Oct 142012

Great Breakfast on the Way to Kanha National Park

One of the little joys of traveling is discovering little joints that serve excellent food in hygienic conditions. Frequent road travelers in India will agree that it is not an easy task. You get a lot of places with food that will make your salivary glands work overtime but normally the hygiene is something you just have to ignore. Let me talk about one such little place we discovered on our trip to Kanha National park in Madhya Pradesh. This was a trip with GHAC and my friend Sunanda Mandavi was leading the group, who besides being a full time IT professional also volunteers for GHAC and other social causes.

We took an overnight Volvo to reach Nagpur by bus early morning and immediately started our journey towards Kanha, hoping to avoid the city rush and have breakfast on the way to Nagpur.  Not realizing that good eating places on this route are as scarce as tigers. The route taken was as given below and we were looking for a decent place to eat. Now, this route will never be able to compete with the dhabas you find on GT road, but we were still hopeful to get some piping hot breakfast. After rejecting all the places that the driver took us on hygiene or safety grounds we were losing hope to get a good place.

Then the driver said he can stop at a place that we will like but it is some distance away. As they say “Marta kya na karta”…. or loosely translated beggars can’t be choosers we agreed and thus began our journey to find this place that was about 85 ( about 52 miles for those who struggle with the metric system) kilometers from the Nagpur city and was to take more than 1.5 hours.


Once we reached the small eatery called “The Spice-Jain vegetarian North Indian food” we were not very impressed with the board or the look of the place. As it was like any other Indian highway Dhaba. Fortunately, we decided to check it inside and were immediately impressed. The first thing we noticed was the absence of any flies, now that is a rare thing in India. The second thing we noticed was that all the staff members were well groomed, and you could make that each of them has taken a bath. We could see the kitchen in the back, and if was emitting an aroma that a hungry traveler can smell from miles. We decided to camp and ordered all kind of North and South Indian breakfasts, from Idly, Vada, paranthas, to Upma, and I must say that each and every item we ordered we relished and polished the plates. Next came the tea and coffee made the Indian style with just the perfect amount of sugar and milk our morning was made. We were very happy that the driver brought us to this place and thanked him. I chit chatted with the owner and asked him how he is able to keep the place so clean and food so yummy. He just smiled and said polite thanks.  ( Bhandara, by the way, means eternal granary  or store for food items of gods)

hot breakfast on way to Kanha national park
Good Breakfast place on way to Kanha

So my friends in case you are going via road from Nagpur to Kanha via Bhandara, do plan a stop and The spice, Jain vegetarian place, right on the main road in Bhandara town ( it is one of those towns that have only one main road).  Now you may wonder how suddenly I am talking about this small eating place? Well because I recently met a fellow bird watcher Vineet ( he is an IITian with a passion for wildlife photography) on the trip to Tal Chapar and once we connected on Facebook I realized he is from Bhandara. Immediately the hot breakfast came to my mind, such is the power of a great breakfast for a hungry traveler. If you have visited this place would love to hear your views on the same.

making sugarcane juice from a hand operated machine on a street of India
Sugarcane Juice 
So what did we do on the rest of the road trip to Kanha? We stopped about a 100 kilometer further next to this guy selling sugarcane juice and continued our journey to Kanha where the Gaurs and tigers were eagerly waiting for us or was it the other way round? 
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  6 Responses to “Bhandara for Breakfast-On way to Kanha National Park”

Comments (6)
  1. Hi This is Tarun and i am going to stay in Club mahindra Kanha from 2nd April to 7th April. Can u pls guide me with respect to how can i plan the stay like which all areas of Kanha to visit and how many times shall i plan the visit to Sanctuary. Also i want to know how is the road from Nagpur to Kanha means is it plains or is it a Hilly area, i am travelling with 4 members in Honda Jazz. I will be thankful for your guidance.

    • Hi Tarun: Unless you want to spend time in the hotel I suggest visit the national park as many times as possible. May be you can spend a day exploring nearby villages, but mostly you should spend time in the Jungle. When I traveled the road was in need of major repairs and part of it is via Ghat section where one need to drive very carefully.
      Where you will visit inside the sanctuary will depend on the permit you get, you can try to get a permit of the zone where most sightings are happening based on the latest information but it totally depends on the situation on the ground. I suggest you coordinate with the hotel as they will be able to help you better.

  2. I can understand you surprise on meeting me when you had a blog draft ready! Life for me has been filled with coincidences recently. By the way, you must be wondering why my replies are labelled Bhandara. That is because that is what I was named in my college years and still Bhandara to my friends.

    • Hi Bhandara…. let me also call u the same… I was also surprised on discovering your home town.Somewhere I was not very happy about the post about breakfast in Bhandara as it did not have a story interesting enough to be published so it languished in draft form. I guess meeting you brought that little spark to the post that made me publish it after making the relevant additions.. All the best.. take care.

  3. First thing that come to my mind is with 7 billion people world is a small place. Also with the lifting of ban on the visit to Tiger reserves that happened today, I guess this post is relevant.I am really happy to read this.

    • I guess 6 degrees of separation actually work… I have been thinking about this post for some time and even had the draft ready… and then I discovered your connection with Bhandara… 🙂

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