Central India specially the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are very rich in jungles, tribal culture and wildlife heritage. In this land of biodiversity you have plethora of options of watching the unique wildlife. You also have the opportunity to indulge into the tiger safari expeditions in the tiger reserves in India.
Those who are avid wildlife lovers can get a golden chance to delve deep into the vast jungle treasures of Madhya Pradesh. Here you can visit 9 national parks and 6 tiger parks, which are the famous tiger reserves in India. This is the only state of India which has the highest number of tigers which were almost 526 in numbers up to 2019.
Why Madhya Pradesh is known as the tiger state of India?
Madhya Pradesh has the largest number of tigers in the country and has the credit of large tiger reserves such as Kanha Tiger Reserve, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Pench Reserve, etc. As an enthusiast of tigers, you have a good chance to spot this charismatic breed of a large cat in these tiger reserves in India. The obvious reasons for such large numbers of the presence of tigers are the presence of vast forest cover which is more than 30 % of the whole land area. Another factor is the presence of other suitable fauna which has a symbiotic relation with the tiger.
Kanha Tiger Reserve- one of the most famous tiger reserves in India
Nestled in the picturesque lap of Maikal ranges of Satpura in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat, Kanha Tiger Reserve covers around 950 sq kms area. Also known as Kanha Kisli National Park this is one of the most prominent wildlife sanctuaries of India. First it was declared as a national park in 1955 and later it attained the status of Tiger Reserve in the year 1973.
The long bamboo and sal trees and lush green pastures of Kanha have been the source of inspiration for the jungle lovers since time immemorial. These jungles have been the meditation places for the sages and the home to the tribal since ages. Besides they have been the theme and background for many literary masterpieces. Worth mention is the fiction “Jungle Book “ of Rudyard Kipling.
How to reach Kanha National Park ?
Kanha National Park is well connected with the major cities of Madhya Pradesh and India. You can take a private car or taxi and reach the jungle easily. In case you want to take flight you can take flight either to Jabalpur or Nagpur and from either of these airports you can take a car. This National Park is 175 kms away from Jabalpur and 265 kms from Nagpur. In case one wants to do train journey you have the option either to take the train bound to Jabalpur or Gondia railway stations. These are nearly 150 kms far from the tiger park.
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Kanha National Park safari timings and entry fee
Vehicles Permitted to enter inside the national park in each shift:
|Safari Zones||Kisli Zone||Kanha
|Mukki Zone||Sarhi Zone|
Kanha National Park remain open for visitors from 16th October to 30th June. The safari timings are:
|Timings||Morning Safari||Afternoon Safari|
|16th October to 15th
|02:00 PM to Sunset|
|16th February to15th April||Sunrise to 11:00 AM||03 PM to Sunset|
|16th April to 30th June||Sunrise to 10:00 AM||03:30 PM to Sunset|
Kanha Kisli National Park Safari Charges (Entrance Ticket + Guide Fee + Jeep Rent + Service Charge
|Kanha Kisli Safari Zones||Indian National
|Kanha Zone (Per Vehicle)||6500 INR||9500 INR|
|Sarahi Zone (Per Vehicle)||6500 INR||9500 INR|
|Kisli Zone (Per Vehicle)||6500 INR||9500 INR|
|Mukki Zone (Per Vehicle)||6500 INR||9500 INR|
Unique facts about the tigers
1-Bengal tiger and the Siberian tigers are the biggest in the cat species
2- There were 9 species of tiger family. Out of these9 only 5 are alive now-Bengal tiger, Malayan tiger, Indo Chinese tiger, Sumatran tiger and Siberian tiger.
3-Few sub species of the tiger family are extint now namely- Bali tiger, Caspian tiger and Javan tiger.
4-White tiger is also of tiger family .It’s color changed over the years on account of environment and presence of special pigment.
5-Male tigers attract the new born cubs born from the other father so that they can attract the female mothers for mating.
Flora and fauna of Kanha National Park
The effervescent flora of Kanha National Park includes more than 900 species of flowering plants, indigenous shrubs and creepers. It’s lush green meadows and the wetlands are the safe places for the migratory and the domestic birds. Beside spotting the large cats you also have the chance to see the other wildlife such as wild boars, sloth bears, gaurs, langurs, chousinga. Besides fauna this park has the valuable gift of flora. Nearly 600 different varieties of flowers are found in this park area.
