Denwa Backwater Escape, Satpura National Park

Dawn scene at Denwa Backwater Escape resort
Dawn scene at the resort

Located right on the banks of backwaters of Denwa river, formed by the dam water is this beautiful luxury lodge Denwa Backwater Escape Resort. That allows you to spend some time at the edge of the forest.  We were invited by Pugdundee Safaris to visit the Satpura National Park. And cannot thank them enough for giving us an opportunity to be in the vicinity of the national park. See so many birds and animals in their natural habitat – including the sighting of sloth bears at night.

Bullock cart at Denwa Backwater Escape resort
Bullock cart

Denwa Backwater Escape Resort

We reached the resort after a long train journey from Goa and a road journey from Itarsi. But we were recharged after a soothing welcome that we got from the staff in their welcome area that is designed using an old cart. We walked to the cottage through a mud path that was lighted with the lanterns on both sides that is what we would enjoy for the next 3 days.

Tree House at Denwa Backwater Escape resort
TreeHouse at the resort

Cottages & Tree Houses

They have 8 luxury cottages and 2 tree houses. The design of the lodge is a traveler’s delight. Tables and side tables are designed like suitcases with pullable drawers. Chairs are in plush leather while the beds and sitting areas are minimalist with mattresses thrown over the stone surfaces. Each cottage has sit-outs at the back and on top that provide the view of backwaters with a foreground of trees. And wild vegetation where birds can be seen chirping around. Bathrooms are huge and have an open plan that does not let you forget that you are in a jungle lodge. Treehouses also have a similar design but they are up one flight of stairs so you get a slightly higher view of the backwaters. 

I was told that Deepak Srivastava from Bhopal designed this lodge. In case he reads this I want to congratulate him on this brilliant minimalist yet luxurious design. That matches well with the jungle theme and uses a lot of recycled stuff.

Dining Hall
Dining Hall

The food at Denwa Backwater Escape

Food is prepared by an in-house team that serves both Indian and international food. We had Italian food on the first day and local MP food for the rest of the days. The food was simple, delicious and presented very well. The dining area again overlooks the backwaters and is divided into an indoor hall and an outdoor sit out. A highlight of the food at the resort was the Bush Dinner that they organized for us. On a small clearing on the edge of the water – lighted completely with oil lamps and lanterns beside a campfire. It created a kind of romance in the air and to add to this mood, it was a full moon night with the moon was shining right above us, reflecting on the silent waters.

Candlelit dinner by the Denwa river backwaters
Candlelit dinner by the backwaters

Library at the resort

The bibliophile in me was delighted to see their small, well-designed library that had many coffee table books on nature, birds, butterflies, and animals. If you are a serious naturalist, this can come handy to you. For me, it was a nice corner to sit, read & contemplate.

There are all the usual things that you expect at a luxury lounge like a swimming pool and a souvenir shop. Where you can buy things that one might need in the jungle-like caps, hats & T-shirts.  Phone and Internet access is very limited. But believe me, it is a blessing to be disconnected from your everyday world. And be 100% plugged into the jungles around.

Satpura National Park view at dawn
Satpura National Park view at dawn

Plastic-free resort

What I admired most about the Lodge is that they did not use plastic at all. Water in the cottages is provided in flasks. There are no tissue papers used. Even during the Safaris, they carried tea and water in flasks instead of plastic bottles. In fact, one of the best experiences they created for us was providing tea on the boat safari. Furniture in common areas has also been made using recycled wood. And you see hues of different colors on it – giving it a kind of raw vintage look. Old sewing machines, recycled tires have been used to create the look of these areas. Kudos for not taking the easy route…

Thank you Pugdundee Safaris.


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