Friday 23 January 2009

andBEYONd/Taj third Indian jungle lodge creates a tiger circuit


~ Birth of a Tiger Circuit ~

Breaking new ground in the Indian tourism industry, andBEYOND/Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces' joint venture, Taj Safaris, offers the first and only unique Indian wildlife luxury lodge circuit offered by one company. The partnership provides guests with the ultimate interpretive wildlife experience in India based on a proven sustainable ecotourism model. Guests benefit from Taj Hotel's legendary hospitality, and the expertise of andBEYOND in delivering a unique, intimate and in-depth wildlife experience.

Taj Safaris' third jungle lodge, Pashan Garh, meaning 'stone house', draws inspiration from the dry-packed stone houses of north-central India. The 12 luxury stone cottages, located a mere 12 km from the park entrance, are spread out along a small stream, and are surrounded by 190 acres of private jungle wilderness. They are set atop a small hill, with magnificent views over the forest and a large nearby waterhole, which has been host to numerous tiger and resident antelope sightings.

The overall design of Pashan Garh is stony and rough hewn, with white marble, leather furniture, and ebony with chocolate highlights. Each room has been created using dry-packed stone. The guest areas celebrate Haveli design, with a spacious central courtyard. The interiors will be a contemporary mix of chocolate linens, block-printed black silks, celadon cottons and cotton lace chandeliers. The Lodge will commemorate the motif of the crocodile, which inhabits the nearby Ken River. Although the structures are rough, chunky and stony, the interiors will be sleek and sexy.

Guests visiting Pashan Garh will fly from Delhi to Khajuraho (Jet Airways), followed by a 60-minute chauffeured journey by road to the lodge, which opened on 15 December 2008.

The intimate guest experience is complemented by warm staff welcomes, butler service and interpretive game drives with andBEYOND-trained naturalists. Delicious Indian fare, prepared by expert chefs, will be discreetly delivered to guests using the unobtrusive butler hatches. Maintaining andBEYOND's reputation for sophisticated simplicity, Pashan Garh has a distinctive and appropriate architectural style reflecting the character of the region in which it is located.

Panna National Park is situated in the Vindhya Hills along the Ken River, and is the most important protected area in India's north-central highlands, as it links the eastern and western populations of resident wildlife. It is a vast plateau dominated by tropical forests, deep ravines, cascading waterfalls and thick teak forests. The terrain is largely rocky and uneven, with mixed dry deciduous forests. The lower altitudes boast tall grasses and closed woodlands. Beautiful bamboo also occurs on the hilly slopes and gorges. Panna is located a mere 50km from Khajuraho, a world-famous World Heritage Site. Panna is home to the majestic Bengal tiger, as well as the sloth bear, leopard, wolf, hyena, and jackal. The reserve is also well known for sightings of nilgai, sambar, chital, wild boar.

About andBEYOND

andBEYOND, formerly CC Africa,  owns and operates 46 luxury lodges and camps in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and India. Many of their lodges and camps are regular recipients of prestigious international travel awards. The company was established more than 18 years ago and its commitment to outstanding local hospitality, sustainable responsible travel and community empowerment is world renowned.

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