Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

Trek Through the Most Unexplored Forests of Madhya Pradesh
Trek Fee : 7950 + 5% GST See Inclusions
We have documented and organised this trek in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh Tourism. We will announce dates soon.
Difficulty
Difficulty
? Easy-Moderate treks have even trails and a gentle gradient. No more than 5-6 days long. They do not go to very high altitudes and have easy exits from most campsites.
Easy-Moderate
Duration
Duration
5 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
1719 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Beohari
Required Fitness
Base Camp
Jamdhar Gate
Age
Minimum Age
18
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
October-February

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

Trekkers too often think of Himalayan Treks as the ultimate trekking bastion. That would be a mistake.

This trek in the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh is a stunner. For one, we are in the buffer zone of a tiger reserve. This area is teeming with wildlife — things that you can see only on treks and if you camp in such locations.

More than anything else, you get to trek through forests of a different kind. These are the central India forests that our country is famous for — forests which Rudyard Kipling wrote about, on which the famous Jungle Book is centered. You don’t get to see these forests every day. These are thick forests with extensive birdlife.

There are streams to cross and river beaches to camp beside. We pass by large reservoirs where animals gather. Each day of the trek presents different scenery.

This trek in Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve is run in collaboration with the forest department and Madhya Pradesh Tourism. These are restricted areas so trekking is done only in the presence of forest guards. While trekkers are invited to join this expedition, please note any wildlife activity that can harm trekkers or bring animals in danger may require us to change the route or curtail the trek midway.


Table of Contents

Use these pointers to navigate through this extensive trek guide:


What I Like and Don’t Like

The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek passes through the Marwas and Beohari Buffer zones of the park. This is a blessing in disguise as you get an opportunity to witness the untouched forests and wildlife away from the chaos of wildlife safaris!

Being a part of the exploration team for this trek, I hold it close to my heart. I can probably list hundreds of reasons to love this trek but here are my top 3:

1. A chance to experience wildlife in its true habitat: Despite being a Tiger Reserve, the Sanjay-Dubri conservation area witnesses considerably lesser footfalls as compared to its more famous counterpart, the Bandhavgarh national park. This works beautifully in favor of a better experience as the wildlife is not yet affected by the commotion of a stream of jeeps zooming around at all times of the day. This gives you a better chance of witnessing them in their natural habitat. In fact, coming across paw marks of bears is not uncommon!

2. Sehra Dam- a bird watcher’s paradise: Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve is famous for being home to over 300 species of birds. A majority of them, you’ll be able to spot at the Sehra Dam. The trek has a short day 2, which enables you to spend considerable time by the dam’s backwaters. This presents a golden opportunity to click those great pictures of the birds you’ve always wanted!

3. The meadows of Birchuli: If you thought that a trek through a tiger reserve was going to be all forest, then you couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Sanjay Dubri Tiger reserve trek has all the variations in terrain you can possibly think of-hills, backwaters, gullies, streams, and meadows! The Birchuli Dol is a meadow you wouldn’t imagine finding in a place like this and yet it is there! Secluded from the outside world and protected by forests on all sides, it’s a treat for sore eyes.

What I don’t like about the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek

  • The deforested patch near Khatola Naal: Right before you reach the bliss that is Khatola Naal, you’ll pass through an extended deforested section. This is due to illegal cutting down of trees by the local tribals. Although the forest officers patrol the area occasionally, it hasn’t been enough to dissuade the rampant culling of trees. While this is a short stretch, it still leaves you a bitter feeling.

  • The short day two: This is nitpicking but when you are putting together a trek, you want all parts of it to be just perfect. The day 2 of the trek from Narayan Ghati to Sehra Dam, is a rather short one with only 5 km of the trek. This is necessitated by the lack of an ideal campsite before Narayan Ghati. Although I am putting it down as a downside, the extra time spent at the Sehra Dam more than makes up for it!
  • The abundant wildlife: Yes, it’s ironic to find this in the cons of a trek through a tiger reserve. However, the fact that the wildlife in this region of the tiger reserve isn’t used to the presence of humans, makes them even more dangerous. It is essential to follow the Forest ranger’s instructions to a T to ensure your safety on the trek. As the trek becomes more popular, I hope this changes and the wildlife gets used to the human presence without being affected by it.

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Trail Information on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

Day 1: Drive from Beohari to Jamdhar Gate

Beohari is the closest major railway station. If you are coming in from metro cities, Jabalpur is the closest airport. Jabalpur is also better connected by railways than Beohari.

Take a train or flight to Jabalpur and board a connecting trail to Beohari. Indiahikes will pick you up along with other trekkers from Beohari.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek - Farms on the way to Jamdhar gate - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Farms on the way to Jamdhar gate. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

The drive is 61 km long and will take about 2 hours to cover.

