"Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf" ~ Tagore



Kanha National Park is one of the most popular Tiger Reserves in the country and definitely one where you stand a very good chance of spotting a tiger. It reportedly formed the basis for

Kipling's Jungle Book
Among the other wildlife that can be spotted is the leopard, barasingha deer, the sambar, spotted deer (chital), the Indian bison (gaur), langur monkeys, bluebull (nilgai), wild dogs (dhole) and wild boar. At one time the population of the barasinga (the 12 horned deer) had been reduced below 70 due to poaching and destruction of habitat. But conservation strategies have paid off and the number has since risen to over 500.The tiger population too has been growing along with that of other wildlife. According to the last census the tiger population now is over 100 (double that of the early 1970s).

The core area covers 940 sq. kms. and is covered in grasslands and forest. The total area is 1945 kms with 1005 km being a buffer zone to the reserve. It is located in the central highlands of Mandla and Balaghat districts of Madhya Pradesh and is part of the vast 500 km-wide forest belt of the Satpuras and the Vindhyas.

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The terrain is hilly at an altitude of 450 meters to 950 metres over sea level. Most of the hills are covered in grass and very little green foliage is present. In the lower regions the forests are covered with bamboo and lower still is Sal. Large meadows roll down an area that is interspersed with numerous streams and rivers.

Over 200 species of birds live in the park and these include egrets, flycatchers, jungle fowl, herons, kingfishers, partridges, teals, warblers, woodpeckers and quail.


Venomous snakes such as the cobra and the viper and non- venomous ones such as the python can be found here.

Entry to the park is available from Kisli, Khatia and Mukhi and tourist guides can be hired at the gates. Tiger viewing can be arranged on elephant back and no walking is permitted in the park.

Best season to visit:
November to June except on Wednesdays when no entry is permitted (do check this out as it may change). The park is closed from July to November. Rainfall starts in mid-June. Winter nights in December and January can get very cold.


Log huts at Kisli, safari lodges and tourist huts are available from the MP Tourism Development Corporation. They also have a Tourist Hostel at Kisli. The MPTDC will have details of other accommodation also and can be contacted at 0755-574289. Fax.0755-552384. They also have offices at Bhopal (0755-553006), Delhi(011-3321187), Calcutta(033-2478543) and Mumbai (022-2187603).

Other accommodation includes the Jungle Camp at Khatia, Indian Adventures, Kipling Camp, Kanha Safari Lodge and others.

Forest Rest Houses belonging to the Forest Dept. are available at Garhi, Kisli, Mukhi and Supkhar. The Krishna Jungle Resort also offers accommodation (Phone:0761-28984. Fax.0761-3118410) as does the Kanha Clubhouse (Phone 0761-322224. Fax: 0761-323698).


How to get there:
Air: Nagpur is the nearest airport, 250 km away.
Rail: Jabalpur is 160 km away and Nagpur 250 km. Raipur (189 km) and Bilaspur (170 km) are other railway stations from where Kanha can be accessed. Taxis and buses can be taken for the onward journey.
Buses: Direct buses are available from Jabalpur.

The Field Director, Project Tiger (Kanha) can provide other information on the park and can be written to at Mandla, Madhya Pradesh 481 661.

Information: Courtesy Government of India

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.