The Kanha National Park is situated in the Madhya Pradesh state of India, forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974, under Project Tiger. Stretching over 940sq km, the vegetation, chiefly made of sal and bamboo forests, grasslands and streams, this park is the sole habitat of the rare hard ground Barasingha. The forests of the Banjar valley and Halon valley, respectively forming Kanha's western and eastern halves, had even, at the turn of the century, been famous for their deer and tiger population. It is one of the well-maintained National Parks in Asia, and a major attraction for avid wildlife buffs all over the world.
- The Barasingha: The Barasingha is undoubtedly, the jewel of Kanha. Barasinghas exist almost totally on grass, and tall grass meadows are essential for their security. At the height of winter, between December and January, falls the rutting season of these animals, and huge groups can be easily spotted in the Kanha and Sonph meadows. A small, but significant number of blackbucks also inhabit the central Kanha meadow.
- Wild Life Found: Tiger, Bison, Gaur, Sambar, Black Deer, Black Buck, Chital, Barasingha, Barking Deer, Chousihgha, Nilgai, Mouse Deer, Porcupine, Hyaena, Jungle Cat, Sloth Bear, Jackal Fox, Monkey, Mongoose, Python, Pea fowl, Hare, Leapords can be found here.
- Bird Species in the Park: Storks, Teals, Pintails, Pea Fowl, Jungle Fowl, Pond Herons, Egrets, Peacock, Spur Fowl, Patridges, Quails, Rock Pigeons, Cuckoos, Papihas, Ring Doves, Spotted Parakeets, Green Pigeons, Rollers, Bee Eater, King Fishers, Wood Peckers, Hoopes, Drongos, Warblers, Finches, Owls, Fly Catchers, Orioles.
Kanha National Park is home of over 600 species of flowering plants. Kanha Tiger Reserve abounds in meadows or called maidans in local language which are basically open grasslands that have sprunged up in fields of abandoned villages which are generally evacuated to make way for the animals. Kanha meadow is one such example. There are many species of grass found at Kanha. Some of them are important for the survival of Barasingha whose scientific name is Cervus duvauceli branderi. Dense forested zones with good crown cover have many species of climbers, herbs and shrubs flourishing in the understory. Aquatic plants in numerous lakes are life line for wetland species of birds and also for migratory birds.
Other sites to look for:
- Museum: There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of the park. The museum also shows tribal culture. It is close on Wednesdays.
- Jabalpur city is a nice place. Many tourist attractions are about 10 kms away from the city.
How to get there?
- By Air: The nearest Airport to visit Kanha National Park is Nagpur which is around 266 kms away. Nagpur is connected by many Airlines with all big cities in India
- By Rail: Jabalpur which is 175 kms away is the convenient nearest rail head to visit Kanha
- By Road: Kanha National Park is connected by road with Nagpur 266 km, Jabalpur 175 km, Mukki 25 km, Raipur 219 km. and Khajuraho 445 km.
Where to stay?
The National park has many resorts outside the core area of the park. There is only one resort of Madhya Pradesh Tourism inside core area of the jungle. It's a very nice place to stay. You have to book rooms in advance for MP Tourism resort.
Best Time to Visit:
- The best time to visit Kanha is from October to March. The timings of the park are as follows
- 15 Nov to 15 Feb. Sunrise to 1200 and 1500 to Sunset
- 16 Feb to 30 Apr. Sunrise to 1200 and 1600 to Sunset
- 1 May to 30 June Sunrise to 1100 and 1700 to Sunset
Kanha National park is a good site to visit if you have interest in wildlife. The park will enrich you with great experiences and some good photographs!