Madhya Pradesh India’s Centre

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Bandavgarh National Park
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Bandavgarh National ParkThe Bandhavgarh National Park lies in the heart of the Vindhyan Mountain Range in central India. Besides its enchanting landscape formed by the Sal forest in the valleys and majestic tree clad hills in the back-drop. It is famous for a wide variety of wild-life and archaeological remains of the Kalchuri period.

The park area is hilly and is dominated by the majestic Bandhavgarh fort, built in 14th century. The fort and the adjacent hills have a large number of caves belonging to the pre-historic period.

Places of Interest
Wildlife in the park
Tiger, Leopard, Bear, Bison, Chital, Sambhar, Nilgai,Chinkara,Chowsingha,Barking deer, Wild Pig, Hyaena, Porcupine.

Some of the bird species in the park
Peacock, Paradise fly catchers, Jungle Fowl, Golden and Black headed Orioles, Yellow Ioras, Red-vented Bulbuls, Blue Jays, Purple Sunbirds, Green Barbets and Mynahs.

 Khajuraho, Orchha, Bhopal and any one national park is the minimum we are looking at. Depending on time available, we may skip or even add places to visit.

Now comes the question of route queries. Possible vehicles that may do the duty will be one among a Punto, Fiesta Classic and an Innova. There will be 4 people travelling, including my parents. For all of us the first choice is the Punto, 2nd Fiesta and last safe option is the Innova. The Punto is a ’09 model with its long stout low nose, which can be a risk if the roads are extremely bad. So would like to know the road conditions to take the best vehicle for the trip. Also among limitations, daily trip time has to be limited to about 11-12 hours, though it can be stretched to about 14 if it is really necessary.

I think going to MP is best via Raipur, which becomes a comfortable overnight halt. But in MP I am a bit confused regarding sticking to national highways, or going on to some state highways as I have heard MP has some really good ones.

As of now, the first stop is sure to be Khajuraho. After getting to Raipur from Bhubaneswar on day 1, I am confused regarding what route to take to Khajuraho. The options are:

1. Raipur-Simga-Jabalpur-Katni-Amanganj-Panna-Khajuraho : This seems like the shortest route. But how are the roads in this route??

2. Raipur-Simga-Jabalpur-Damoh-Hirapur-Chattarpur-Khajuraho : Again how are the roads. The Jabalpur-Damoh state highways seems to be very good, but the rest is a mystery.

3. Raipur-Nagpur-Sagar-Chattarpur-Khajuraho : Safe option as roads upto Sagar will be pretty good but also a long distance option. Will probably need to get to Nagpur from Bhubaneswar at a stretch, by leaving Bhubaneswar very early in the morning.