Panna

Panna National Park is situated in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, at a distance of around 57 km from Khajuraho. The region, famous for its diamond industry, is also home to some of the best wildlife species in India and is one of the most famous tiger reserves in the country. The park is known worldwide for its wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope. Due to its closeness to one of the best-known Indian tourist attraction in India, Khajuraho, the park is recognized as an exciting stop-over destination.

The climate of the region is tropical. Summers, somewhat scorching, are when one has the maximum chances of encountering the exclusive wildlife of this park. Winters are cold and comfortable and the temperature generally remains under 25°C. Monsoon touches this region in July and continues till mid-September. Tiger (Panthera tigristigris), the king of the jungle, roams freely in this secure, though a bit small habitat along with his fellow beings - leopard (Panthera pardus), wild dog (Cuonalpinus), wolf (Canis lupus), hyaena (Hyaena hyaena), caracal (Felus caracal) and other smaller cats. Sloth bear has his most favourite home in the rock escarpments and undisturbed vales. The wooded areas are dotted with sambar, the largest of Indian deer, chital and chowsingha. One can easily see nilgai and chinkara in most open areas in the grasslands, especially on the periphery.

Avifauna

The avifauna comprises more than 200 species, including a host of migratory birds. One can see white necked stork, bareheaded goose, honey buuzzard, king vulture, blossom headed parakeet, paradise flycatcher, slaty headed scimitar babbler to name a few.

Reptiles

Variety of snakes, including the python and other reptiles are found here.

Flora Attractions

Dry and hot climate, in union with shallow Vindhyan soils has given rise to dry teak and dry mixed forest. The dominating vegetation type is miscellaneous dry deciduous forest interspersed with grassland areas. Other major forest types are riverine, open grasslands, open woodlands with tall grasses and thorny woodlands. The characteristic floral species of this area include tree species such as Tectona grandis, Diospyros melanoxylon, Madhuca indica, Buchnania latifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Anogeissus pendula, Lannea coromandelica, Bosswelia serrata etc.

Sarai at Toria - Panna

The tigers of the Panna National Park have had a chequered history; but the diversity of ungulates, birds and other carnivores is fantastic. Panna is one of central India’s lesser known gems. Dramatic landscape and a beautiful mix of habitats provide the visitor with a wonderful variety of wildlife experiences. The pristine ecologically rich Ken River flows through the tiger reserve and just downstream lies the Sarai at Toria.

The Sarai at Toria is a small experiential lodge - eight double cottages designed and created with the planet’s environment paramount in mind. The vision and creation of a husband-wife team of wildlife biologist and wildlife photographer/writer, the Sarai was begun as ecologically and culturally appropriate alternative accommodation for visitors to Khajuraho. However it is also perfectly positioned for visitors to Panna Tiger Reserve as it is just across the river and within five minutes of the park gates. These are only two of many other activities on offer at this wonderful riverside retreat that can introduce you to many cultural and natural aspects of this part of Bundhelkund.

Set in nine acres of grassland midst rural farmland, there is a strip of forest at the back and the Ken river at the front; the Sarai itself is a delight for wildlife lovers - around 175 bird species and many of the smaller mammals: jackal, jungle cat, toddy cat, Indian civet, mongoose, wild boar can be seen on the property itself.

While relaxing in the elegant, large bedrooms, you can rest assured that your comfort is not costing the earth; the sun powers your lights and fan and burnable waste and wood heat the water individually for each cottage. The building is created from mud, thatch and local materials. Most of the furniture has been designed and made on site from village-grown woods, the furnishings are natural and much of the cloth is hand woven and the soaps and shampoo are made and scented with natural materials by a community that promotes integral living and ecological sustainability.

The Sarai has a prolific organic garden that produces wonderful vegetables, salads and fresh herbs. Our Indian dishes, many from the Malwa region of central India, home-baked breads and pastries, soups and continental deserts ensure that food will be another highlight of your stay.

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