Start the trek from the Jamdhar checkpoint of Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve. The trail to Jamdhar is a dirt track that can be tackled by any 4WD. However, lined by beautiful trees on either side, walking this 10 minute stretch to the dam is very much recommended.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek - The Pleasant Walk from Jamdhar gate - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
The Pleasant Walk from Jamdhar gate. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

This stretch of the trek is being developed as an ecotourism spot, but until the surrounding infrastructure is in place, it isn’t possible. The trail itself climbs up gently, as any 4WD track is meant to be.

Enjoy this 10 minutes long stretch of solitude through the forest. Soon you’ll reach a small clearing of sorts, beyond which is the crest of the Jamdhar dam. Camp here for the night. 

Day 2: Jamdhar to Narayan Ghati

Distance: 13 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
GPS Coordinates of Jamdhar: 24° 4’24.93″N, 81°48’56.88″E
GPS Coordinates of Narayan Ghati: 24° 4’40.94″N, 81°44’56.21″E

Wake up in the morning to the calls of the birds flitting in and out of the forest.
The clearing you camped on last night is proposed to be used as a parking spot for vehicles when this place is opened for the public.

Walk up the trail to reach the top of the crest. In front of you is the expansive reservoir of Jamdhar Dam.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The Jamdhar Reservoir - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
The Jamdhar Reservoir. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

Surrounded by hills on all but one side, the beautiful view of Jamdhar dam is the perfect start to the trek. On your left, you can spot a tower on the hill, beneath which is a temple. Walk across the top of the mudwall and turn right to undertake the steep climb to the tower.

The tower, perched atop the tallest hillock surrounding the dam, gives a 360-degree view of the entire region.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - View of Jamdhar Dam from the top - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
View of Jamdhar Dam from the top. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

After clicking a few pictures of the reservoir, climb down and trace your route back to the crest. Continue walking past the top of the wall turn slightly to your left. The trail will circumvent the northern bank of the reservoir, skirting around the edge of the forest.

One of the peculiarities of the trek is the rare opportunity to walk so close to the reservoir of three dams. Sehra and Belaha are the other two dams you’ll come across during the trek.

As the trail dips to the edge of the reservoir, it disappears into the wet bank of the reservoir. Keep following the forest guard and do not veer off their path.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Walking along the edge of the reservoir - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Walking along the edge of the reservoir. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

About 10 minutes from the crest, the trail turns right and climbs up into the forest. The trail here is maintained by the patrolling beat chowkidars and therefore, is hard to miss. In early summer, the forest floor is lined by auburn leaves, shed by the trees that stand sentinel over the trail in this region.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail entering into the forest - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Trail entering into the forest section. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

As you walk further away from the dam, the trail gradually narrows down and the trees are replaced by bushes.

While the pristine forest around you might tempt you to go discovering on your own, you’re strongly advised against any such misadventure.

The benign-looking forest is home to bears that regularly trudge across these paths to drink water from the reservoir. Allow the forest guard to lead the way and look out for any activity on the periphery of your trail.

The climb is short but steep and ends at clearing out of which multiple trails emerge.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The big clearing on the trail - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
The big clearing on the trail. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya 

Follow the one leading to the west and keep to the most prominent trail.

A 15 min walk across the level ground from the clearing will lead you to a short forest wall made out of stones. You’ll notice an offshoot of the trail heading north from here. This leads to the tribal village of Dhanav in the plains below.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail leading to Dhanav - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
The trail leading to Dhanav. Watch out for the stone wall. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

Continue walking straight ahead for a short distance before turning sharply towards your right. You’ll hear the occasional horn of a train passing by in the plains below.

As you reach the edge of the plateau, you’ll be treated to the gradual unfolding of a stunning view of the valley below.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The view of the valley - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
The View of the valley below you. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

The valley is enveloped by fog during peak winters and that only adds to the mystical feeling of the place. Even though you’d be tempted to relax and spend a bit of time here, quickly turn around and walk back into the forest.

Hundred-odd steps will get you to a small depression in the center of which lies a small pond which, according to the forest guard, has potable water.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - A small pond in the forest - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
A small pond in the forest. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

Refill your bottles if you must and again turn right towards the valley.

You’ll find a slightly challenging trail entering the valley here. If you feel comfortable negotiating it, a 5 min descent will lead you to a small depression in the rock face. Locals say that wild animals are often spotted taking a nap in this rock shelter, shielded from the harsh sun in summers.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The Big Rock shelter - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
The Big Rock shelter. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Scramble back up the plateau and choose the most prominent trail through the forest heading west. The forest here predominantly consists of Bamboo and Sal trees.

