Satpura, a lesser known National park, is adorned by the prefect luxury getaway, Denwa Backwater Escape. It is truly “luxury in forest. When I heard about the place, I imagined beautiful swimming pools, ornamented villas, never ending skyline, and melodious birds. This dream was fulfilled by my trip to this luxury abode in Madhya Pradesh. Denwa Backwater Escape left me speechless from the moment I stepped into it. The path leading to the resort was a dirt track and a rugged country road lead to the massive luxury entrance. Now why backwater? Usually everybody relates backwater to Kerala. So here is the story – The resort overlooks backwaters of a dam built on Denwa River overlooking Satpura National Park near Madhai Gate. Madhai Gate is a semi-forested buffer zone, built on 10 acres of forested land. The lodge has 8 deluxe cottages and 2 tree-houses. The experience at Dena Backwater Escape takes you back in the time to the British era where they used to stay in rest houses for forest inspection.

Property, accommodation & food at the Escape

It is located in a dense forest where Sal trees having thick deciduous broad leaves overlook the area. Tree House and Cottages of Denwa Backwater Escape gave me the rare privilege to experience luxury in forest. My weekend abode was a tastefully done cottage which had unique furniture carved in wood. The gigantic feature window provided a mesmerising view of the clouds outside. One could snug up into bed and watch the never ending grasslands and trees of Mahua. The furniture in the private villa was very contemporary with touch of leather to give a colonial look to the lodges. The rooms had leather strapped suitcase for bedside tables, crisp cotton & warm shades of upholstery, and local handicrafts. I lived the life of a British officer while I was at the lodge. Each cottage has a sit out and terrace to where one can view the backwaters, grasslands and wild vegetation. Each evening, I would lie down in one of the comfortable leather deck chairs and watch the rain clouds kiss the Panchmarhi hills. I wish I had more time to experience star gazing from the terrace. However, I enjoyed simply strolling on the tiled roofs and watching the forest. Even the bathrooms were intricately designed with walk-in closet and wood fittings. Marvellous work was done by Deepak Srivastava from Bhopal in designing this lodge using recycled material. True to its name, Denwa Backwater Escape was a located far from the chaotic city life.

Gigantic french window in the room to enjoy the never ending grasslands/

Gigantic french window in the room to enjoy the never ending grasslands

Leather strapped suitcase for bedside tables .

Leather strapped suitcase for bedside tables

I was left famished after the drive to the countryside and looked forward to the sumptuous food when I returned. The dining hall had huge windows and a separate sit out from where one could watch the cattle amble along the banks of Denwa River. I enjoyed these rustic views along with my scrumptious dishes. The décor has taken environmental and social sustainability into account by re-using the waste wood and locally procured artifacts. It was interesting to see a community table for the guests where they could interact with each other during their meals. They had fire place in one end, which means during winter time it must be quite cold in the range. The staff, which was locally acquired and trained, was warm and courteous, and tried to make me taste every dish that they cooked. Pugdundee Safari has groomed them to perfection. In the afternoon, I would pamper myself by having various mocktails, listening to the chirping of birds, trying to spot the trees from which the melody came and relishing on Continental and Indian dishes. I thoroughly enjoyed the sumptuous desserts they had to offer after dinner. The local dessert was made from mawa which is a must try. The lodge has the perfect blend of luxury and a rustic feel at the same time.

An outdoor deckchairs with plush leather .

Outdoor deckchairs with plush leather

Relishing on Continental dishes after being famish from safari.

Relishing on Continental dishes after a tiring safari

Experiencing Safari

Denwa Backwater Escape is surrounded by the majestic national park where thrilling experiences await you. Satpura is a Sanskrit word, that means seven mountains (‘sapta’ = seven; ‘pura’ = mountain). Satpura National Park is spread over 1427 sq km and was formed in 1981 after joining Satpura, Pachmari and Bori sanctuaries and the altitude ranges from 300 to 1,352 metres (980 to 4,436 ft). I was also all game to see the vegetation, animals, birds and other gems of the jungle. Pugdundee Safaris offer a range of safaris like jeep, elephant, night, and boat among various others. I went for night safari and spotted the great Indian cobra, Indian hare, deer, and night jars. Next day I did two sunrise safaris, and a boat safari. I saw Chittal (spotted deer), Gaur (Indian Bison), Eurasian Eagle owl, Indian Pita, Serpent Eagle, monitor lizard, and many other creatures. The best experience was to spot a leopard through the binoculars.

Monitor Lizard Peeping out !

Monitor Lizard Peeping out to catch its prey!

Spotted lovely red and golden hands Malabar squirrel during the safari.

Spotted lovely red and golden hands Malabar squirrel during the safari

Lovely green and dense Satpura National Park

Lovely green and dense Satpura National Park

Eurasian Eagle owl peeking across the house as we pass by our safari.

Eurasian Eagle owl peeking as we pass by our safari

Denwa Backwater Escape is definitely a luxury abode in Satpura National Park which makes you let go off the city chaos and rejoice in the wilderness.