Sustainable luxury meets authentic jungle camp experience.
Immortalised by Kipling’s "Jungle Book," Kanha’s forests are some of the richest tiger habitats in the world. The Sal and Bamboo jungles, valleys, and long plateaus cover the Maikal Hills. If you place a finger on the map of India, where the States of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh meet, you will find Kanha. Delicately shaped like a bird in flight, Kanha is currently home to about 120 majestic tigers. This park also boasts the presence of more than 50 species of mammals, approximately 300 species of birds, about 120 species of butterflies, and around 600 species of plants and trees. The allure of Kanha’s mystical forests draws travellers and wildlife photographers from across the world to take in its beauty on a first-hand basis.
Bagh Villas is located near the Mukki gate of Kanha National Park.
Bagh Villas is the creation of three close friends who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in rural landscapes. All three were deeply influenced by the work and life of one of the greatest Tiger-Wallahs of India, the Tiger Man himself, Fateh Singh Rathore.
Know Your Host
Akhilesh, Lia, and the team are attentive and come with an extensive hospitality background with years of exposure in wildlife conservation and tourism. Akhilesh Nair (Umesh) started his career working for the Ministry of Environment and Forests with Ashok Kumar, a leading wildlife conservationist...
Inspired by the Maharajas hunting expeditions and battle campaigns, the accommodation at Bagh Villas | Kanha feature the traditional Jodhpuri Shikar design. The tents are pitched on individual elevated wooden platforms made using primarily recycled wood, are spacious yet intimate, and are equipped with an en-suite bathroom featuring a bamboo shower, double vanity wash basins, and a lakeside verandah deck.
Inspired by the Maharajas hunting expeditions and battle campaigns, accommodation at Bagh Villas is a tasteful blend of traditional Jodhpuri Shikar design and the expansive, contemporary touch of an African camp. With two types of tents, Shikar Tents and Tented Suites, there is also a Lakeside Cottage with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a common sitting room and an adjoining common verandah. The tents and cottage are spacious yet intimate, each equipped with an en-suite bathroom featuring a bamboo shower, double vanity wash basins, and a private lakeside deck. Constructed using primarily recycled wood, metal, and bamboo, the tents embody Bagh Villas’ commitment and vision towards sustainable and eco-sensitive tourism.
Shikar Tents: Pitched on elevated wooden platforms, the Shikar Tents run along a breathtaking lake and offer a unique perspective on this remarkable part of Central India’s jungles.
Tented suites: Encircled by lush forests, the Tented Suites, similar to the Shikar Tents, blend into their tranquil surroundings and are inspired by the rustic allure of the tents Maharajas used during their hunting expeditions and battle campaigns. Pitched on elevated wooden platforms, each of the tented suites runs along a breathtaking lake. Equipped with thermal and sound insulation, the spacious suites stretch from back to front, with a large lakeside verandah and a plush en-suite bathroom featuring a bamboo shower.
Lakeside Cottage: Secluded in a quiet corner at the edge of our camp overlooking a private lake, the lakeside cottage is ideal for a family of four or two couples travelling together. Both bedrooms in the lakeside cottage are spacious yet intimate, each equipped with en-suite bathrooms featuring a bamboo shower, double vanity wash basins, private lakeside verandah decks, and attached pantries. Ideal for evening sit-outs with a bonfire available upon request, spend an evening in the privacy of the cottage’s verandah stargazing or observing the wildlife and birdlife the lake attracts to this corner.
Bagh Villas offers a host of different cuisines, including varied Indian cuisines, Italian, Thai, Malaysian, and general continental. Special requests are accommodated (based on allergies, spice tolerance, preferences, etc.). There is one main dining area, and special lunch, dinner, and breakfast setups are regularly arranged for guests either by the pool, at bush meals, or in several other tucked-away corners of the camp (weather permitting), offering guests an intimate experience with the surrounding nature. The fixed menu is a carefully selected blend under Lia’s skilful curation, using her health and nutrition expertise for the international dishes while head chef Sandeep recreates exciting local dishes.
