Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park, which is one of the most well known tiger reserves worldwide, is located among the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It’s creation took place among, and after, a lot of turbulence and storms within concerned circles regarding rampant killing of wildlife in the area at the time.
The central Kanha valley was declared a sanctuary way back in 1933 but got it’s status as a National Park in 1955. It covers a large area of 1,945 sq km, out of which 940 sq km form the main Park. The altitude of the park ranges from 450m to 900m above sea level.
Kanha is also famous for it’s animal conservation efforts made in collaboration and cooperation with the local resident communities. One of the famous success stories of the Park is the survival of the Barasingha population in the Park, which went down to as low as 66 animals in 1970 from the earlier 3000 and which through huge efforts has now revived to a respectable number of around 1000. Kanha boasts of many such success stories of which this is only an example.
Prime Attractions of the Kanha National Park
The Wildlife – Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck but Kanha is so rich in wildlife that the odds are stacked in your favour.
Kanha Museum – There is a museum at Kanha National Park, depicting attributes and activities of the Park and the tribal culture of the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Excursions – There are several excursion points that you can visit from Kanha. Most of the places are of historical importance. Some of them also make ideal base points to visit some of the popular tourist destinations of Madhya Pradesh. The city of Nagpur which is famous for its orange orchards makes an ideal day or weekend destination from Kanha. Moreover, you can also visit Jabalpur, a small city housing some of the important historical monuments and archaeological findings. Jabalpur is also famous for its highly revered Tilwara ghat where Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in the river here.
Flora & Fauna in Kanha National Park
The terrain inside the Park is varied, nonetheless enjoyable. Bamboo forests flow into Sal forests and meadows. There are herds of spotted deer to be seen with smaller herds of a beautiful Antelope, the Black Buck. With a little luck, you could also spot the timorous Barking Deer. It’s snapping warns other denizens of the forest that a predator is around. There is also a very strong possibility that you will see the rare Barasingha, the Swamp Deer. Once there were only 66 of these in Kanha, but careful conservation and management raised their population to over 400.
Elephant Safari – The animals at Kanha are best observed from elephant back and the open country makes the chance of sightings reasonably good.
Best Time To Visit
Kanha Tiger Reserve is closed to visitors during the monsoon months, from July to November. Winter, between November and January, is a comfortable time to visit the Park, when the weather is pleasant. April to June is when the summer sets in; it can get pretty hot at this time, but if you are a die-hard wildlife fan, this is when a visit can reward you with satisfactory wildlife-watching at the Park’s waterholes.
Note : Visitors are advised to reach the gate half an hour in advance to complete the formalities for entry into the park.
Tourist Information Centres
1. The Manager, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., Log Hut, Kisli, Bhopal.
2. The Field Director, Project Tiger, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Mandla – 481661.
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