Madhya Pradesh is a hotspot for wildlife enthusiasts. The beautiful forests of Kanha National Park are home to the famous spotted deer and the majestic tiger; the Barasingha, the former, is more famous.
Kanha National Park is nestled in the Maikal range of Satpuras. It is the largest national park in Madhya Pradesh, a sizable 940 sq.km. Spread across two revenue districts, Mandala and Kalaghat, Kanha National Park was declared a reserve forest in 1879 and revalued as a wildlife sanctuary in 1933. Spotting wild animals is always a matter of luck, but Kanha is so rich in wildlife that the odds are always in your favor. The park’s flora and fauna are acknowledged in the park’s Kanha Museum. National Geographic‘s award winning ‘Land of the Tigers’ was shot here, but the park is home to leopards and wild dogs as well.
Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ was inspired from the thick forests Pench. Located in the southern reaches of the Satpura range, it is divided by river Pench into nearly two equal parts. Pench comprises of mostly a teak-tree forest rather than sal and so it has a different essence from nearby Kanha. This splendid expanse shelters over 285 resident and migratory birds. The leopards can be seen in some good numbers. Pench has been a part Project Tiger since 1992; it is, also, among the best areas for bird watching. Four species of the now endangered vultures: white-rumped, long billed, white scavenger and king vulture can be spotted here too.
The woodlands of the two are home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna. Kanha and Pench National Park are about 4 hours apart by road. If you feel particularly wild, you can cover both parks in a matter of a few days!
Watch the video for a glimpse of the national parks: