We met Karan Modi late in 2014 at his property, Flame of the Forest, an intimate wildlife lodge with four freestanding villas overlooking the river near Kanha National Park in central India. With a love of nature and yoga, Karan and his wife Isabelle opened the lodge in 2009 and welcome guests who are visiting the nearby park for safaris.
Karan’s personal journey has seen him train as a mountaineer and trek in India’s Himalayas, where he says he learnt to see nature’s big and small beauties, to leading expeditions for the elusive snow leopard in Ladakh, before becoming a yoga teacher and now lodge owner.
When India’s summer is at its peak, Karan loves to watch the tigers play in the water and says seeing young monkeys getting into mischief is also “very close to my heart.’’ The most memorable experience he’s shared with guests was to witness a tigress find her lost cub – something he describes as a once-in-a-lifetime gift from nature.
When you stay with Karan, he wants to make the journey of looking for a tiger as exciting as actually seeing one, even though he says most people are also lucky enough to see a big cat during a 3-to-4 day stay. With a small number of guests, Karan gives each his attention and together with his staff will arrange as many or as few safaris as you like, take you on a walk through the local village or serve you lunch by the river.