State: Madhya Pradesh
Location: Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh
Area: 1,945 sq.kms.
Best time to visit: April to June and
November to January.
Nearest Town: Mandla
The Kanha National Park is located in the Mandia district of Madhya Pradesh, is a Tiger Reserve that extends over 1945 sq. km. of undulating country. Elevations range from 450 to 900 meters. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha provided inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his famous novel "Jungle Book". The Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh came into being in 1955 and forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve, created in 1974 under Project Tiger. The Park's landmark achievement is the preservation of the rare hardground Swamp Deer (Barasingha), saving it from near extinction. Stringent conservation programs for the overall protection of the Park's fauna and flora, makes Kanha one of the most well maintained National Parks in Asia. A heightened attraction within the Park is Bamni Dadar, popularly known as Sunset Point that offers the most awe-inspiring backdrop of the sunset against grazing Sambhars and Gaurs, magnifying the natural splendor of the area. Aside from its diverse wildlife and bird population, the frequent sightings of Tigers roaming in the wild at Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary remain the most popular draw.
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, and leopard.
The birds 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 calls.