It is a news that nature lovers and photographers were waiting for &ndash will the wildlife reserves of Madhya Pradesh, which had shut down at the peak of the visitor season following the lockdown, will open with the easing of restrictions And we have the answer.
A press release from the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board quoted a state forest department circular saying that the state&rsquos national parks will open from June 15, 2020 and that the buffer zone will remain open during the monsoon. A quick look at the forest department&rsquos Wildlife Safari Reservation portal revealed that bookings for Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Pench and Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve are open from June 15 to 30, and tourists can book their permits and visit the park. However, check with them for latest rates of safaris, passengers per safari vehicle, protocols to be followed, etc. before planning.
Sonia Meena, IAS, Additional Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board said that the state is focusing on inbound tourism, with the opening up of domestic tourism products, including wildlife. &ldquoOpening up tourist attractions would also give a sense of returning to normalcy. We see great potential after re-opening our destinations like wildlife, heritage, pilgrimage, leisure, and adventure tourism opportunities,&rdquo said Meena.
Madhya Pradesh shares borders with five states and initially expects to welcome travellers from these regions, who will make use of the road connectivity. The state tourism board has said that all health, hygiene and safety guidelines have been implemented as per SOP issued by the central government&rsquos Ministry of Tourism.
Madhya Pradesh offers an assortment of attractions, with many of them located in natural and historical settings, where distancing norms can easily be followed. Apart from nature reserves, one may plan to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Khajuraho, Bhimbetka and Sanchi. You may also rent a caravan (with a separate chamber for the driver) to explore in a sanitised and secure environment. Meanwhile, MPT Hotels & Resorts has already opened its 32 properties since June 8, and are accepting bookings. But do check about latest rates and local restrictions, if any, before planning.