Located in the heart of India, Kanha National Park is one of the tiger reserves and the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh state in India. One of India’s most spectacular and exciting National Parks, Kanha is home to the second largest population of tigers in India. In the 1930s, Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar – the two valleys which form the two halves constituting the vast stretches of land. Kanha national park was created in 1955 and today is the core area of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which came under Project Tiger in 1974. Together with a surrounding buffer zone and the neighbouring Phen Sanctuary, it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve – making it the largest National Park in Central India. Today the park guards the wildlife it domiciles and follows measures with great care to maintain the overall protection of its flora, fauna and avifauna.
Trailing a wild tiger lazing around the shades of the forests of Kanha offers its own charm, in fact, the tigers remain the most exciting draw of the place. There is a popular ‘Sunset Point’ in the park which is the best point that allows visitors to relish rare sights of wildlife viewing and soak the beautiful landscape. Its contribution in saving many endangered wildlife species is perhaps one of the greatest achievements of this park. One of its first ambitious projects was to protect and preserve the local population of Barasingha (swamp deer). Hence, there are many species of grass recorded at Kanha some of which are important for the survival of Barasingha. The forested area of Kanha having lush sal forests, grassy meadows, dense bamboo thickets, river valleys and expansive meadows are said to have provided the inspiration to Rudyard Kipling to write his classic novel ‘Jungle Book’.
Flora, Fauna & Avifauna
- The wild thickets of sal and bamboo forests, rolling meadows and dramatic ravines, are home to the Kanha National Park. The highland forests are tropical moist dry deciduous type with bamboo on slopes and the lowland forest is a mixture of sal and other mixed forest trees, interspersed with meadows.
- The park has a significant population of Royal Bengal Tiger, leopards, the sloth bear, Barasingha and Indian wild dog. Herbivores include barasingha, barking deer, chousingha, sambar, gaur (Indian bison) and blue bull (nilgai). Feeding on these prey species are jackal, leopard, hyena, dhole (wild dog) and of course the tiger.
- Avifauna of the park include bird species like spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons, cuckoos, rollers, hoopoes, warblers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, fly catchers, quails, storks, peacocks, teals, pintails, pond herons, egrets, pea fowl, jungle fowl, partridges and ring doves. Thus, the place is a paradise for bird watchers.