Kanha National Park - Central India

Mysterious Amazing Wilderness


The deafening roar continued to ring all over the forest, an unnerving event. Then the tiger emerged - of charismatic dimension. This mesmerizing spectacle unfolds only at Kanha - Land of The Tiger.

History

The odyssey begins with the declaration of Halon and Banzar Valleys as sanctuaries in the British Era. The pristine forests where preserved from being ravaged by advancing humanity. However substantial population remained at Kanha before it was declared as a National Park. The conservation efforts brought about a dramatic change and the wilderness made a comeback. The Project Tiger was a much needed boost and the tiger number has crossed over a hundred in the span of few decades. 

The most reliable natural history notes are found in Capt. Forsyth's "The Highlands of Central India". This is a series of personal memoirs of this region as whole explained in vivid details by the passionate explorer.

Major research by Dr. George Schaller et.al brought back the hard ground swamp deer (Barasingha) from certain extinction. His findings are published in the book "The Deer & The Tiger" 1967.

Land of Baigas & Gonds

The Baiga and Gond tribal communities are the oldest inhabitants of India. The Gond dynasty ruled Central India since centuries, much before written history. In essence the tribal were the guardians of the Kanha Forests and shaped its destiny in time to come. The Baigas are mystics with bizarre customs and as forest dwellers are found in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

In the earthen hamlets the colorful culture still prevails - the rites & rituals, myths and mystery. Leading a simple life they have very few necessities.

With the shrinking of habitat these communities were resettled to the periphery. This was an act of conservation which brought reprieve to animals. The evacuation took place from Sonf Meadow, Bishanpura, Ghorela which were the lost grounds of the hard ground swamp deer.

Topography

The land is composed of plains containing grasslands and forests. The rivers drain the valleys besides the table top mountains offer altitudinal variation. The height of mountains ranges from 600 MSL to 900 MSL at Bamni Dadar. The unique features are the edaphic grasslands that where once tribal settlements.

The grassland ecosystems support wide variety of microorganism, other vegetative matter, deer and birds. The grasslands are the lifeline of Hard Ground Swamp Deer in Kanha. Its major part of diet consists of some selected species of grasses that grow around water bodies and the grasslands.

Kanha Flora

The grassland ecosystems are extensive at places like Kanha and Sonf. These are edaphic in nature created by slash and burn practice adopted by the tribal. The present day reserve is a small part of a very large ecosystem which existed before denudation by man. The species of grasses found here are: Themeda Spp, Chrsopogan fulus, Imperata Cylindrica, Hetropogion Contortus, Dimeria Ornithpoda, Iseilema Laxum, Oschemum Indicum, Sachrum Spontanium, Cyperus pilosus, Sachrum munja and Bothriocloa odrata.

The mixed forest canopy comprises of Sal, Saaj, Lyndia, Tendu, Dhawa, Tendu, Tinsa, Haldu, Char, Harra, Bahera, Salai, Semul, Arjun, Palas, Kosum, Jamun, Aonla, Kurlu, Bija, Mahua, Thwar, Baniyan, Pipal, Neem, Lasoda, Ghont, Maniphal, Bel, Rasoda, Kunhi, Morchalli, Pakur and Ber. In the middle slopes pure thickets of Bamboo can be found. The ecosystem is interspersed with mixed forests, pure Sal, pure Bamboo, mixed forests with Bamboo, grasslands and water bodies. The high humidity levels give rise to many rare plants like the Drosera and aquatic plants upon which the swamp deer feed.

Kanha Fauna & Avifauna

There are 43 species of mammals found at Kanha. Tiger is the indicator species and a tertiary carnivore. The forests abound in leopards, wild dog, jackal besides herbivores like gaur, barasingha, sambar, chital, barking deer, wild boar and Nilgai. Animals like Hyena and Wolf have become rare. Sloth bears are present in good numbers but sighting is difficult. Recently a pair of mouse deer was photographed in Kanha. There is also news about Hispid Hare inhabiting Kanha National Park.

There are twenty six species of reptiles found in the park of which four are poisonous. There are the Russel's Viper, Common Cobra. Krait and Saw Scaled Viper. Other snakes found are rat snake, python, chequered keelback, egg eating snake, grass snake, bronze tree snake and wolf snake. Among the lizards monitor lizard is the largest and also found are fan throated lizard, flying lizard and forest calotes.

More than two hundred birds are found at Kanha of which the notable ones are the Malabar Pied Hornbill, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Pallas fish Eagle, Indian Pitta, Painted Francolin, Mottled Wood Owl, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Racket Tailed Drongo, White Rumped Shama, Golden Oriole, Alexandrine Parakeet, Iora and many more.

Kanha Forests Rivers

Situated in Satpura Range, the Maikal Hills cradle Kanha Tiger Reserve in the State of Madhya Pradesh in India. The region constitutes two river valley systems of Halon and Banzar which are tributaries of Narmada River. Amongst the two Halon is perennial but Banzar retains poodles of water during the summers. Tributaries of these rivers are the Surpan and Sulkum besides many smaller rivulets and water bodies are the source of water for the park.

The rivers are rich source of microorganism plant matters that are the producers. These diminutive creatures exhibit the finest example of solar energy utilization. This process is primary to sustenance of life and the preservation of food chain. A large species of fish and other aquatic creatures inhabit these river systems. Along with aquatic vegetation these systems support mammalian life like the deer.

Kanha Sheer Magic

The National Park offers a wonderful holiday to nature lovers. The thrills arise from jungle adventure and rare sights. But Kanha is a space that carries a feel which you will understand as a nature lover. The fun is just being there and the Courtyard House does the rest.

Fact File

Distance From Jabalpur: 165 km.

Travel:

Kanha National Park and Tiger Reserve is situated in the State of Madhya Pradesh in India. The park is closest to Jabalpur, Raipur and Gondia. The best route is however Jabalpur which is connected by air with Mumbai and New Delhi. Jabalpur is connected by rail with New Delhi & Mumbai by overnight trains.

Accommodation

Kanha Courtyard is a super luxury resort with five rooms for privacy and extreme comfort. The classic ambiance and offerings are meant for people with taste of gracious hospitality. The serene confines and green canopy coupled with fresh air and wild denizens are ideal for a holiday in Kanha.

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