Saturday, April 29, 2017
Tourism

Tourism      Wildlife      National Parks      Madhya Pradesh     Mandla    



Kanha National Park

 

Place

:

Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh

Significance

:

Project Tiger reserves under Project Tiger

Best time to visit

:

November -March

Timings

:

6 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 5.30 pm

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Kanha National Park is situated among the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh. One of the most well-maintained National Parks in Asia, Kanha is famous for its astonishing variety of flora and fauna. A heavenly abode for wildlife enthusiasts, Kanha is a horseshoe-shaped valley surrounded by the Satpura Mountains. The park is the only habitat of the rare species of Barasingha (swamp deer).

Covers 1,945 Sq. Km in area with a core area (most of the wildlife abounds) of 940 sq. kms, Kanha National Park is a part of Project Tiger, one of India's most important conservation efforts. Kanha is also that beautiful park about which 'Kipling' wrote so vividly in his Classic work 'Jungle Book'. In 'Jungle Book', Kanha is a beautiful area of forest and a home to many rivers, streams, rich plant diversity and abundance of wildlife which still exists today.

Comprising the Banjar and Halon valleys of the erstwhile princely provinces of Central India, Kanha became an hunting reserve for the British from 1879-1910. In 1930's this area was divided into two sanctuaries Hallon (250 sqkm) and Banjar (300sq km). One of these subsequently disbanded and the area remained a protected one until 1947 and in 1955 Kanha National Park came into being. In 1974 Kanha became one of the first nine Project Tiger reserves under Project Tiger. This is the park, where the first scientific study of the tiger done by the great zoologist George Schaller. A series of research and conservation programs for the protection of Park's flora and fuana has given Kanha its deserved reputation for being one of the finest and the best administered National Parks in Asia. The first interpretation center has also been set up here.

Flora

The park has sparsely wooded grassy plateau, rolling grasslands, meandering streams of the Banjar River, sprawling slopes with lush green, tree, shrubs, climbers and bamboos. There are also plenty of smaller plants, creepers and mushrooms. The landscape, rich in vegetation presents a spellbinding view and is eminently suitable for providing shelter to a variety of mammals and birds. The park boast 31 species of trees and 600 species of flowering plants. Acacia torta, Anogeissus latifolia, Bauhinia retusa, Buchanania lanzan, Butea monosperma, Boswallia serrata, Semecarpus anacardium, Largerstroemia parviflora, Terminalia arjuna, Tichebyla, Emblica officinalis, Dichanthium, Chlonis, Eragrostis, Heteropogon, Eulalia and many others are found in Kanha.

Fauna

The park is rich in mammals. They include 43 species of mammals and the most easily spotted are Tiger , Barasingha , Three striped palm squirrel, Langur, Jackal, Wild boar, Chital, Sambar, Wild pig and Blackbuck. Less commonly seen are Indian hare, Wild dog and Gaur / Indian Bison. Rarely seen are Indian fox, Sloth bear, Panther, Striped hyena, Leopard, Nilgai, Indian porcupine, Wolf and the Indian Pangolin.

More than 200 species of birds both resident and migratory are recorded in the park. These include the Cattle egret, Black ibis, Hawk eagle, Red-wattled lapwing, Racket tailed Drongo, Leaf warblers, Common peafowl, Crested hawk eagle, Crested serpent eagle, Peacock, Pigeon, Dove, Golden oriole, Treepie, White necked stork, Shikra, Mynah, Indian Roller, White-eyed buzzard, Rose-ringed parakeet, Shama, White breasted kingfisher, Large green barbet, Crimson breasted barbet, Grey Hornbill, Lesser golden backed woodpecker, Hair crested drongo, Common teal, Pintail duck, Various species of flycatcher etc. The good view points are in the hills where the mixed and bamboo forest harbours many species. Besides these birds, Innumerable butterflies adds colour to Kanha National Park. 

Kanha park also supports a diverse population of Amphibians, Fishes, Arachnids, and Molluscs. The reptiles found at Kanha are Spectacled cobra, Common krait, Russell's viper, Copper-headed snake, Saw-scaled viper, and Monitor lizard.

Only 25% of the core area is open for visitors and 75% is out of bounds. One needs to get special permission from Forest Department to explore the rest of the core area. Kanha has two entrances one is in Kilsi (northwest) and the other is in Mukki (southwest). Among the two, Kisli is busier, as tiger sightings are more frequent. Several roads leads into the park. 


Visitor Centers
Kanha has three visitor centers. It is a joint project with the US National Park Service and the Indian Center for Environment Education. They are at Khatia and Mukki gates and at Kanha. The visitor centre at Kanha is the largest and a must visit. It consists five galleries and a research hall. They have informative displays about the animals and the environment, publications for sale including informative brochure, posters, postcards, small guides, a handbook of Kanha park, a 20 mt novel sound and light show 'Encounters in the Dark'. Visitor can select English or Hindi soundtrack . Opens 7 am to 10.30 am , and 4pm to 6pm daily. There are film shows every evening (6.30 pm) at the Khatia Visitor Centre.

Park Opening Time
Opening time 6 am to 11 am and 3 pm to 5.30 pm. It usually closes during the monsoons (approximately July through August). During December and January, it can be extremely cold and in May and June, temperature can reach 42oC and sighting of animals may increase because, they come out in search of water. The best time to visit the park is early in the morning or after 4 p.m. to spot the animals.

Entry Fee : Foreigners : 500/-, Indians 25/- per person. Rs. 25 for Vehicle (Petrol Vehicles & Restricted Diesel Vehicle Allowed ) ; Still Camera free, Video 300/- ; Guide charge per vehicle Rs 100 per entrance
Vechicle Fee : Jeep / Car / LMV’S Rs. 150, Mini Bus Rs. 200.

Safaris at Kanha
There are jeep safari and elephant safari ( used for tiger tracking) options available in the park. Organized by the Forest Development, a licensed driver and a forest guide must always accompany both these safaris. All fees may be charged at double their regular rates on Holi and Diwali.

The Elephant Safaris has three patrol units. Each patrol has 4 to 5 elephants and an elephant will seat a maximum of 4 persons at one time. Maximum time for safaris will be approximately 1 hrs and it should be booked the previous evening at the MPSTDC Manager, at the Baghira Log Huts, Kisli and Kanha Safari Lodge, Mukki.

Fee : Indians Rs 100, foreigners Rs : 600/-, Indian children (5-12 Yrs) Rs. 60, Foreign children (5-12 Yrs) Rs. 400

The open jeep Safaris which seat 5 people. For jeep book at the MPSTDC Manager, at the Baghira Log Huts, Kisli and Kanha Safari Lodge, Mukki. Bookings for a morning run should be made the previous day. But jeeps are not always available during peak visiting periods. Maximum time for jeep safaris will be approximately 4 hrs

Timing : 6 am-12 noon, 3- 5.30 pm; depends on sunrise and sunset.

Fee : Foreigners : 200 Rs per jeep and for foreigners Rs : 2000/-,. A guide costs around 150 rupees per trip . Park fee extra.