Situated in the Vindhyan Ranges of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Panna National Park is one of the famous Tiger Reserves in the country and is home to some of the best wildlife species in India. In 1994, the park was declared as the twenty second Tiger reserve of India and the fifth in Madhya Pradesh. In 2007, as the best maintained national park of India, Panna was honoured by the Award of Excellence. By 2009, it is notable that the entire tiger population had been eliminated by poaching. However the park represents one of the important Tiger habitats of Central India along with its associated species. The forests of Panna have a variety of resources capable of providing wilderness and adventure experience. Being situated close to the ancient temple town of Khajuraho, the park offers tremendous tourism potential and has been recognized as an exciting stop-over destination.
Panna National Park is situated at a point where the continuity of the forests belt, which starts form Cape Comorin in the south, is broken and beyond this the great Gangetic plains begin. The terrain of the reserve is characterised by extensive plateaus and gorges. The forests of this park along with the adjoining territorial forest area form a significant part of the catchment area of the Ken River with a total length of 406 km runs for about 72 kms through the park. The Ken River, which flows through the Reserve from south to north, is home to both of India’s crocodiles the fish eating gharial and the marsh mugger, and other aquatic fauna. It is one of the least polluted rivers and is one of the sixteen perennial rivers of Madhya Pradesh. Offering some of the most spectacular scenery, it is truly the life line of the Reserve.
Flora, Fauna & Avifauna
- Shallow Vindhyan soils have given rise to dry Teak and dry deciduous forest. The other major forest types are open grasslands, open woodlands with tall grasses and thorny woodlands. The dense cover of teak, acacia and sal provides excellent habitat for chinkara, chitel, nilgai, sambar and elusive species as well.
- The animals found here are the tiger, chital, chinkara, Nilgai, sambhar and sloth bear. The rock escarpments and undisturbed vales are home to the Sloth bear whereas the wooded areas are dotted with chital and sambhar. Nilgai and chinkara can easily be seen in most open areas in the grasslands.
- Known worldwide for its wild cats, including deer and antelope, this park attracts variety of resident and migratory bird species, from storks and cranes to eagles and Paradise Fly Catchers. The avifauna comprises more than 200 species of birds including bar-headed goose, honey buzzard, king vulture and white necked stork.