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 km² . Kanha National Park was created on 1 June 1955. Today it stretches over an area of 940 km² in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat. Together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 km² and the neighboring 110 km² Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve."Kanha Tiger Reserve". Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 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 "
Kanha National Park is home to over 1000 species of flowering plants. "Kanha National Park". Reservation Portal Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. MPOnline Ltd. , JV between MPSEDC of Govt. of Madhya Pradesh & TATA Consultancy Services. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 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 (kullu) 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.
At Kanha the majestic tiger is the apex predator. Besides the Tiger, Kanha carnivore population includes leopards, wild dogs, wild cat, fox and the jackal and are carnivores commonly seen.
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 did not originally survive here as the habitat was not suitable. However, Black buck have recently been reintroduced 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.
Currently the Dominant Male Tiger of Kanha National Park is a Tiger named Munna. Munna is famous for his large size, big head and has symbol "CAT" written on his head.
An exciting conservation effort in this national park is the reintroduction of Barasingha. The Gaur will be relocated to Bandhavgarh and some Barasingha will be relocated to Satpura Tiger reserveThe objective of this project is to introduce about 500 Barasingha in this national park to eight or nine different locations. There is also a project to capture about twenty tigers and relocate them toSatpura Tiger reserve.Reintroduction of Barasingha: Kanha National Park – Satpura Tiger Reserve
Area: (core) 940 km²
Terrain: sal and bamboo forests, plateaus, meadows and meandering streams
Best Season: February to June
Morning Visiting Hours: 6:30 am to 12:00 noon
Evening Visiting Hours: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Closed: 1 July to 15 October
The Nearest Airports are at Jabalpur, Raipur and Nagpur (Distances 175 km., 220 km. & 275 km., respectively)
A good number of wildlife species are present in Kanha National Park. These wildlife species creates the core of the Kanha national park which was taken under Project Tiger Reserve in 1974. This park is the only habitat for rare hard ground Barasingha in India. Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is one of the most beautiful and well managed of all national parks in India. It is well known not only within the tourists, natural history photographers and wildlife lovers but also to public at large. Tourist throng here to see the magnificent big cat Tiger and one of the rarest deer the Hard ground Barasingha (Swamp Deer) also known as the – Jewel of Kanha national park. 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. The romance of the Kanha National Park has not reduced over time – it is still as beautiful as described by Rudyard Kipling in his famous book – The Jungle Book.
Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, 160 Km s from Jabalpur, Kanha national park cum Tiger reserve extends over an area of over 1,940 Sq. km’s of which 940 Sq. Km’s is designated core area and the rest buffer. 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. Kanha National Park offers home to rare hard ground barasingha.
Kanha's sal and bamboo forests and rolling grasslands, are by far the most striking features of this region where sighting Swamp deer, Sambhar, Chital, Gaur and other denizens of jungle is common. Just imagine, the feeling of seeing the king of the forests – Tiger, on an evening stroll or taking a nap under shade of tree or may be tigress teaching its cubs the nuances of jungle life.
The park was created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. It was declared a Tiger reserve in 1974 and since than has been under constant vigilence and conservation activities are being followed deligently
Main Fauna: Chital Cervus axis, sambar Cervus unicolor, barasingha Cervus duvauceli branderi, barking deer
Muntiacus muntjak, chausingha Tetracerus quadricornis, gaur Bos gaurus, langur Presbytis entellus, wild pig Sus sc
Rofa, jackal Canis aureus, sloth bear Melursus ursinus, wild dog Cuon alpinus, panther Panthera pardus, tiger Panthera tigris. The main wildlife attractions in the reserve are Tiger, Gaur, Sambhar, Chital, Barasingha, Barking deer, Sloth bear, Jackal, Fox, Porcupine, Jungle cat, Python, Hare, Monkey, Mongoose and leopard. Including many reptiles, insects and butterflies you can enjoy the creation of God in its colour and splendor.
The bird species include Storks, Teals, Pintails, Pond herons, Egrets, Peacock, Pea fowl, Jungle fowl, Spur fowl, Partridges, Quails, Ring doves, Spotted parakeets, Green pigeons, Cuckoos, Rollers, Bee-eater, Hoopoes, Drongos, Warblers, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Finches, Orioles, Owls, and Fly catchers amongst many others.
