The peace and serenity of a float on the river Ken at dawn or at sunset is unsurpassed—“a Zen experience”. The tranquil paddle down this “river garden” is also rewarding for the birdwatcher as kingfishers, storks, ducks and even an eagle owl are all part of the landscape.
Open Billed Storks
Our grassland, forest and riverine habitats attract a great variety of birds. Stroll around the property, along the river-side or walk down hedge-lined paths through agricultural fields to nearby Toria village. Birders will be delighted by the diversity wherever they go.
* Complimentary Activity
Explore the surrounding rural countryside by foot or on bicycles and experience a side of India a tourist rarely sees. Interact with our neighbours, visit a local school, share in the rituals at a local temple, watch bricks being made or just enjoy the view of small shrines, village ponds and the rural farming life of the local community.
* Complimentary Activity
Wildlife tourism can strengthen the local economies and create employment opportunities. Raghu S Chundawat
The Sarai takes pride in the quality of its cooking. Fresh home–made dishes originating from Raghu and Joanna’s favourite recipes: dishes with the delicate spices of Indian cuisine interspersed with garden salads and continental fare. By popular demand we now organize cooking demonstrations on request.
The Unesco World Heritage site of Khajuraho comprises many fabulously carved sandstone temples that are over a thousand years old and are considered to be some of the best preserved antiquities in India. While famous for the sensuous art depicted, they are also fascinating for the display of everyday life: potters, farmers, musicians and women grooming themselves.
Our idea is to make tourism tiger friendly and valuable for local communities. Raghu S Chundawat
Panna Tiger Reserve is a little known gem. It is one of India’s most dramatically scenic parks and is an excellent place to see a variety of central India’s wildlife. Especially good for raptors, it is an excellent destination for birders but its grasslands and dry forest also reveal a number of ungulates and small carnivores and can provide wonderful sightings of a leopard or tiger.
The Sarai at Toria grounds provide some wonderful, peaceful and natural areas to enjoy yoga sessions. Each room has a yoga mat and we have an excellent yoga master living locally who can come on request for one individual or a group.
The Fort lies up several hundred steps on a steep outcrop overlooking the small rural town of Ajaygarh. There, midst thinning teak forest, lie exciting temples and other ruins, as old and as well-carved as those at Khajuraho. These incredible archaeological remains are little visited and are all the more thrilling for this. This is a full day excursion that we organise with an al fresco lunch served on the plateau.
Kalinjar Fort is a fortress city believed to be the oldest in India. It rises 1200 feet above the plains of Bundhelkhand but is accessible by road, which makes it a good alternative to Ajaygarh for those put off by climbing. Also very under visited. Exploration, once on top, is best by foot but the visitor may do as much or as little as is comfortable for them. Like Ajaygarh, we oganise this as a day trip with al fresco lunch.
These are magnificent waterfalls in the monsoon season and as the river flow lessens, the pinks and greys of the nearly 100 foot deep granite canyon are revealed—some rocks here are dated as being 2 billion years old. The falls are in the Ken Gharial sanctuary approximately 40–60 minutes drive from the Sarai at Toria.
This waterfall with the remains of caves and shrines is in the Panna Tiger Reserve, a short drive from the Sarai at Toria. It can provide a pleasant afternoon walk.