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“Jungle Magic”
Review of Junglemantra

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Junglemantra
Reviewed December 18, 2012

Jungle Mantra is a wonderful place. Rhea and Shailin are the perfect hosts and made us feel very much at home. The cabins are very comfortable and decorated beautifully, with extra special touches such as the gorgeous grasses arranged in a vase on one of the tables and hot water bottles in our beds at night. The food was absolutely delicious and Rhea took great care to make sure we got to eat some of our favourite things. Rhea picked up on my love of aubergines and at dinner that evening we had one of the tastiest aubergine curries I have ever had. We were even treated to apple pie on one of our returns from an afternoon safari! Shailin accompanied us on most of our safari drives and was a great source of information. We loved our drives, even though the nearest we got to seeing a tiiger was a fresh pug print. Our hosts arranged for dancers from the local village to come and perform one evening. The venue was under a beautiful tree, lit by candle light......a truly magical experience We wished that we had booked for longer as we would have loved to have spent more time relaxing at the Lodge, chatting with Rhea, Shailin and his father. Jungle Mantra is top of our list of the places to return to.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 - 65 of 77 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2012

We went from New Delhi by overnight train. The car picked us up at Katni station and we could already see some animals on the way to the hotel.
When we got to the hotel, we had nice cocktail and Shailin, Rhea, and Shailin's dad all welcomed us warmly. We had all meals together which enabled us to learn interesting perspectives about India.
The rooms were much nicer than we expected. I just fell in love with their home-made cookies. Also they served us the best butter chicken curry I ever had.
Of course the most interesting part should be the tiger and we could see them. There are several courses in the national park, but the sad part is we don't get to choose which course to go so it is a kind of bet, but Shailin made sure that we would get the best course at the end. The driver is very skilled and quickly learns what we are interested in, so the more you go with him, the more you get to enjoy your drive.
The tour in the national park is fun, but the gap between the exciting tour and the relaxing moment you get to spend in the heat might be actually the best part. After you come back from the morning tour, you just doze watching the nature in front of the hotel until you go on an afternoon tour. I can assure that everyone in the hotel makes sure that you are having a great time.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Makachi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

1 We went to Bandhavgarh in the worst weather possible with sweltering heat factor and blaze par bearability. However we had one of the Life enriching experiences as the MANTRA of love and care encapsulated us during our stay.
2. Jungle Mantra is not a fly by night operator type of resort. Its not just infrastructure and amenities, but the human touch, personal care and a fine eye for detail leaves one enthralled and one ends up making friends. As we reached the place we were welcomed by shailins father and an out of the world refreshing drink. The rooms are good ( made of Bamboo to blend with the environment) and each one tastefully decorated. very thoughtful to keep a cookie jar for my daughters and leave the AC switched on to pre cool the room.
3. The food is excellent and has a wide variety. My kids had a whale of time relishing all the goodies they were pampered with by the staff. Staff is sensitive to your requirements and you feel royal with your wishes as commands to be fulfilled.
4. I wouldn't do justice to the Trip if I don't express my gratitude to Shailins father whom we will miss and me and my kids reminisce the wonderful moments spent with him.He went out of the way in educating my kids about nature and giving them excellent books to inculcate.
5. There is so much too express which cannot be typed here. OH! and by the way we saw tigers all 3 days which was enthralling. They have their own gypsies for Safari but they have RAJU Guide which nobody else has and he is an encyclopedia of knowledge and took extra initiative so that we could see tigers.
The visit is etched in our mind and more important our hearts. And OH one more thing . It would be best to book train till KATNI and then ask the resort to arrange for taxi.

Ajay Serohi

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank ajayserohi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Our stay with Rhea and Shailin at Junglemantra was undeniably the best part our trip to India, and our two children (9 and 12 years) totally agree with us. Not only excellent sightings of Tiger, Leopard and Sloth Bear, but brilliant food, great hospitality and a congenial atmosphere. We were all really well looked after and made to feel at home, and we wish we'd had more time to spend just hanging out at Junglemantra - but we were too busy getting back on the trail of the wildlife. The final night's outdoor banquet and dancing was also a real treat and we went away vowing to return.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank colin d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

I have learned about Rhea and Shailin and their Junglemantra from Andy Rouse's book "Tiger". He refers to Rhea and Shailin as great hosts and conservation-minded that know what tourists want. I do not think there is a better way to describe them. Shailin, his father and the entire staff have been outstanding and I have really enjoyed my stay. In addition, if you are into photography, Shailin and his manger Ashish are excellent photographers and can help you out with a lot of tips and making sure that you always have the best opportunity to shoot nice pictures.
I was by myself on this trip but I take few photo trips every year with a couple of friends of mine and we are already talking about going to India next year and no doubt that Bandhavgarh will be one of the destinations and that we will be at Junglemantra.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank Stefano G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

With so many good properties available in Bandhavgarh and with so many good reviews about a lot of these properties, we were a bit confused which one to pick. Our kids wanted to stay in the Tree House Hideaway but it was not available for our dates. It was a good thing though, we finalized on Junglemantra based on a review by a travel writer.

