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Kanha National Park

Spread over an area of 1945 sq km is the Kanha National Park, a reserve forest in Madhya Pradesh, whose lush green beauty, and mesmerizing plethora of wild life inspired the famous novelist Rudyard Kipling to pen down one of the most famous children’s books ever written – “Jungle Book”. The Kanha National Park is without a shadow of a doubt one of the one of the best-maintained reserve forests in the whole of Asia. The forest is one of the last dwelling places of the famous Indian Swamp Deer (Barasingha). This majestic creature was on the brink of extinction, and had it not been for the stringent protection policies of the government, poachers would have ensured it disappearance from the face of the planet.

The picturesque wilderness of Kanha comprises of bamboo thickets, widespread grasslands, and thick forests of Sal. The forest is spread over the eastern segment of the Satpura ranges in a series of plateaus. The Kanha Tiger Reserve, which came into being in 1955, formed a part of the Madhya Pradesh government’s initiative to protect the most veritable of Indian predators. The wildlife of Kanha is so diverse that ever since its inception it has been the dream destination for all wildlife lovers.

A perfect asylum for endangered species; Kanha with its herds of gentle grass eaters and its ferocious predators is the place to be if you want to witness firsthand nature in all its glory. The Forests of Banjar and Halon valley are famous for the their deer and tiger population which have shown a steady increase ever since the start of “Project Tiger”.

A visitor if he truly wants to enjoy and become one with the natural splendor of Kanha, has to stay here for at least four or five days. Here one can recreate the grandeur of the Maharajas by touring the forest on an elephant that are used primarily for tracking tigers. Government jeeps are also available on hire. In Bamni Dadar, the densest and most beautiful part of the forest, one can regularly sight a Sambar or four horned Antelopes crossing the landscape.

Vegetation and Wildlife

The Nation Park is divided into two parts - the core area which is around 940 sq. km and its surrounding buffer zone. The forest looks different every few kilometers, such is the varied nature of the terrain. A seemingly unending stretch of Sal trees will suddenly give way to a Bamboo thicket. Beautiful grassy meadows appear out of nowhere. So always have that Handicam ready, for you never know what fascinating creature will by run past you.

Tourists must understand that most animals are shy and weary of humans, but such is the diversity of Kanha, that sighting even the most retiring of forest dwellers will be possible provided you are accompanied by guide who knows his way around the forest. It often happens that in their eagerness to spot a large animal tourists often end up ignoring their smaller but no less handsome cousins. A handy tip for the first timers – if you hear the snapping sound of the timorous Barking Deer you will know that a predator is around. Thank your stars if you spot the rare Barasingha, the Swamp Deer, for only two decades back, there were only 66 of these spectacular creatures in Kanha but dedicated efforts of the forest officials which included some desperate measures like fencing of some off animals have raised their number to over 400. Barasinghas usually inhabit the open meadows so those are some of the best spots to catch a predator in action, especially the tiger. The tiger otherwise is an annoyingly shy beast and one has to be very lucky to spot one.

The animals that top the interest charts of the tourists are the majestic tiger, bison, gaur, sambhar, and chital. The barasingha that had almost eluded us completely due to merciless poaching is now a regularly delights the awe of tourists by its regal gait. Then there are the barking deer, black deer, black buck, chousingha, the beautiful Nilgai, mouse deer, the seemingly lazy sloth bear, the shrewd jackal fox, porcupine, the crafty hyena, the jewel eyed jungle cat, the slippery python, peafowl, hare, the agile monkey, mongoose, the fearsome tiger, and the leopard.

Kanha is a must for all lovers of avian life. There are several rare species that inhabit the jungle of Kanha which include the likes of storks, peacocks, teals pond herons, fly catchers, egrets, pea pintails, cuckoos, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges, quails, rock pigeons, the cock, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, pea fowl, papihas, rollers, ring doves bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, kingfishers warblers, finches, orioles owls and woodpeckers.

Places Of Interest Around Kanha

Bamni Dadar is a famous sunset point, which is visited by every tourist who comes to Kanha. The National Park is at its scenic best at this location and the view of the sunset from this point is literally breathtaking. There are several great eating joints around Kanha. Both Indian and delicacies are served at the multi-cuisine joints at Kisli and Mukki, and essentials such as boiled water, soft drinks, beer and medicines are also readily available.