This section is also where you’ll come across a lot of tree stumps, illegally cut by the locals for the lucrative price of its wood fetches.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Sal Trees throughout the trail - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Sal Trees throughout the trail. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

This stretch of the trail is also one of the hotspots for wildlife. It isn’t uncommon to come across leopard pugmarks and scat on the trail every now and then.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Pug mark spotted of Leopard during our exploration - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Pugmark of Leopard spotted during our exploration. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

As you move farther away from the deforested stretch, you’ll notice a change in the terrain as well as the vegetation.

The ground beneath your feet transforms into form rock and the sparse forest is replaced by a denser, more vividly green forest. Shortly after this transformation, you’ll enter a dry stream bed. This is Khatola Naal.

Khatola Naal is a seasonal stream that feeds the smaller pools further down the trail. While the stream itself dries up by the start of the summer season, the pool stores potable water deep into the summer season.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Khatola Naal - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
The seasonal stream that feeds the smaller pools further down the trail. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

The trail follows the Naal, crossing several pools of water before turning back from the other side of the stream. As you start climbing up the stream bed, the trail gets a little difficult and some acrobatic jumps across the small streams feeding the Naal are essential.

The rock walls here have weathered due to extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year and molded into peculiar shapes by the seasonal streams. These formations, along with abundant availability of water through the major part of the year are responsible for this section being a wildlife hotspot.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Rock Caves in the forest section - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Rock Caves in the forest section. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Be careful here as you’ll often spot Leopard pugmarks in the sandy banks of the stream and also of the odd bear as well.

The trail now rapidly climbs out of the stream bed and passes high above the edge of one of the largest pools of this section, called the Magardaah pool.

About 5 minutes after the pool, you’ll start hearing the vehicles passing by indicating you are close to the road cutting across Narayan Ghati. Climb a hillock and continue walking in the west direction to spot a forest patrolling hut across the road.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Forest Hut - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Forest Hut on the trail. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

The patrolling hut is constructed beside a huge solitary tree on a flat grassland. Sit down under the shade of the tree and pitch your tents here.

Day 3: Narayan Ghati to Sehra Dam

Distance: 5 km
Duration: 3 hours
GPS Coordinates of Sehra Dam: 24° 4’46.03″N, 81°42’57.70″E

After the considerable exertions of the first day of the trek, today’s going to feel comparatively shorter.

Start the day with a leisurely breakfast and set off in the direction of the forest along the east with the Forest Guard.

As you enter the forest, the trail is a barely visible path through the trees.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail from Narayan Ghati - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Trail from Narayan Ghati. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

You’ll descend through the foliage and hop over another short forest wall indicating the boundary of a beat. A 5-minute walk from the boundary will lead you to a surprisingly wide track splitting the forest into two.

This track is used by officers of the forest department for their patrolling duties. Although short, this is no less memorable a day from the other two days of the trek.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The wide track used by officers for their patrolling duties- Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
The wide track used by officers for their patrolling duties. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

The settings of today’s trek are something few, if any, will associate with Madhya Pradesh. A straight as an arrow track, carpeted by leaves and flanked by trees on either side, it’s difficult to find an equivalent from other treks, even our much-beloved Chhatisgarh Jungle Trek.

The terrain is gently undulating, helping one maintain a brisk pace through the forest. About two kilometers from the Narayan Ghati campsite, veer left from the track and follow the trail going deeper into the forest. We are now heading towards the second dam of the trek-Sehra Dam.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail in the forest to the Sehra Dam - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Trail in the forest to the Sehra Dam. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

15 minutes after leaving the forest track behind, you’ll catch the first glimpse of the dam’s reservoirs. The trail will skirt around the periphery of the reservoir before turning west to reach the crest of the dam.

Turn left and appreciate the largest dam reservoir of the trek. Sehra dam is probably one of the most picturesque dams you’ll come across. 

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail going around periphery of the reservoir - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Trail going around the periphery of the reservoir. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

The reservoir lined on three sides by a green wall of dense forest and on the western end of it, lies an expansive grassland.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Sehra Dam - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
The Beautiful Sehra Dam. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Sehra Dam is a paradise for bird watchers. One of the first things that’ll strike you here is the sheer number of birds around the dam. Indian rollers, kingfisher, fork-tailed drongo, and over 20 other species of birds can be counted by an untrained eye.

Walk across the crest and past the dam watchtower. Trace the south-western edge of the dam waters to reach the grasslands at the far end of it. Choose a suitable spot and pitch your tents here.