The climate of this region is tropical. Summers are hot and dry with a maximum and minimum temperature of 42°C and 24°C. Winters are cold with an average maximum and minimum temperature of 24°C and 1°C, respectively. The annual average rainfall is 152 cm. The park is closed from July to mid October during monsoon.
Jabalpur has the nearest airport and railway head, about 3 hours away. Mandla is the nearest city. Khatia (3 km from Kisli) and Mukki are the two main entry points to the Kanha National Park. From Jabalpur, Kisli is 165 km via Chiraidongri, and Mukki is 203 km via Motinala and Garhi. For travellers from Bilaspur (182 km), Raipur (213 km) and Balaghat (83 km), Mukki on State Highway No. 26 is more convenient. From Nagpur, Kisli is 259 km via Nainpur and Chiraidongri, and Mukki is 289 km via Balaghat. With flight connectivity from Mumbai and Delhi it has become a very good option for travellers to come via Jabalpur.
The best way of taking a safari in the park is in open Gypsy which are available and can be booked on reaching or directly through www.mponline.gov.in a government website. Present booking charges for safaries are Rs. 1230/= per safari. Rates for morning and evening rides are between 1500 to 2500 IN Rs and 1000 to 1700 IN Rs respectively. If you are reaching in main tourist season or week ends and holidays its better to book your Gypsy and pay your entry fees in advance or else you may just watch people going in yourself sitting at your resort.
Kawardha Palace is located at a three hours drive from the Kanha National Park. This beautiful resort was built in the period of 1936-39 by the king Dharamraj Singh. This resort is spread in the area of eleven acres and beautiful Italian marble is used to built this resort. Other places near to Kawardha Palace are Mandawa mahal, Krishna Temple, Madan manjari Mahal and Bhoremdeo Temple.
Bamni Dadar is located near to Kanha National Park. This place is also known as the sunset point. It is famous among the tourists coming to visit Kanha National Park. Almost every tourists who comes to visit Kanha Sanctuary, also visits sunset point as well. Sunset is the best time to capture the scenic beauty of Kanha National Park in the camera. Sunset from the Bamni Dadar is amazing.
Zones Kanha national parks tourism area is divided into 4 zones - Kanha, Kisli, Sarai and Mukki with Kanha zone being the premium zone. Although all the zones are equally good as far as bio dicersity is concerned but tigers in Kanha and Kisli zones are more accustomed to Gypsy and human traffic and so much easily sighted. To check Tourism maps of Kanha National Park.
Bamni Dadar is well known as the sunset point. This place is quite famous among the tourists and mostly people visit this place to capture a wonderful view of sunset. Animals like Sambar, Barking Deer, Gaur and the Four Horned Antelope can be easily seen here.
Kanha Museum is located inside the park and is amazing place to visit. This is the best place to get information about the topography and different interesting aspects about the park.
Medicinal Plantation Conservation Area or MPCA is located at village Boda Chhapri 2 kms from village Mocha and worth a visit. But do remember to ask for a naturalist with good knowledge of plants and do not go on your own as this place is well inside dense forest. Best is to contact the local forest officers for permission and guide.
Tourists should do an advance booking to visit the Kanha national park. Tourists should book the advance trip with tour operators who can also take care for all the essential requirement of theirs.Jeep safari is arranged twice in a day, once in the morning and once in the evening time, which is the best way to explore the beauty of this national park.
Zones: Kanha tourism is divided in 4 zones Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki with Kanha zone being the premium zone. It is good if you take morning safari to Kanha zone and evening to Kisli or Sarhi zones.
This is one of the best ways to give a closer view to the animals of Kanha national park. Tourists can enjoy the amazing sightseeing as well as enjoy the wild animals in their natural habitat Jungle walk (Nature trails): One of the best way to explore and understand the local bio diversity is on foot. Forest department has made jungle trails near Khatia entrance gate and Village Chhapri. To go on trail contact your accommodation provider or at the entrance gate. Nature trail at village chhapri is highly recommended for bird watchers.
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.