Kanha National Park
The largest national park in central India, and said to be the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s jungle book. Kanha is a gem and a must visit if you like wildlife.
The park has a wonderful range of Flora and Fauna and plenty of very affordable, yet high class, accommodation in the vicinity.
Kanha is the largest national park of Madhya Pradesh state in the heart of India. It was created on 1 June 1955 and in 1973 was made the Kanha Tiger Reserve. Today it stretches over an area of 940 km2 and together with a surrounding buffer zone of 1,067 km2 and the neighboring 110 km2 Phen Sanctuary it forms the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This makes it the largest National Park in Central India.
Kanha’s landscape is a mix of quite dense forest and open meadows with small lakes and reservoirs. The open landscape allows the deer population to flourish and the water is critical to the survival of the barasingha, a sub species of the swamp deer, which only exists in this park. It is an amazing animal to view as it spends a lot of its time in the water grazing, sometimes only the top, of its back is visible.
The park has a significant population of Bengal tiger, Indian leopards, the sloth bear, and Indian wild dog. Among the deer species, swamp deer or hard ground barasingha is pride of the place as it is the only subspecies of swamp deer in India, except the Great Swamp Deer of Sundarbans . Other commonly seen animals in the park include the gaur, spotted deer, sambar, barking deer and the four-horned antelope. Recently, mouse deer have also been discovered in the tiger reserve. The park also abounds with bird life.
Kanha Tiger Reserve Accommodation
The recommended accommodation is about two miles from the park gate and is set in its own, extensive, grounds in which organic fruit and vegetables are grown for the restaurant. It is well worth having a tour of the gardens which the hosts are proud to provide for you. There is a very good swimming pool for a cool off in the heat of the day.
The accommodation is very comfortable with excellent food and great service. If you are interested in learning a bit more about Indian cookery the chefs are happy to give you a lesson.
Local tours can be arranged to, for example, the local villages or to go bird watching in the buffer zone. The tour of the local villages is fascinating have a look at this blog.