Day 4: Sehra Dam to Karwahi village

Distance: 12 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
GPS coordinates of Karwahi: 24° 3’34.86″N, 81°41’13.54″E

Wake up early today, preferably before sunrise, and keep your cameras ready. Mornings are a great time to capture the birds near the dam in the golden light. In the early winters, the grassland is a beautiful, vibrant shade of green and the reservoir looks rejuvenated too.

Start the day’s trek around 8 am and set off along the right arm of the reservoir now. About 5 minutes from your campsite, you’ll notice a faint trail cutting across the forest. Take this and enjoy nature’s sights and sounds in this pristine, untouched part of the forest.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Grasslands near the Sehra Dam - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Grasslands near the Sehra Dam. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

The trail emerges from the forest on the other side of the mound. Turn right and walk around the edges of the shrinking backwaters. 

This part of the reservoir being especially shallow, the ground is moist and your feet would be prone to sinking in the trail. Therefore, walking a little higher than the actual trail is recommended.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Moist Trail near the Sehra Dam - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Moist Trail near the Sehra Dam – Indiahikes – Jeet Singh Arya

You might have to be careful of your footing on the dry, crumbling mound but it’s any day better than walking around with wet shoes!

As you walk further away from the reservoir, a stunning landscape opens up in front of you. Flat, unending grasslands stretching as far as you can see. This is Birchuli Dol.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - The Meadows of Birchuli - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
The Meadows of Birchuli. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

Dol means meadows. The locals bring their cattle to this part of the tiger reserve for grazing and it’s always a nice experience to converse with them. You’ll also spot an elaborate hut built right in the middle of the grassland.  This is the forest department’s patrolling hut used by the rangers to keep an eye on the region.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Forest hut on the grasslands - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Forest hut on the grasslands. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

While the settings may make you complacent, be mindful of the fact that you are walking in wildlife territory.

A little beyond the patrolling hut, towards the farther end of the meadow, lies a marked bear den. If the previous night has witness slight rainfall, you might even be able to spot paw marks of the wild animal walking across the sandy beds!

Continue walking along the dry stream beds for another 10 minutes until the tallest hill of the region, Giddha Pahad, comes into view. While it may look the hill is approachable from this point, you’ll have to turn around and walk along a faint trail going northwards. Continue walking away from the hill for about 500 meters and lookout for a fork climbing upward in the hill’s direction. The trail becomes rocky and steep from this point onwards.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Ascending to the Giddha Pahad - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Ascending to the Giddha Pahad. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Climbing up this path might be a little difficult if the region has witnessed rainfall recently. In that scenario, you can bypass the hill and continue walking straight ahead to join the Tindhariya Naal.

Back to the climb up Giddha Pahad, as you approach the shoulder of the hill, the trail will merge into a broad dirt track coming up from the other side.

Right near the top of the hill, you’ll be able to spot the patrolling hut of Birchuli Dol and a little ahead is the forest hut on Giddha Pahad. There’s also a watchtower near the hut but it’s crumbling and climbing on it is not advised.  

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Forest hut and the watchtower - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Forest hut and the watchtower. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

The forest hut is usually manned by a beat guard and so rarely does anyone come by in these parts of the reserve that they’ll greet you with a warm, familiar smile and insist on a cup of black tea.

Take off your backpack and rest here for a while before starting again. 

For the descent, take the trail down the other side of the hill. You’ll reach the dirt track again after crossing a small patch of forest.

Walk along the track for about 7 minutes and take a trail on your right going downhill through the forest. This trail reaches the Tindhariya naal, passing along a cave in the hillside which according to the forest rangers, is a favorite haunt of the forest’s carnivores. 

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - A Cave en-route to Tindhariya naal - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
A Cave en-route to Tindhariya naal. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Scramble down the hill and reach the wide stream bed of Tindhariya naal. The settings will remind you of Birchuli Dol with the forest decked in autumn colours.

Walk westwards along the stream bed. You’ll be able to spot spotted deers in this section. The shy herbivore is notoriously difficult to capture on camera. You can try your luck nevertheless!

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Tindhariya naal stream bed - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Tindhariya naal stream bed. Picture by Saurabh Sawant

Soon enough you’ll reach the wooden barrier of this section of the tiger reserve. A road separates you and the Vangram Karwahi conservation area.

Walk around the barrier and enter Karwahi area by the gate lying a little to the north. Karwahi is a model village habituated by the tribals. You’ll walk past a few fields lining the track to reach the sole school in the village.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Karwahi School - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Karwahi School. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

Besides the school stays the Pradhan of the village, who’ll be more than happy to let you stay for a night.

