Just as you come out of the reception interesting paths lead on both sides down to where the
cottage clusters are located. 28 cottages in six clusters are accessed through a beautiful path that pleases the eyes for the shadows that the stone beams of the roof cast as well as the plants on either side, bird song add music as you walk to your cottage. Each cottage is designed to be large and spacious, bring in plenty of light and nature and a luxurious bed to call it a night or snooze by day.
Attached bathrooms offer exclusive dressing area and ample luggage space and twin vanities, with the option of an outdoor shower in about 16 of the cottages. Interesting furniture positioned well to hold a wide screen TV with multi-channel facility, tea/coffee station and a writing desk close to a picture window – a mix of colonial and arty ethnic. The piece de resistance is however the beautiful sit-out private to every cottage, greened with local plantation, delicate and diligent creepers - an invitation to birds and your outdoor lounge space by day or night. Not surprising waking up to the chirrups of birds is a part of every meditative morning you spend here.
Meal times promise to be an eclectic mix of salads and grills served “ Under the Jamun Tree” or arange of Indian cuisine and select world cuisine in the indoors and air-conditioned “Coriander Leaf ”, the later also features a bar.
Pool and Spa
A five bed spa close to the pool is for those times when you need help with relaxation; it is Ayurvedic and has provision to cater to men and women separately. The pool set amidst the farms is a welcome place to relax at the end of the day or to begin one.
When to go / Climate
Bhopal is a year around destination while winters is when the national parks of central India open, Bhopal can be clubbed with Gwalior or Indore and to form interesting itineraries which can then connect to Agra & Jaipur or Delhi. Along with Indore and Maheshwar Bhopal forms interesting connects with some of the lesser explored regions of Central India.
Things to Do
While in Bhopal there are enough and more to occupy two days. You will be pleasantly surprised to
see the Museums of Bhopal there are three of them located close to each other on Shmala hills – the tribal museum being a collection of every kind of folk and tribal art including life size displays of their dwelling and small notes and anecdotes of their beliefs and rituals. The museum of Man on the other hand is interactive display of the man-kind, including different kinds of housing from every part of India and also academic data which could be invaluable to children.
Bhopal has layers of history beginning with the legendary tribal king, Raja Bhoj to the reign of Begums to subtle influences by the Bourbons and stories around the time when General Goddard passed through Bhopal. All this can be uncovered through some existing building and crafts through the narrations of an expert and guide. Short excursions to Sanchi and Bhimbhetka and you are in timelines that preceed recorded history.
Urban forestry in Van Vihar and its advantages and the visibly thriving habitat can be an early morning excursion with a naturalist or can be your morning walk.
Opening and closing
The retreat remains open through-out the year. In fact every season can showcase a different attraction for travellers. Bhopal has several events and festivals related to music, culture, textiles and crafts like pottery etc.
It is time to go back to our timeless cities on the fast lane of progress yet fighting to keep their history and charm alive….if only just. Bhopal is one such city. Straddling the plains of Malwa on one side and the hills of the Vindhyas on the other, modern Bhopal continues to work on its charms - hills and lakes, modern homes and sepia toned havelis vie for attention along with new attractions like the string of museums and an urban forest, the city’s singular life enriching lung. Bhopal also sits within a short driving distance of two of the most interesting world heritage sites – the prehistoric rock shelters at Bhimbhetka and the Great Stupa at Sanchi.
Jehanuma Retreat is just around the bend from the foothills of Shamla hills, Bhopal’s elite residential locality and close to a thriving urban forest that is Van Vihar. Earthy and made of the earth, tree bound and shaded by trees, fed by a hearty farm and partly on a farm… Jehanuma makes the essential connect with where it is and what it wishes to offer travelers, luxury and comfort in nature’s embrace. The 28 cottages set in six clusters are elegant havens from where you can enjoy two to three days taken off from work or at the start of a long adventure into the wildlands of central India. Enjoy the spa, relax in the pool or beside it and enjoy the beautifully presented meals ‘Under the Jamun Tree’ or inside the air-conditioned ambience of the Coriander Leaf which also sports a hearty bar. Launch out on adventures or just aim to ‘Retreat’ Jehanuma Retreat in Bhopal is perfectly accessible.
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