Let’s say you’ve always swooned at the sight of a warrior perched on horseback, maneuvering the deep wilderness. In this case, the horseback safari through Satpura National Park gives you the opportunity to experience it. To add to the royalty of it all, these horses are the first Marwari horses of their kind in Madhya Pradesh, thoroughbreds from the royal family of Bhopal.
Into the wild
There are many reasons why a horse riding tour through the rich forest that flows along the Narmada River should be part of your getaway. Besides having a rich flora and fauna, a day spent here can help you spot many interesting birds and animals that call this area home.
Depicting what the trail entails, Aly Rashid, director and CEO of Jehan Numa Wilderness, says, “The first trail passes through the forest around Reni Pani, where you can immerse yourself in the flourishing flora of the Satpura, as well as spotting birds and some herbivores. such as nilgai, wild boar, spotted deer, Indian gazelle and if they are lucky, sloth bear. The other trail runs alongside local villages in the area – a fabulous way to capture the countryside sights up close.” Even more exciting is that you can also see Bengal tigers in their natural state in this 30-acre patch.
While most forest reserves take you on a jeep, here you can experience the wild side of Madhya Pradesh through eco-friendly, non-motorized ways like cycling, canoeing and trekking. The experienced people at Reni Pani Jungle Lodge keep you company, of course, and guide you well so you don’t return without seeing unique animals and birds – some that have also been recorded as endangered.
When to visit
The best time to visit is from October to June, just when the cool weather starts to set in and migratory birds such as bar-headed geese, pintails, grebes and spoonbills start congregating here.
Although there are many private and government-run hotels here, for an exciting horseback riding tour, Reni Pani Jungle Lodge comes with their exceptional services and carefully groomed trail options.
How to get there
Satpura National Park is connected to all parts of India by road, rail and air.
Nearest airport: Bhopal
Nearest train station: Itarsi
By Road: Many buses ply from Bhopal, Jabalpur and Hoshangabad. If you are driving from Bhopal, take NH12 to Obedullaganj, then NH69 to Hoshangabad and then the state highway to Sohagpur town.