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Belaha Dam reservoir - Indiahikes - Jeet Singh Arya
Belaha Dam reservoir. Picture by Jeet Singh Arya

If you aren’t tired by the day’s exertions, you can also choose to walk a little further to visit the Belaha Dam reservoir. Otherwise, a quick visit tomorrow morning is just as good too.

Day 5: Travel back from Karwahi

Start early morning from the village and reach Beohari by Indiahikes transport. The drive is 44 km long and will take about an hour and a half.

From Beohari, you’ll catch a connecting train to Jabalpur.

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Difficult sections and Safety on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

The good news is that Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek trek is not a difficult trek. It is not a high altitude trek, nor are there any steep or risky sections on this trek. But by virtue of it being in the Tiger Reserve, there is a chance that you might encounter wild animals.

Terrain wise, it is not difficult. However, there are some of the sections you should watch out for on this trek.

  • Trekking in a Jungle: Trekking in a jungle has its own set of difficulties. Wild animals, insects, and maybe forest fires too. You might also lose your way. You must not trek alone in the jungle. This trek can only be done with certified forest guides.

Indiahikes Safety Protocol: The Indiahikes team is accompanied by forest guides who have spent years exploring these trails. They are highly trained and qualified to tackle any emergency in the forest – be it from wild animals, or any other such emergency.

  • River crossing post-rain, or during monsoons: We do not run the trek during the monsoon season, but in case of untimely rains, the river crossing on the trek can become slightly more difficult.

    Safety Advice: Our Trek Leader suggests that you wear loose pants that can be rolled upto your thighs, or trek pants that can be converted into shorts. We suggest that you carry loafers, or crocs for this section. If your shoes get wet, the rest of the trek will become difficult, especially because you will be trekking through sand.

Indiahikes Safety Protocol: Your Trek Leader is the best person to assist you during the river crossing. You will be taught the technique to hold hands firmly and form a human chain. You will be under the watchful eyes of your Trek Leader, trek guides, and forest guides.

Closest hospital on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

If a medical emergency occurs on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek, the nearest hospital is the Government hospital in Beohari. Depending on the injury and location on the trek, it can take up to 3 hours to reach hospital from the farthest point on the trail.

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Places to visit after Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek

The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve is located in the eastern part of the Madhya Pradesh, bordering the state of Chhatisgarh. This region is yet to see the development of tourist attractions.
Here are a couple of things you can do after your trek in the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve:

  • Go for a Tiger safari in the core zone of Sanjay Dubri tiger reserve: Although the population of tigers is not as great as Bandhavgarh, the Tiger Safari through the core zone of Sanjay Dubri is one of the best wildlife tourist experiences you can treat yourself to in this part of the state. Sloth bears and tigers are a common sighting during the morning safaris.
  • Visit Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve: Located about 90 km from the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh is the perfect place for a Tiger Safari if you don’t mind the recent commercialisation. A Tiger sighting is almost guaranteed if you get a knowledgeable guide for the safari.

Short itinerary for Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek

Day 1: Drive from Beohari to Jamdhar gate
Distance: 61 km
Duration: 2 hours

Day 2: Trek from Jamdhar to Narayan Ghati
Distance: 13 km
Duration: 5-6 hours

The trail starts from Jamdhar Gate and gently climbs up to the plateau from the reservoir. It passes close to a valley, through the Khatola Naal and is home to a number of wild animals. Look out for pugmarks of Leopards during today’s trek. You’ll reach Narayan Ghati in time for lunch.  

Day 3: Trek from Narayan Ghati to Sehra Dam
Distance: 5 km
Duration: 3 hours

Today’s a short trek from Narayan Ghati to the Sehra Dam. What starts off as a tiny trail then merges with the dirt track used for patrolling by forest officials. After a breathtaking walk through the autumn forest, turn left to reach Sehra Dam and camp here for the night. Bird watching is a major highlight for today’s trek. 

Day 4: Trek from Sehra Dam to Karwahi village
Distance: 12 km
Duration: 5-6 hours

Start the day early to catch a glimpse of as birds as possible. The trail passes through forests, meadows, hills and dry sandy stream beds. You’ll get a splendid view of the day’s trail as well as Karwahi from Giddha Pahad. Karwahi is located on the other side of the road cutting across the Tiger Reserve. You can visit Belaha dam today or tomorrow morning. 

Day 5: Drive from Karwahi to Beohari
Distance: 44 km
Duration: 1.5 hours

Plan Your Travel for the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

How to get to the basecamp- Jamdhar Gate

1. By Train

Beohari is the nearest major railway station. However, there are few trains connecting
Beohari directly to the major cities of the country.

Flying to Jabalpur airport and boarding a connecting train to Beohari would be a more convenient option.

