Nestled in the heart of India is a park dedicated as a tiger reserve, one of the world’s finest wildlife sanctuaries and is spread across the area of 940 square kilometer. in the area of Maikal chain of hills is the Kanha National Park.
The scenery and surroundings of the park are encircled with dense maroons of forests. With its crystal clear streams amidst the density of the jungle, purified by the surroundings, making it a beautiful and perfect land for wildlife to thrive in. In fact, the writer of the book, “The Jungle Book” took great inspiration from the park itself.
Wide ranges of wild creatures take shelter in the park as it provides them all the essential resources that will help them thrive. It has also attracted millions of people from all over the world due to the animals that inhabit the area, which led people to build infrastructures specially meant for the travelers who come to visit. Taking a trip to the Kanha Reserve will not disappoint you as it allows you to witness how these animals go on about their day and even catch a glimpse of over thousand of flower species littered around the area.
The area was controlled by the Gond dynasty before the 19th century before it was ceded over to the British in 1879. Tribes, such as the Baigas and Gonds, have been taking shelter in the forest up to this day. They are hunter tribes and have been practicing an agricultural technique called ‘slash and burn’, which has helped them survive.
The first forest management regulations were applied around the year 1862, which prohibited the cutting of certain tree species but despite this, the place was known as a hunting ground for elephants back in 1880. And even though it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1933, the king of Vizianagaram still shot and hunted 30 tigers residing in the forest between the years 1947 and 1951.
Many conservation actions and research for the wildlife were executed which led to a relocation of the villagers from the center areas like Sonf, Bishanpura, and Gorilla into the edge of the National Park back between the years of 1969 and 1970. T
he Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, set in motion Project Tiger, which aims to make certain that tigers are being protected in the wild. This made Kanha one of the first of the nine tiger reserves managed and protected under Project Tiger. Teaming between the Center for Environmental Education in Ahmadabad and the United States National Park Service, this collaboration proceeded the installation of a multi-faceted information program at Kanha, incorporated with a park museum, two orientation centers, and many publications.
Nowadays, it is one of the finest and most beautiful wildlife preserves in the entire world. The stunning grasslands and meadows are home to a variety of wildlife species. Maintaining water bodies from the harsh summer months where water sources are limited is one of the worries for the people working in the area, poaching, on the other hand, is being monitored for it is one of the biggest enemies for wildlife next to overpopulation and the changing climate of the world.
With its convenient location, getting to the park is not a big problem. Being situated in Madhya Pradesh, Central India, it has a good network of transportation in terms of air, rail, and road. There are two main entrances entering the park, the Khatia Entrance and the Mukki Entrance gate.
To explore Kanha, Kisli, and Sarhi zones, one has to enter through the Khatia gate, which is well connected to major cities. Traveling by air, the nearest airport from the park are Jabalpur which is 160 kilometers, Raipur which is 50 kilometers, and Nagpur which is 300 kilometers.
If you are planning to take the railways, there are two near the park. The Gondia Railway station is at a distance of 145 kilometers and will take you 3 hours while Jabalpur Railway Station is 160 kilometer away from the park and will take you 4 hours.
Driving your vehicle is also an option when heading your way to the park. The park has good connectivity from the major cities of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattishgarh, and Maharashtra, and there are also public and private buses available for you and are operating within the city connected to the cities nearby.
The national park allows you to catch a closer glimpse of the majestic and beautiful wild animals by riding an open jeep through the safari, you can also find much more species as you drive by certain corners of the park. Get to witness all these wild creatures in their place of shelter.
Experience a sunset that will make you feel in awe of its beauty as sunsets from the Bamni Dadar are a must-see. Splurge on their local shops and find unique items for a souvenir and to remember the amazing trip. If you have an interest in animal history, visiting the Kanha Museum is also a must, as you walk through the gallery you come across beautifully sculpted structures of different species. Spot exotic birds while you are visiting the Kanha National Park, see the fine wings of water birds like the herons, storks, teals, and eagles.
When driving in the park, always keep a safe distance from the animals as it may scare them or prompt them to attack you. Remember that the park is not a zoo, so do not expect animals to always be visible, since they have places to be in the forest and they have more freedom to roam around in their time. The scenery in itself is already an attraction, remember to always follow whatever instructions were given to you and do not forget to take many pictures.