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Kanha National Park
17.8° C / 64° F
December to December
0 to 0 Days
Regarded as one of Asia’s most well maintained National Park, Kanha has gained global reputation because of its unparalleled efforts in saving the swamp deer (Barasingha) from near extinction. Central India’s largest national park, the Kanha National Park is home to The Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopards, sloth bears and the Barasingha. Incidentally, Rudyard Kipling drew inspiration from the sublime jungles of Kanha and its awe inspiring animals when he penned his novel ‘The Jungle Book’.
Kanha National Park lies in the districts of Balaghat and Mandla In Madhya Pradesh. Established in 1955 it spreads over an area of 950 square kilometers. With the adjoining Phen Sanctuary included, the entire buffer zone combined forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve with a massive area of 1945 square kilometers.
The surreal environs of the Kanha National park shelter some of the most exotic and rare flora and fauna species in the world. Although the list is virtually endless some of the major fauna found here include the Barasingha, Cheetal, the Indian wolf, wild boars, the Indian porcupine and leopards.
The splendid Indian Tiger, found in huge numbers here, is also a photographer’s delight in the Kanha National Park. Other than these the majestic Indian langur, the flying fox as well as the small Indian civet attract visitors from across the globe. But without a doubt the Barasingha (swamp deer) remains the most sought after species by not just nature lovers but also biologists and wildlife researchers all over the globe. It’s not without reason that the Barasingha is called the jewel of Kanha. It is a graminivorous species and feeds basically on grass and weeds, often preferring aquatic plants. Poaching had led to a sharp decrease in the population of the Barasingha but with the initiatives of the government and national park, their number has been restored. Often found wading in waters or playing with the chital the Barasingha displays poise and elegance rarely found in any other deer species.
For the ornithologists amongst you, Kanha delights with its 278 recognized bird species, out of which around 8 are threatened globally by extinction. Flora is equally bewitching with Sal and bamboo covering a large green area in the reserve. Officially around 500 species of flowering plants are found here along with the ubiquitous water lilies around marshy lands.
Kanha lies in the central highlands in India and astonishing as it may sound, is home to almost half of the Indian forests. Located in the Maikal range, the park forms a figure of eight and its buffer zones host around 155 villages. An overwhelmingly beautiful attraction in Kanha is the sunset point at Bamni Dadar. Stunning natural landscape is visible from here during sunrise and sunset against the backdrop of such exquisite animals as sambar or the cheetal. It remains a hot favorite amongst photographers both professionals and amateur.
Several accommodation options and staying facilities are available around Kanha National Park. Sumptuous food and lavish facilities are guaranteed at these places but can vary according to your budget. Room availability must be checked before leaving for Kanha.
Kanha Jungle Safaris
For wildlife lovers, documentary makers and educational groups the elephant safari is highly recommended as it ensures not just an excellent view from that high perched seating of the elephant but also because it is slower and therefore more gratifying. Jeep safaris are also available with English speaking guides for foreign tourists at nominal rates.
Weather and Best Time To Visit
Being a part of the hot tropical Indian belt, Kanha observes extremely hot summers with temperatures going as high as 48 degrees and very cold winters with the mercury dropping to zero occasionally. Monsoons are equally harsh with incessant rain and dampness. Best time for nature lovers and photographers is February and March when the weather is pleasant and the chance of spotting rare animal species is high. Non reflective cool cotton clothing along with hats/caps, sunglasses, sun screen lotions for tourists is advised during summers while in the winters light woolens during the day are sufficient.
How To Get To Kanha
The closest airport to the park is Jabalpur, approximately 176 kilometres. But flights from here to New Delhi and Mumbai are not very frequent. Nagpur which is 260 kms has far better connectivity. Tourist taxi services are easily available from Jabalpur. The best route to Kanha is through Mandla and Nainpur. You can halt at various cafes and resorts on the way and also visit some impressive temples in Mandla.