Baghvan Jungle Lodge, Pench
Baghvan is aptly named after one of India’s iconic symbols, the Bengal tiger (bagh=tiger; van=forest). Pronounced ‘baaghvun’, this enchanting lodge is located on the edge of Pench National Park, a dry deciduous forest of predominantly teak trees and meandering jungle streams. A mere five-minute drive to the park’s entrance takes our guests deep into the heart of the Indian jungle.
Breakfasts and lunches are served on a sweeping shaded deck surrounding the beautiful swimming pool and overlooking the nullah, a favoured route of the Pench tigers. Sunset is celebrated with cocktails under a huge Banyan tree whilst watching a giant flying squirrel perform breathtaking aerobatics.
The 12 charming stand-alone suites have a contemporary bungalow feel and feature contrasting hues of copper and pale turquoise. The suites comprise two inter-linked buildings; a covered link takes guests to generously proportioned bathrooms with twin hand basins, separate w.c, and indoor and outdoor showers. Stairs lead guests up to a machan (a covered rooftop platform, pictured left) which is perfect for romantic sleepouts, complete with mosquito net, overhead fan and hookah pipes.
The spacious guest areas are elegantly finished with delicate handmade Parsi tiles, woven hyacinth furniture, and giant ebony chests. Cool, airy and comfortable, they boast high ceilings and deep welcoming sofas. Large shaded decks lead guests down from the sitting room to the nullah. Baghvan’s interactive kitchen spills out into the dining area where guests are encouraged to learn how to prepare traditional Indian dishes – recipes and spices provided! Guests can browse peacefully in the Safari Shop, idle away the hours in the library, or cool off in the swimming pool which contours along the nullah.
Below: a bedroom at Baghvan