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Jehan Numa Retreat

Jehan Numa Retreat

, Madhya Pradesh
, India

With composite clusters of suites, the Retreat is themed within a farm of organic herbs and vegetables, shaded wide canopied trees almost adjacent to Van Vihar, Bhopal’s natural oxygenator. This property is designed to be a place of leisure for tired professionals looking for a weekend place to rejuvenate, indulge in a spa and some quiet interests. It is ideal for travellers looking to explore the city of Bhopal and the two world heritage monuments each within an hour’s driving radius or wildlife enthusiasts who would like to begin or end their journey after their jungle adventures.

Whatever you have come to Bhopal for you will find yourself in a beautiful place at easy access from the city and other excursions. The mood is set at entry when just before Van Vihar the road turns into the gates of a short drive right up to a wide clearing with a brief porch and an entrance that leads into a large lounge and reception. Everything here is about expanse, art, colour and large swatches of green from the outside. Once on the other side of the reception there is a large, shaded and open lounge, a place for books and conversation over tea or a refreshing drink. This space overlooks the farms in front and trees that form a part of the estate.

Our Rating: Premium
Property Type: Wildlife/Nature Lodge


Within a short driving proximity of two World Heritage Sites – Sanchi and Bhimbekta and a gateway to important Tiger Reserves of Satpura and Bori, Bhopal is an interesting city. Retaining so much of the old and absorbing modernity at a frenetic pace, Bhopal is perfect to be explored from Jehan Numa Retreat which also shares the boundary with one of the few urban forests, Van Vihar.


Just as you come through the lounge and reception, curious paths lead on both sides down to where the cottage clusters are located. Twenty eight cottages in six clusters are accessed through a beautiful path that pleases the eyes for the shadows that the stone beams of the roof cast as well as the plants on either side, bird song add music as you walk to your cottage. Each cottage is designed to be large and spacious, bring in plenty of natural light with a luxurious bed when you call it a night or wish snooze by day. Attached bathrooms offer exclusive dressing area and ample luggage space and twin vanities, with the option of an outdoor shower in about 16 of the cottages. Modern straight line furniture positioned well to hold a wide screen TV with multi-channel facility, tea/coffee station and a writing desk close to a picture window – a mix of colonial and arty ethnic.

The piece de resistance with each of the cottages is however the beautiful sit-out private to every cottage, green with local plantation, delicate and diligent creepers – an invitation to birds and your outdoor lounge space by day or night. Not surprising, waking up to the chirrups of birds is a part of every meditative morning you spend here.


Meal times promise to be an eclectic mix of salads and grills served ‘Under the Jamun Tree’ or a range of Indian cuisine and select world cuisine in the indoors and air-conditioned Coriander Leaf, the latter also features a bar. A favourite with all guests is the evening dinner Under the Jamun Tree warmed by quiet private conversations as much the tall mushroom heaters. The Green House Bistro is the latest addition with a focus on ‘farm to fork’ and the slow food movement.


A five bed spa close to the pool for those times when you need help with relaxation; it is Ayurvedic and has provisions to cater to men and women separately. The pool set amidst the farms is a welcome place to relax at the end of the day or to begin one.

Bhopal is a year-round destination while winters is when the national parks of central India open, Bhopal can be clubbed with Gwalior or Indore to form interesting itineraries which can then connect to Agra, Jaipur or Delhi. Along with Indore and Maheshwar, Bhopal forms interesting connects with some of the lesser explored regions of Central India.
While in Bhopal there are enough and more to occupy your days, one wonders who had the foresight to plan three world class museums in a midsized city. It is a pleasant surprise to see the Museums of Bhopal close to each other on Shamla hills – Tribal Museum being a collection of every kind of folk and tribal art including life size displays of their dwelling and small notes and anecdotes of their beliefs and rituals. The museum of Man on the other hand is interactive display of the man-kind, including different kinds of housing from every part of India and also academic data which could be invaluable to children.

Bhopal has layers of history beginning with the legendary tribal king, Raja Bhoj to the reign of Begums to subtle influences by the Bourbons and stories around the time when General Goddard passed through Bhopal. All this can be uncovered through some existing building and crafts through the narrations of an expert guide. Short excursions to Sanchi and Bhimbetka and you are in timelines that precede recorded history. Urban forestry in Van Vihar and its advantages and the visibly thriving habitat can be an early morning excursion with a naturalist or can be your morning walk.

Perfect For
history buffs, textile lovers and foodies, Bhopal is not a city to be missed. Great for a wide age group of people as well as children, Jehan Numa Retreat is perfect for a family vacation with something for everyone, and great food to party together. From food adventures to Museum Walks to city walks, Bhopal suits the agenda for young people which is why Jehan Numa Retreat is also great as an off-site destination for corporates

Why we love this place

The location, concept of the lodges with limited keys amidst nature or farming that ropes in the community and also talented naturalists are uncompromised values in the Jehan Numa Wellness. The design and curations are immersive and friendly and always tell a great story.

About your host

Lead by a genial vision rooted in the family history and their interest in hospitality and tourism, the Rashids are an important family in Bhopal. As the Royal family descendants of the monarchical Begums of Bhopal, the Rashid’s family home the Jehan Numa Palace was one of the first hotels to feature on Bhopal’s hospitality landscape. The Retreat and a Lodge in Satpura were modern additions of the Jehan Numa group. Today nature and wildlife centric lodges like the Jehan Numa Retreat, Reni Pani and Bori Safari Lodge form a second group as Jehan Numa Wilderness.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

Jehan Numa Retreat is a quiet getaway, entrapping you with its scenic views of nature and vast open spaces. The Retreat was built without disturbing the flora, and no trees were cut during the construction of this property and being in harmony with Van Vihar Urban National Park as they share a boundary wall.

The addition of the cafe; Green House Bistro is to enhance the philosophy of the slow food movement with a focus on the ‘farm to fork’ concept. The cafe; has been built next to a farm where an array of vegetables and herbs – nearly 70% of the requirement is grown and sourced.

This is further validated by the fact that we share a boundary wall with Van Vihar Urban National Park, which is also a drive-through zoo. You can go exploring amidst the untouched flora and fauna, which is sure to create memories of the great outdoors. You can also choose to stay in your room which has a private deck, opening out to the wild. No chemicals or pesticides are used with advantage taken of the fertile black soil. Locals are employed to look, manage and grow the produce, thereby generating employment. As a farm, organic practices such as using cow dung compost, multi-cropping, mulching and use of vermiculture are followed.

The Retreat has a strong conservation focus and has created an ecosystem for birds and butterflies to become residents of the area. You may find peacocks walking by or greeting you in the morning.

Our Recommendation

Give Bhopal two to three days, there is plenty to discover in the city. Ask to spend a day with Sikandar, a self-taught historian who tells fabulous stories not only about the city but also about its erstwhile citizens, lesser known hidden hot spots serving delicacies of Bhopal and for the interested will stop at Sufi shrines that Bhopal is dotted with. The Tribal Museum in Bhopal is one of the finest presentations of a legacy of our country, largely missed by usual travellers.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)