created here at Bandhavgarh has lifted India's wildlife safaris to a new level. The lodge is beautifully built, the hospitality is excellent and importantly they have put huge resources into training their naturalists, making them the best qualified of all the lodges. When you stay at Mahua Kohi you don't just get a tiger safari, you get a whole wildlife experience from these expert safari guides.
Open: Mahua Kothi is open from 16th October to 30th June, as is Bandhavgarh National Park.
Location: Mahua Kothi is set in 40 acres of Sal forest and open grassland about 20 minutesâ€™ drive from the main gate of Bandhavgarh National Park in central India. The nearest airports are at Jabalpur (190kms, 4 hour drive) and Khajuraho (230kms, 6 hour drive).
Rooms: There are 12 cottage suites, called Kutiyas. They are made from local materials and have stone floors, wooden shutters and verandas. All have en-suite bathrooms. Room amenities include air conditioning, ceiling fan, safe and intercom.
Activities: Morning and evening safari drives in Bandhavgarh National Park, bird safaris, elephant-back safaris (offered by the national park and not guaranteed), guided nature walks, visits to local villages, exploring by bike. In the lodge guests can observe food preparation in the kitchen.
Facilities: There are spacious guest areas with high ceilings, overhead fans, picture windows and window seats. There is a 600 square foot veranda. Mahua Kothi has a swimming pool with sundeck and loungers. There is a lounge, library and a safari shop. The spa offers a range of treatments using all-natural ingredients. Yoga is also offered. Meals can be enjoyed in the garden, under the shade of the huge Mahua tree, by the pool or near the waterhole. Dinner is usually eaten on the roof terrace but can be taken indoors or in the privacy of a private courtyard. There are folk dances on some evenings. The lodge offers a laundry service, babysitting service and butler service. Mahua Kothi has its own naturalists to lead safari activities.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is no internet access.
Notes: There are disabled guest facilities at Mahua Kothi.
They have sponsored the translocation of gaur (wild cattle) to an area where they had become extinct. They've planted over 15,000 trees on their land; donated solar street lights to a nearby village; educate local kids about conservation; organise health check-ups for villagers........you could say they do their bit!