Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh
The name Mahua Kothi draws its inspiration from one of India’s most beautiful trees, the Madhuca Indica, or as it is commonly known, the Mahua or butter tree. Pronounced
‘ma-hoo-a’, this tree with its fleshy off–white flowers plays a central role in festivals and rituals. The Lodge sprawls over 40 acres just 20 minutes from the entrance to Bandhavgarh National Park. The original kothi (homestead) comprises the guest areas and has been beautifully renovated, and the guest accommodation is all brand new.
Each of the 12 charming guest suites – or kutiyas (jungle village huts) – is built in the vernacular style of Central India, affectionately known as ‘MP Chic’ (MP being the state of Madhya Pradesh). Each is accessed through private courtyards with shaded seating and traditional mud floors (pictured left). Interiors include wooden shutters, tapered mud-coloured walls in lime and earth washes (finished by hand), open rafters with roughly hewn wooden beams, and handmade pottery roof tiles. Floors are dressed in katni stone strips set in lime mortar. Each ensuite bathroom (pictured below) features twin hand basins, indoor shower, bath and separate w.c. Richly coloured local textiles, used throughout, are in shades of rust and burnt orange. Each kutiya features roll-down mats to keep out the early morning sun, as well as overhead fans and air conditioning.
Guests delight in the yoga amenities provided in a basket (complete with instructions), as well as traditional Indian games of marbles and Chaupad. Kettles of boiling water on chulhas (charcoal burners) are brought out with early morning tea to the kutiyas. Bicycles, parked in the kutiya courtyards, are an invitation to explore.