Kanha National Park is one of the biggest park in Madhya Pradesh, India.'Kanha National Park' is a national park and a Tiger Reserve in the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, India. In the 1930s, Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 and 300 sq.km. . Kanha National Park was created on 1 June 1955. Today it stretches over an area of 940 sq.km. in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 sq.km. and the neighboring 110 sq.km. Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This makes it the largest National Park in Central India.
The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel "Jungle Book"
If one were to point to the middle of India, chances are he will pick out the forests of the Banjar and the Halon valley, the two forming the western and eastern halves of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which have long been famous for their wide diversity of wildlife.
The park was created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Many endangered species have indeed been saved here. Today Kanha is among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. This 'Tiger Country' is the ideal home for both predator and prey.
By far the most striking features of this region are the open grassy meadows, where sighting blackbuck, swamp deer, sambhar and chital is common. And, if one can transcend into time, a barefooted Mowgli would perhaps come padding along the dusty trail, for this is the land of Kipling's Jungle Book.
How many of you have seen a tiger before? Most of the answers will be ambiguous because everyone wants to see a tiger. Then where can one spot TIGER? Well, even if there are circuses and zoo's all over India, there's some kind of a thrill you experiences when all of a sudden you came across a TIGER roaming freely in the wilderness of its natural habitat: the fields and forests of India. There are numerous Tiger reserves in India, that are preserving this ferocious beast, but nowhere can you see them as often, and as regularly as in Kanha National Park.
Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha national park cum Tiger reserve extends over an area of over 1,940-sq-kms. The major feature of this region's interesting topography is the horseshoe shape valley and the whole park area is surrounded by the spurs of the Mekal. The Surpan River meanders through Kanha's central Maidans, grasslands that cover the extensive plateau. Steep rocky escrapments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley.
Kanha National Park is home to over 1000 species of flowering plants. The lowland forest is a mixture of sal (Shorea robusta) and other mixed forest trees, interspersed with meadows. The highland forests are tropical moist dry deciduous type and of a completely different nature with bamboo on slopes (Dendrocalamus strictus). A very good looking Indian ghost tree can also be seen in the dense forest.
Kanha Tiger Reserve abounds in meadows or maidans which are basically open grasslands that have sprung up in fields of abandoned villages, evacuated to make way for the animals. Kanha meadow is one such example. There are many species of grass recorded at Kanha some of which are important for the survival of Barasingha (Cervus duvauceli branderi). Dense forested zones with good crown cover has abundant species of climbers, shrubs and herbs flourishing in the understory. Aquatic plants in numerous "tal" (lakes) are life line for migratory and wetland species of birds.
Kanha national park has species of tiger, leopards, wild dogs, wild cats, foxes and jackals. Among the deer species Swamp Deer or Hard Ground Barasingha is pride of the place as it is the only sub species of swamp deer in India (Cervus duavcelli branderi). The animal is adapted to hard ground unlike swamp deer of the North which live in marshy swamps. Kanha National Park has been instrumental in rescuing the "Swamp Deer" from extinction. Indian Gaur (Bos guarus), belonging to the ox genus, is found in Kanha but seen mostly as winter ends. In summer gaur inhabit meadows and water holes in the park.
Other commonly seen animals in the park include the spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned deer. The latter can be seen at Bamni Dadar climb. Recently, mouse deer have also been discovered in the tiger reserve.
Black buck were once found in Kanha, but became very rare for unknown reasons. They vanished completely, but have been reintroduced recently inside a fenced area in the park. Nilgai can still be seen near the Sarahi Gate, while the Indian Wolf once commonly seen at Mocha is a rare sight now. Hyena and sloth bear are seen occasionally. Langurs and wild boars are common, but the pugnacious rhesus macaque is seen less often.
Nocturnal animals like fox, hyena, jungle cat, civets, porcupine, ratel or honey badger and hares can be seen outside the park confines.
Reptiles like pythons, cobras, krait, rat snakes, vipers, keelbacks and grass snakes are nocturnal animals, and are therefore rarely seen. There are many species of turtles as well as amphibians found in or near the water bodies.
Kanha and Satpura forest being a part of Gondwana, now famous as tiger reserve, once upon a time were ruled by wild Indian Elephants
How to Reach
Transport & facilities
Jabalpur, the most convenient place to approach the Park from, has the nearest airport (175 km), Nagpur (260 km) and Raipur(219 km) have other airports, Mandla (70 km) has a good connection with Kanha and there is a tourist taxi service from Jabalpur to the national park. From Jabalpur, the best way to travel is via Mandla and Nainpur - perhaps with an overnight stop - then taking the diversion at Bamhni. Mandla, Nainpur and Seoni all have sports clubs, Internet cafes, guides, Christian churches and some beautiful temples.
There are three gates for entrance into the Park. The Kisli gate is best accessed from Jabalpur and stops at the village Khatia, inside the buffer area. The second gate is at Mukki and the third, most recently opened, gate is at Serai.
Air : Jabalpur Airport ( 175 km/04:30hrs).direct flights for Delhi and Mumbai. It is the best option for reaching kanha National Park as it connected with 02 important cities: Delhi & Mumbai . In between these flight options AirIndia, SpiceJet flight is operating daily
Rail : Jabalpur is major railway stations with good train connectivity across India