Please try again later.

Or sign up

Remember Me

Forgot your password? Recover it here

Share Via

Adventure Activities in Kanha National Park

Kanha National Park

In a state blessed by national parks, Kanha is not only Madhya Pradesh’s but India’s grandest game reserve. It was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’
Many hundreds of species of animals and birds call Kanha home, the tiger being the park’s most famous resident – it’s not India’s easiest location for tiger-spotting, but it is easily the best. Of the park’s 1945sq km, 900sq km make up the core zone, which itself is encircled by 1045sq km of the buffer zone. By area, it is one of the country’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries.
And Kanha is as famed for her natural beauty as she is for her wild inhabitants – dawn breaking out over the expanse of the park is a sight worth waking up early for. And don’t miss out on the breathtaking sunset from Bamni Dadar (which also has matchless vistas of the park expanse). Kipling’s striking imagery wasn’t far off the mark, and the pretty – and often untamed – jungle landscape of Kanha presents a unique and memorable wildlife experience.


Like quite a few of today’s national parks, Kanha was once a hunting preserve of senior British officers in the army and the civil service. The central part of Kanha was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1933, and in 1956 (after an especially savage shooting spree by a rather rapacious huntsman saw 30 tigers killed) it was designated a national park by the government (though it was only in 1974 that Kanha officially became a national park).
When Project Tiger was launched in 1973, Kanha was among the initial participants. Since then, the tiger’s numbers have doubled (see Flora & Fauna), in part due to the park expanding to accommodate a bigger buffer zone (although this move was opposed by the local tribals, much dependant on the forest for food and firewood).


Kanha’s abundance of mammals and birdlife is due in no small measure to the diversity of ecosystems existing in a series of dells. Making up the park’s terrain are deciduous forests and swathes of savannah grasslands (or maidans) beside river valleys. In the densely wooded areas, blanketing the spurs of the Maikal Hills (towards the eastern tract of the Satpura ranges), you’ll see sal, teak and moist-deciduous forest. The many streams of the River Banjar, meanwhile, form a large part of Kanha’s water sources.


Kanha is open from November 1 to the end of June, when the monsoons arrive. The busiest season is between November and February, when days are pleasant but nights (and early mornings) can become very cold. For those keen on spotting the tiger, it’s best to visit between March and June – at this time of year, tigers can be seen quenching their thirst around Kanha’s creeks and watering holes.

Flora and Fauna

There’s no certainty of sighting (or even catching a momentary peep) of a tiger – there are estimated to be about 35 to 40 of the animals around here – but Kanha’s plethora of fauna will make up for any disappointment on that front. The tiger is, however, what attracts wildlife enthusiasts to the park – the likeliest place to spot one is among thickets of bamboo, or in the elephant grass next to the park’s watering holes.
Where there’s grassland, you can spot parcels of deer, among them the twelve-horned barasingha (swamp deer), a species on the endangered list (it was all but extinct back in the 1960s). Chital, the ever-present spotted deer, can be seen in their thousands, especially during the rutting season, in early July (chital are tigers’ main prey). There’s every chance that you’ll also encounter barking deer and the chausingha (the four-horned antelope).
Beneath the forest cover, one can encounter tribes of gambolling langurs, and hump-backed gaur rummaging amid fallen leaves. Among Kanha’s uplands can be seen porcupines, pythons, wild dogs (dholes), wild boar, sloth bears, and also a couple of species of deer (sambar and mouse deer) – if it’s your day, you might even spot a leopard in the hills.
Besides the sambar, chital, langur and wild boar, among the other commonly-spotted species here include the three-striped palm squirrel, jackals and blackbucks. Of the animals you’re less likely to spot are the Indian hare, the Indian fox, striped hyena, nilgai and the Indian pangolin (an anteater with scales).
Kanha’s equally rewarding for birdwatchers, and among the colourful avifauna you can sight plenty of birds of prey (shikra, honey buzzard, lesser kestrel), a host of kingfishers, an exotic array of hornbills, golden orioles, bee-eaters, paradise flycatchers, egrets and Indian rollers – besides a great number of common birds (minivets, racket-tailed drongos, red-wattled lapwings). There are altogether more than 250 species of birds in the park – the mixed and bamboo forests of the slopes here are ideal for indulging in a spot of birdwatching.

How to reach

Kanha, 40km from Mandla, is best reached by rail via Jabalpur, the railhead closest to the park. Jabalpur is well connected by train to most parts of the country.
There are daily bus services from Jabalpur to Kisli, in the centre of the sanctuary, stopping for a short while in Khatia village, just outside Kanha. A daily bus connects Nagpur to Kanha. Regular buses also ply between Mandla and Kanha. One can also hire a taxi to the park from Jabalpur (175km).
The nearest airports are in Jabalpur and Nagpur (226km from Kanha).

Getting Around

Stay Connected      
We use this address to send you notifications and booking related information.
Activities you want to get aligned to.