About 3-4 hours south-east of the busy capital of Bhopal, there lies the quiet, slow jungle-town of Madhai. Its unique location shrouds Madhai in a mist of mystery: with its northern limits bordered by Tawa Reservoir and the remaining three edges encircled by forests, this town is the epitome of experiencing wilderness in 360°. Perhaps this is what makes Madhai a great destination for feeling the satisfaction of sundering from the prosaic bumble of city life.
While it sees lesser footfall than its close neighbour Pachmarhi, Madhai isn't any less bestowed. Wildlife photographers will find Madhai a more rewarding destination for their purposes - wild animals are easier to spot here, owing to its location. Madhai is a birdwatcher's paradise: over 200 species of birds inhabit Satpura National Park. River Denwa, Central India's very own river originating in the Satpuras at Dhoopgarh, flows through the town before joining Tawa river near Hoshangabad. The backwaters of Denwa offer great spots of relaxation for crocodiles. Many waterbirds regularly haunt the banks of this river. Satpura National Park, accessed through the Madhai Gate, offers a more immersive experience to visitors by displaying aquatic wildlife in conjunction with terrestrial wildlife at close quarters.
Madhai is also a resort-town. From the very high-end escape establishments to budget-focused, basic accommodations, there isn't anything here that won't suit your pocket or style. The laid-back tourist often derails from his line to Pachmarhi and ends up in Madhai, they say. Stays in Madhai often focus more on offering panoramic vistas to the guests; that's how most of the establishments are built here. There are private resorts and government-run resorts as well; it doesn't matter where you stay in the end - great view is guaranteed! Visit Madhai to sip a cup of coffee looking at the sprawling forest and expansive water bodies.
The charm of jerkwater Madhai lies mostly in its location, but the winner here is ease of access. While getting to the town itself is very easy, every touristy activity (safaris, for example) can be conveniently booked within minutes. Since this town has a lot of water flowing around, visitors also get to experience activities like boat-rides and canoeing.
The experience Madhai offers differs in essence from Pachmarhi. You don't run from one cliff to another peak to catch sunsets or take pictures of waterfalls in Madhai; you come here to really feel the wilderness at very close quarters. There aren't any specific "tourist spots" per se - this place is not so much about sightseeing as it is about discovering and exploring. Madhai lets you slow down and take a breath. The views aren't going anywhere - and neither are you. Wilderness is here. Wilderness is Madhai.