Table of Contents
- About Kanha National Park
- Things to do in Kanha National Park
- How to Plan a trip to Kanha National Park
- Places to stay in Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park, aka Kanha Tiger Reserve, is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh. Kanha is MP Tourism’s biggest highlight and has been the inspiration for the iconic creation by Rudyard Kipling – The Jungle Book.
The expansive natural wildlife sanctuary is one of the most prominent tiger reserves of India. It is located in the Maikal range of the Satpura Hills and spreads across Mandala and Kalaghat districts. Read on to learn more information.
What is Kanha Tiger Reserve Famous For?
The Kanha Tiger Reserve is an expansive natural enclave of grasslands and forests with elevated plateau areas. Home to Royal Indian Tigers, Kanha Tiger Reserve is famous for being the first tiger reserve in India to have a mascot – Bhoorsingh the Barasingha. Apart from tigers, you can also find jackals and wild pigs around the grasslands. The plateau of Bamhnidadar is occupied by birds of prey. The tiger reserve comprises watering holes of Sondar Tank, Babathenga Tank, and the Kanha Museum.
[Also Read: Explore Madhya Pradesh]
The Kanha National Park area spans 1945 sq. km including the Maikal hills and buffer zones surrounding the same. The location extends to several adjoining villages and districts.
In 1879, the place was declared a reserve forest and in 1933, it was reassessed as a wildlife sanctuary. It was only in 1955, that Kanha was given the title of a national park. In 1973, it became a designated tiger reserve. As of today, it is considered to be one of the finest wildlife zones in the world.
Presently, the national park is divided into two protected areas – Hallon, covering 250 sq. km. and Banjar, covering 300 sq. km. Together, with the Phen Sanctuary, it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve.
[Also Read: Tadoba Tiger Reserve – The Complete Travel Guide]
Flora in Kanha National Park
The woodlands and forests here are made of 70 varieties of dry deciduous forests and are home to more than 200 species of flowering plants. Trees like Sal, bamboo, Tendu, Saja, Palas, Mahua, Achar, etc. dominate the vegetation. A notable species of tree called the Indian ghost tree is also found here. Apart from these, there are a host of wild species of climbers, forbs, and grass found in the hills, slopes, and grasslands of Kanha National Park.
Fauna in Kanha Tiger Reserve
Kanha National Park is the proud home of the Barasingha or the Swamp Deer which is also the state animal. The swamp deer in Kahna National is a rare and endangered species of deer and is only found in these forests. But it is the tigers here that puts this place on the world wildlife map. As per the latest studies, the total number of tigers here is 150 (adults and cubs).
Apart from swamp deer and tigers, you can also find other animals in here like Panther, Chital, Sambar deer, Blackbuck, Barking deer, Chousingha, Gaur, Langur, Wild pig, Jackal, Sloth bear, Wild dog. Reptiles like python, Indian cobra, common rat snake, fan throated lizard, Kraits etc. are also common. The forests also house several varieties of fish and more than 300 species of birds.
Things to do in Kanha National Park
- Safaris are the most popular thing to do in this park. You can avail of Jeep safaris or elephant safaris and take an up-close look at the wild animals in their natural habitat and capture some Instagram-worthy photos.
- Visit the Kanha Museum, which preserves evidence of natural history, topography, and details of all species of flora and fauna species of Kanha.
- Take a night safari. A recently introduced activity, the two-hour-long night drive takes you through the Khatia buffer zone.
- Watch the sunset at Bamni Dadar. It is the highest point of the national park overlooking vast meadows. You can take the last evening safari and end it with great sunset views.
- You can do a jungle trek through the forest trails. Accompanied by a trained naturalist, the walk lasts two hours and takes you through the Khatia zone. You need to drive up to Khatia and get a permit for the trek. On your walk, you can spot forest vegetation, flowers, butterflies, insects, birds and small mammals.
