The Kanha National Park is situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh and is one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in India. The park is over nine hundred square kilometers in area and is also a Tiger Reserve. It has a considerable population of Royal Bengal Tigers, Sloth Bears, Leopards, and wild dogs. The rare Indian wolf can also be spotted in the far eastern side of the park; however it is hard to spot and is on the endangered list due to dwindling numbers.
The park has more than twenty species of mammals including the Dhol or the Indian Wild dog. It is also home to tigers, striped hyenas, and the largest cattle species in the world, the Sambhar. The park is home to black bucks, Nilgai, sloth bears, Indian wolf, Chitals, small Indian Civet, Rhesus Monkeys, and swamp deer. Game spotting here is easier compared to other national parks because of the number of animals in the sanctuary.
The park is home to hundreds of species of trees and plants that are endemic and some are endangered. The most common and famous species of trees include deciduous trees and Sal. The sanctuary is also home to the famous Indian Ghost tree which can be found in the denser regions of the park. The park also has many meadows where game can be spotted and is teeming with wild grass. These places were villages which were abandoned to make way for animals.
Jabalpur is the nearest airport and is located around a hundred miles from the sanctuary and is connected with Delhi as well as Mumbai. There are three entrances to the park and the Kisli gate is the best option if you are traveling from Jabalpur. The other two gates are Mukki and Serai, the latter is comparatively new and awkward to access from Jabalpur. The park is closed from 1st July to 30th September so the best time to visit is between October and June and during the monsoons when the park is lush and offers a scenic view of a typical Indian forest.
There are many resorts near and in the national park and some of the most famous are Krishna Resorts, Kanha Jungle Lodge, Royal Tiger Resort, Tuli Tiger Resort and The Wild Chalet Resorts. All these are surrounded by sprawling forests and provide excellent residential services and some of them offer in-house restaurants. The safaris are not more than four or five hours long so it is important to choose the right place to stay if you plan to spend more than one day in the park.
The national park offers Jeep rides for tourists and the vehicle can be booked at the Kisli gate. The cost of hiring a Jeep for one day is more than INR 800 and there may be an entry fee for foreigners at the gate amounting to INR 200. Another exciting opportunity is to watch a tiger from an elephants back and the forest officials usually organize the elephant ride when they are working on a sleeping or drugged tiger. Many hotels also provide tours in the park and are to be accompanied by a guide.
Other places of interest
Some of the other places of attractions are Kanha Park Museum and the Bamni Dadar which is also called the sunset point. This place is a must see for every tourist and offers tranquil and mesmerizing sunsets amidst the natural beauty of this forest. The Kawardha Palace is also one of the attractions and is reachable within three hours from the park itself. This palace was created by using Italian marble and stone and is also famous for its lush gardens that adorn the surroundings of the palace. Many temples are located near the palace and can be visited for giving the trip a more religious touch.