Conservation of Barasinga
The main feature of Kanha National Park has been the barasinga since ages and this species of hardground swamp deer became victimized and thus became endangered species. It was a herculean task on the side of the forest officials to save this species which was on the verge of extinction but several measures were adopted to conserve this species.
Baiga tribe rehabilation efforts
Baiga is a nomadic tribe which used to live in the adjoining villages of the forest of Kanha and were totally relying on the forest for their basic needs. In the efforts to provide large space to the tigers and expanding the habitat, Baiga’s were relocated first in 1968 and in 2010 as well to the new barren land . Thus Baiga tribe has to suffer a lot on account of losing their land for the sake of tiger as in the new areas they could not cope with the situation and get suitable job opportunities to survive and they have to fall prey to the minis like excessive drinking and mal nutrition etc. The government is very concerned to take them out from their pitiful life and improving their living standards. Serious steps are being taken to join them in the mainstream.
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Bandhavgarh National Park- Other Famous Tiger Reserves in India
Set amidst the lush greenery and Vindhya mountain ranges Bandhavgarh National Park derives it’s name from the fortress bearing the same same which is very historic and located in the close proximity to the park. This famous National Park is located in Umaria district of M. P. and covers a. Area of 105 kmsq. Previously this biodiverse forest was the hunting preserve of the erstwhile maharaja of Reewa state. After the independence of India in 1947 Reeva district came under the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Indian government made the ordinance for the Project Tiger in 1972 and passed the Wildlife Protection Act in the same year. Thus under the new regulations the number of the tigers increased which was dwindling day by day on account of illegal poaching activities. Presently it is a matter of extreme delight that the Bandhavgarh National Park has the largest density of the population of royal Bengal tiger in India.
How to reach Bandhavgarh National Park?
The nearest railway station to Bandhavgarh is Umaria . You can reach your destination by using the overnight train from Delhi or Agra .You can pre-book taxi from Umaria to Tada village which falls close to the forest .Another option is to book the seat in the train for Katni railway station and from there hire a jeep or other private vehicle or taxi of the similar kind and thus pave your way towards the hotel in Bandhavgarh.
Besides train you can fly to Jabalpur and drive from there. The point to remember is that the park remains closed from 1st July to 30 September .The forest remains closed on the festivals of Holi, Diwali and every Wednesday evening.
The Indian land of white tigers
It is considered that these forests were at times the dwelling places of the elusive white tigers. However since almost half century there has been no sighting of the white tigers in the land It is conceived that less than a dozen are reportedly seen in India in a century and most of them are seen in these dense forests of Bhandhavgarh.
Floral & avion experience of Bandhavgarh
On account of the excessive growth of tropical trees and grasslands, your heart can throb at the sight of thousands of budding and blooming flowers and watching scores of multi coloured birds such as plum headed parakeet, orange headed thrush, hoopoe, barbet myna hornbill , peafowl etc. Besides these birds you can see nearly 80 species of butterflies.
What other wildlife can be seen at Bandhavgarh besides tiger?
Though tiger is the major attraction of this National Park, you can spot many other wildlife species such as -Gaur, sambar, barking deer, nilgai, striped hyena , chital, Indian leopard etc. Couple of years back there was a phenomenal number of gaurs (bison) in the forest but due to the spread of disease all of them passed away. Now they are almost extinct in this park, so some of them were transferred from Kanha National Park in 2012. This type of wildlife is visible in all zones -Magdhi, Tala and Khitauli.
Bandhavgarh National Park entry fee & charges
|Parking entry fee||1550 INR|
|Guide charges||360 INR|
|Jeep charges||2500 INR|
Bandhavgarh National Park multiplies tiger numbers!!!
It is amatter of extreme delight that recently the jungle administration proclaimed the birth of 6 tiger cubs in the forest in 2020. This has enhanced the tiger population in the tiger park.
Pench Tiger Reserve – One of the top tiger reserves in India
An impeccable place, full of natural beauties, Pench National Park has it’s nomenclature after the river named Pence which flows right through the park. This park is located in the remote lands of Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The famous author Rudyard Kipling also pens down about Pench in his famed treatise “Jungle Book” in 1894. Thus this park attained the universal praise and attention and millions of wildlife lovers come to this jungle to soak themselves into the natures gifts.
