Kuno National Park

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Ideal duration: 1-2 Days

Best Time: November - March Read More

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Also Refered As:

Kuno Palpur Park

"Land of Cheetahs"

Kuno National Park Tourism

The Kuno National Park is located in the Morena and Sheopur districts in Madhya Pradesh. One of the many gems of the state, the Kuno National Park is nestled near the Vindhyan Hills. With an area of 748 sq. km, the park is located within the larger Kuno Wildlife Division. It boasts of rich biodiversity. However, there were no lions, tigers, giraffes or cheetahs. The recent addition of cheetahs has put Kuno National Park on the global map of conservation and rehabilitation.

8 Asiatic cheetahs arrived from Namibia and were released into Kuno National Park on 17th September 2022 by the Prime Minister. The 5 female and 3 male cheetahs named Freddy, Savannah, Alton, Sasha, Cibli, Obaan, Saisa and Asha are aged 30 – 66 months and are reported to be in good health. Soon the cheetah safari will be open for the public to view these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Apart from lush green vegetation and varied wildlife species, Kuno has ancient structures and forts, making it an abode of both the natural and historical.

Home to the Kardhai, Salai and Khair trees, and being known for the high density of avian creatures, the Kuno National Park is every nature and wildlife lover’s delight. Named after the Kuno River that cuts across it, Kuno is primarily a grassland region, though a few rocky outcrops are found here too. The protected area of the forest is home to the jungle cat, Indian leopard, sloth bear, Indian wolf, striped hyena, golden jackal, Bengal fox and dhole, along with more than 120 bird species. Initially established as a wildlife sanctuary, it was only in 2018 that the government changed its status into a national park. The Kuno National Park is closed during the monsoon season from 1st July to 15th October. 

Kuno National Park will continue to be under the spotlight, to check on the progress of the cheetahs and hopefully once the cheetahs are out of quarantine, the safaris will also include cheetah spotting. Until then, wildlife enthusiasts can still enjoy the many aspects of nature and history the national park offers.

Must Know Before You Visit Kuno National Park

  • Safari: There are both morning and evening safari rides available. It is advised to opt for both of these for maximum sightings. Safari rides can be booked feither directly at the ticket counter while visiting the park, or online. The bookings for a month start approximately a month earlier. For example, bookings for October open on 29th August 2022. All bookings open at 11 AM.
  • Online bookings can be availed from the official website of the forest, https://www.kunonationalpark.org/ or https://forest.mponline.gov.in/.
  • Besides the official safari rides, private vehicles are also allowed for sighting of animals. There is a forest permit fee per gypsy/vehicle and additional charges for hiring a guide. The recommended speed while driving is 20km/hr.
  • Entrance: There are three entrance gates to reach Kuno National Park - Tiktoli, Peepalbawadi and Ahera
  • Accommodation: There are four rest houses in the Kuno National Park. These can be booked by the KNP office either through mail or phone. Besides, other accommodation options include the Jungle Resort, a Madhya Pradesh tourist resort that is around 18km from the Tiktoli Gate. The Palpur Rest House and the MP Tourism Hotel in Sesaipura  are also accommodations one can consider.
  • Obtain a valid entry permit before entering the park.
  • It is compulsory to have an official guide in every vehicle inside the park.

More on Kuno National Park

Wildlife at Kuno National Park

The park is a part of the larger Khathiar-Gir dry deciduous forest region. Thus, undoubtedly, the thriving wildlife population is one of the main attractions at Kuno National Park. One can spot animals like the Sambar, chital, chinkara, nilgai, antelope, blackbuck, wild boar, and feral zebu. Besides, the Indian grey mongoose, honey badger, langur, Indian crested porcupine, Indian hare and reptiles, such as the gharial, Bengal monitor, mugger crocodile and Indian softshell turtle are also spotted here.

For bird lovers, the Kuno National Park can be quite a haven, for more than 120 bird species are found here. Some of these bird species include the painted spurfowl, grey francolin, Indian nightjar, storks, Indian golden oriole, painted sandgrouse, flame back, Indian paradise flycatcher, long-billed vulture, Indian white-backed vulture, crested serpent eagle, brown fish owl, hawk eagle, white-eyed buzzard. The pied harrier, osprey, Demoiselle crane, Western marsh harrier and many more birds are migratory birds that make the national park their home during winter.

Attractions at Kuno National Park

Besides biodiversity and wildlife, the Kuno National Park also has several points of interest. Some of these are listed below.
  • Forts: Post Independence the princely areas became a part of the government property. The kings enjoyed hunting and built forts in the forest areas. Today these forts are interesting tourist attractions. Some of the forts that are worth visiting inside the Kuno National Park are the Palpur Fort, Amet Fort and Maitoni Fort. The Palpur or Garhi Fort is situated on the banks of the River Kuno and is a wonderful sight to behold, especially during the sunset. The Maitoni Fort too looks majestic with its solid walls and mighty arches.
  • Water Bodies and Temples: The Kuno National Park also has several water ponds which act as watering holes for the wildlife and birds. These ponds or ‘kho’ are excellent spots to view the animals, besides, soak in the natural ambiance. Some of these include the Dev Kho, Bhanwar Kho, Natni Kho, Khemcha Lake and more. Besides, one can also visit the various temples within the park, such as the Dhoret Temple, Jain Temple and Ransinh Baba Temple.

Tips

  • Keep silent and do not disturb the animals during safaris.  Do not feed or tease the animals either.
  • Carry a pair of binoculars. They come in handy for bird watching and other animal sightings.
  • Always keep essentials, such as water, medicines and dry snacks with you.
  • Wear earthy color clothes, like khaki or olive to blend in with the surroundings. Also, wear good footwear as you will also explore some areas on foot.
  • Mobile networks may not be too good so make plans accordingly.
  • Do not carry any musical gadget or play it during safari rides. Do not even honk the horn while driving.
  • The park is a no smoking zone.
  • Do not wear strong perfumes as animals are sensitive to smell.
  • Keep the park clean and do not litter.

Best Time to Visit Kuno National Park

How to Reach Kuno National Park

How to Reach Overview

By Air: Gwalior (207km) is the nearest airport. Other airport cities closer to the park include Indore (466km) and Bhopal (372km).
By Rail: The Shivpuri Station (61km) is the nearest train station from KNP. Other railway stations near the park are Sawai Madhopur, Gwalior, Jaipur, Kota and Jhansi.
By Road: Sesaipura in the Sheopur district is the closest village by road. The Tiktoli Gate is 16km from Sesaipura.

Kuno National Park Photos

Kuno National Park

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