The best thing about this place is the location: it is between the tiger reserve and the buffer zone. It is a huge property with only 8 cottages, so a lot of open space/trees there. It really feels as if you are inside the jungle itself. We were told that some of the animals come inside the property occasionally in the night. Nothing to worry though, our daughters were running around the property during the daytime and in the evening/night, a security guard(armed with a torch light and a stick!) would always accompany anybody who would step out of the rooms. The cottage was made from bamboo/wood but it was very smartly furnished. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was extra large. We were provided with 2 extra beds for our two daughters. Only slight problem with the room was that the lights were pretty dim, not adequate for reading. And the room didn’t have a TV, which is a good thing if you ask me but my kids didn't like it initially. They were forced to play outside or were forced to read. They forgot the television from second day onwards :-)

The next best thing is the people and the service. The owner, Shailin Ramji and his father treated us like their family guests. They dined with us every single time and Shailin accompanied us in 3 of the 4 Safaris. Shailin was born in India but raised/lived in London before setting up Junglemantra. This shows in the western style of service/food in an Indian setting. He is an accomplished wild life photographer and a pretty good guide/tracker on the safari. Whenever we had free time, Shailin and senior Ramji were always ready for a chat with each of us without being intrusive. All the staff were very friendly and helpful. In fact, couple of them refused to take the tips when they carried the luggage to our room on the first day. The safari driver, Raju is an excellent guide as well and was trying his best always to get a tiger sighting. More than us, he seemed eager and tense before our first sighting!

The food was simple, tasty and sufficient. We had continental food during lunch and Indian dishes for dinner. The roasted chicken and the mashed potatoes were extremely good. Since we were out on the safaris pretty early in the morning, breakfast was always packed to be served in the middle of the jungle! My little one is a very fussy eater but in Junglemantra, she was an angel at the dining table and used to finish her portion most of the times. We were always asked if we wanted to eat anything in particular or if we need any change in the menu.

The only drawback is that the place does not have wi-fi and most of the mobile phones don’t work in this property because it is behind a valley. However if you go few hundred feet out side of Junglemantra then most of the networks have signal. Shailin(owner) said he is trying to get a land line and setup a wi-fi network.

Tip on booking in Bandhavgarh: There are a lot of similar properties with varying amenities in the area, we found Junglemantra to be in the middle of the range(price-wise) when we enquired few of them. The price and service levels seem to change drastically over time in these properties, I would suggest to check the latest reviews in the net. Bandhavgarh seems to have over-supply of rooms and you would be surprised to see the discounts when you shop around.

Over all we had an unforgettable jungle vacation. We had tiger sightings in 3 out of 4 safari trips. We saw a lot of other animals in each trip. Junglemantra arranged an extra trip(at extra cost) to the Bandhavgarh fort at the top of a mountain in the middle of the national park(this trip is highly recommended). Unfortunately we could not go to Chezpur/Cheshpur fall because we were exhausted and wanted to take the last afternoon off. We wish we had planned for a longer stay.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank hpatra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2012

'We decided to come to stay at Jungle Mantra based on the excellent reviews
on Trip Advisor. The place has surpassed our expectations and we had a
delightful stay. The resort has a rustic appeal and maintains the jungle
atmosphere in its landscaping and the beautiful cottages. It feels as an
extension of the jungle. The heart and soul of the place is of course
Shailin and his father, who made us feel like we were part of their family-
a home away from home. Listening to Shailin's many encounters with the
tigers and other wild animals was regaling and fascinating. Thanks Shailin
for sharing your lovely pics and videos with us. We hope to stay with you
again soon

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank aniferr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Junglemantra

Address: | Tala, Rancha, Bandhavgarh National Park 484664, India
Location: India > Madhya Pradesh > Umaria District > Bandhavgarh National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Bandhavgarh National Park
Price Range: $103 - $167 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Junglemantra 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Junglemantra is an owner-run, friendly eco-lodge for those who love wildlife and wish to stay with like-minded people.Situated in the valley between the core forest and buffer zones of the National Park, with extensive private grounds comprised of mature mixed jungle with lake, Independent, luxurious, charming, rustic rooms, quietly blending in with the surrounding woodland. The cottages are spacious, comfortable and beautifully furnished, yet retain the style and simplicity of an authentic safari camp. A restful private verandah overlooks the vista of jungles. You are encouraged to get involved in the lodge’s conservation projects and community work. Please visit our Facebook page to see footage of tigers on Junglemantra grounds. and more wildlife photos on our Instagram pages. The camo has an intimate atmosphere. Spread over 32 acres, of which only 2 acres has human impact, Junglemantra is the perfect choice for anyone wishing to experience the best of Indian jungles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Junglemantra Hotel Madhya Pradesh

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