Things To Do In Kanger Valley National Park
Kanger Valley National Park in Chhattisgarh is known as one of the densest forests in the country along with which it offers green landscapes, rich diverse species of animals, birds and reptiles as well as heighted waterfalls. Within the forest you can find exotic animals and birds like the Hill Myna and more. Apart from the places to see inside the park, there are several things to do in Kanger Valley National Park. This national park is spread over 200 sq km and has a variety of things to explore within. The best part about this reserve is that it is established in such a place that the surrounding areas also have things to do that one can explore.
Spot Exotic Animals and Plants
The first one on the list is to spot exotic animals in Kanger Valley National Park. The Park is famous for a vast expanse of flora and a diverse group of animals. Owing to that fact, you can find teak, sal and bamboo trees all over with most part of the forests being covered by deciduous forests; in total, there are about 555 different species of plants within the forest. Other than pants, you can see animals like wildcat, sambhar, mouse deer, monitor lizard, snakes, flying squirrel and also Hill Myna which is exclusively found only in this region. These are some of the animals and plants you can see and observe in this national park.
Enjoy Nature at Bhainsa Darha
Located a little bit away from Jagdalpur and Kanger Valley National Park is Bhainsa Darha, a water pool that is naturally made by rivers. The water in this spot is absolutely natural and you can find a species of crocodiles and other aquatic creatures living in it. You can have a picnic with your family in nearby spots as it is a very calm area. Nature lovers can spend a good amount of time there before they head to other places in the district. Monsoon is not the best time to visit the place as it can get swamp, but you must visit during winters to get the full feel of Bhainsa Darha.
Indulge in Bird Watching
The famous Kanger Valley passes through the national park that is how the park has actually gotten its name. As the valley is an important part of the park, it is important for a lot of birds in the area as well. The swampy marshlands on the banks of the valley are encroached upon by several birds that find it a suitable ground for breeding. If you are an avid bird watcher and observer, this is the place for you! Get your binoculars out to see some of the most exotic birds coming in from other regions as well as ones that are native to the place. Pick a spot and spend an entire day observing the mannerisms of these birds to have a better understanding of their species.
Explore Gupt Godavari Caves
Along with being rich in natural resources, Kanger Valley National Park and its vicinity, which is the Bastar region has mythological significance as well. The Gupt Godavari Caves is a pair of two caves that is said to have an ancient story attached to it. It is said that when Shri Ram and Laxman were sent on exile, this is the spot where they held their secret meets and discussed about different things that were happening in the kingdom. This place is not well explored and has scope for further exploration. The cave has two entrances, one that has knee deep water flowing and the other one being very small to penetrate through.
Go on a Safari
The best way to explore the wildlife of Kanger Valley National Park is to go on a safari inside the forest. Theauthorities of the park arrange several safaris that could be in a group or solo with your family or friends, wherein you can explore the insides of the forest. If you are specifically a wildlife enthusiast, this is something that you will enjoy. You could either go on a land safari, where the forest officials will give you a tour of the forest by jeep or you can choose to ride elephants or even go on a boat safari to see the marine life in this national park. The boat safari is unique and quite adventurous.
Explore Tribal Life in Sukma
Chhattisgarh has several villages that are spread out throughout the state many of which surround the Kanger Valley National Park. Since these villages are so close to the park, their everyday life is influenced by the wildlife and pants in the forest. One such village is known by the name of Sukma and is quite a few kilometers from the national park. This village like any other in the region has tribal community in large numbers. There are different tribal communities living in this area and each of them has their own culture, traditions and food. If you want to be a part of this culture, visit Sukma and stay in a homestay for a couple of days to experience their true lifestyle.
Visit Kanger Dhara
One of the main attractions inside Kanger Valley National Park is the Kanger Dhara that passes right through the park. To reach this place, you have to have permission from the forest officials as it is a protected place. Kanger Dhara Waterfall is produced in the same area due to undulating rocks; over the years the rocks present at the end of the waterfall has produced a certain shape due to the force of water. The best time to visit Kanger Dhara is during winters when it is not too hot and you can see relatively more of wildlife activity around and within the valley. Sit by the valley and enjoy natural scenic beauty that is unique to this region.
Stay in a Tent
If you are the adventurous kind then you must stay in a tent out in the open in the forest premises. The authorities have set a place for tourists to come camp and it is relatively further than the main forest, for protection of both tourists as well as the animals. You can bring your own tent or you can set up one that is given by the forest officials. Enjoy a starry night sky and a bonfire in the tent while being in the lap of nature. Also, during winters, you can see a lot of wildlife activity and you can see them come drink water from the river in the night as well; this is a very thrilling experience.
Seek Blessings at Hinglaj Mandir
The Hinglaj Mandir in Jagdalpur is a famous temple that is revered by tourists as well as locals. The main shrine at this temple is Durga Maa and she is worshipped by several people in the region. During festivals like Navratri, the mandir is completely lit up and the goddess is made to dress in a new sari and jewelry. The main shrine is orange in colour, which is not usual for devi maa, but this shrine has a special significance. Hindu festivals are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in this temple. After you are done visiting the national park, seek blessing from the goddess at this temple to complete your trip successfully.
Spend a Day at a Waterfall
Chhattisgarh is a state with an abundance of natural resources and has some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region. The Chitrakoot Falls and the Tirathgarh Falls are some of the most famous waterfalls of Bastar and provide utmost natural beauty. After you are done touring the entire region, make sure you stop by at a waterfall to have a relaxed moment with your friends and family. Best enjoyed during monsoons, the area surrounding the waterfalls are lush green and absolutely apt for a picnic. You can even take a swim in the water or simply sit by the rocks and click a few selfies.