Indiahikes organises transport from Beohari to Jamdhar Gate. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

2. By Air

The Jabalpur airport is the closest airport from Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve.
It is well connected to the major metro cities of the country, viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

Getting back to Beohari after the trek

Indiahikes will arrange transport from Karwahi to Beohari railway station. The drive is 44 km
long and takes about 1.5 hours. You can board a connecting train to Jabalpur from Beohari.

Reaching Jamdhar using Public transport

Jamdhar is in the interior region of the state. Hence it’s not well connected by public transport.
Majhauli is the last major point connected to Beohari by public transport.

You’ll find buses and cabs going from Beohari to Majhauli via Chamra Dol and vice versa at regular intervals. Jamdhar is at a distance of 27 km from Majhauli.

From Karwahi, Chamra Dol is the closest junction well connected by public transport.

Map and Chart on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek

Trail Map

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Trail Map of Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Indiahikes - Saurabh Sawant
Trail Map of Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek. Source: Google Earth

Elevation Chart

Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek - Elevation Chart - Indiahikes
Elevation Chart. Courtesy – Saurabh Sawant

How to Train For The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek is marked as an Easy-Moderate trek. A trek rated ‘easy-moderate’’ requires about 30 days of training before the trek starts. 

Why does a trek marked ‘easy-moderate’ require 30 days of training?

The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek, unlike our other high altitude treks, has hardly any altitude gain. But, this trek involves a lot of walking and covers a distance of almost 30 kilometers over 3 days, starting from Jamdhar Dam and ending at Belaha Dam near Karwahi. This can be gruelling for most people who have not trained for the trek. On the other hand if you have prepared yourself, you’ll get the most out of the trek — there’s lots to see on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek! 

This guide will help you train for the trek. This guide has three sections:

  1. How to train for the trek
  2. What to do if you are short on time
  3. What happens if you do not train for the trek

How to train for the trek

While we can have an elaborate training preparation plan, you need to focus on primarily two aspects:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Strength training

You need cardiovascular training to be able to do the long walks on the trek. As the trek involves walking through the humid, sandy trails, cardiovascular endurance helps the body in retaining the energy required for such long-distance trekking by utilizing lesser oxygen and thereby reducing the overall effort required to be put in.

You also need to build your endurance. The jungle trail on the first day is particularly long. It takes almost 6 hours to reach Narayan Ghati.

And you wonder why Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve is called an Easy-Moderate trek!

People generally start getting worried at this stage. They wonder if they must join a gym. Or do something really rigorous. None of that is required. What you need to do is increase your cardiovascular capacity over a period of time. This can be done at home. Along with it, we add some strength and flexibility training, which are nothing more than freehand exercises (we have a guide for that at the end).

Let’s start with cardiovascular endurance

The trek requires you to build a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. Here’s how to go about it.

  1. Start by the slowest jog possible by you. Look to see the maximum distance that you can cover without feeling overly fatigued. We call this the starting distance
  2. The next day, look to increase 0.25 km over the starting distance. Do not worry about the time being taken. Use a running app like Nike Run Club to track your distance.
  3. The subsequent day, add another 0.25 km over the last distance covered. Again, do not worry about the time being taken.
  4. Continue the incremental increase of distance for 4 days in a row. On the 5th day take a break. Allow your muscles to recover. 
  5. From the sixth day onward, jog for 4 days continuing to increase your distance by 0.25 km every day. Take a break every 5th day. Do not worry about the time being taken. 
  6. When you are able to get to a distance of 5 km, note the time taken to cover the distance. This is your starting time. At this stage, you must be able to cover 5 km with some exhaustion but not something that destabilizes you. 
  7. The next day looks to see if you can reduce your time by 15 secs. Do not reduce more than 15 secs — that may exhaust you too much.
  8. Over the next few days, reduce the time taken every day. Continue with your breaks every 5th day. 
  9. An ideal benchmark is to cover 5 km in 40 mins (about 8 mins per kilometer). If you are above 40 years old, then 5 km in 42 mins would be your benchmark (a little under 8.5 mins per km).

Is this endurance possible? Yes, we have seen our trekkers able to build this endurance from scratch starting from zero in about 30 days. 

Tip: Join a running group in your city. Running groups have mushroomed all over the country. You will find one close to your home. Running groups have systematic beginner programs that are of immense help. Running groups help you to train efficiently and keep the momentum going. 

Pro Tip: Go for a long-distance walk every weekend. Cover a distance of 7 km. You must cover the distance in 1 hour and 25 mins. Walk with a day pack that contains two one-liter bottles of water and a hand towel. 

This exercise greatly helps in building endurance. It also prepares you for walking long distances.

