Kanha National Park, one of the famous tiger reserves of India is the largest park of central India. The park was created in 1955 by merging the two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar. It is located in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. The striking feature of this region is its horse shoe shaped valley. The open grassy meadows covering the extensive plateau in the park are surrounded by Mekal spurs. The Surpan River passes meanders through the park. Rocky escarpments along the ridges offer picturesque views of the valley.
The lowland forest is a mixture of sal trees and other trees interspersed with meadows. The highland forest consists of dry deciduous type vegetation and bamboo stretches on slopes.
The vast open tract of grass is a home to barasinghas of unique hard ground variety. They live in hard ground unlike other species that thrive in marshy swamps. They were threatened with extinction few decades ago but the conservation measures such as fencing are now being initiated at the park to save them.
Kanha Tiger Reserve has significant population of Royal Bengal Tigers, leopards, sloth bear,wild dogs, wild cats, foxes and jackals, four-horned deer, barking deer. Indian gaur can be seen in Kanha as soonas winter ends. However, chances of spotting a tiger through thick forests are rarer than that of Bandhavgarh Park. Blackbucks which had earlier become rare, are now being reintroduced. Kanha was once a home to Indian wild elephants.
When to go
Best time to visit the place is October to July when the region enjoys the profuseness of flora and fauna. A safari through the park is bound to leave you thrilled.
National Geographic’s award- winning movie ‘Land of Tigers’ was shot here. The park also houses the museum bearing its attributes and culture.