Kanha was constituted into a National Park in 1955. Today, it is rated by conservationists as one of the best maintained parks in Asia. Kanha's grasslands, sal groves and bamboo forests are a heaven for wildlife. The tiger roams free in Kanha National Park, which forms the core of Kanha Tiger Reserve created in 1973. The Reserve is also the only habitat of the rare hardground barasingha.

With all the astonishing diversity in its wildlife spectrum, Kanha is best known as the habitat of the tiger. The most picturesque place nestled in central Indian Highlands is situated in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat. It has a long history of conservation and prides itself for being one of the oldest sanctuaries of the country since 1935. Kanha has niched a place on world tourist map. Besides tigers, barasinga is the jewel of Kanha and this rare animal once on the threshold of extinction is now abundant in numbers in its natural habitat in Kanha.

The Tiger Reserve encompasses an area of 2051.74 sq km comprising 917.43 sq km core, 1134.31 sq km buffer zone and 110.74 sq km of satellite minicore of Kanha. In the core area of the Tiger Reserve, human activities are restricted and this is where the elusive tiger can be viewed roaming about.

Banjar and Halon rivers flow through the park, of which Halon is perennial. A number of tanks, dams, constructed are also the major source of water supply for the wildlife. The forest cover inside the park is largely tropical moist deciduous type. Kanha has about 22 species of mammals. Some of the inhabitants of the park are species of deer and antelope like chital, sambhar, barking deer, barasingha, black buck, nilgai, and gaur. Other residents include the sloth bear and other predators are wild dog, jackals and the striped hyena.

Some 300 species of birds inhabit the park which include peafowl, egret, black ibis, warbler, green pigeons, eagles, falcon, tree pie etc. Water birds can be seen near the park's many rivulets and pools. The ideal time to visit Kanha would be the period between February and June. The park is closed from 1st July to 15th October in the monsoon season.

How to reach;

Kanha is accessible by road from the town of Mandla and Jabalpur. Khatia (3 km from Kisli and 68 km from Mandla) towards Mandla and Mukki (82 km from Balaghat) towards Balaghat and Sarhi (150 km from Jabalpur) are the three entrance points to the tiger reserve. Jabalpur (168 km) is a convenient rail head. Nearest airports are located at Jabalpur and Nagpur (170 km). There is a daily bus service available for Kisli and Mukki from Jabalpur and back. Tourists are permitted into the tourism zone of the reserve between sunrise and sunset.

Content Courtesy : MP Madhyam.

Source: http://www.mp.gov.in/web/guest/wildlife