The Easiest Routs To Kanha

There are direct roads to Kanha from the towns of Mandla and Jabalpur. Khatia (3 km from Kisli and 68 km from Mandla) towards Mandla and Mukki (82 km from Balaghat) towards Balaghat are the two entrance points to the tiger reserve. A convenient railhead connects Jabalpur, which is 168Km away from Kanha. Buses leave daily for Kanha from Jabalpur, Mukki, and Kisli.

When to Visit

Due to the tropical climate of the region, summers are hot and humid with temperatures ranging from a maximum of 40.6ºC and to a minimum of 23.9ºC. Its really pleasant during the winters and temperatures hover around 23ºC during the day and 11ºC at during the evening time. Kanha witnesses an average rainfall of 152cm. The park stays open from November to June and each season has its unique attractions.

The Winter Months

During the cool season (Nov to Feb) the sharp biting winter breeze invigorates the soul of the jungle. Maximum temperatures rarely rise beyond 30ºC. The monsoons turn the forest into a halo of bright green, but due to the severe frost during the late winter month’s meadows loose their greenery and become brown. The sight of the baby Chital and the Languor monkeys enchant wildlife lovers.

The Summer Months

Though the daytime temperatures reach 40ºC summers are not all that harsh. The hot dehydrating winds rarely occur in the shade. During this season dominant stags can be seen fighting for supremacy in the meadows. This is the rutting period for the, Chital or Spotted Deer.

Transportation Inside the Jungle

Jeep Safari: Any petrol vehicle or any diesel vehicle, which is not older than five years.

Elephant Safari: The animals at Kanha can be best observed from the elephant back and sightings are all easier in the open country.

Convenient Routes To Your Dream Holiday

Air Routs
The nearest airport is at Nagpur, which is 266 kms away from Kanha, and is connected by various domestic airline services with Mumbai.

Rail Routs
There is direct rail route from Jabalpur, which is 169 kms away from Kanha.

Road Ways
Kanha National Park is easily accessible by several road routes via Jabalpur, which is 175-kms, Khajuraho 445-kms, Nagpur 266-kms, Mukki 25-kms, Raipur 219-kms. Within the park there are convenient routs from Koshi - Kanha (9-kms), Kishi - Katia (4-kms) and Kishi - Mukki (32-kms). There are regular to & fro bus service available from Jabalpur to Kanha.

Regional Transport

A jeep service is operated by the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC), for the tourists. For advance bookings, tourists can approach the manager, MPSTDC, Log huts, Kisli. Local sightseeing tours can also be booked at the Wild Chalet Resorts at Village Mocha.

Passage Requirements

A very nominal rate of Rs.2 is charged for entry passes from Indians. Vehicles can be tagged for an additional charge of Rs.15 so can other things like cameras, guides and elephant rides. Excursions are allowed for tourists only at designated times, generally from sunrise to noon and from afternoon to sunset. So before venturing out always check with the park authorities. Driving or moving around the park is strictly prohibited at night.

Advice: Its advisable for the visitors to reach the gate half an hour in advance to complete the formalities for entry into the park.

Boarding and Lodging

MPSTDC, nicknamed the `Bagheera Log Huts’, in tribute to Kipling’s leopard from Jungle Book log huts, the preferred by most tourists because of their resemblance to the hunting lodges of the past. Apart from that there is also a very comfortable youth hostel maintained by the tourism board. Rooms can be booked for between Rs.700 to 900 through the MPSTDC offices in Delhi, Bhopal and Jabalpur. Dorm beds at the hostel can be booked for a very nominal amount of Rs.300, which is inclusive of meals.

One also has the option of staying in rest houses and cabins in the nearby towns of Khatia, Mukki and Kisli. These are not privately owned but maintained and managed by the park authorities. The Field Director can be approached for reservations. There are also commercial hotels and resorts, and no matter what your budget you are sure to find a decent place to stay.

Please feel free to contact us for any information regarding tour packages for Kanha National Park.

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