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.
Ethnography of Kanha
Once upon a time, Kanha & Satpura region, now famous as Tiger reserve, was ruled by elephant.
Main Flora: Shorea robusta, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Terminalia tomentosa, Dendrocalamus strictus
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 scrofa, 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.
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 11:00 am
Evening visiting hours: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Closed: 1 July to 15 October