While wildlife is the central focus at Bagh Villas, there is plenty to do for those times when one does not want to venture into the forest or is just looking to do something different.
Jungle Safari: Kanha’s forests are one of the richest tiger habitats in the world. They are currently home to about 120 majestic tigers and more than 50 species of mammals. Additionally, there are approximately 300 species of birds, about 120 species of butterflies, and around 600 species of plants and trees. Take a safari in one of the zones in a custom vehicle that can accommodate up to six per jeep with one of the naturalists who are skilled at not just tracking the predators but also bringing alive the other aspects of the jungle.
Biking Trails offer a fantastic way for guests to get up close and personal with the unspoiled, rustic beauty of Kanha’s forests and various villages around Bagh Villas. The biking trails have been tried, tested, and specially routed for guests after an in-depth exploration and survey of the area by the team. They range from trails suitable for beginners (6.5 km, 30–40 min) to those suitable for more experienced cyclists (17–22 km, 2 hours). The trails cover both off-road and on-road terrains and pass through an array of rural villages, breathtaking sights and landscapes, and pristine, untouched territories along the periphery of the forest. The Jamunia river trail, for instance, is both on and off-road and includes a river crossing experience for those seeking some adventure, while the Bhimlat trail is better suited for beginners. Naturalists are available upon request to accompany guests on these trails.
Birdwatching at Bagh Villas is encouraged so that guests can engage and connect with the outdoors. Some of the birds are winter visitors, some are year-round residents, and a few make their appearance during the summer. One can enjoy watching these beautiful birds while relaxing on a recliner on the tent veranda, sitting by the pool, or simply taking a walk on the trail within the property. For the keen birder, the naturalists are more than happy to come along and help spot and identify them. If guests wish to indulge further, there are birding trails to the forest fringe and to the beautiful forest side lakes that are a short distance away from the camp. Guests can make use of the binoculars, which are always kept handy in the reception, as well as the field guides and other birding related books kept in the lounge. Birdwatching is an integral part of the safari drives, too. Some of the species of birds that have been observed in the Kanha Tiger Reserve include the Indian White-Eye, Grey Francolin, Oriental Turtle Dove, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Oriental Scops Owl, White-Naped Woodpecker, and many more.
Village Visits: The human settlements and hamlets surrounding the jungle are also an integral part of the tiger reserve landscape, and many idyllic villages dot the fringes of Kanha. One almost feels like one is travelling back in time while observing the traditional mud houses, age-old farming techniques, and unspoiled countryside. Bagh Villas is located on the edge of a small, rustic village called Baherakhar, which is home to many communities and tribes who live here in harmony. A short but beautiful walk away from the camp lies the sleepy hamlet of Banda Tola, a tribal settlement where most of the households belong to the Baigas.
Nature Trails: For those keen on exploring the wilderness surrounding Bagh Villas on foot, a naturalist will accompany guests to explore the wilderness on the periphery of the park. Each of the nature trails has been meticulously tailored, incorporating scenic walks along riverbeds and stunning landscapes — an ideal way for guests to explore the area.
Bagh Villas Spa: The spa treatments are specialised and offered by highly skilled masseuses who have all been expertly trained by Lia, who has over 20 years of experience in spa therapy working with spas in Indonesia and Singapore and with various other resorts in the Maldives and Seychelles. Some of the massages on offer include deeply relaxing aromatherapy, nourishing Indian Herbal treatments, soothing Warm Stone massages, Thai Herbal bolus, and many more. The therapists also specialise in organic body polishes, spa facial treatments, and foot massages, all of which are performed using natural, herbal, and organic oils sourced from Indonesia.
The in-house library has an array of books and board games and creates an inviting ambience perfect for reading a book, catching up on work, or getting familiar with the teeming birdlife all around. Evenings at the library are best spent unwinding with a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine and a spectacular view of the surrounding wilderness.
The infinity pool overlooks the lake and is equipped with an environmentally friendly ultraviolet filtration system. Chilly winter nights by the pool are also a unique experience, as intimate poolside dinners, campfires, and stargazing can be organised for guests.
