Kanha Tiger Reserve

Spread over a sprawling area 1,940 sqkms, the Kanha Tiger Reserve houses a huge collection of tigers. It was built in 1974, under Project Tiger, in India and alongwith stringent conservation measures for both flora and fauna over the last few decades, Kanha National Park has become one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in Asia. Situated in the heart of Madhya Pradesh, in the districts of Mandla and Balaghat, the two valleys - Banjar and Halon form the eastern and western halves of Kanha. This scenic Wildlife Park, with its expanse of Sal trees and a selection of wildlife species, is said to be the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.

The vast grasslands of Kanha National Park, are surrounded by the Sarputa Range, which stand at heights ranging between 450 and 900m. Comprising he Banjar and Halon valleys of the erstwhile princely provinces of Central India, Kanha became a hunting ground for the British between 1879 and 1910.

Kanha national park is also the only habitat of the rare hardground Barasingha. Besides this there are some 200 species of birds, making Kanha a bird watchers paradise. A project Tiger reserve harbouring an abundance of wildlife species, Kanha enjoys the status of a well-maintained and tourist-friendly National park.

There are three entry points into Kanha - Khatia (Kisli), Mukki and Sarhi. Mukki, in the south can be more easily apporached from Nagpur and Raipur while Katia and Sarhi and more convenient from Jabalpur. Sarhi can also be approached from Raipur. There is no accomodation on the Sarhi gate side. Hotels on the Mukki side are more high-end than those on the Khatia side.

Travel Tips

Kanha National Park is closed throughout the monsoon months - from November upto March. As the summers are extremely hot and humid, with temperatures touching almost 45 degrees during the daytime, the most pleasant time to visit Kanha is during winters. It is advisablethough to carry proper woolens in the winter, since it gets quite chilly in the forest at night. If you decide to visit Kanha for a camping and exploration trip, do carry a good amount of sunscreen as all-day excursions through the forest can lead to serious skin damage.

Book ahead as Kanha is mostly booked out during the winters. Also, booking ahead might help you to avail of lower tarrifs and discounts. The Barasingha is known as the ‘Jewel of the Kanha’ so be sure to click some pictures when you spot it! And while you are there, do not shy away from local tribal cuisine at small shops and local dhabas.

No vehciles are permitted in the park without registered guide. Walking is prohibited, as is smoking, and the use of horns and headlights. 

When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Cold
  • 17.5° Max
  • 9.1° Min
  • 0.0 mm
  • Carry Heavy woollen.
Things to do

Kanha National Park is famous for the successful preservation of the Barasinghaor the swamp deer. The forests filled with a wide mixtureof flora and fauna and are a delight for wildlife enthusiasts and a sight for sore city eyes. Like all popular wildlife preserves, Kanha also offers open jeep or elephant back tours or safaris for the spotting of animals such as tigers, barasinghas, gaur, bison, chital, etc. Much like the Jungle Book, the tiger is often spotted in the winter months, laying siegeof its prey, usually the Barasingha, which are now found in herds throughout the forest.

Another interesting activity for wildlife enthusiasts is bird-watching. Kanha boasts a variety of avian species including partriges, peacocks, quails, pea fowl, pintails, egrets, pond herons, green peacocks and other exotic seasonal birds. It is a veritable paradise for birdwatchers! Quiet jungle walks are also an excellent tourist activity if you enjoy solitude and quiet walks through scenic, lush forests. Many of these are organized at frequent intervals during the day by the park officials.

Apart from wildlife watching activities, there are many surrounding places to visit in Kanha that will keep you well occupied throughout your trip. Bamni Dadar is a must-visit on your list if you are a fan of gorgeous sunsets. A popular local sunset point, it provides travellers with a calm, serene experience when the forest comes alive in its quiet splendour. It is also a good point for sighting animals such as the hard ground deer, sambar, gaur, barking deer and four-horned antelopes. The Kanha Museum is also an interesting place to visit - it contains interesting factoids about the history, topography and other details on the climate and wildlife of the place.

Getting Around

Open Gypsys are available in the Park and can be booked once you reach. Jeep and Gypsies are availabe in hire only local vehicles registered with the park allowed in. Elephant rides are another option.

 If you are planning to travel to Kanha during the peak season or on weekends or holidays it’s advisable to book your gypsy and entry in advance.


Places to Stay

There are numerous places to stay in Kanha and you can take your pick according to your budget. In Kanha, only a state-run hotel lies within the park. Other stay options are to be found in the villages of Khatia, Mukki and Mocha, on the periphery.


How to Reach

  • Jabalpur is also the closest airport to Kanha from where it is approximately a 3 hour drive in a car.
  • Jabalpur, about 169 kmsaway, is the closest railway station from where you will have to take busses or hired cars to reach the national park.
  • From Jabalpur take NH12A to Mandla. This route brings you to Kisli gate. For Mukki gate, at Mandla switch to state roads for Mocha via Bamhini. From Mocha, head for Kumadehi and on to Baihar through the orest to Mukki. Mukki gate is also accessed from Nagpur. The drive is along a smooth road via Gondia, Balaghat and Baihar. Private buses to Kanha available from the bus stand. MP tourism Caravan services are also available form Jabalpur.

Surrounding Attractions

Kawardha Palace, Mandawa Palace, Krishna Temple etc. are some of the local attractions close to the Park. Kawardha Palace was built by Maharaja Dharamraj Singh and is a wonderful architectural feat made purely of Italian Marble. Turned into a resort now, the Palace still retains its regality and is a magnificent sight especially during dusk. Kanha Museum is a standing ovation to the beauty and culture of Kanhaand an ode to its rich wildlife, that was built in order to give the tourists a better and more informed perspective about the area. Bamni Dadar is a famous sunset point and an excellent place for excursions. You could also drive on to other nearby areas such as Amarkantak, Bilaspur, Kanger Valley National Park etc. Local buses and rent-a-car services are available atmost of the hotels in Kanha to show you around.

Emergency No.

Emergency Response Centre, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Tel No: 0755-2469180 
Police Station - 100
Ambulance – 102, 108
Fire Station - 101

Kanha National Park, field Director #250760 Cell: 09424792001

Tourist Information Centre: 07649-277242

STD code Mandla-07642, Kisli-07649