Altitude : 600-900 m above sea level
Situated in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, the picturesque
Kanha National Park was the inspiration behind Rudyard Kipling's
unforgettable classic Jungle Book. The romance of the Kanha National
Park has not reduced over time-it is still as beautiful.
If one were to point to the middle of India, chances are he will
pick out the forests of the Banjar
and the Halon valley, the two forming the western and eastern halves
of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, which have long been famous for their
wide diversity of wildlife
The park was
created in 1955 by a special law and, since then, it has dedicated
itself in preserving a variety of animal species. Many endangered
species have indeed been saved here. Today Kanha is among the few
most scenic and beautiful wildlife reserves in Asia. This 'Tiger
Country' is the ideal home for both predator and prey.
By far the most striking features of this region are the open grassy
meadows, where sighting blackbuck, swamp deer, sambhar and chital is
common. And, if one can transcend into time, a barefooted Mowgli
would perhaps come padding along the dusty trail, for this is the
land of Kipling's Jungle Book.
How many of you have seen a tiger before? Most of the answers will
be ambiguous because everyone wants to see a tiger. Then where can
one spot TIGER? Well, even if there are circuses and zoo's all over
India, there's some kind of a thrill you experiences when all of a
sudden you came across a TIGER roaming freely in the wilderness of
its natural habitat: the fields and forests of India. There are
numerous Tiger reserves in India, that are preserving this ferocious
beast, but nowhere can you see them as often, and as regularly as in
Kanha National Park.
Located in the Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh, Kanha national
park cum Tiger reserve extends over an area of over 1,940-sq-kms.
The major feature of this region's interesting topography is the
horseshoe shape valley and the whole park area is surrounded by the
spurs of the Mekal. The Surpan River meanders through Kanha's
central Maidans, grasslands that cover the extensive plateau. Steep
rocky escarpments along the edges offer breathtaking views of the
The main wildlife attractions in the park are tiger, bison, gaur,
sambhar, chital, barasingha, barking deer, black deer, black buck,
chousingha, nilgai, mouse deer, sloth bear, jackal fox, porcupine,
hyena, jungle cat, python, pea fowl, hare, monkey, mongoose, tiger,
species in the park include storks, teals, pintails, pond herons,
egrets, peacock, pea fowl, jungle fowl, spur fowl, partridges,
quails, ring doves, spotted parakeets, green pigeons, rock pigeons,
cuckoos, papihas, rollers, bee-eater, hoopoes, drongos, warblers,
kingfishers, woodpeckers, finches, orioles, owls, and fly catchers.
However, if one animal species were to represent Kanha, it would
probably be the barasingha, or the swamp deer. The barasinghas at
Kanha are unique, being the hard ground variety, which populate the
large open tracts of grass amidst the forests of teak and bamboo.
Twenty years ago, the barasingha was faced with extinction but some
desperate measures including the fencing-off of some animals helped
save them and again the air in Kanha bugle with their rutting
The open meadows during the cold winter months are usually teeming
with barasinghas and there is plenty of tiger activity around the
fringes. A female with two small cubs would circle around at least
two or three times during the day and the swamp deer would go
berserk, their husky alarm calls ringing through the jungle. Far
from being the cunning, smart aleck, portrayed in Disney's
adaptation of the Jungle Book, the real "Sher Khan" is true
There is a museum at Kanha depicting attributes and activities of
the park and tribal culture. It is closed every Wednesday.
The climate of
this region is tropical. Summers are hot and humid with a maximum
and minimum temperature of 40.6°C and 23.9°C. Winters are pleasant
with an average maximum and minimum temperature of 23.9°C and
11.1°C, respectively. The annual average rainfall is 152 cm. The
park is closed from July to mid-November during monsoon.