Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park was created in 1st June 1953. There were two wildlife sanctuaries before 1953- Hallon and Banjar. Hallon and Banjar was two river valleys on Maikal ranges of Satpura hills of Central India. It was a first declared as a reserve forest in 1879, during British era. Later in 1935 it was named Banjar valley sanctuary. Park area was extended many times in several phases since 1953. Kanha National Park was originally upgradation of Banjar valley sanctuary. At the time of creation of Kanha National Park, mukki valley and hallon valley were not the part of Kanha. Later on different phases, boundary of Kanha National Park was extended and Mukki valley was included in 1970, Hallon valley was included in 1974. Similarly Phen Wildlife Sanctuary was not part of Kanha before 1983. It was a part of Motinala range, under the erstwhile South Mandla Territorial division (East Mandla Division). Realizing the wildlife potential of this area, it was declared wildlife Sanctuary in 1983 and was placed under unified control of Kanha Tiger Reserve. Buffer zone of Kanha National Park was constituted in 1995. It is a separate division under the unified control of Kanha National Park Management. Kanha National Park have a history of phased relocation of villages outside the core zone of national park. Since 1960, as many as 27 villages have been relocated successfully.

Kanha was originally formed a part of the which means “Land of Gonds”. Given forest were inhibited by two aboriginal tribes of Central India, the Gonds and the Baigas. These tribes practiced shifting cultivation and subsisted on forest produce. Even today if we travel surrounding villages of Kanha National Parks, we may conclude that majority of villagers are from same tribes.

Kanha Tiger Reserve is a internationally renowned National Park of Central India. It is located in ‘Maikal’ ranges of eastern base of triangular Satpura range in Central Indian Highlands of Madhya Pradesh State of India. It falls under Mandla & Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh. Earlier in 1972, when Project Tiger program was initiated in India by government to protect Royal Bengal Tigers, nine tiger reserves were established in different states of India. Among those nine tiger reserves, Kanha National Park was one of them. Tiger Reserve covers area of 1949 sq. km. in total which comprises core zone (National Park) of 940 sq. km. and buffer zone (Multiple use area) of 1009 sq. km. Kanha National Park is known for its distinguished flora & fauna. Apart from Tigers, Kanha has also distinguished itself in saving the highly endangered hard ground Barasingha (Cervus duvauceli branderi) also known as Swamp Deers. These Barasingha’s are close to extinction and its last world population is in Kanha National Park. Kanha National Park was created on 1-June-1953 by combining two wildlife sanctuatires, Hallon and Banjar. Actually Hallon & Banjar are two prominent rivers of Kanha National Park around which whole national park was flourished.

Kanha National park has a picturesque topography with huge plateaus, meadows and valleys. Such huge grass-lands and meadows like Sondhar/Sondar, Bishanpura, and Ghorella are lands of local villagers before project tigers. Although Banjar and Hallon are major rivers of Kanha. but some other small rivers are also their like Sulkum Nila etc.Park beauty is end- less and make you feel as heaven is here on every next moment visitor can find something never seen before. Kanha continues to sway the imaginations of visitors and considered as the most scenic and well-managed National Park in Asia.

At present one can enter into core zone of Kanha National Park through three gates: Khatia, Mukki and newly introduced Sarhi garte. Among them Khatia gate is the oldest entry gate of Kanha National Park. Park remain open for Tourists from 1st October to 30th June but dates may vary as per decision of Forest Department.

Kanha National Park lies in southern part of Madhya Pradesh State in India. It is spread over Mandla and Bahaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh which are close to Chattisgarh border. Cities like Jabalpur, Nagpur & Raipur are considered best gateway cities to Kanha national Park. One of the finest and richest National Parks of India, Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh is known worldwide for its glorious natural beauty and the rich and diverse flora and fauna. The abundance of natural splendor and wildlife in Kanha results in an irresistible attraction for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world.

Spotting wild animals in their natural habitat almost always involves a luck factor. But wildlife in Kanha is so rich and varied that the odds will remain tilted in your favor when you visit Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh.

Coming under the Tiger Project, Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve where you can spot tigers more regularly than in any other such reserves in the country. Apart from Tiger – which is the most popular draw for tourists visiting the park – there are several other attractions pertaining to wildlife in Kanha. These include Leopards, Dholes (Indian wild dog), Indian Bisons, Sambar, Chital, Barking Deer, Black Buck, Chausingha, Nilgai, Monkeys, Mongoose, Mouse Deer, Sloth Bear, Jackal, Porcupine, Hyena, Jungle Cat, Hare, Rock Pythons, and a host of other animals. The park is the only habitat of the near-extinct hard-ground Swamp Deer (‘Barasingha’), and with a little luck, you can even spot this rare species.

Wildlife in Kanha also comprises of a wide variety of birds, making the park a much sought-after destination for bird-watchers and ornithologists. Some of the birds spotted commonly are Pea fowls, Storks, Pond Herons, Egrets, Peacock, Partridges, spotted Parakeets, Green Pigeons, Cuckoos, Drongos, etc.

The fauna in Kanha National Park mainly comprises sal forests, extensive bamboo stretches and lush green meadows. Around 70 species of trees are known to be found in the park and these also constitute a major part of the wildlife in Kanha.

The best way to spot the enchanting wildlife in Kanha National Park is by elephant safari through the dense forests. Jabalpur city is very well connected through trains with major cities of India like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Banglore, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, Agra, Ahmedabad etc. From Jabalpur, Kanha National Park (Khatia entrance gate) is at a distance of 165kms. Jabalpur city local sight-seeing will be an added advantage for those who are planning to reach Kanha through Jabalpur.

Raipur is capital city of the Chattisgarh state. Kanha National Park (Mukki entrance gate) is at a distance of 250kms. from Raipur city. Raipur is well connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai,a Agra and many more important cities of India through trains. Nagpur: Nagpur city lies in Maharastra State of India. It is about 260 kms. away from Kanha National Park (Kisli entrance gate). Nagpur is well connected with some important cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chennai etc.

One can reach Kanha National Park through Aircraft also. For those who are traveling on Charted planes, can land at small runway in Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh State which is about 90kms. Away from Kanha National Park (Mukki entrance gate). In addition to this, one can also reach Kanha through flights reaching Nagpur (250kms), Raipur (260kms), Jabalpur (175kms), Khajuraho (280kms) airports.

Nearest cities from Kanha National Park are Jabalpur, Raipur, Nagpur. Jabalpur & Nagpur is on National Highway-7 which connects Varanasi from Kanyakumari. Anyone can reach Kanha from these cities by surface transfers. Among them Jabalpur is the closest to Kanha Tiger Reserve i.e, about 165kms. and road condition is also favourable. Routes are as follows

Flora & Fauna of Kanha:-
Kanha is very rich in floral diversity due to combination of landforms and soil types, and the moist character of the region. The reserve has over 600 species of flowering plants, 50 species of aquatic plants and 18 species of rare plants.

The climate in Kanha National Park is extreme, with summer (April-June) temperatures rising to 43oC.

The monsoons are from mid-June to September when an average of 1,800 mm of rain falls. 

Preferred Gear at Kanha National Park .

Light cotton clothes in warm weather. Woolens and jackets in cold weather. Preferably wear neutral and earth colored clothes.
Kanha National Park Opening time is 1st October to 30th June. 

The park is closed during the monsoon months.