Kanha tiger reserve is a popular wildlife tourism and safari destination in Madhya Pradesh state of Central India. It is counted among one of the most prestigious wildlife tourism destinations of India where tourism and wildlife practices are implemented with high standards. It is located in Eastern region of Madhya Pradesh in Satpura - Maikal mountain ranges. Kanha national park is part of Kanha tiger reserve which includes other wildlife sanctuaries also. This forest is basically a combination of two important river valleys i.e. Halon river valley and Banjar river valley. During British India rule, they were separate wildlife sanctuaries and later clubbed together to form Kanha national park. Here tiger sighting is very good thus it is included in almost all the tiger safari tours of India. It was declared as national park in year 1955 and become part of Kanha tiger reserve in year 1973, with launch of Project Tiger. Conservation history of Kanha national park is amazing and makes this national park in list of very prestigious national parks of India. Successful conservation of Tigers and Hard-ground Barasingha are the major highlight of its success story. Majority of the forest area is in Mandla district and some areas are in Balaghat district. Both are tribal districts of Madhya Pradesh in which Gond and Baiga tribes are living since centuries. Jungle safaris in Kanha national park is slightly more knowledgeable for tourists as during safari drive, we can not only see animals and birds, but also witness various conversational practices. Here prime safari attractions are Hard-ground Barasingha, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Gaur, Wild Dog (Dhole), Black Buck. Accessibility to Kanha is also easy from cities like Raipur, Nagpur and Jabalpur.
Kanha national park is special in many ways. Tourists always appreciate park management practices. It is counted among very tourist friendly national park where facilities for tourists are of high standard and internal safari route management, patroling arrangement, grass management, fire-line management, enclosure management, central point services are really exceptional. This difference can only be experienced when we visit some other nationa park and then compare the experience. It is magnificent sal forest which ensures greenery, even on peak summers and safari drives offers photogenic views. Here we can find vast meadows areas, hilly terrains, valley area, plateau, waterholes. During safaris, we can see both Deer species and Antelopes in abundance. Hard-ground Barasingha in world is only visible in Kanha national park. Very soon we can see them in Satpura national park also as translocation project is already going on. For overall wildlife, rare species, scenic landscapes and park management, we highly recommend to visit Kanha national park.
Kanha forest is having fabulous history. Basically this forest was land of tribal people who not only ruled this region but also maintain these forests. Since 10th to 18th century, this forest area was under control of Gond dynasty who is having control over a large part of southern Madhya Pradesh which includes Pench national park, Satpura national park, Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary and complete Chattisgarh region. Even today's Tadoba national park was under rule of Gond dynasty. After fall of Gond dynasty, this forest region came under the rule of British India. Till this time, their was no rule or demarcation or any forest boundary. It the Britihs India time when forest area was marked and declared reserve forest. Later on, some more restrictions were imposed regarding tree cutting but hunting was gone without any restriction in which British officers, VIP guests, local kings were the main participants. Till British rule, two wildlife sanctuaries were declared i.e. Halon wildlife sanctuary and Banjar wildilfe sanctuary. In year 1876, Kanha forest was visited by Dr. D Brandis and with his efforts, forest area was declared as reserve forest area in year 1879. It was year 1923, when AA Dunbar Brander recorded shooting of 200 tigers in Kanha forest in which largest one was of 10ft.3inches long. Here we would like to inform you that it longest tiger recorded was in Panna national park forest areas. After Indian indepencence, Kanha nationa park was formally declared in year 1955 but it doen't contributed in too much on tiger conservation as hunting was legally allowed and many companies were offering hunting expedition tours in Kanha forest. When Mr. Kailash Sankhla did his research on Kanha, he found that 332 successful hunting trips were organized in between 1955 to 1970, for foreigner guest of these companies. This is enought to understand that how wild animals, especially tigers were massacred by hunters, in name of sport, without any valid cause. These destroyers are not the common native tribal people but the well educated, priviledged class who deliberately did this to prove their bravery. At present, these actions are considered as crime. Later in year 1973, it was selected for Project tiger and actual wildlife conservation beginned from this year.
