Thick sal forests, long bamboos, swaying grasslands and meandering rivers this is what Kanha is all about. Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha national park is a tiger reserve that extend over an area of over 1940 sq km. A horse-shoe shaped valley bounded by the spurs of the Mekal gives Kanha an interesting topography. The elevations range from 450 to 900m. Steep rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the valley.

It is this place which has been described by Rudyard Kipling in his great book "The Jungle Book". The description of the jungle in this book matches the beauty and splendor of Kanha.

Even today there are many ancient species of animals which roam the jungles of Kanha. Realizing the danger on the Tiger population in the country, Government started the "Project Tiger". The project was initiated at Kanha and in 1974 the area was declared a Tiger reserve. The park is also the habitat of the high ground Barasingha.

The park was created in 1955 by a special law and since then it has dedicated itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Its efforts have been rewarded and many endangered species were saved here. Today Kanha stands among the few most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. The Kanha National park has given new leash to wild animals and intern they have attracted visitors to this place. This 'Tiger Country' is ideal place viewing both the predator and the prey.

Park Population :
It was at the Kanha national park that the first ever scientific study of the tiger was undertaken by the eminent zoologist George Schaller. Another landmark at Kanha is the preservation of the hard ground barasingha -- the only surviving population of this central Indian subspecies. This was achieved by extending the grasslands, relocating villages and by increasing habitat.

There are 22 species of mammals are found in the park. The mammals include the three stripe squirrels, variety of monkeys & apes, hyena, wild pigs, deers and black bucks are common here. The Indian jackal, jungle cat, leopard, blue bull can be spotted after a little bit of effort. There are many other animals which live deep inside the jungle and a very difficult to see and require patience and time to be spotted.

The mixed forests and bamboo forests are good breeding and nesting grounds for many feathered species. There are almost 200 species of birds in Kanha. Many of them are found on the grasslands too. Some of them can be spotted around waterholes. The ground opposite the Museum is also a good place to watch the birds playing. Take binoculars to watch them closely. Best time to observe the birds is in morning and evening. The park also sustains a sizeable number of reptiles which are very difficult to spot.

Nearby Attractions :
The Kanha national park in itself is so beautiful and full of adventure that nothing else is required. But Bamni Dadar is one place which is visited by every tourist who come come to the national park. This also known as the sunset point. The Kanha national park is at it scenic best at this point. The sunset from this is mesmerizing. The emence natural splendor of the park come to the open at this place. The grazing Sambars, barking deers, Gaurs and others make the ambience magical.

Park Trips :
Take a forest department guide to go around the park. Guides take you to the exact locations where animals can be seen at their natural best. Visitor to the Kanha park take jeep to see the scenic natural beauty. These jeeps can be hired from the MPTDC. Elephant safaris are mainly used to spot tigers .

Jeeps can be hired from the MPTDC manager at Kisli and Mukki. Remember to book the jeep one day before the journey. If there are more tourists then hiring jeeps can be troublesome. So reserve the vehicle well in advance during the peak season.

Climate :
The climate of the park is very tropical. The summers are warm and winters cold. One should carry warm cloths during winters specially while traveling on Jeep. Generally also the mornings and evenings are cool and light woolens are required. Otherwise the weather is pleasant and warm.

Best Time to Visit :
The Kanha national park is closed from 1st July to 31st October as these are rainy season and animals prefer being in shelters than venture out. The best season to visit this park is between November to June.

Accommodation :
There are many good facilities for staying at Kanha. The tourism department and the forest department have made adequate arrangements at the park to give the visitors a comfortable accommodation. But the lodges and rest houses are not in the park they are located in Mukki or Kisli. The Kanha safari lodge is at Mukki, Baghira log huts at Kisli and Tourist lodge at Kisli are few of the government accommodation available. Apart from these there are private hotels and rest houses for the tourists. The forest lodge is maintained by the ITDC. Ask for the Kipling Camp.
There are canteens and hotels at Kisli where one get both Indian and western cuisines. The rates are reasonable and at times they are cheaper than the market rates.

Getting There :
There are regular air services to Raipur and Nagpur (270 km) from other airports in India. One can also take flight to Jabalpur (170 km). From these airports one has to drive to the park. The most convenient railheads for Kanha are Jabalpur and Nagpur. These two are well connected by fast and super fast trains other destinations in India.
To access the Kanha national park there are two ways via Khatia or Kisli. From Jabalpur there are daily bus services to these places. From Jabalpur, Bilaspur and Raipur one can hire taxis to the park. No vehicles are allowed inside the park after dark so get there before dusk. For more information on park contact the state tourism development offices at various places through out Madhya Pradesh and major tourist destinations in India.

For More Information :
Field Director, Project Tiger,
Kanha National Park,
P.O Mandla,
Madhya Pradesh (India) - 484661

Reservation Authority (MPT hotels)--
Central reservations, Marketing Division,
MP State Tourism Development Corporation Limited,
4th floor, Gangotri, TT Nagar,
Bhopal (India) - 785612





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