Welcome to the Kanha Tiger Reserve. This National Park is a vast protected area in the central Indian highlands in Madhya Pradesh Province, with impressive flora and fauna that call the Park home, including big cats like Bengal Tigers and Leopards. It contains large grass meadows, surrounded by forests, plateaus, and meandering streams. Rudyard Kipling visited this reserve as a child, it helped to inspire him to write the Jungle Book later in life. It is an incredible place to get a chance to see the natural wonders of India. We were lucky enough during our visit to see a tiger who had just caught a deer. It was incredible.
It was first protected as a reserve forest in 1879, a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1933 and eventually received full National Park Status in 1955. It is one of the premier wildlife viewing locations in India. Today it covers a territory of 940km squared, and along with the 90 Tigers and over 100 Leopards, it is home to many animals such as spotted deer, wild dogs, and several deer species, most notably the over 400 swamp deer which exist nowhere else in the world.
I’m certain the travel infrastructure has improved since we visited in 2006, but it took us nearly 3 days to get to the entrance to the park traveling by train and bus, but when we arrived we were not disappointed. Even if it takes you 4 days, it is worth the detour. We stayed for 3 nights in the small village on the outskirts of the park. They told us it is never certain that we would see a tiger, as the park was large, but they had spotters in the park to give us the best chance possible. We were going to stay as long as we had to in order to see a Tiger!!!
We visited the park twice during our stay and were lucky enough to see a Tiger on the second day. Most of the park is visited in the back of an open-air jeep, and when the driver received the phone call that a Tiger had been spotted, we raced across the meadows to get our chance. We were taken by elephant (which I now know is not a humane way to interact with elephants) into a grassy meadow, where right there in front of us was a full-sized Bengal Tiger taking bites out of a recently caught spotted deer. It was incredible, and an experience I will never forget.
Kanha was one of the most memorable experiences during our 6-week trip to India, and the conservation of the tiger that has been undertaken here is amazing. It was worth effort.
Kanha National Park:
Bengal Tiger. 2006.
Lazy Worker sleeping on an elephant. 2006.
Foggy morning in the park. 2006.
Open fields. 2006.
Spotted Deer. 2006.
Riding into the sunset on our first day visiting the park. 2006.
Vast Meadows in Kanha National Park. 2006.
Tiger eating lunch. 2006.
Two Elephants. 2006.
The Meadows of Kanha National Park. 2006.
Worn Trails in the tall grass. 2006.
Resting Bird. 2006.
Riding on the train on our way to Kanha Tiger Reserve. 2006.