The park area abounds in rocky trails, glassy rivers and gushing rivulets and this sort of ambience along with the presence of diverse flora and fauna allures the nature lovers. The park provides the maximum opportunities for the sighting of the royal Bengal tiger. IF we go deep into history, we, can find the mention of this famous jungle in Abul Fazal’s biography of Akabar ‘’Ain-A Akabari”.
History of Pench National Park
Pench was marked as a sanctuary in 1977 first and later in the year 1983 it was given the status of a National Park and finally in 1992 it was acclaimed as the tiger reserve. This park covers an area of 760 sq kms. During the dominion of the Gond rulers in 17th century large area of this present surviving jungle was cleared up for the cultivation , otherwise it was a very large area.The tiger reserve is divided into three forest ranges – Gumatra ,Karmajhiri and Kurai.
How to reach Pench National Park?
If you intend to travel to Pench you have to fly to Nagpur which is the nearest airport to this place. From this airport you can take a taxi to Pench which is located at a distance of 95 kms. In case you want to do train journey, you have to book the train to Seoni railway station which is almost 33 kms far from the Pench Tiger Reserve. Besides you can plan a road trip to this place from important places of Madhya Pradesh and some cities of Maharashtra.
Best time to visit Pench
The best season to visit the national park is the winter season from October to Febrary but the best time is the summer months of March, April, May and June when the mercury rises up extremely and the tigers turn out to the water bodies to quench their thirst. During the Monsoon period most of these sanctuaries including Pench remain closed to the tourists as this is the mating time for the tigers.
Wildlife in Pench National Park
Pench Tiger Park boasts of it’s rich fauna and flora and it is a pleasure house for scores of endangered species. Out of this rare wildlife the most interesting predator is the tiger. And these are almost 25 in number. The other species of the wildlife that you can explore in Pench include leopard, wild dog, jacal, jungle cat, wild boar, hyena etc. Besides these species you can also notice some other species of prey animals such as cheetal, gaurs, langurs etc.
Satpura Tiger Reserve – Another Famous Tiger Reserves in India
This renowned tiger reserve is an amalgam of two wildlife sanctuaries -Bori and Panchmarhi. Located in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh, the tiger reserve is spread in alarge area of 2135 sq kms. The terrain of Satpura National Park consists of narrow gorges, deep valleys and seasonal rivers alongwith the unusually growth of trees of sal and other medicinal shrubs. This park has well developed nature walks, the activities of canoeing and elephant safaris.
This tiger park is located nearly 170 kms far from Bhopal, the state capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is 250 kms from Jabalpur. You can fly Bhopal airport and hire a taxi cab for a drive to the park. You can also use the train.The nearest railway stations to the park are -Piparia, Itarsi, Hoshangabad . Piparia is 55 kms from the park .A large number of trains run from Delhi , Kolkatta , Mumbai and other metro cities to the above mentioned railway stations.
Satpura National Park timings and entry charges
|Winter||6 am to 10 am
|02:30pm to 5.30 pm
|Summer||05:45 am to 09:30
|03.00 pm to 6.30 pm
|Entry fee||3800 INR (Indians)||5800INR (foreigner)|
Good news of increase of tiger numbers
During the lock down period in India it is reported that there is an increase of 8 new tigers in Satpura Tiger Reserve. Now according to the statics the tiger number has risen to 52 from 44.
The forest officials have jumped to the conclusion by the pugmarks and the pictures captured in the cameras.
Best time to visit Satpura National Park
The best time to visit Satpura National Park is the winter season which occurs from October to February. As this time of the year the sunrays do not fall overhead, rather they fall slanting. Thus the heat in the atmosphere is less during this time of the year and it is very pleasant to visit the park this time. In the monsoon season which is in the months of July, August and September the mating of the tigers takes place and the parks remain closed. Once the monsoon is over you can see the wildlife and the flora in anew resplendence.
Flora & fauna of Satpura National Park
This famous tiger reserves in India abounds in biodiversity. Besides tigers, you can encounter many wild animals such as chital, sambar, nilgai, antelopes, wild boar, and blackbuck. For the birdwatchers also this place presents a plethora of options to capture Instagram-worthy pictures of domestic and migratory birds. You also get to see different plants such as Mahua, Tendu, bel, bamboo, and many medicinal shrubs.