In order to plan for Kanha national park tour, it is important to know the safari timings. This information will help us to do proper planning for your trip.
|Period||Morning Safari||Afternoon Safari|
|01 Oct - 31 Dec||06:00 - 10:00 Hrs||14:30 - 17:30 Hrs|
|01 Dec - 28 Jan||06:30 - 10:30 Hrs||14:30 - 17:30 Hrs|
|01 Feb - 31 Mar||06:30 - 10:30 Hrs||15:00 - 18:00 Hrs|
|01 Apr - 30 June||06:00 - 10:00 Hrs||16:00 - 19:00 Hrs|
Here we would like to clarify that some variation in timing is possible as final decision is taken by park management and they retain the right to change the safari timing, as per circumstances. Basically park opens 30 minutes before sunset and closed 30 minutes after sunset.
On visiting Kanha national park, we can do jeep safari, canter safari and nature walk. These are the main activities that we can do here. National park is open from October to June month in which it remains weekly closed on afternoon of every Wednesday. It is half-day closure only and morning safari is operated. In addition to this, full-day close can be observed on Diwali & Holi festival dates. As mentioned above, two rounds of jungle safaris are possible on each day. Here we can have both exclusive and sharing safari drives, as per our budget, choice and availability of permits. Majority of jeep safari permits are on exclusive mode where as few jeeps are offered on sharing mode. In addition to this, canter safari is also an option, offered on current basis only, in sharing mode. Third way is walking safari option called Nature Trail in which tourist can do walking safari on pre-decided trail, in buffer zone. It is done in company of safari guide. It is offered only on current basis and in case of any tiger movement in trail area, it may be suspended. As it is a popular tiger reserve thus large number of tourists visits this forest and thus advance safari booking is highly recommended. This national park is popular for tiger safari and wildlife photography. Here camera charges are includes in safari permit fee.
Here in Kanha tiger reserve, we can find more than 30 mammals species in which commonly seen are Tiger, Spotted Deer, Barasingha, Sambar, Leopard, Indian Guar, Jackal, Indian Langur etc. We recommend to do both morning & evening safari rounds so that you can see more variety of mammal species.
Kanha national park offers sighting of more than 300 bird species. This includes residental, seasonal & migratory birds. Here good time for birding is from Novermber to February i.e. winter season when we can see variety of birds, during jungle safari drives. Some of the commonly seen bird species are Black Drongo, Barred Jungle Owlet, Common Green Pigeon, Crested Serpent Eagle, Grey Hornbill, Hoopoe, Green Bee-eater, Jungle Babbler, Rose-ringed Parakeet etc. We highly recommend to carry binocular for better sighting results.
Kanha national park lies in south-eastern region of Madhya Pradesh state, covering Mandla and Balaghat districts. This forest area is close from Maharashtra and Chattisgarh state borders thus it is easily accessible from cities of these neighboring states.
Nearby airports: Raipur (220kms), Nagpur (290kms) and Jabalpur (190kms) cities.
Nearby railway stations: Gondia (140kms), Jabalpur, Bilaspur (250kms), Raipur, Nagpur.
Nearby bus stands: Mandla (for Khatia gate), Balaghat (for Mukki gate), Bichhiya (for Sarhi gate).
In addition to this, it is also close from tourist destinations like Pachmarhi, Bandhavgarh national park, Pench national park. If you are in Tadoba national park or Satpura national park then also journey is manageable in same day.
Kanha national park is open for visitors, from October to June month. Here best time to visit varies as per interest of visitor. If you are coming on holidays for leisure, then best time for you is from November to March months, due to good climatic condition and good possibility to get safari tickets, except from 22Dec to 05 Jan. It is also good time for jungle, birds & mammals photography. If your interest is in tiger safari and want to do tiger photography, then best time is from March to mid of June, i.e. summer season. It is a high season so must do your booking in 150 days advance. In these months, safari tickets get sold out in few hours of their release thus it is important to do advance permit bookings.
Kanha national park is a established national park thus here we can find all category of accommodation options like budget hotels, eco-friendly lodges, home-stays, boutique hotels, bungalows, luxury tents, cottages etc. Hotels are located in 3 clusters according to 3 entrance gates i.e. Mukki gate, Khatia gate and Sarhi gate.