Let’s move on to strength training

The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek requires you to walk continuously over sandy and sometimes rocky terrain for long periods of time to cover the distance.

To manage yourself well in such conditions you need good leg muscles as well as a strong core. You are bound to face some difficult sections where you need to be nimble.

Squats are the best way to build strong leg muscles quickly. Especially your thighs, glutes, and knees. 

  1. Start with 12 squats. This is one set. Learn how to do a proper squat by looking up online tutorials on the internet. 
  2. Once you are comfortable with a set of 12 squats (this may take 3-4 days). Give a break of 2 mins. Start on your second set of squats. Start with only 2 squats. So your set one will have 12 squats and set two will have only 2 squats, totaling 14 squats.
  3. Every day increase your squats in the second set by 2. So the next day you are doing one set of 12, with a 2 mins break and then another 4, totaling 16. 
  4. Give a break every 4 days for your muscles to recover.
  5. You must be able to do 2 sets of squats comfortably in 15-18 days.
  6. Try to get to 3 sets of squats before your trek starts.

For strengthening your core, there’s no better exercise than Plank and Hip Raise. Both of them are very common exercises.

In this guide, we have kept away from giving you complex exercises or workouts. We have stuck to what is practical and doable. 

Please note: Any form of exercise requires you to stretch and warm up first. Please do not do any cardio or strength training with a cold body.    

What to do if you are short on time

Sometimes trekkers join a trekking group late — less than 30 days to the trek start date. This puts enormous pressure on the training schedule. 

In such a situation, you need to start training without losing a day’s delay. You need to compress the training schedule so that it can quickly get you to the cardiovascular threshold of being able to cover 5 km in 40 mins. 

Increase the jogging distance by 0.5 km every day instead of the 0.25 suggested earlier. 

  1. Start by the slowest jog possible by you. Look to see the maximum distance that you can cover without feeling overly fatigued. We call this the starting distance
  2. The next day, look to increase 0.50 km over the starting distance. Do not worry about the time being taken. Use a running app like Nike Run Club to track your distance.
  3. The subsequent day, add another 0.50 km over the last distance covered. Again, do not worry about the time being taken.
  4. Continue the incremental increase of distance for 4 days in a row. On the 5th day take a break. Allow your muscles to recover. 
  5. From the sixth day onward, jog for 4 days continuing to increase your distance by 0.50 km every day. Take a break every 5th day. Do not worry about the time being taken. 
  6. When you are able to get to a distance of 5 km, note the time taken to cover the distance. This is your starting time. At this stage, you will be able to cover 5 km with considerable exhaustion but it is ok. 
  7. Over the next few days maintain this distance until your trek starting day. Allow your body to get used to the stress of jogging. This preparation is crucial for the success of your trek
  8. An ideal benchmark is to cover 5 km in 40 mins (averaging 8 mins per kilometer). If you are above 40 years old, then 5 km in 42 mins would be your benchmark (a little under 8.5 mins per km) 
  9. The minimum you must aim to do if you are short on time is to be able to jog for 4 km in 32 mins. This is minimum but not ideal. The longer distance you cover, the more endurance you get. 

What happens if you do not train for the trek

Many trekkers do not train for a trek. These are the usual reasons.

  1. I did not have the time. 
  2. I have done other treks before. They were more difficult. I could manage myself in those treks. Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve trek, which is an easy-moderate trek, will be easy to manage.  
  3. I walk for an hour every day. I am fit. 

Training is imperative for a trek. When you join an Indiahikes trekking group, most members are serious about their training. They spend considerable time preparing for a trek. 

If you do not train for a trek and lag behind, then it is a great disrespect to those who prepare. It also becomes difficult for us to manage a group. The group spreads out on the trekking slope and the safety of the team is compromised. Which is why we have a clear turn around time on our treks.

If you lag behind a group (more than 30 mins on the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve trek), then clearly your body is not prepared for the trek. Your trek leader will send you from the trek back to the base camp. Your trek ends here

Before a trek leader sends you down from a trek please keep in mind:

  1. The trek leader will always announce at the briefing the average trekking time for the group to reach the next camp. You must make a note of this time. If for some reason he/she has not announced it, then you must ask your trek leader for the average trekking time to the next camp. 
  2. This time is an average trekkers’ time and not from a fast trekkers’ point of view. It considers stoppages for rest, photography, and looking at the scenery. If you are unable to maintain the average trekking time then your body is not ready for the trek. You will compromise the safety of the group as well as yourself. 
  3. The trek leader will have someone escort you back to the basecamp. 

