RADventure2 (Part4 ... /1) : Singrauli to Panna - 10 October, 2016 : 394 Km

Singrauli to Panna (Part4.. /1)

  • October 10, 2016
  • Singrauli to Panna (Day3)
  • Start Time from Singrauli: 0520 hrs; 
  • Arrival Time at Panna: 1645 hrs;
  • Elapsed time : 11hrs - 20 mins
  • Distance : 394 Km

We set out at 5.20 am, what seemed like a perfect day. 
Perfect start from Singrauli
We filled our quota of diesel within the city and soon came on to a Highway Toll gate 5km from our overnite hotel. We had'nt even left the vicinity of Singrauli township barely about a kilometer after paying the toll (for road maintenance & upkeep) the road turned into horrific impassable road ... the road simply did not exist. Instead it was a complete horrible zone as far as you could see and beyond the horizon. The entire stretch for the next 5 odd KM was a muddy terrain, with huge slush filled cavities. I soon realized why Raja Babu insisted we take a driver along and why he was so curious on our route beyond Singrauli. It was a disastrous stretch to say the least.

The photograph below gives a glimpse, pathetic as it is, what you don't see (in the photograph) is an overturned truck just ahead of the truck immediately in front of us. A truck that could not maneuver well. You can see speck of the truck's load lying on the ground just beyond the truck on the left. 

The path the SUVs were taking to get past had a fair incline, which is not so evident in a 2-dimensional snap, add to it the soften muddy terrain, after overnite rain. You have the concoction for disaster. The road cavities were like crevasses on a mountain pass. This was one stretch where I too felt extremely shaky, one slight wrong move and the car would have either a broken axle or simply overturned. 

The road above is the approach to NH 39 (NH75) from Singrauli town.  By God's grace we managed to clear this horrendous stretch and got on to NH39. Which ofcourse did not give us any great relief as such. There were far too many diversions, which were a challenge for a sedan to cross. Under the circumstances and based on Raja Babu's advice we turned onto State Highway 9 soon after Bargawan. The idea was to take SH9 and go via Deosar - Nigrie - Beohari - Khand, and merge onto NH 39 at Govindgarh, this was considered as a better option. After Govindgarh we would stick to NH39 all the way until Panna. 

SH9 towards Beohari

Until Beohari the road is narrow, filled with potholes, but devoid of traffic and it however saved us from huge crater like cavities which is pretty common on NH39. SH9 seemed to have been laid may be many years ago, and thereafter forgotten. goes apt with the saying ... 'Fill it forget it ' slightly modified version in this case being "build it .. forget it" !

At last the condition of SH9 improved, after crossing Beohari village. As a matter of fact it was pretty decent & scenic until Govindgarh. 

The road beyond Beohari

When the road is good the drive is hugely enjoyable, and as a matter of fact you tend to enjoy the surrounding landscape too.

Bansagar Hydro Electric Power Plant Reservoir

A hot cuppa Coffee while crossing the Vindyachal Ranges - Madwani (near Govindgarh)

As we merged onto NH39 at Govindgarh, the diversions came back to haunt us. Each diversion was a fresh set of challenge and brought back the nervousness.

We finally arrived at Panna at 4.45 PM, without any further hiccup. Just made it an hour before sun set.  A sleepy little town, more like a village but rich in history, nature and resources that lie beneath the vast stretch of hills, forests and rivers.  A beautiful countryside. I hope it remains so, with some better roads ofcourse. 

We had booked our stay at Panna Tiger Resort at Madla, which is about 1 Km from the Tiger Reserve gate.

Madla is about 5 Km away from Panna town, off NH39.  
We were met by Mr Shridhar (Resort Manager at Panna Tiger Resort) at Madla village petrol pump. He would be our 'man friday' during the next 3 days of our stay at Panna. 

Mr Shridhar (Resort Manager - Panna Tiger Resort)

Panna Tiger Resort is located on the banks of Ken River, about 1 kms away from the Madla gate of the Panna National Park. The resort is spread across 4 acres of naturally created landscapes overlooking the Ken River. 

Panna Tiger Reserve -Panna is the fifth Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and the 22nd Tiger Reserve of India. 

Panna National Park was created in 1981 and it was declared a Project Tiger Reserve by Government of India in 1994. It is situated in the Vindhyan Ranges and spreads over Panna and Chattarpur districts in the north of the state.
Panna also boasts of a territory rich in diamond deposit in India, a territory hotly pursued by the diamond miners.

Next> Part 4../2 - Panna Tiger Reserve & Khajuraho