A delightful town situated in the district of Mandla, Kanha National park is the haven of an exceptionally wide variety of wild animals, including the majestic creature tiger. Wide open grass plains with a backdrop of the city scrapers, scattered bamboo forests play host to a wide variety of wildlife and diverse birdlife with over 300 species recorded. The present-day area stretches over 940-kilometre square which is divided into two sanctuaries: Hallon and Banjar. Located in a central region of Madhya Pradesh it is the largest National Park in central India and has been ranked as one of the best parks in Asia. Among the 22 species of large mammals, the royal Bengal tigers are a major attraction.
Best Time: October to June
Formerly a hunting ground for the Maharajas of Rewa, this National Park is world-renowned as a tiger reserve.
Best Time: October to June
The Guru Ghasidas National Park is a beautifully protected reserve stretched into an area of 1440.71 sq kilometres. The park is one of the unique national parks in the area and is a must visit when travelling to the state of Chhattisgarh. It is located in the Koriya District of Chhattisgarh and was initially a part of the Sanjay National Park in Madhya Pradesh. However, after the formation of Chhattisgarh, 60% of the park landed in the Koriya district and this part was renamed Guru Ghasidas National Park.
Known as one of the densest national parks in India, the Kanger Ghati National Park offers a rich biodiversity, breathtaking landscapes, natural waterfalls, beautiful limestone caves, and home to the state bird of Chhattisgarh, Hill Myna. The park is located in the Jagdalpur, Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Spread over 200 km square, Kanger Ghati (Valley) National Park, a biosphere reserve is nestled amidst the stunning Kanger Valley which stretches for 34 km. The park consists mainly of aberrant terrain and is home to a sizeable tribal population.
With the majestic Pench river flowing through the greens and a variety of wildlife to be spotted in the rocky terrains, Pench National Park served as an inspiration for the famous novel 'The Jungle Book'.
Best Time: October to June
The only tiger reserve in the green state of Chhattisgarh, Indravati National Park boasts of a wildlife population larger than many others in the country. It is among the three royal tiger reserves this state, the other being Achanakmar and Undanti-Sitandadi tiger reserves. Deriving its name from the Indravati River in much proximity, the national park is said the be one of the best in the state.
The 22nd tiger reserve of India and the fifth in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Pana National Park is located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts. Known worldwide for its plentiful wildlife and avifauna, the national park covers an area of around 542.67 km square. Panna Tiger Reserve was found as the best managed and maintained national park of India by the Ministry of Tourism of India, and therefore, it was rewarded with the Award of Excellence in the year 2007. The park is famous for its attractions like wild cats, including tigers as well as deer and antelope. It is also an abode for more than 200 species of birds.
The Satpura National Park is an exclusive and pristine landscape that has been preserved primarily for the protection of flora and fauna. One of India's most beautiful tiger reserves, the sanctuary was the winner of the TOFT Wildlife Tourism Award for the most visitor-friendly wildlife destinations in the year 2010. Located in the Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh in India, the park spreads over an area of 202 square miles and gets its name from the Satpura Hill ranges, or Mahadeo hills. It is the perfect place for all those who are tired of the conventional sanctuaries and wildlife parks and want to have a unique experience, away from the usual hustle bustle of the city.
Spread over a sprawling area of 157 sq km in the district of Shivpuri, is the Madhav National Park. It is one of the major wildlife parks in the district.
Ornithologists, rejoice! The most appropriate place for a bird lover in Shivpuri is the Karera Bird Sanctuary, situated about 55 km from the city of Shivpuri.
Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary is a hidden gem hiding amidst Vindhyan Hills in the state of Madhya Pradesh. This wildlife sanctuary is a well kept secret and is a safe haven for a large number of flora and fauna. The tranquil wilderness and the serene rivers makes this place look magical. The dense lush green trees hid many treasures amidst them that will surely beckon you to explore. This wildlife sanctuary being an offbeat destination is not visited by a lot of people and hence is quite peaceful. A few hours spent with trees, flowers, animals and birds is surely going to force you to appreciate the beauties of nature. And, once in you would not want to leave this wildlife sanctuary.
The oldest sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh, the Ralamandal Wildlife Sanctuary packs a treat for wildlife and avifauna enthusiasts alike. The River Narmada, which is 150 million years older than River Ganga, graces the sanctuary with its presence. Home to deer, wild hare, tigers and an umpteen variety of birds, this sanctuary is nothing short of paradise.
Dumna Nature Reserve Park is a popular ecotourism site and a very popular tourist attraction in Jabalpur. Dumna Nature Reserve boasts of rich flora and fauna and a variety of avian species. Besides, it has recreation activities like swimming, fishing, toy train rides etc. The park also has tent houses and guest resorts are available for accommodation of the guests.
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Chhattisgarh, the Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the Bar and Nawapura forest villages. It was established in the year of 1976 and is spread over a vast area of 245 sq. Km. The rich and lush vegetation caters to a broad spectrum of wildlife in this region. The landscape is mostly flat terrain with occasional low and high hillocks.
Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is situated in Chattisgarh, around 60 kms from Bilaspur. Categorised as a tropical deciduous forest, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve is breathtakingly beautiful with the most varied flora and fauna. This tiger reserve is a part of the huge Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve, and hence, it is home to more than 600 species of different medicinal plants. The scenic Maniyari River flows right from the centre of this reserve which is the forests lifeline. Even if it’s not for a proper trail through the jungle, one can get bowled over by the beauty of this reserve in just a small trek through a few parts of this park.
Which of these national parks in Central India have you visited?