Home / Travelogues / Hyundai Jungle Diaries V – Kanha and Bandavgadh


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On our very last Jungle Diaries sojourn, we hit up Madhya Pradesh’s most celebrated wildlife sanctuaries – Kanha National Park and Bandavgadh National Reserve in the new Hyundai Verna

Story: Harket Suchde
Photography: Saurabh Botre

Travelling long distances by road isn’t always fun. Hot temperatures, bad roads and crazy traffic all combine to raise stress levels and dampen your enthusiasm. Which is why you need a car that can help you keep calm and carry on, even in the face of these annoying realities of driving in India. As we made our way towards the Kanha National Park these highway deterrents were definitely present, however, the effect they had on me was negated by the comfort on offer in the Verna.

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An engaging, sprightly 1.6-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine and smooth six-speed gearbox meant I could quickly pick up the pace when the opportunity presented itself, and the smart handling characteristics of the car allowed me to dodge through the traffic, no problem. So even though I arrived at Kanha late in the evening, I was still in a pretty good mood. After a comfortable meal and some sleep, it was off at 6 am to go visit the famed national park.

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So we got into the canter bus and headed out. One of the first bests we saw was the Barasingha. A member of the deer family that is indigenous to only these parts Madhya Pradesh, and a majestic sight indeed. We also saw gaur, the Indian roller, eagles, jackals, barking deer and more. Sadly, the loud canter bus and its even louder occupants meant the more exotic and elusive animals could hear us coming and stayed hidden in the foliage.

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Safari done, and we were back in the Verna, heading to nearby Bandavgadh. The roads connecting the two sanctuaries are dual carriage ways, but sparsely populated and extremely beautiful. As we made it to Bandavgadh though, it felt a little bittersweet. While I was looking forward to more jungle adventure, knowing that this would be the last one on this series was kind of disappointing too.

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The following morning, we caught sight of a Sambar taking an early dip. Then, our excitement increased ten-fold as we saw fresh paw prints that were unmistakeably those of tiger along the path we were driving on. Sadly though, the prints and their owner had strayed off the path and into the dense forest before we got a chance to catch up with it. We did however catch a herd of wild boar and the lesser adjutant stork among other things, and found a langoor in the most peculiar pose on our way out of the safari.

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An amusing end to a thoroughly enthralling set of trips, and I was so glad to have the opportunity to drive these superlative Hyundai cars and visit the great wilderness across India.

This is a bit of a taster of what you can expect if you pick up the December Issue of Car India magazine, which contains a more detailed report of our final entry in the Hyundai Jungle Diaries series.


About the author: Harket Suchde



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