Kanha's sal and bamboo forests,
rolling grasslands and meandering streams stretch over 940 sq km in dramatic
natural splendour which form the core of the Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1974
under Project Tiger. The park is the only habitat of the rare hardground
Barasingha (Cervus Duvaceli Branderi).
This is original Kipling country of which he wrote so vividly in his
Jungle Book. The same abundance of wild life species exists today in Kanha
National Park, as it must have when Kipling roamed these parts
What To See
In the 1930s, the Kanha area was divided into two sanctuaries, Hallon and Banjar,
of 250 and 300 sq km each. Though one of these was subsequently disbanded, the
area remained protected until 1947. Depletion of the tiger population in the
years that followed led to the area being made an absolute sanctuary in 1952.
By a special statute in 1955, Kanha National Park came into being. Since then, a
series of stringent conservation programmes for the protection of the park's
flora and fauna has given Kanha its deserved reputation for being one of the
finest and best administered National Parks in Asia, an irresistible attraction
for all wildlife lovers and a true haven for its animal and avian population.
Forest Department guides accompany visitors around the park on mapped-out
circuits which enable viewers to see a good cross-section of Kanha's wildlife.
The best areas are the meadows around Kanha, where blackbuck, chital and
barasingha can be seen throughout the day.
Known as Sunset Point, this is one of the most beautiful areas of the park, from
where a spectacular sunset can be watched. The dense luxuriance of Kanha's
forests can be seen from here. Animals that can be sighted around this point are
typical of the mixed forest zone : sambar, barking deer, gaur and four-horned
Wildlife (Mammalian Species)
Kanha has some 22 species of mammals. Those most easily spotted are the
Striped Palm Squirrel, Common Langur, Jackal, Wild Pig, Chital or Spotted Deer,
Barasingha or Swamp Deer, Sambar and Black Buck.
Less commonly seen species are:
Tiger, Indian Hare, Dhole or Indian Wild Dog, Barking Deer, Indian Bison
or Gaur. Patient watching should reward the visitor with a sight of: Indian Fox,
Sloth Bear, Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Leopard, Mouse Deer, Chausingha or four
horned antelope, Nilgai, Ratel and Porcupine.
Very rarely seen species are:
Wolf which lives in the far East of the park, Chinkara found outside the Park's
Northern boundary, Indian Pangolin, the smooth Indian Otter and the small Indian
Kanha also has some 200 species of birds. Watchers should station
themselves in the hills, where the mixed and bamboo forests harbour many
species, and in the grassy forest clearings.
Water birds can be seen near the park's many rivulets and at Sarvantal, a pool
that is frequented by water birds and the area in front of the museum. The Sal
forests do not normally yield a sight of Kanha's avifauna. Early mornings and
late afternoons are best for birdwatching; binoculars are an invaluable aid to
Commonly seen species include:
Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Black Ibis, Common Peafowl, Crested Serpent,
Racket-Tailed Drongo, Hawk Eagle, Woodpecker, Pigeon, Dove, Parakeet, Babbler
and Mynah, Indian Roller, White-Breasted Kingfisher and Gray Hornbill.