Safari in Kanha National Park
Kanha National Park Safari is the most popular attraction of this wildlife region. There are only four zones in the national park, where you can do a safari, namely – Kanha, Kisli, Mukki, Sarhi. You can do safari booking in advance online or at the park entrance. For more information on safari booking, you can visit their official website. You can also do a complete package booking at Kanha Tiger Reserve, which includes, stay, entrance fees, and safaris.
Places to Visit in Kanha National Park
1. Mukki Zone
- How to Reach – The second zone of the park is located at 65KM from the Kanha core zone. You can reach there via Jeep or your private car.
- Best Time to Visit – October to February, March to June
2. Kisli Zone
- How to Reach – A part of Kanha’s main zone, this zone is located 8KM from the main entrance. You can take a jeep, canter, elephant ride, or your private vehicle to reach.
- Best Time to Visit – October to February, March to June.
Places to visit nearby
With a tour package, you can also visit these nearby places –
1. Mandla, 34KM – A small, picturesque tribal town on the loop of the Narmada River, known for its rich ancient history and culture.
2. Kawardha Palace, 85KM – A stunning royal residence sitting on the Maikal Hills, built with Italian marble and stone, designed in Italian, colonial, and Mughal style.
3. Amarkantak, 160KM – A prominent pilgrim town sitting on the junction of Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, and is known for the source of Narmada, Kapildhara Fall, Pataleshwar Mahadev Temple, etc.
4. Jabalpur, 130KM – A historical city, located on the banks of the Narmada River, Jabalpur is famous for stunning waterfalls, ancient temples, interesting rocky topography, and antique monuments.
How to Plan a Trip to Kanha National Park
How to Reach Kanha National Park
The nearest railway station is in Jabalpur, 150KM away. From there, you can take the bus, book a taxi, or rent a car, to reach.
You can reach the national park from other nearby cities like Jabalpur, Nagpur, Indore, Bhopal, Raipur etc. There are regular state-run and private buses from all these places. The best way to travel is to book a cab from any of these cities and towns to the National Park.
The nearest airport is in Jabalpur, about 130KM away. From the airport, you can book a taxi or rent a car to reach here.
Best time to visit
Kanha National Park weather is usually hot and humid. Summers are harsh and the monsoon period receives heavy rainfall. The park is open from mid-October to the end of June. The best time to visit the national park is between October and February when the temperature in Kanha is pleasant and comfortable for safaris and treks.
Travel tips for visiting Kanha National Park Wildlife Sanctuary
- When Kanha sanctuary, try to explore more in the daylight hours.
- Keep a safe distance from wild animals for their and your safety.
- Camp only in designated areas.
- Always remain inside your vehicle on a jeep safari.
Safari timings and Entry Fee
Timings: Morning (6AM-11AM) & Afternoon (3PM-5PM)
- Entry Fee: INR 1500 – INR 1800 (depending on the number of visitors).
- Safari Fee: INR 750 per seat, INR 1500-2000 for a vehicle of 6 people.
- Elephant Safari: INR 300-600
Hotels & Resorts in Kanha National Park
There are a host of Tiger Reserve resorts where you can stay and make the most of your jungle vacation. The hotels here range from jungle camps and lodges to 5-star resorts in and around Kanha National Park. Check out these best resorts –
- Mogli Resort
- Surwahi Social Ecoestate Kanha
- Kanha Jungle Camp
- Courtyard House
- Chitvan Jungle Lodge
- MPT Jungle Resort, Sarhi
- Istaqbal Hotel Mukki
- Mahua Tiger Resort
- Banjar Tola – A Taj Safari
- Tuli Tiger Resort
Best Road-trips to Kanha National Park
|Jabalpur to Kanha||129 km||3 hours|
|Nagpur to Kanha||254 km||5 hours and 20 minutes|
|Bilaspur to Kanha||182 km||4 hours|
|Khajuraho to Kanha||392 km||8 hours|