Wellness & SPA

Activity

Activity

The Sarai at Toria is well situated to offer a number of other activities over and above safaris in the Panna National Park. Two of those a wildlife enthusiast is most likely to appreciate are the night safari and our boat ride.

The local community has been given permission to operate safaris at night in the buffer area of the reserve. They operate from approximately 6.00pm until around 10.30pm. Though the roads can be rough, the forests look quite magical at night and the darkness and silence is a special experience. Spotlit sightings can include leopard, bears, nilgai, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, rusty spotted cats, civets, porcupine, hares, owls and nightjars – even all in one evening! Winter months of December and January may be uncomfortably cold but at other months, these can provide a uniquely delightful adventure.

Our boat ride is so sublime it is often cited as the highlight of travellers’ visit. We provide a dawn or sunset boat ride on the River Ken from the banks of the Sarai at Toria. This is a delightful paddle down the river in a country made boat, very peaceful, very beautiful. We only occasionally see crocodiles but the birdlife is wonderful and it includes not only expected river species but also the magnificent Indian eagle owl that nests on the rocky midstream islands and sometimes also views of sarus crane.

Wellness & SPA

About The Lodge

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.

Wellness & SPA

Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

 

Special Offer

At 'home' we offer boat rides and fishing on the pristine Ken river, walks through the crop fields of the surrounding countryside and birding on site or at nearby forest and wetland areas. Lunch in the cool shade of a spreading neem tree or dine by candlelight under the stars.

A sample of tour destinations include

Khajuraho - this world heritage site of 1000-year-old temples is well known for its magnificent sculptures.

Panna Tiger Reserve – the reserve encompasses a unique landscape of gorges and plateaus that provide important habitat for an abundance of central Indian dry forest species.

Waterfalls - some of these are historic and seasonally very dramatic.

Maheba/Dhubela – see the majestic Chhatris of the Bundela Maharaja, Chhatrasal (1649–1731) and his queens and explore the remaining ruins of his capital city. The Dhubela museum, situated in an old fort, contains sculptures and artefacts revealing more of the "historical enigma" of the Bundela kings.

Ajaygarh Fort – a rarely visited wonderful hilltop fort that has equally rich and even older temples and carvings than Khajuraho. These ruins are situated in dry forest, in a setting similar to how Khajuraho may have been when it was rediscovered.

Panna – a town with an interesting mix of architecture - ancient, Mughal, Bundela and even Palladian styles. There are several fascinating places to explore, ranging from modern temples to ancient cenotaphs.

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