Kanha Tiger Reserve
Project Tiger was started in early 1970’s to protect our national animal – Tiger and its habitat across the nation, which was a very bold step taken by our than Prime Minister of India Late Smt Indira Gandhi ji. Kanha National Park was one of the first protected forest taken in the ambit of the project to provide full protection to its bio-diversity and especially –Tiger the striped big cat.
Madhya Pradesh – the heart of India is well known for its natural heritage and has some of the best forests of the country. Kanha landscape spread over Mandla and Balaghat districts, had one of the best forests, a good tiger population and bio-diversity which was the reason behind its selection. With a long history of protection dating back to late 1800’s, Kanha forests were declared national park in the year 1955. Since its creation Kanha forests have been in the fore front of conservation helping in preserving the local flora and fauna.
Kanha Tiger Reserve is spread over 2000 Sq Km of which 940 Sq Km is designated core area, having fully protected status without any human interference except protection and conservation work. Its Sal and bamboo forests along with grass lands and water bodies are perfect tiger habitat. Another species which got advantage of protection status of Kanha, also known as ‘Jewel of Kanha’ is Hard ground Barasingha or twelve tinned swamp deer, which is endemic to these forests. Its population has grown from 66 to more than 400, which is also one of the best success story in Indian conservation history.
Kanha national park is known for 22 mammalian, 259 bird, 117 butterfly and host of other flora and fauna. At Kanha you can spot Tiger - the striped cat, Leopard, Gaur, Sambhar, Chital, Barasingha, Barking deer, Black buck, Sloth bear, Jackal, Fox, Porcupine, Jungle cat, Python, Hare, Monkey, Mongoose, etc., including many other birds, reptiles, insects and butterflies.
We can spot many resident and migratory birds like Storks, Teals, Pintails, Herons, Egrets, Peacock, Pea fowl, Jungle fowl, Spur fowl, Partridges, Quails, Doves, parakeets, Green pigeons, Cuckoos, Rollers, Bee-eater, Hoopoes, Drongos, Warblers, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Finches, Orioles, Owls, and Fly catchers amongst others.
Kanha's forests attract tourists from all over the world with who visit Kanha for solace and to enjoy the natural heritage along with to spot the king of the forest – Tiger. Tourism is conducted in 4 zones of Kanha tiger reserve, namely – Kanha, Kisli, Sarhi and Mukki. Now in last few years even buffer tourism is on the rise and caters to need of eco-friendly tourists. BamhiniDadar, the highest point in the reserve is a place worth visiting to see the panoramic view of these magnificent forests.
Kanha is, what it is today due to sacrifice, hard work and dedication of park management to local people. Today Kanha is ideal home to both predators and prey, the best forests to see the king of the forests, the striped water god – Tiger. Kanha Tiger Reserve is a heaven for nature lovers and certainly the best forest reserve for tourists and wildlife photographers.