What To Take On The Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve Trek

If you’re trekking in the Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve in winter, the temperature during the day will be at around 15 to 25 degrees and at night, the temperature will not drop too low but it would remain around 10-15 degrees. You will need to carry a maximum of one or two warm layers.

Ensure you carry a poncho and full sleeve t-shirts and pants to have a comfortable trek.

Bare Necessities:

  1. Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. 
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.

Clothes

On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.

  1. One or two layers of warm clothes: If you’re trekking in winter, carry one fleece jacket with you and one light sweater.
  2. Three trek pants: Carry light quick dry trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek. 
  4. Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandatory. This is to protect you from the harsh winter sun.
  2. Suncap
  3. Balaclava: You’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
  4. Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks: Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  5. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  6. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole
  7. Ponchos: In a jungle, unexpected rain is possible at any time, and hence it’s mandatory to carry a poncho so that you don’t get wet.

Others

  1. Daypack (20 litres): You will need this to carry water bottles, light snacks and medical kit in case you decide to offload your backpack.
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains. 
  3. Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. 
  4. Three water bottles: 1 litre each. We recommend the Lifestraw Go. Indiahikes trekkers can get it at a discount here
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
  6. Odomos or any other insect repellant

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit 

  1. Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  2. Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  3. Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  4. Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  5. Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  6. Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  7. Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  8. Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  9. Gauze – 1 small roll
  10. Band aid – 10 strips
  11. Cotton – 1 small roll
  12. ORS – 10 packets
  13. Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  14. Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
  15. Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
  16. Anti fungal powder
  17. Odomos or any other insect repellant

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. 

  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.) – It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. 
  • Medical Certificate (first part to be filled by a doctor and second part by the trekker) – Download PDF

Disclaimer form (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF

The Indiahikes Cancellation Policy 

We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that. 

Given that, we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies. 

Take a look at the Indiahikes cancellation policy below. This policy is effective starting January 29th, 2020.

In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:

– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.

– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.

– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher 

 

In the rare event that we cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:

We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, government orders, unexpected global health issues, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable once it has been paid for. 

If you cancel any rental gear from our store:

  • Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a monetary refund with 4% cancellation charges.
  • Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a voucher of the whole amount you have paid for the rental gear. This voucher is applicable on your future treks.

If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:  

The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge. 

If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee. 

Special Cases That Could Occur:

There are some special cases that could occur when you’re on a trek.

1. You may not be able to complete the trek because of bad weather, high snow conditions, or any natural calamity.

2. You may have to leave your trek abruptly (could be due to altitude sickness, abnormal BP, unpreparedness for the trek, any emergencies at home)

In the above two cases, you’re welcome to come back and repeat the same trek any time in future. You do not have to pay us for this. If you’d like to repeat your trek, get in touch with your Trek Coordinator and they’ll help you. 

Important note: Your offloading and rental fee will not be refunded in the above two cases.

3. You may not be able to report at the base camp at all (could be due to blocked roads / cancelled flights/curfews), we will try to accommodate you in the next day’s team (if we have one). 

In the third case, if we cannot accommodate you in the next day’s trek, we will give you a Trek Voucher of the entire trek fee (including your offloading and rental fee), which you can use on any Indiahikes trek within the next one year.

How to cancel your trek: 

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps. 

  1. Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link
  2. Find your upcoming trek on your home page. 
  3. Click on “Cancel Trek” 
  4. Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
  5. Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable). 
  6. Click on “Cancel Booking” 

How long does the refund process take?

After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.

If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.

What is a Trek Voucher?

Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.

Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable. 

How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?

If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek. 

Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. 

The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)

At Indiahikes, we can’t help but fall in love with a few trekking trails. And we love revisiting them, perhaps in other seasons, when treks take on a totally different hue. In such cases, we do not like the thought of having to pay for it. Our trekkers shouldn’t have to pay either.

So if you have loved a trek that you did with us and want to repeat it, you’re welcome to sign up for the trek. We will not charge you for this. (Many people think this is a rumour, but it’s true.) 

To repeat your trek for free, just get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. We’ll help you sign up with no charges. 

Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply for our international treks.

Available dates

No cancellation charges for trek bookings from July 1st until Dec 31st

(choose a trek any time in future)

In light of COVID-19, since travel and treks are uncertain, Indiahikes has waived off all cancellation charges if you register for a trek before Dec 31. Which means, for all registrations before Dec 31, even if the trek is in December or later, apart from the basic 4% transaction charges, there are no cancellation charges from Indiahikes.

This helps you to register for a trek with peace of mind, knowing you can cancel your trek even until the last moment. Trekkers have started registering for treks, and we'd like you to do so with full confidence. We don't want you to worry about losing out through cancellations.

We will open up dates shortly. Click here to see other similar treks that might have dates.

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