Kanha National park is one of the most famous and largest national parks of India, situated in the heart of the country, Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for Kanha tiger reserve and for housing a good population of Barasingha, the swamp deer. The picturesque Kanha with lush green forests, meadows and beautiful streams was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel, 'The Jungle Book'.
The park was founded in 1955 and its tiger reserve was set up in 1973. It is divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, encompassing areas of 250 sq km and 300 sq km respectively. In total, it occupies an area of 940 sq. km in the two districts Mandla and Balaghat.
Kanha Jungle Safari
Kanha National Park boasts an exotic variety of flora and fauna and one of the reasons this park is one of the most renowned wildlife sanctuaries is due to its tiger population.
To catch these majestic beasts in action and enjoy sights of other wild animals and birds, a jungle safari is a must-do activity while visiting the park. You can enjoy jungle safari in open jeeps or on elephant backs.
Kanha Jungle Safari: Jeep Safari
You'll ride in an open jeep and explore the core areas of the jungles and get up close and personal with the animals in its natural habitat. You can also enjoy the sights of the many kinds of flora, avifauna and indulge in a bit of wildlife photography.
Kanha Jungle Safari: Elephant Safari
The thrill of a jungle safari on an elephant back is unmatched! An elephant safari lets you explore those areas of the jungle inaccessible by jeeps, increasing the probability of spotting a tiger. You’ll discover the true beauty of nature on this safari.
Buffer zones in Kanha National Park
The park has four main buffer zones: Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki. All four are considered popular tiger sighting zones. The park also has the following buffer zones: Khatia, Motinala, Khapa, Sijhora, Samnapur, and Garhi.
What you’ll see
Kanha National Park hosts a plethora of flora and fauna that tourists are welcome to discover, making it a paradise for wildlife and nature lovers. The park is home to about 43 species of mammals, 26 reptile species and 300 species of Birds.
Some common wildlife found in the park are:
Mammals: Tiger, Panther, Barking Deer, Boar, Blackbuck, Langur, Sambar, Jackal, Chousingha, Wild dog, Wild pig, Chital, Sloth Bear, Gaur and the Barasingha, known as “the jewel of Kanha”.
Birds: Blossom-Headed Parakeets, Black Ibis, Lesser Whistling Teal, Lesser Adjutants, Crested Serpent Eagle, Cattle Egret, Paradise Flycatchers, Woodpecker, Common Teal, Pigeon, Mynas, Peafowl, White-breasted Kingfisher, Wood shrikes, Grey Hornbill and many more.
Reptiles: Python, Indian Monitor, Indian Krait, Indian Cobra, Fan Throated Lizard, Common Skink, Indian Garden Lizard, Common Rat Snake, Russell's viper, etc.
Fish: Mud Perches, Green Snakehead, Brown Snakehead, Common Rasbora and Giant Danio.
Kanha tiger reserve is home to more than 600 species of flowering plants. It is best known for its evergreen Sal forests and several bamboo species (mainly Dendrocalamus strictus). Other major flora that can be seen here are Dhawa, Bija, Achar, Tendu, Saja, Aonla, Lendia, Mahua, Palas, aquatic plants like water lilies and many species of grass, forbs and climbers.
When to go
Plan your travels to Kanha National Park Madhya Pradesh during the winter or summer season. The period between November and June is the best time to go.
The winter months enjoy fresh and cool weather, thick vegetation and sights of many migratory birds. During the summer season, the weather might be sweltering but you'll get to spot majestic tigers and other beasts of the cat family.
The monsoon months between July to mid-October sees very heavy rainfall, making the roads to the park inaccessible. Hence, the park remains closed during this season.
How to get there
Kanha National Park, spread across the Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh, is an important national park in India, famous for its tiger reserve. It is well-linked to various cities in India by air, rail and road.
By air: Jabalpur airport, located 160 km away and Nagpur airport, located 265 km away are the important airports closest to the national park. They are well connected to most major Indian cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, etc.
By rail: The nearest railway head to the national park is Jabalpur railway station, located 165 km away and with a journey time of about 4 hours. You can also travel from Nagpur railway station or Gondia railway station, located 265 km and 145 km, with a travel time of about 5 hours and 3 hours respectively. These railway stations enjoy good railway connectivity with most major Indian cities.
By road: Many routes connect the park with other Indian cities and towns. The distance between the park and the cities of Jabalpur, Nagpur, Raipur is 165 km, 300 km and 165 km respectively. There are regular private and public buses available from these cities. You can also hire taxis, cabs, private cars or even drive your own.