Kanha – Call of the Wild
Kanha’s sal and bamboo forests, rolling grasslands & meandering streams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic natural splendour. Kanha National Park forms the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974 under project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha. In the 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two Sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar, of 250 sq km & 300 sq km each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded, the area remained a protected one until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the years that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.
What to see-
Bamni Dadar: Known as Sunset Point, this is one of the most beautiful areas of the park, from where a spectacular sunset can be watched. The dense luxuriance of Kanha’s forests can best be seen from here. Animals that can be sighted around this point are typical of the mixed forest zone.
Less commonly seen species are- Tiger, Indian hare, dhole or Indian wild dog, barking deer and Indian bison or gaur. Patient watching should reward the visitor with a sight of:
Indian fox, sloth bear, striped hyena, jungle cat, leopard, mouse deer, chausingha or four horned antelope, nilgai, ratel and porcupine. Very rarely seen species are-Wolf, which lives in the far east of the park, chinkara, to be found outside the park’s northern boundary, Indian pangolin, the smooth Indian otter and the small Indian civet.
Commonly seen species include: Cattle egret, pond heron, black ibis, common peafowl, crested serpent, racket- tailed drongo, hawk, eagle and red wattled lapwing, various species of fly catcher, woodpecker, pigeon, dove, parakeet,babbler and mynah, Indian roller,white breasted kingfisher and grey hornbill. Avian species: Kanha has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station themselves in the hills , where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many species, and in the grassy forest clearings. Water birds can be seen near the park’s many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The sal forests do not normally yield a sight of Kanha’s avifauna. Early mornings and late afternoons are best for bird watching, binoculars are an invaluable aid to the watcher.
Jeep and Elephant Hire MPSTDC jeeps are available on hire for touring the park. Elephants are used for tiger tracking and should a tiger be located, the elephants can take visitors to the site. For jeep hire, contact the MPSTDC Managers at Baghira Log huts, Kisli and at Kanha Safari Lodge, Mukki. Bookings for a morning run should be made the previous day.Please bear in mind that jeeps are not always available during peak visiting periods.
Best Season: Mid October to June. (The park is closed from July 1- Oct 15 due to rains). For those planning a visit, a stay for at least three nights is recommended in order to have a good chance of seeing the more elusive animals- although a brief visit is also interesting.
Food: Kisli has a restaurant and a canteen . The restaurant serves both Indian and Western food. The canteen serves reasonably priced meals and snacks. Mukki also has a multi – cuisine restaurant.
Useful Information –
THERE IS NO FACILITY FOR ENCASHING TRAVELLER’S CHEQUES at Kisli or Mukki, the nearest bank dealing in foreign exchange is the State Bank of India at Mandla.
How to reach–
Khatia (3km from Kisli) and Mukki are the two main entry points to the Kanha National Park. From Jabalpur,Kisli is 165 km via Chiraidongri and Mukki is 203 km via Motinala and Garhi.
By Air- Nearest airports are at Jabalpur -160 km, Raipur-240 km and Nagpur-335 km
By Rail- Convenient railheads are at Jabalpur & Bilaspur.By Road- There is a daily bus service available for Kisli & Mukki from Jabalpur & back. Taxis are available for hire from Jabalpur,Bilaspur and Raipur. It is advisable to reach Kisli before sunset as vehicles are not permitted within the park after dark. For assistance at Jabalpur, contact MPSTDC’s Tourist office at the Railway Station or Kalchuri Residency(MPT)
Baghira Log Huts,Kisli (07649) 277227 (MPT)
Tourist Hostel,Kisli (07649) 277310 (MPT)
Kanha Safari Lodge,Mukki (07636) 290715(MPT)
Bandhavgarh -National Park with a Rich Historical Past
This is a small national park; compact, yet teeming with wildlife. The density of the tiger population in Bandhavgarh is the highest known in India. This is the original home of the white tigers. These have been found in the old state of Rewa for many years. The last known was captured by Maharaja Martand Singh in 1951.This white tiger , Mohun, is now stuffed and on display in the palace of the Maharajas of Rewa.
Bandhavgarh is densely populated with other species: sambar and barking deer are a common sight, and nilgai are to be seen in the more open areas of the park.
The terrain is of great rocky hills rising sharply from the swampy and densely- forested valley bottoms.The finest of these hills is Bandhavgarh, sided with great cliffs and eroded rocks and on its highest point stands Bandhavgarh Fort, thought to be some 2000 years old. Scattered throughout the park, and particularly around the fort, are numerous caves containing shrines and ancient Sanskrit inscriptions .
What to See:
The Fort- No records remain to show when Bandhavgarh Fort was constructed.It is thought, however, to be some 2000 years old, and there are references to it in the ancient books, the Narad -Panch Ratra & the Siva Purana .Various dynasties have ruled the fort,for example, the Maghas from the first century AD, the Vakatakas from the 3 Century AD, the Sengars from the 5th Century AD ,the Baghels took over, ruling from Bandhavgarh until 1617, when Maharaja Vikramaditya Singh moved his capital to Rewa. The last inhabitants deserted the fort in 1935.
How to reach–
By Air-The nearest airport is at Jabalpur(190 km). From Khajuraho (237 km), Bandavgarh is a five-hour drive via Panna, Satna & Maihar across stretches of the Vindhyachal.
By Rail-The nearest railway stations near Bandhavgarh are Jabalpur (190 km) , Katni(102km) & Satna (120 km) on the Central Railway & Umaria(35km) on the South Eastern Railway.
By Road-State/Private transport buses ply between Katni & Umaria and from Satna & Rewa to Tala (Bandhavgarh). Taxis are available at Satna, Jabalpur,Katni, Umaria & Khajuraho. .
Best Season– Mid October to June. The park is closed from 1 July to 15 October due to rains.
Your Host- White Tiger Forest Lodge ( MPT), Ph: (07627) 265406