Kanha National Park, which is one of the most well known tiger reserves worldwide, is located among the Banjar and Halon valleys in the Mandla / Balaghat districts of the state of Madhya Pradesh. It's creation took place among, and after, a lot of turbulence and storm within concerned circles regarding rampant killing of wildlife in the area at the time. The central Kanha valley was declared a sanctuary way back in 1933 but got it's status as a National Park in 1955. It covers a large area of 1,945 square kilometers, out of which 940 square kilometers form the main park. The altitude of the park ranges from 450 meters to 900 meters above sea level. The temperature, depending on the season, ranges from 0 degrees in the winters to 48 degrees in the summers. The park remains open from the 01st of November to the 30th of June. Sometimes, as with most parks of the country, it can be closed earlier if the monsoon season arrives sooner than expected. The park has a heavy monsoon season with an average annual rainfall of 1600mm. The basic infrastructure at the park is well developed and visits can "mostly" be expected to pass without any problems.
Kanha is also famous for it's animal conservation efforts made in collaboration and cooperation with the local resident communities. One of the famous success stories of the park is the survival of the Barasingha population in the park, which went down to as low as 66 animals in 1970 from the earlier 3000 and which through huge efforts have now revived to a respectable number of around 1000. Kanha boasts of many such success stories of which this is only an example. In 1983, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Kanha National Park and he felt it was one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Dr. Paul Newton, who spent about two and a half years here researching on the Hanuman langur felt that Kanha National Park rivaled even the wilds of Africa, with its flourishing wildlife. He also felt, to put it in his words - " India is sacrificing a great deal of substantial short-term economic gains in its farsighted battle to protect the tigers and other Indian wildlife in the central highlands. This tract contained as much game as any tract I ever saw in the best parts of Africa in 1908 ….I have seen 1,500 head consisting of eleven species in an evening's stroll." - words written by Dunbar Brander in his epic book ' Wild Animals in Central India.' The area Brander was talking about is now known as Kanha National Park, an essential sanctuary for Indian Wildlife.
Kanha National Park, in the Maikhal hills in the dense forests between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges is India's second national park. Kanha National Park lies to the east of the Central Indian highlands (that stretch east-west across Madhya Pradesh) in the Maikal hills of the ancient Satpura mountain range. Kanha National Park's topography and geology combine in different ways to give it a rich habitat diversity. The range of elevation is from 1480 to 2950 feet (450 - 900 meters). The topography of the Maikal Hills comprises a large amphitheatre with meadow-like grasslands. The bauxite-capped hills sport extensive plateaus, locally called dadar, which carry extensive grasslands. These plateaus are at heights of 2625 to 2950 feet (800-900 meters). Underlying rock is volcanic which breaks down into laterite, sand and red gravelly soils with crystalline, granitic and limestone boulders, and black cotton soil in low lying areas, along the Banjar River. Many of the plateaus are large, and one of them Bamhnidadar, 2780 feet (850 meters) above mean sea level, is so large that till 1976 it had an operative runway. From their many escarpments one gets a sweeping view of the wooded slopes and valleys of bamboo and mixed tree, groves of sal, and the rolling meadows that provide a vaied habitat for different species of Indian Wildlife
How to reach There
By air:The nearest major airport to Kanha National Park is Nagpur (280 Km).
By rail:Jabalpur is the nearest railway station to Kanha National Park.
By road:There are regular bus services from Jabalpur to Kanha.