A journey that began in 2006 with a scattering of Sal trees and a bare landscape is today a thriving, regenerated patch of land with over 15,000 native bamboo, over 500 Sal, and many native flora. Taking advantage of traditional practises and innovative technologies, Bagh Villas has strived to keep its carbon footprint to a bare minimum.
No Single-Use Plastic: At Bagh Vilas, water filtered through reverse osmosis is offered in glass or metal bottles. No plastic bin liners are used; instead, bins made of wood and/or metal that can be easily cleaned are used. Instead of cling film, beeswax paper is used. Purchases are made with cloth bags, and storage in the kitchen is mostly in glass containers. Biscuits, cakes, and breads are baked in-house, ensuring fewer plastic
-packaged market products.
Water Conservation: Rainwater harvesting measures are in place to channel the water to flow into the lake, helping to recharge groundwater and resulting in a perennial lake that attracts a considerable amount of wildlife. The pool is UV-filtered, eliminating the need for chlorine, and drained into the lake when changed. Grey water from the laundry goes to a soak pit tank that allows it to gradually percolate back into the ground and recharge the groundwater. RO waste water and condensate from air conditioners are channelled into soak pits, allowing them to percolate down, recharging the groundwater.
Safe Garbage Disposal: Waste is segregated at source, and dry waste is collected by the municipality. Old linen is recycled to be used for cleaning purposes. Cleanup drives are organised occasionally at the periphery of the park. All biodegradable waste is sent to the aerobic composter. Used and extra glass bottles and containers are given away to local villagers to store water, etc., which in turn reduces their use of plastic bottles and containers.
Energy Efficiency: At the time of construction, design elements included allowing for natural light and ventilation to reduce dependence on artificial lighting. Energy-efficient appliances and LED lights are in use. In the common areas, evaporative air coolers are in use, which use a quarter of the energy used to run one air-conditioner. The state-of-the-art inverter based power backup system provides power in case of an outage. Solar energy is used for heating water, and top quality, energy efficient insulating materials ensure minimal loss of temperature during transit from the source to the tents and cottages. The photovoltaic (PV) solar panels produce close to 100 KW of electricity daily. Surplus electricity generated (~30%) is fed into the electric grid for distribution elsewhere.
Local Community Engagement: Most of the staff come from the area and live close to the camp. Purchases made from local businesses ensure support.
Low Footprint Tourism: Native species of flora have been planted. Guests are offered cycling and walking experiences. The organic kitchen garden grows most of what is used for cooking, and surplus vegetables are sun-dried and kept for future use. Most materials for the building were sourced locally. Eco-friendly, non-toxic detergents are used.
Sensitive Destination Discovery: Guests can interact with the local community through village visits and walks. The naturalists are trained in-house. Respecting the privacy and personal space of the villagers, the guides/naturalists ensure that guests' presence does not disturb local lifestyle. During the walks, no intrusion into their village life is made. It’s the mutual respect and camaraderie that make these visits quite memorable.
Nature and Biological Diversity Conservation: The land was allowed to regenerate through the planting of native flora, and invasive species within the camp were removed. As a camp offering jungle safaris, the naturalists are trained to maintain respect for the environment. Additionally, the vehicles used are checked and serviced regularly to keep pollution and noise levels low.
Human Touch: Staff are trained and upskilled.
by Peter2836 on 01/01/2024
My husband and I travelled to Bagh Villas Jungle Camp and Spa after a hectic short visit to Mumbai and Delhi. It was a wonderful experience. The year had been hard for us, with significant family...
by yash9090 on 12/21/2023
Bagh Villas is an amazing place to stay! I recently spent time there and it was fantastic. One of the best things is how clean and tidy everything is. The hotel takes great care to make sure...
by mrskookaburra on 12/02/2023
With such a close connection to nature, a stay at Bagh Villas is truly special. The experience is unsurpassed in thirty-five years of travel and exploration for me, thanks to an alchemy of place and...