Located in a central region of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha National Park is the largest National Park in central India and has been ranked as one of the best parks in Asia. Among the 22 species of large mammals, the royal Bengal tigers are one of the major attractions. One of the best tiger reserves in India, the present-day area stretches over the 940-kilometre square which is divided into two sanctuaries: Hallon and Banjar.
The park was established in the year 1955 and has since actively contributed to the preservation of many endangered species. The National Park was taken under the Project Tiger Reserve in 1974. Abundant in flora and fauna, the Kanha National Park houses one of the rarest species of deer- the Barasingha. It is known for the unique Barasingha conversation to save the species that were once on the verge of extinction. One of the most scenic wildlife reserves in Asia today, this National Park came to be known the world over through Rudyard Kipling’s book- The Jungle Book.
Kanha National Park is famous for its wildlife safaris and attracts tourists from all over the world. Other important animals in this park are leopards, wild dogs, wild cats, foxes, sloth bears, hyenas, langurs, wild boars and jackals. Reptiles including pythons, cobras, krait and other varieties of snakes are also found in this National Park.
Things to do
Safari at Kanha
The Jeep Safari is the best way to explore Kanha. It is very easy to find a jeep safari in Kanha, as it is one of the hotspots in India for spotting tigers. Since the costs are typically per jeep, its advisable to share your jeep in case seats are available. The safaris are allowed in two slots: morning (6 AM to 11 AM) and afternoon (3 PM to 6 PM). Morning slot typically has more chances of spotting tigers. The costs would be around INR 1000-2000 for a jeep. The evening safaris are slightly cheaper than the morning ones. You can book a 4 seater safari from your resort and they will also pack breakfast for you in the morning slot.
Elephant safaris could be very exciting here and they are typically available in the morning slot. It might cost you around INR 300-600 per head.
Tigers of Kanha National Park
Divided currently into two sanctuaries, Hallon & Banjar, the lush green landscape and ravines of this site inspired author Rudyard Kipling to give his most significant creation ever, The Jungle Book. The tiger reserve that is the centre of attraction in Kanha National Park, houses the endangered species of Royal Bengal Tiger. Kanha also sports a wide range of exquisite flora and fauna, from the lush green sal and bamboo trees to the rare breeds of hard ground stag [Barasingha], Gaur [Indian Bison], Swamp Deer as the list goes on.
Sunset Point in Kanha National Park
Also known as the Sunset Point, Bamni Dadar is the highest plateau in the national park offering a serenading view of the vastness and beauty of the meadows. Many visitors review this as the most beautiful place to view the sunset. This is the last location for most evening safaris organised by the park for spotting the barking deer and Indian bison.
Birds In Kanha National park
Kanha brings around 300 species of birds which attracts many bird watchers and photographers for taking account of these majestic creatures. Excellent birding surrounds the eastern region where they can explore the trails, waterways and forests in search of elusive species. With an array of birds that are unique to this area of Madhya Pradesh, species in the park include storks, teals, egrets, peacock, peafowl, amongst many others. A binocular, bird guidebook and a camera equipped with suitable lenses are must-have essentials to experience the kaleidoscopic avian beauty. Bird watchers and researchers are often attracted by the exotic species in these grasslands such as Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White Rumped Shama, White Bellied Drongo, Spangled Drongo. Racket Tailed Drongo, Tawny Babbler, and so many more.
Fauna in Kanha National Park
Hundred acres of grassy meadows, ravines and streams, indeed a paradise for the wildlife in Kanha. Fitting under such a description of the geography, the park provides natural habitat to a huge variety of animals. Also known as the Kanha Tiger Reserve, it is a home of several tiger species including the Royal Bengal tigers which attracts a major population of wildlife enthusiasts. It also hosts a large population of leopards, jungle cats, wild dogs and jackals. Some commonly spotted mammals in the reserve are tiger, chital, sambar, barasingha, barking deer, chousingha, gaur, langur, wild pig, sloth bear, black buck, hyena, wild boar, rudd mongoose, Indian Fox, Badger, Indian Hare and Wild Dog along with several species of reptiles including Indian Monitor, Fan Throated Lizard, Indian Garden Lizard, Russell’s Viper, Python, Indian Cobra, Indian Krait and Rat Snake. The reserve has been instrumental in hosting some of the very rare and endangered species of mammals, reptiles and birds.
Restaurant & Local Food in Kanha National Park
Being a national park, the eating options here are limited to the ones inside the hotels and resorts. These can provide you both local delicacies as well a multi-cuisine experience. The local delicacies of Madhya Pradesh that you might chance upon here include Dal Bafla, Biryani, Kebabs, Bhutte ki Kees, Korma, Poha, Rogan Josh, Jalebi, Ladoos as well as beverages like Lassi and Sugarcane Juice.
Must Try Food in Kanha National Park
1. Mogli Resort
2. Kanha Resorts
3. Motel Chandan
4. Kanha Jungle Lodge
5. The Spices Multicuisine Restaurant
6. Green Chilli Restaurant
7. The Celebration Van Vilas Restaurant
8. Baagh Haveli
9. Suraj Dhaba
10. Hotel Kanha Heritage
How To Get Here
The nearest airport and railway station is in Jabalpur(3 km), which connects Kanha National Park with all the major cities in the country. You can also hail cabs or buses from the nearest city, Mandla.
There is no direct flight connectivity for Kanha National Park. Jabalpur Airport is the nearest airport, which is approximately 120 km away from the Kanha National Park.
Nearest Airport: Jabalpur Airport (JLR) – 112 kms from Kanha National Park
Regular bus services ply to and fro Kanha National Park. Buses, in a range from affordable to slightly expensive rates, are available from places like Bhopal, Indore etc. You can also take a shared taxi or cab for the same route.
There is no direct rail connectivity to Kanha National Park. Jabalpur Railway Station is the nearest railway station, 130 km. away from the Kanha National Park. Once you step down, you can take a taxi for the rest of the route.