Kanha National Park- the acclaimed tiger reserve
Covering an area of about 1940 sq km, Kanha national park is situated in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the largest national parks in Central Asia. Together with surrounding core zone and the neighboring Phen sanctuary, it forms Kanha Tiger Reserve. It was one of the first areas to be protected under 'Project Tiger' aimed at preserving Tigers. It was originally a part of the Gondwanas or 'Land of the Gonds'. In 2000 it was being awarded as the best tourism friendly national park by the Department of Tourism.
Within the park Bamni Dadar is a must point to witness. It is the sunset point with an awe-aspiring backdrop of sunset magnifying the natural splendor of the area. The region's interesting topography is the horseshoe shaped valley and the whole park is surrounded by spurs of Maikal.
The reserve is dominated by Southern tropical moist mixed deciduous forest. The reserve abounds in meadows, which are basically open grasslands. The lowland forest is a mix of lush Sal and bamboo. A very good looking Indian ghost tree (Kullu) can also be seen in the dense forest, which has abundant species of climbers, shrubs and herbs. Aquatic plants in numerous 'tals' (lakes) are lifeline for migratory and wetland species birds.
Kanha's carnivore population includes tigers, leopards, wild cats, wild dogs, foxes and jackals. Barahsingha are a pride of the place as it is the only sub species of swamp deer in India. The other commonly seen animals are spotted deer, barking deer, blackbucks, nilgai, hyena, sloth bear and varied reptiles.
Apart from the animals, more than 200 species of birds are to be found here amongst which the important are pond heron, black ibis, Indian roller, golden oriole, red munia and spotbill duck.
According to legend, it is the place where Shravan Kumar met his death at the hands of King Dashratha. It is an important water source for animals.
Kanha National Museum
Inside the park there is a museum, which provides information about the topography of the park and the tribal culture of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Near the visitor centre one can see stumps of 2 giant Sal trees that are worshipped daily in the forests known as Raja and Rani.
Excursions in Kanha National Park
Surrounded by a number of forts and monuments, Jabalpur is the most favored place in central India which is situated at a distance of 151km. The famous Mandla Fort is the pride of the city built in 11th century. It contains relics of the great King Asoka.
When to Visit
The park is open to visitors from mid October to June. Winters (October to March) are a peak season but the best time to visit the park is November to February after rains when the reserve rejuvenates.
How to Reach
The nearest airports are Jabalpur 160 km, Raipur 250 km and Nagpur 300 km
The Park is well-connected from the major destinations of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
The nearest railway stations are Gondia 145km and Jabalpur 160km.