A delightful town situated in the district of Mandla, Kanha National park in Madhya Pradesh is the haven of exceptional wild animals including the majestic Indian 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. The Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh is a beautiful forest with wildlife and vegetation in abundance. Bandhavgarh is known to have the highest density of Royal Bengal Tigers in the world and the frequent sightings of royal tigers make this national park a must-visit for all wildlife enthusiasts. In 2012, around 44-49 tigers were living in the park. There are more than 22 species of mammals and 250 species of avifauna.
Best Time: October to June
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'. Home to a variety of flora and fauna, Pench is one of the most popular national parks in Madhya Pradesh. The serene surroundings of rich woody forests with the occasional sightings of wild animals make this national park an ideal tourist spot.
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.
The Mandla Plant Fossils National Park in Madhya Pradesh has plant fossils preserved from 40 million and 150 million years ago. These fossils are spread across an area of 274,100 square metres which spans seven neighbourhood villages.
The 5th tiger reserve of Madhya Pradesh and the 22nd of India, Panna 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.
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. Blessed with perennial carpeting of the conifers and the squeaky cleanliness in air, this park boasts of some of the most exquisite species like the little Chinkara, the Indian gazelle, and the Chital, Nilgai, Sambar, Chausingha or four-horned Antelope, Blackbuck, Sloth Bear, Leopard and the omnipresent common Langur.
The Satpura National Park in Madhya Pradesh 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.
Located in the city of lakes, Bhopal, Van Vihar is a national park in Madhya Pradesh and a zoological park that operates under the guidelines of the Central Zoo Authority. It is located just adjacent to the Upper Lake in Bhopal, near Shymala Hills. The animals here are kept closest to their natural habitats, making it a haven for people who love nature. You can spot a vast variety of animals including leopards, cheetah, Neelgai, panthers, etc. as well as birds such as kingfishers, bulbuls, wagtails, and some migratory species. The best time to visit here is between July and September when the chances of seeing a white tiger are the highest. Sprawling over a vast area of 4.45 sq.km, this protected area ensures complete security to animals from poaching and other illegal activities.
There are some stunning national parks in Madhya Pradesh for the wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike. Which of these place are on your bucket list?